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How To Smoke Dabs And Wax Without A Rig?

concentrates shatter dab

Dab oil, or marijuana concentrates, is all the rage nowadays, but how do you take part in this awesome experience without a large or small dab rig of some sort? There are actually lots of ways to smoke your tasty concentrates sans a proper rig, so if you don’t have the money to invest in a rig but have the concentrates, we’re here to help you figure out how to dab without a rig! First things first, you have to understand the basics of dabbing:

What is a dab?

A dab, also commonly known as shatter wax and crumble wax, is a concentrated form of marijuana. These can come in a crumbly substance, smooth wax, or liquid oil. Dabbing weed in its concentrated form will get you higher faster than smoking the traditional flower. 

What is a dab rig?

A rig is the type of pipe you smoke dab weed out of. This dab pipe is typically a bong base with a banger attachment. It’s not all that much different from a bong. You can also use a dabbing atomizer, dabbing pen, dab spoon, electric dab rigs, or a vape dab rig to smoke your concentrate.

dab rig dabbing concentrates

Your typical dab rig will look similar to this - like a bong, but with an attachment to put your concentrates in and heat. Photo: @potguide

How to dab with a rig

If you want to know how to take a dab with a rig, you’ll need a torch (or a substitute, explained later), a rig complete with a banger (or a homemade dab rig, explained later), a dab nail for bong, and, of course, concentrates. 

You simply put the wax on one end of your dab tool, heat up the banger part of your rig with the torch, and, once it’s red hot and cooled slightly back down, run the tool along the glass banger to vaporize the wax.

If you choose to use a dab oil pen, you don’t have to worry about the tool, rig, or wax. You can purchase pre-filled cartridges loaded with dispensary-quality dab oil for a convenient e-cig.

hemper dab rig pineapple

Make all of your dabbing buddies feel at home with Hemper's extra welcoming Pineapple dab rig.


How to smoke dabs without a rig

If you’ve got concentrates but are stuck without a rig, no need to panic. We can help you figure out how to smoke dab - be it shatter, budder, or wax without a rig easily. There are many different ways to go about this; we’ve listed a few of our favourites.

Dabbing with a Butter Knife

Okay, we'll admit... hitting a dab off of hot knives is not one of the world's classiest ways to smoke. However, it actually is a pretty effective way to make sure you're getting the benefits of wax without dropping a bunch of dough on a pricey rig. If you need to figure out how to dab without a rig or torch, this is the most effective way.
All you need is a heat source of some type (a small torch, a stove top, whatever you have that will get that hot), an empty plastic bottle with the bottom cut out, and two hot knives (we recommend butter knives. You know, safety...). 
The process of this goes much smoother when you have two people. If you struggle getting the concentrate on the knife, you could heat just one knife up, having the concentrate ready on the other; you can get enough heat with just one knife.
  1. Heat up your knives on the eye of the stove or using a torch
  2. Drop your concentrate on the knives and press them together
  3. At the same time, have your plastic bottle at the ready
  4. Use the bottle like a funnel to suck up all the vapour.

This method is the easiest to accomplish for most everyone, given the materials are super common. It’s also the most similar to a true dab you can get without the rig.

Topping a Bowl or a Joint with Concentrates

This method isn’t a very similar experience to actual dabbing, but it’s an effective way to smoke wax without a rig in order to reach that high you're after. All you need is either a bowl, weed, and your concentrate or joint papers, a grinder, weed, and your concentrate.
For the bowl option, load your preferred piece halfway with either ground or ripped up bud then simply rip off bits of your concentrate if it’s shatter or butter or use a dab tool to place the dabs on top of your weed. Be sure to place the dab halfway through the bowl because smoking wax directly with an open flame can degrade your product and burn off some of your THC.

grav helix hand pipe

Want a classic hand pipe to rest your precious bud and concentrates into? The Grav Helix hand pipe (this one's the mini, but there's a normal sized one, too) should be at the top of your list!


See below to next photo cred...

spoon pipe smoke weed

Want something simple? Uncomplicated? Classic and trustworthy? Grav's mini spoon pipe should do the trick! We like the doughnut spoon for the extra filtration the donut gives.


...@gravlavs has some great insta content. Follow if you need some inspiration!

illuminati glassheads cannabis

If you're looking to grow your glassware collection with something more suitable for after-dark hours, consider the Glassheads Sherlock fumed Illuminati Hand Pipe.


Glassheads' stock photo doing a great job of showing off the UV-sensitive glass!

In the case of a joint, you can either weave a snake of concentrate into the center of the rolled joint or wrap it around the outside of the joint. We find it far more effective to put it in the joint rather than wrap it around the outside; you waste less product that way.

crumble weed marijuana joint
It's hard to imagine a more beautiful site! Photo: u/hploverf0rlife


Vape Pen

This one involves purchasing a vape pen if you don't already have one, but they have many available for pretty cheap. We've listed a few of our favourites below, but we also have lots of more extensive vape pen reviews like this one: 29 Best Vape Pens in the World Right Now!

To do this, you’ll need a vaporiser that allows you to have direct access to the coil (heating element). This means you’ll need a pen with a removable cartridge or without a spot for a cartridge altogether, as a cart that can't be removed would block the coil, which is your heat source.

  1. Put a small dab on your metal dabber
  2. Take the atomizer off the battery chamber and place the concentrate on the unheated coil. You don’t want the metal dabber to make contact with the coil.
  3. Turn your vape on and reattach the atomizer
  4. Press the button and hold it to allow the coil to heat up. Draw slowly on the vape as inhaling too quickly can lower the heat and create less vapor, meaning you’re wasting your concentrate.


vaporiser concentrates wax dog

Cute pup not included, but you're still getting an AWESOME Yocan Evolve Plus XL with lots of power and coil action to heat your concentrates and waxes efficiently.


Thanks to @olsenstiletto for this photo that makes us feel like we're right there with you!


kandypens donut vape

Place your precious concentrates into Kandypens Donut's deep-dish 100% ceramic atomizer, select one of three pre-set temperatures, and toke-away with this sleek oil vape pen!



vape cartridge DIY

Maybe you have a favourite vape already, but need a new cartridge to fill? We recommend the O2 vari-flow ceramic cell cart.


O2 Vapes always keeps it classy, including on their website, which is where we got this photo from.

vape atomizer cannabis concentrates

Use what you've already got in a vape pen! Photo: u/Advken


This method for smoking your precious shatter, budder, or wax without a rig does involve purchasing another object, the Healthstone. It’s far cheaper than buying a full rig and it's also super simple. All you do is place the healthstone down in your bong bowl. You can also put the healthstone down inside your banger. 
The idea is to position the healthstone in such a way to make sure the smoke will go through the pipe to the mouthpiece. Once you’ve positioned your healthstone, heat the healthstone with your torch and then smoke it like you would a rig.

healthstone high marijuana 420
The Healthstone is a super quick and easy way to enjoy dabs without buying a rig. Photo: MRxMAGICMAN


Not Recommended Options

This section is mostly included so you know what to avoid. There’s a lot of nonsense on the internet claiming to be factual and proven, it doesn’t make it safe information.


Car Lighter

Smoking wax or other types of concentrates without a rig has led people to do some crazy stuff, and this next one is not necessarily our top recommendation. But - if you're desperate and need to know how to smoke dabs without a rig and you truly have nothing else at your disposal other than a car lighter, just be super careful. This is the least safe way to smoke wax without a rig.

Instructions include heating the car lighter until it's glowing red and placing dabs directly on the coil. While this method seems easy and sure it’s plenty effective, it’s not safe. We cannot stress enough the fact that we do not recommend this method. It's not safe. Really. We don't recommend it.


If you have concentrates but no rig, you’re not at a total loss. There are a few ways you can dab without a rig, though you may need to purchase some supplies in order to do so. Some of the methods involve materials often commonly available in the home while others involve hitting up a local shop or website. There are also a number of unsafe methods recommended on the internet, so we advise that you take your time and do thorough research before committing to one method.
What you learned in this article:
  • What is a rig
  • What is dabbing wax
  • How to smoke shatter and how to smoke crumble
  • A little about vaping wax
  • How to smoke dabs without a rig
  • How to smoke dabs without a rig or torch
Can’t get enough? Try researching these interesting topics for more weed content!

Looking for more video explanation? Check this one out!

Thanks for reading! If you have more questions simply drop us a line in the comments section below!


Megan Medeiros Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)

Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. All photos were sourced from | updated 2021

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