What are eRigs?
Electric Rigs, commonly known as eRigs, are all-in-one concentrate vaporizers that typically have a built-in water bubbler. E-Rigs heat cannabis concentrates (aka hash, rosin, resin, wax, etc.) enough to vaporize (but not burn) them.
Unlike traditional dab rigs, eRigs don’t require a torch for heating. Instead, they use electricity to heat a coil/bowl to around 450-800°F. The use of electricity instead of open fire or flame allows for precise temperature control and a more predictable and consistent experience.
Related: Best e-Rigs of 2024
Benefits of using an eRig
e-Rigs are the modern evolution of traditional dab rigs and offer several benefits:
- Temperature Control: Precise temperature settings allow you to fine-tune the dabbing experience, ensuring optimal flavor and potency.
- Convenience: eRigs are easier to use, especially for beginners, as they eliminate the need for a torch and nail setup. A click of a button is all it takes.
- Safety: By removing open flames, eRigs are generally safer to use. Also, a controlled experience prevents all the downsides associated with smoking.
- Portability: Many eRigs are battery-operated and portable and are much easier to travel or move around with.
Components of eRig
An eRig typically consists of the following components:
- Base: The main body which houses the battery and electronics. The base often includes the operating buttons and interface.
- Heating Element: Usually, a coil or a bowl that heats the concentrate.
- Water Filtration: a glass bubbler filled with water to cool and filter the vapor.
eRig vs. Dab Pens
While eRigs and dab pens are both used for consuming concentrates, there are key differences:
- Portability: Dab pens are more portable than most eRigs. A dab pen will easily fit in a pocket, but you’d need a small case to carry an eRig with its bubbler.
- Experience: eRigs often provide a more robust and potent dabbing experience. They usually have more power, larger bowls, and the bubbler, which takes it up a notch over dab pens.
- Battery Life: eRigs usually have longer battery life.
- Temperature control: eRigs offer more temperature control and customization options.
eRig vs. eNail
eNails are electronic heating elements that attach to traditional dab rigs. A typical eNail will have a 14mm or 16mm male attachment to connect to an existing rig or bubbler.
eRigs are all-in-one devices that include the base, water filter, and heating element. eNails offer the traditional rig experience with the benefit of electronic heating.
An eNail is only the “banger,” while a dab rig or eRig usually refers to the entire setup.
How to use an eRig
Mose eRigs are straightforward and easy to use. To use an eRig:
- Charge the Device: Ensure the eRig is fully charged.
- Fill Water Chamber: Add water to the filtration system, but not too much.
- Prepare the Concentrate: Place a small amount (the size of a grain of rice) of concentrate in the bowl or coil.
- Turn on heating: Turn on the eRig (usually by clicking the button five times) and set the desired temperature.
- Dab and Inhale: Once heated, inhale through the mouthpiece or glass bubbler.
- Clean After Use: Always clean the nail or bowl after each session.
When discussing bowl/coil types in eRigs, there are two main types of heating elements- rods and bowl coils.
Rods means that there is a horizontal rod in the center of the heating element with a coil wrapped around it. This coil heats the concentrates by direct contact.
Bowl means that the surface of the heating element is smooth, kind of like a bucket. The heating coil is located under the bowl or sometimes on the sides of it (aka 3D chambers).
The main differences:
- Heating Method: Rods provide direct heating to the concentrate, while bowl coils offer indirect heating.
- Flavor and Efficiency: The choice between rods and bowl coils can impact flavor and vapor production. Rods may offer a more intense flavor, while coils might provide a more even heating experience.
- Maintenance: Both require regular cleaning, but the bowl-style coils are a lot easier to clean as there are no tight corners and folds. It is a smooth surface that can easily be “moped” after each session.
eRigs dabbing temperetures
Generally, there are two dabbing styles: low-temperature dabbing and high-temperature dabbing. Each has its unique characteristics and effects.
Low Temp Dabbing
Low temp dabbing typically involves temperatures ranging from 380°F to 500°F. This range is preferred for several reasons:
- Flavor Preservation: Lower temperatures are ideal for savoring the full flavor profile of the concentrate. They prevent the terpenes from burning off, ensuring a more flavorful experience.
- Smoother Hits: Vapor produced at lower temperatures tends to be smoother and less harsh on the throat and lungs.
- Efficiency: Although the vapor production is less intense, low temp dabbing can be more efficient in extracting the active compounds without burning them off too quickly.
High Temp Dabbing
High temp dabbing involves temperatures above 550°F, sometimes going as high as 900°F or more. Here’s what distinguishes high temp dabbing:
- Intense Vapor Production: Higher temperatures produce denser, more potent vapor, leading to more intense effects.
- Quick Hits: High-temp dabbing is favored for quick, powerful hits. The onset of effects is immediate and strong, much like using a traditional rig.
- Less Flavor, More Intensity: While the flavor may be less pronounced due to the burning off of terpenes, the intensity of the effects is heightened.
The choice between low temp and high temp dabbing in eRigs depends on personal preference. If you like mild and flavorful hits- go low. And if you like harsh, intense hits- go high.
Entry-Level eRigs (Under $100)
These models are ideal for beginners or those who are new to dab rigs. They usually feature basic functionality, with a simpler design and limited temperature control. The build quality in this range prioritizes affordability, so durability and material quality may be compromised. However, for casual users or those just starting out, these eRigs offer a cost-effective way to step into the world of dabbing without a significant financial commitment.
Intermediate eRigs ($100 – $250)
The mid-range or intermediate eRigs, priced between $100 and $250, strike a balance between affordability and quality/features. In this category, users can expect better build quality and more reliable performance. These gigs often come with precise temperature control and not just presets. This price range is well-suited for users who have some experience with dabbing and are looking for a more refined experience without venturing into the high-end market.
Professional-Grade eRigs ($250 – $400+)
These premium models boast top-notch build quality, utilizing high-quality materials for durability and a sophisticated look. They often incorporate advanced technology, including precise temperature control, app connectivity, and 3D chambers that offer improved heating. This tier is ideal for serious enthusiasts who are willing to invest in a top-of-the-line product.
When selecting concentrates for use with eRigs, keep in mind that eRigs are designed to work efficiently with solid concentrates, but they are not suitable for liquid forms like oils.
Solid Concentrates include wax, shatter, budder, crumble, hash, live rosin, live resin, etc. These concentrates vary in texture and consistency but share a common solid or semi-solid form that makes them ideal for use with eRigs.
Oils, being liquid in form, are not suitable for eRigs. Their fluid nature means they can easily run off the heating element or not vaporize effectively, leading to a messy and inefficient dabbing experience.
Two essential accessories stand out for their utility- the hot knife and cotton swabs, each serving an essential purpose:
A hot knife is a specialized tool designed to handle and apply concentrates with precision. Its heated tip makes it easier to portion out and load to the chamber, even the stickiest of concentrates, without any wastage. It is a bad idea to scrape off the wax on the walls of the bowl. It is recommended to drop them exactly in the middle, and that’s pretty much impossible without a hot knife.
Cotton Swabs are Essential for Maintenance: After each session, use a cotton swab to “mop up” and absorb any residual concentrates in the bowl of the eRig. This is essential for maintaining the purity of flavors and the overall functionality of the device. It prevents the buildup of residue and extends the lifespan of the eRig.
Cleaning & maintenance
Proper cleaning and maintenance of your eRig are crucial for its longevity and performance. Two key components that require regular attention are the heating element and the bubbler. Here’s how to effectively clean and maintain these parts:
Cleaning the Heating Element
- Cool Down: Always ensure the heating element has completely cooled down before attempting to clean it. This prevents the risk of burns and damage to the element.
- Removing Residue: Gently use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean any residual concentrate from the heating element. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this could damage the element.
- Submerge in ISO: Read the manual of your specific vaporizer and check if the manufacturer remands it (not all do).
- Regular Maintenance: It’s best to clean the heating element after every use. This not only maintains the purity of flavor for each session but also extends the life of the element.
- Avoiding Water: Never submerge the heating element in water or any other liquid.
Cleaning the Bubbler
- Empty and Rinse: Start by emptying out any old water from the bubbler. Rinse it with warm water to remove any loose residue.
- Using Cleaning Solutions: For a deeper clean, use a solution of isopropyl alcohol and salt. The alcohol helps dissolve the residue, while the salt acts as a gentle abrasive to scrub the inside surfaces.
- Shake Gently: After adding the cleaning solution, cover the openings and gently shake the bubbler. This helps the solution reach all the internal surfaces.
- Rinse Thoroughly: Once the residue is loosened and removed, rinse the bubbler thoroughly with warm water. Make sure all traces of the alcohol and salt solution are gone.
- Dry Completely: Allow the bubbler to air dry completely before reassembling it with the eRig.
How much water should I fill in the bubbler?
Just enough to cover the bottom of the downstem, avoiding overfilling.
Where can I buy the wax/dab?
Concentrates are available at licensed dispensaries or cannabis retail stores.
What are terp balls?
Small glass or quartz balls are used inside bowls, bangers, or nails to improve heat distribution.
Are eRigs compatible with dry herb?
No. Unless it says it specifically, dabbing rigs work with very high temperatures and should not be used with dry herbs.
How much concentrate should I load into the bowl?
An amount equal to around a grain of rice is a good start.