how to take a dab without a nail

How To Smoke Dabs Without A Rig – The ultimate guide in 2020!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!


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.

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.

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

Not Recommended Options

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!

  • How to heat up a dab rig without a torch
  • How to make dabs
  • How to make a DIY bong
  • How to make edibles

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!

If you've got your hands on some precious concentrates, but you don't have a rig to enjoy them with, fret not! We have a list of ways you can dab concentrates without a rig. Some methods are better than others, but each one of these will have you enjoying the pure bliss of your wax, shatter, oils… in no time!

How to Smoke Wax Without a Rig – 5 Methods

This article was made possible thanks to my friends over at Vaporizers Direct.

Having concentrates but nothing to smoke it out of is such a bummer. Traditionally, wax and shatter are smoked out of a dab rig. Unfortunately, these can get kinda pricey – especially for someone who doesn’t smoke concentrates that often.

BUT, no need to worry.

I put together a list of 5 good ways to smoke wax or shatter without a rig. Additionally, I included 3 bad ways to smoke without a rig at the end. If you have any additional tips please let me and everyone else know in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Glass Bowl or Bong

This is for sure the easiest way to go about smoking concentrates without a rig. Load your bowl up like normal then put your shatter or wax on top of the herb. You can smoke it like you normally would and it’ll get you plenty high.


  • Super easy and hassle-free.


  • This way can be a bit wasteful. Once it starts smoking it doesn’t extinguish itself like it normally would so it’s better to keep hitting it so you don’t lose as much smoke to the air.
  • You don’t get the taste of just the wax which some people prefer. You’re always going to get a taste of herb with your concentrates.
  • You have to have herb in order for this to work. You can’t smoke just wax out of a glass bowl.


  • If your concentrates are a bit unstable (i.e. melted or sticky) put it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. It will harden it enough for you to place it in your bowl.
  • When first starting hit the bowl slowly and don’t bring the lighter too close. Ideally, you want to melt the concentrates into the rest of the herb. If you hit it too hard then it will light up on fire and you’ll loose more of your wax.

Roll It Up

If you really like rolling joints and blunts then you’ll be happy to know that it’s totally possible to add concentrates to your favorite hand rolled smoking device. There are two main ways you can go about this:

  1. You can put it around the outside of your joint or blunt. I like to do a circle around the blunt – I call them checkpoints. Some people also call the speed bumps. Really you can wrap it around however you like. Be ready for it though because it will get drippy so you have to hold it at a higher angle.
  2. You can also roll it up in the inside of your joint. I make a little ‘snake’ that I line the entire length of the rolling paper with. Then place your herb on top and roll as usual.


  • This way is pretty easy and if all you have are joint papers then it’s really all you can do.


  • Like with using a glass bowl, rolling up your concentrates isn’t exactly the most efficient way to smoke. You’re going to lose to quality smoke to the air, but you’ll still get nice a stoney.
  • As mentioned earlier, the concentrates will get drippy. This isn’t as much of a problem if you put the concentrates on the inside.
  • The concentrates may cause your joint or blunt to burn a bit weird and create runs.


  • If you have any kief then you can roll the joint in it. This not only gets you higher, but it also looks neat.

Knife Hits

Oh, knife hits. What a love-hate relationship I have with those things. Here’s the deal. I personally am not a huge fan of knife hits for one reason – they make me feel like a weed junky. Putting that aside, they do work really well and can be done using common household items. All you need is 2 butter knives, a heat source (usually a stove top or small torch), and an empty plastic bottle.

The basic idea is to get the knives super hot, drop some concentrates on, then press them together. This will vaporize your concentrates. This is when you need to be ready with your plastic bottle which you’ve cut the bottom out of it. Use the bottle like a funnel and suck up all the smoke. The whole process is much easier with 2 people, trust me.


  • When done properly it is pretty efficient and probably the closest thing to an actual dab on this list.
  • Can be done with everyday items in your kitchen.


  • Makes you look like a weed junky. Hide those knives before your mother comes over – she’ll think you’re smoking meth or something.
  • A little difficult to coordinate until you get the hang of it.


  • Hot knives are one of those things you just need to see in action. If you’re interested in trying it then check out this youtube video.
  • In most youtube videos you see them use a torch. If you don’t have a torch just get the eye of your stove red hot and place the knives on there.
  • If you’re having trouble dropping the concentrates on the knife then consider only heating one knife and having the dab on the other knife. I’ve found you can still get plenty of heat off just one knife.

Vape Pen

I know, this requires you to purchase something, but it’s a lot less expensive that a rig. It’s also a lot more inconspicuous. Vape pens are widely available in both head shops and online. I highly recommend Vaporizers Direct. They have a huge selection and can help you pick a vaporizer that will suit your needs.


  • More affordable than a rig.
  • Inconspicuous and fits in your pocket.
  • Very efficient and helps conserve your concentrates.


  • Not something that you would have lying around the house like the other methods.
  • Some people do not like the taste that a vape pen gives off. Personally, I find it different but not necessarily off-putting.
  • You don’t really get a huge rip like you would off a dab rig.


  • If this is something that you’re going to be using regularly then you may want to spend some time online looking at reviews. You may end up deciding to spend a bit more on a long-lasting vape. On the other hand, if you just need a quick solution then grab up a cheap one and have at it.


This one is not really smoking at all, but it is a way to consume concentrates so I thought it was fair for it to make the list. You can get high from eating concentrates, but you will have a bit of prep work beforehand. First, you need to decarboxylate your concentrates. Basically, you need to heat it up to the point where your THCa turns into THC. Like the knife hits, this is a process that is best explained with video so here’s one for everyone considering eating their concentrates. The most important thing is to go very slow with this method. Start out with much less than what you would expect.


  • Uses things found commonly in the kitchen.
  • Don’t have to smoke or vaporize if your throat is sensitive.


  • Nothing like taking an actual dab. This is pretty much exactly like taking an edible.
  • Many people don’t like the taste, but I have a tip below that may help with this problem.


  • You can also put the decarbed oil in pill capsules if you don’t want to worry about the taste or getting the wax all over your mouth and teeth.

Ways Not Recommended For Smoking Wax

There are a few ways we found that people are smoking wax, but these methods are not recommended. There are better ways to go about smoking without a rig which I mentioned above.


The stove is fine for heating up your hot knives, but we’ve found some people are just dropping their concentrates on the eye of the stove. This goes bad a few different ways. First off, the concentrates tend to drip off the sides only to be caught by your stove’s grease trap. More importantly, you are sticking your face next to a big, red hot burner. This method is just asking to be put on the evening news.

Car Lighter

You can use the red-hot coil of a car lighter to vaporize concentrates, but you’re most likely going to end up ruining your car lighter pretty quickly. The coil will vaporize most of it, but there’s always a chance of getting it on the sides. Once this happens you can’t put it back into the slot without getting goo inside.

Tin Foil / Aluminum Foil

This method will work, but the problem is foils tend to off-gas more than solid metals. Once this happens you’ll be breathing in more than just wax vapor. This method – like the hot knives – will make you feel like a weed fiend.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Also, if you enjoyed this article then here are a few of my other article you may like:

How to Smoke Wax Without a Rig – 5 Methods This article was made possible thanks to my friends over at Vaporizers Direct. Having concentrates but nothing to smoke it out of is such a bummer.