The Differences Between Dab Rigs and Bongs

Dab rigs closely resemble bongs but have been specialized for dabbing, a term that refers to the smoking of wax concentrates like shatter, oil and wax.

On the other hand, a bong is a specialized smoking device for dry herbs and tobacco that has been popular among smokers for many years.

Technically they can both be used interchangeably, but if you want to look further into them, you will find that they have significant differences. Therefore, to get the best from your smoking sessions, then you should be sure the piece you are using is the right one.

What Are Bong and Rig Differences?

How they are used and what is consumed

The primary difference between dab rigs and bongs lies in what they are used for and what kind of herb will be smoked with them. Bongs are used for smoking tobacco and dry herbs, while dab rigs are used for dabbing legal wax concentrates like thick oils and wax like shatter. There are many things to keep in mind when using dab rigs. However, what is common to them is that they both use percolation for filtering vapor or smoke.

Method of consumption

Bongs use the combustion method of herb lighting to smoke the herb. From its mouthpiece, the smoke is then inhaled. Dab vapor is dabbed from a concentrate using a dab rig, dab nail and torch. Important to note is that if you are using an electric dab rig you do not need a torch and need to take great care when cleaning.

The delivery method

Water pipes that include bongs and dab rings typically have a female or male joint that can fit any glass accessories. There is a bowl piece in bongs that fits into the joint where you can smoke the herb by using a lighter.

To vaporize concentrates, however, a dab nail has to be attached to the joint on the water pipe. Next is to use a torch to heat the dab nail and place your concentrates in the hot nail so that they vaporize.

When you add a bowl piece to a water pipe, you get a bong, but when you add a dab nail to the water pipe, it is a dab rig.


Another important difference between a bong and a dab rig is their size. With smoking herbs, a substantial piece with plenty of percolators is necessary for optimal filtration and cooling. However, when smoking concentrates, a small piece with minimal percolators is suitable. The reason for this is that when combusting herbs in a bong, the smoke can travel long distances and with more percolations to go through, this makes the hit smoother to your lungs.

A glass bong most times will have a size larger than the dab rig. The reason for this is that combusted dry herb doesn’t vaporize. This allows you to have a bong of any large size you want it to be, as smoke will easily travel the bong without sticking to the glass.

When concentrates are vaporized at lower temperatures than combustion, you need a smaller piece where not much percolations is necessary. This ensures that the vapor reaches your lungs as soon as possible without the loss of any flavor or potency. It’s sensible to have a small dab rig because a small-sized dab rig will keep the vapor condensed and milky.

What is the cost of bongs and dab rigs?

You will find that when buying dab rigs and bongs that they largely cost the same, but the price of your device will depend on how fancy what you want is. Fancy dab rigs are a bit pricier in comparison to bongs. This is due to the accessories required to get the correct dabbing. Some necessary accessories include:

  • Dab nail
  • Dab torch
  • Dabber tool
  • Carp cap
  • Dab beads
  • Dab pads

While to the untrained eye, bongs and dab rigs might look similar, but there are slight differences in their accessories and how herbs are consumed from them. Bongs primarily serve for the smoking of weed and dry herbs, while dab rigs are specifically designed for dabbing concentrates.

What to Know Before Buying the Best Rig for Dabs

If a dab rig is something you are looking at investing in, there are so many types that it can get overwhelming. Understanding terms like nails, domes, and more can be intimidating, but there is no need to feel left out.

Just like any smoking device, you will find dab rigs of different quality levels with an assortment of features that will meet your needs.

Typical dab rig kits will come with three pieces, which include a glass piece, nail and torch lighter. If you are on a budget, you can choose the cheapest model, but you must pay attention to the most vital part of the setup, which includes the heating or nail arrangement.

Depending on your preference, there are many nail surface materials to choose from, whether ceramic, titanium, or glass. However, note that whatever your choice will be, it will not greatly impact flavor. On the other hand, it will impact the maximum nail temperature and how long it is able to maintain the temperature.

Can I smoke dry herbs and concentrates with the same piece?

This is a question many first-time smokers ask, and the answer is yes, you can! However, to smoke dry herbs, add a bowl piece to your bong and add a dab nail if you want to smoke concentrates. It is recommended to have two separate dedicated pieces, one for herbs and one for dabs. The reason for this is that the flavor from dry herbs is not the same as that with the flavor gotten from concentrates. You could end up with an unpleasant taste if you mix the two, and that can make for a not so enjoyable smoking experience. By using different pieces, it is easier to clean them. A dab rig doesn’t resonate like a bong because no combustion or plant material is involved.


The information we have provided here is to enable you to get the most of out your smoking activity, but most of what you use comes down to your personal preference. Some people prefer tiny bongs for smoking herbs, and others prefer to dab from big dab rigs. Eventually, you should choose what’s best for you. But if you’ll be spending some of your money on dry herbs or concentrates, you want to be confident what you are getting is the real deal, and the best way to do this is to choose the right bong or the right dab rig.

Related Blog Posts

What are Dab Rigs? Differences & Similarities

A List Of The Best Silicone Dab Rigs

Dab Nails vs Bong Bowls

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Vaporizer Learning Center

Hayati Pro Ultra 15000 Puffs Disposable Vape Review

Explore the Hayati Pro Ultra disposable vape and discover its remarkable features and performance. Boasting an impressive capacity of 15,000 puffs, this vape will last you a very long time. With a wide selection of flavors to choose from, enjoy the Hayati Pro whether you're a seasoned vaper or new to the scene.

Read More
The Rise of Disposable Pod Systems: Vaping Industry Trends

Explore the trend in the vaping industry moving towards disposable pod vapes. This blog delves into the reasons behind the increasing popularity of these convenient and user-friendly vaping options. From their portability to their ease of use, disposable pod systems offer a hassle-free vaping experience.
Read More
Art of Vaping: Flavor Profile with Customizable E-liquid Concentrates (2024)

Dive into the "Art of Vaping" with our latest exploration of flavor profiles using customizable e-liquid concentrates in 2024. Unleash your creativity as we guide you through the alchemy of blending e-liquids. Craft a personalized and tasty experience with every puff.

Read More