Dab Rig vs. Bong – What is the Difference?

Many people, especially smokers, often wonder whether there is a difference between a dab rig and a bong. While these two tend to get used interchangeably, understanding their unique features can help improve the quality of your smoking sessions. 

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What are you Smoking?

Dab rigs and bongs mainly differ in the manner in which they are used. Notably, bongs are mostly used for smoking tobacco, flowers and herbs. On the other hand, people use dab rigs with legal concentrates like honey, oil and wax. That said, both have water pipes that rely on percolation to filter vapor and smoke. 

Bowl Piece vs. Dab Nail

All water pipes in bongs and dab rigs have an end (either male or female) that fits into most glass accessories.  Bongs usually have a bowl piece that fits into the joint to allow you to smoke your herbs and flowers. However, you need a dab nail if you want to vaporize concentrated oils and waxes. You first have to heat the bail using a dab torch, after which you place the oils and waxes to produce vapor.

Simply put, joining a bowl piece to a water pipe makes it a bong while fixing a dab nail makes it a dab rig. 


Another differentiating factor between bongs and dab rigs is size. If you are smoking dried herbs and flowers, you will need a large piece with several percolators to optimize cooling and filtration. On the contrary, you need a small piece with a few percolators when smoking oil and wax concentrates. 

The reasons why bongs tend to be bigger than dab rigs is because the smoke produced by burning flowers and herbs can travel over long distances without losing potency. The longer it travels and the more filtration it undergoes, the less harsh it will be to your lungs.  The same cannot be said for the vapor produced by oil and wax concentrates since it loses potency and flavor after a short time. This is because it does not involve combustion, and the vaporization gets done at slightly lower temperatures as compared to using a bong. 


There is little difference between the costs of purchasing a bong and buying a dab rig.  In most cases, the price depends on the number of fancy features you want on your equipment. However, dab rigs can be slightly costlier since they need additional accessories such as a carb cap, dabber tool, dab nail, and dab torch.  The good thing is that you are guaranteed of getting an amazing product, regardless of your allocated budget. 

Is it Possible to Smoke Dry Herbs and Concentrates in One Piece?

It is possible to use a single piece for both. You only require a bow piece and a dab nail. With these two, you can change the equipment into a bong when smoking herbs and a dab rig when vaporizing concentrates. 

However, experts recommend having two designated pieces – one for dry herbs and flowers, and another for concentrates. This is because the flavour produced by herbs is entirely different from that produced by concentrates. By mixing the two, you not only compromise the quality of your smoking sessions, but it also leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth. 

Also, having two separate pieces makes cleaning easier. Since dab rigs do not have plat material and combustion, they are easier to clean than bongs. The problem with mixing is that the waxes will stick onto the combusted plant material and make cleaning difficult. 


It is worth noting that the information shared above seeks to optimize your sing experience. However, you are not confined to it, because every smoker has their preferences. Some people like using small bongs to smoke their herbs and flowers while others like vaping using huge dab rigs. The thing is, you get to choose what brings the best out of your smoking session.

However, if you want the best possible experience, take time and make sure that you get the right bong or dab rig, or both. Keep in mind that all water pipes can serve as either a bong or a dab rig, provided you have the right accessories.



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