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Difference Between a Dab Rig and a Bong

Dab rigs and bongs are two of the most popular methods for consuming cannabis. Bongs have been around for much longer than dab rigs, which is one of the reasons why people tend to prefer bongs. But some smokers are confused about dabs since they came onto the scene.

To have a more enjoyable smoking experience, it is essential to understand the distinguishing and comparable features, take note of intricate details, and then select the device that best suits your needs. This guide will help you compare these two popular Smoking apparatuses so that you can decide which one better meets your cannabis consumption needs.

How Bongs and Dab Ribs Work?

Generally, bongs designed for smoking herbs use a water filtration system to filter and cool the smoke before inhalation. It typically comprises of a transferable bowl, a down stem that goes into the water chamber, a neck through which the smoke travels, and a mouthpiece to inhale the smoke.

The part of the bong experience that is most important is the bubbling action.When smoke passes through water, two things happen:

  • The temperature of the smoke drops to turn it cool before inhalation.
  • Denser particles are pulled out to ensure cleaner and smoother smoke.

Dab rigs operate using a water filtration process that is similar to bongs, and can be considered an extension of the bong. However, the two devices use entirely different components for consumption. A bong contains a bowl to hold the flower, while a dab rig will contain a nail or banger, mainly designed for vaporizing potent cannabis concentrates.

If you want to smoke from a dag rig, you’ll need a different heating source than what is conventionally used for bongs. Instead of using a lighter, match, or hemp wick like you would with most bongs, opt for something stronger like a blowtorch or e-nail.

Major Difference and Similarities

Bongs and dab rigs may look quite similar, but there are several distinctions between the two. Here’s a quick overview:


  1. To produce either smoke or vapor, both devices require water filtration.
  2. Most bong and dab rigs are composed of glass with several attachments.
  3. Both bongs and dab rigs typically have an ice catch, which allows the user to add an ice block to further cool the smoke or vapor.
  4. Bongs and dab rigs are water pipes that filter the smoke through water to provide a smoother hit. Multiple chambers and percolators are used to filter the cannabis smoke.
  5. Both cause a gooey resin to develop in the pipe that requites regular cleaning.
  6. As they are made of glass, both tend to break easily.


  1. Dab rigs differ from bongs because they’re used to consume cannabis concentrates while bongs are meant for smoking dry herbs.
  2. The key difference between bongs and dab rigs is that bongs have a removable bowl while dab rigs require the use of a banger or nail in addition to a dome or cap.
  3. In order to smoke from a bong, use a matchstick, lighter, or hemp wick to ignite the cannabis flower. However, if you want to vaporize concentrate from a dab rig, you will need an e-nail or blowtorch instead.
  4. A dab rig generally smaller in size as compared to a bong.
  5. A bong is overall cheaper than a dab rig.

Picking the Right Gear

Before you choose your next bong or dab rig, first consider the kind of cannabis product you want to consume. Bongs are typically used for herbs and flower, while dab rigs are meant for concentrates. Other factors to keep in mind when choosing include:


Whether you’re a first-time bong user or seasoned smoker, it’s important to pick the right size and type of bong for your needs. Bongs come in all shapes and sizes, from small handheld bubblers to large multi-chambered pieces that are meant for table use only. Some bongs are very basic and functional while others can be much more complex with multiple chambers, percolators, and accessories. By taking into consideration your smoking preferences, you can ensure that you’ll find the perfect bong for yourself.

In many ways, gab rigs are like bongs. The main difference between the two is size; gab rigs tend to be smaller than bongs. They also come in a range of styles, from simple and functional to much more complex and intricate pieces that are handmade.


A typical glass piece will work fine if you only plan on smoking in one spot. But, if you want the option to smoke a bong at multiple locations, then buying a smaller, portable bong would be ideal for you.

Dab rigs are usually for stationary use, whereas a vape pen is much better for those who enjoy smoking while mobility. This is because it uses a small chamber of cannabis oil.

Quality of Smoke or Vapor

The difference between dabbing and smoking is all about temperature control. If you heat the nail too much or too little, you’ll ruin the entire experience.

Style vs. Functionality

If you’re looking for strictly functionality, there are plenty of decent and affordable bongs on the market. However, if you’re an enthusiast who also values artistic flair, then high-end glass artists can create personalized pieces for you. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to customizability and quality.

You can find many affordable dab rigs on the market that come with basic essentials, or you can go for more expensive and intricate designs.

The Final Take

All in all, it boils down to each smoker’s individual preferences. Some folks lean more towards smoking from larger bongs, while others prefer smaller dab rigs that they can tote around with them. In the end, you should select the option that will work best for you and your needs.

While it’s always important to get the most bang for your buck, this becomes especially true when spending money on a critical piece of equipment.

To summarize, rigs made for dabs can be converted to bongs more simply than bongs can be adjusted for dabbing. So, we have to give the clear win to dab rigs for their versatility.

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