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What Are the Differences Between a Dab Rig and a Bong

What Are the Differences Between a Dab Rig and a Bong

A dab rig and a bong are not the same type of smoking device, although both are water pipes. A hookah is a water pipe, too. However, a hookah or shisha is neither a bong nor a dab rig. All the differences among these water pipes are pretty straightforward, but only for those familiar.

So, you are probably wondering about the differences between a dag rig and a bong. I will share the similarities and the distinct attributes of the two water pipes for you to pick the suitable water pipe for your smoking experience.

The Key Differences Between a Dab Rig and a Bong

Dab rigs and bongs have a water chamber, mouthpiece, and down stem. The designs and sizes of these features vary, of course. However, the fundamental concept of using water as a filtering and cooling medium remains the same. 

Also, it is theoretically possible to use the same base, including the water chamber, down stem, and mouthpiece for dabbing and smoking a bong. But you need a compatible dab nail or bowl piece. That brings us to the first key difference between a dab rig and a bong.

Dab Rig’s Nail vs. Bong’s Bowl Piece

Dab rig uses a nail to vaporize a suitable substance, whereas a bong has a bowl piece to burn an appropriate material. The nail and bowl are totally distinct tools.

A dab rig nail is made of glass, ceramic, quartz, or titanium. Some dab nails are electronic. In contrast, a bong bowl piece is usually glass. 

This key difference paves the way for what you can smoke using a dab rig and bong. 

Waxes, Oils, and Concentrates vs. Herbs, Flowers, and Tobacco

Dab rigs are for waxes, oils, and concentrates. These substances may or may not contain tobacco. Some concentrates have honey, molasses, or other enhancers. 

Bongs are for herbs, flowers, and tobacco. You can blend herbs and flowers, with or without tobacco, if you want. However, you cannot use waxes, oils, or concentrate on a bong’s bowl piece. Likewise, you cannot smoke tobacco, herbs, or flowers on a dab rig’s nail. 

Dab Torch vs. Lighter or Hemp Wick

A dab rig’s nail needs a butane torch to vaporize the waxes, oils, and concentrates. You cannot use a standard lighter because it takes a long time for the nail to heat. A dab torch can heat the nail to the desired temperature in a few seconds up to a minute. 

In contrast, you can use a cigarette lighter or hemp wick for bongs. You do not have to heat the bowl piece. Instead, you pack the bowl piece with your chosen herb and burn it using the hemp wick or lighter. 

Different Features of Dab Rigs and Bongs

Dab rigs do not involve combustion. A bong essentially burns the tobacco, flowers, or herbs, and you draw the smoke. A dab rig requires you to preheat the nail. Then, you put the wax, oil, or concentrate on the nail using a dab tool. Thus, you need an additional component, a dab tool.

Also, dab rigs may require a carb with a cap to allow the vapor or smoke to accumulate before you can take a voluminous puff. A bong does not require such a feature. You can simply cover the mouthpiece with your mouth and inhale all the smoke generated through the combustion.

Since you combust the material on a bowl piece, you have to light it up frequently to continue a bong session. In contrast, a dab rig nail remains hot for a while, and you can vaporize a bit of wax, oil, or concentrate in one go. However, you must use only a bit of the material at a time. 

There are a few more features that make dab rigs and bongs different. For instance, a dab rig is not as large as a standard bong. You do not burn the waxes, oils, or concentrates. So there is not a lot of smoke that can travel some distance. Thus, the dab rig has to be compact.

A bong can be slightly larger because combustion produces a lot of smoke. And this smoke can travel farther than the vapor from a dab rig. Also, a bong can use percolators to filter the smoke.

A dab rig does not need as many percolators. Besides, the vapor from a dab rig is not like the smoke through combustion, so using percolators will only dilute the flavor and texture. 

The Costs of Dab Rigs and Bongs

Dab rigs and bongs have a vast price range. However, a quality bong is usually more affordable than a durable dab rig. A dab rig has more essential components and accessories. Thus, these elements add to the overall cost. But those are necessary if you want to relish waxes, oils, etc.

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