Difference Between a Bong and A Dab Rig

- Jul 20, 2018-

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Whether you are a long time or hardcore stoner or even a newbie to the marijuana game, chances are that the words “dabs” or “dab rig” are a whole other language. Only the biggest potheads would be familiar with a “dab rig”, also known as an oil rig, or concentrate rig.

Dab rigs look similar to a glass bong, but are specialized for “dabbing”, which is smoking cannabis in a concentrated form (oil, shatter, wax). The bong is the classic smoking device that has been used by stoners for decades, while the dab rig is the wave of the future. To keep it very clear what really sets these two glass pipes apart, here is an outline of the main differences between a bong and a dab rig.

Bowl vs. Nail – The most considerable difference between a bong and a dab rig has a lot to do with the material or product being smoked. Bongs are meant for smoking dry herb that’s packed into your bowl and lit with a regular lighter. A dab rig however uses a “nail” instead of a bowl. The nail rests on the part of the dab rig called a glass joint. The nail is then heated to very high temperatures using a hand torch, so that when the oil or wax is placed onto the nail and is vaporized before being inhaled.

Pros And Cons Of Dab Rigs – If you’re mad into dabbing, a proper rig is an absolute must. A couple of the advantages of using a dab rig include:


Convenience – You’ll have everything you need to enjoy your favorite concentrate.


Safety – Unlike homemade rigs, a well-designed rig will keep you safe while you are dabbing. After all, you are dealing with heat and fire.


Style – Like bongs, pipes and other smoking devices, rigs often can stand apart and be used as works of art. There are so many styles to choose from, and you can mix and match components to complete your own distinct design.

You can avoid running into these kinds of problems by doing your best to invest in a decent rig. Also do your best to choose a nail that will preserve the heat long enough to produce plenty of vapor, but make sure it doesn’t hold onto the heat so long that it actually causes the concentrate to combust. If that happens, you will inhale more smoke than vapor, and the beneficial components you crave may largely go up in smoke too.


Size – A glass bong is almost always going to be bigger than a dab rig. The reason being is that combusted dry herb doesn’t vaporize, so the bong could be as big as you want it to be because the smoke will travel the entire path without dissipating or sticking to the glass. On the other hand, the smaller dab rig just make sense. A small compact dab rig keeps the vapor milky and condensed, keeping the flavor and potency. Many dab heads will say, the shorter the path from the nail to the face, the harder the hit.

Price – Dab rigs are usually going to be more expensive, but not by much. This is mostly has to do with the nail, which is more specialized and often made with pricey material, like titanium. You can find really cheap dab rigs, you just need to know where to look and where to find them. It ultimately comes down to your own personal preference and you should do what makes you happy! There’s no wrong answer when it comes to what you like!

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