Dab Rig vs. Bongs: Key Differences

Dab Rig vs. Bongs

Dab rigs vs. bongs may look the same at first glance, but once you dig deeper, you’ll see that they are two completely different things.

Both share a common goal – to get you high as a kite. However, there’s a difference between getting high with wax and dry herb smoke. The most significant distinction is mainly with the substance they use, how they heat it, and the smoke they produce.

Read more about the key differences between dab rigs vs. bongs and discover whichsuit your cannabis preferences most. 

What are Bongs?

When you read any guide to bongs, you will discover 3 key things: 

  • They have existed for centuries; 
  • They can be used for smoking anything; and 
  • They provide smoother and fresher hits.

The first bong concept that we know of comes from Scythia tribes and dates from 2,400 ago. Bongs were also used in ancient India and China; some argue they come from Thailand.

Bongs are glass water tubes used for smoking dry herbs, including tobacco and cannabis. You put the herbs in a tiny glass bowl attached to the main tube, put water in the main water chamber, and light up the bowl.

When the herbs start burning, smoke will go inside the tube and filter through the water before reaching the mouthpiece. That’s how bongs provide cooler and smoother hits.

What are Dab Rigs?

Dab rigs are tiny bong-like devices with the same water filtration system as bongs. However, dab rigs are not used for smoking dry herbs but THC concentrates.

Because you need higher temperatures to smoke up a concentrate, dab rigs have a different design, i.e., they are made from other materials. So, instead of having a glass bowl like bongs do, dab rigs have a dab nail made of quartz, titanium, or ceramic.

To use them, you need to heat the nail at 350 – 450 F. When the nail becomes warm, you put the concentrate inside and take a hit from the dab rig’s mouthpiece.

Dab Rig and Bongs: The Key Differences

Now that we have explained what bongs and dab rigs are, it’s time to get knee-deep in comparison. If you want to distinguish between dab rig vs. bongs, read the 3 significant differences below.


As mentioned before, bongs use dry herbs, and dab rigs use THC concentrates. A dry herb is any flower – from chamomile and green tea to cannabis and tobacco – that has dried over time. However, bongs are mainly used for smoking weed.

Concentrates are thicker and come directly from the cannabis plant. There are many concentrates like wax, shatter, rosin, and budder. Generally, they are purer and more intense than dry herbs but have a weaker flavor. 


Because concentrates are thicker than herbs, you need to use more heat to light and smoke them up. For example, bongs can be activated with matches or a simple butane lighter. On the other hand, dab rigs are activated with a blow torch – some people even use blow torches set at 1000 F. 


When you compare the two’s sizes, a bong looks like a wise elderly giant while a dab rig looks like a child during puberty. But the reason behind the difference in size is simple. 

Concentrates quickly lose intensity while dry herbs don’t. To make the most out of a concentrate, you need to have a smaller space between the water chamber and the mouthpiece, hence the reduced size in dab rigs.

Final Words

Both dab rigs and bongs are excellent for newbies and experienced smokers. You can check any online headshop and browser around the long list of options. Compare them and take your pick. 

Read Also:
Hookah vs. Bong
Bongs vs. Joint
Bubbler vs. Bongs
Pipes vs. Bongs
Bongs vs. Vapes
Dry Herb Vaporizer vs. Bong
Beaker Bongs vs. Straight

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