Get Stoned the Right Way: A Dab Rig vs. Bong Comparison

heating up a dab nail

Getting baked is nothing new to our society. From rolling a joint to smoking an old-school pipe, cannabis consumption is practically an all-American past time. It is remarkable just how many marijuana consumers there are in the cannabis community, and it’s just the beginning as legalization continues to spread. With further legalization comes more cannabis research, quality control, unique methods of consumption, and insanely potent cannabis products!

While packing up a fat bong used to be the way of the cannabis land, the community is starting to move toward cannabis concentrates. Don’t worry; cannabis flower is never going anywhere and will always have its time and place. Nevertheless, the potency of cannabis concentrates is too strong for chronic users to pass up. For those new consumers who are unsure of where to begin, let's do a dab rig vs. bong comparison

The Classic Water Pipe: Bong

view from above a bong

The classic bong is one of the more popular methods of consuming marijuana flower and has been for some time. It doesn’t surpass the timelessness of the joint, but it sure does have its place in the cannabis consumption hall of fame. The bong is well-known amongst consumers and non-consumers. It's a reasonably common consumption method even to this day.

A bong is a classic water-pipe that filters the cannabis smoke through the water to make for a cleaner, more enjoyable experience. There are a variety of different bongs each with a unique purpose, but all provide the same results. The bong has adapted over time to meet consumers desires, and glass-blowing has quickly become one of the top ancillary cannabis sectors to be a part of.

Types of Bongs:

  • Carburetor Bongs
  • Straight-Tube Bongs
  • Beaker-Shaped Bongs
  • Globe Bongs
  • Multi-Chamber Bongs
  • Percolator Bongs
  • Gravity Bongs

There are quite a few different bongs on the market today. When it comes to purchasing glass pipes, the rule of thumb is “you get what you pay for.” It doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done with a basic straight-tube bong, but it’s not as quality of an experience as a percolator bong, and that’s a fact.

The Future of Getting Baked: Dab Rig

colorful dab rig

It's not uncommon for a marijuana consumer to have no idea what a dab rig is or what its purpose is to the consumer. Glass dab rigs are relatively new and fresh to the market, but they've still been around for a few years. A dab rig is also a glass water pipe similar to a bong, but it is not for burning flower. It is best for consuming cannabis concentrates, in other words, dabbing.

Dabbing is quickly becoming one of the most popular consumption methods amongst the cannabis community. However, it tends to be the go-to method for chronic consumers with a high tolerance. Cannabis concentrates are nearly the most potent cannabis product available. Concentrates come in a variety of forms:

  • Wax
  • Shatter
  • Live Resin
  • Distillate
  • Rosin
  • Isolate

Each of these concentrates must be vaporized to produce smoke that can enter our lungs. The dab rig is what makes it all possible. The dab rig is a water-pipe that looks like a bong, except it uses a dab nail rather than a slide for a bong. Cannabis flower can’t be smoked out of a rig unless it replaces the nail with a slide.

  1. Start by using a dab tool to scoop a dab of concentrates from the jar.
  2. Heat the nail with a handheld torch.
  3. Once hot enough, place the dabs into the nail and let the concentrate melt off the tool.
  4. Place a carb cap over the top of the nail and begin inhaling.
  5. Once the product is done hitting, wipe the nail of the excess oil.
  6. Do it again if you dare!

Overall, a dab rig is a bit intimidating to new cannabis consumers and rightfully so. It does pack a hefty punch which only seasoned consumers can usually handle. For that reason, most dab rigs are smaller percolator water pipes to produce a smoother and cooler hit. There are still straight-tube rigs available, but it can be a bit harsh on the lungs. The main piece to pay attention to for a dab rig is the type of dab nail.

Types of Dab Nails:

  • Ceramic
  • Titanium
  • Glass
  • Quartz

Each type of nail does the job, but the quartz nail is definitely the best option for all around flavor and efficiency. A dab rig requires a ridiculous number of smoking tools to consume with, and it turns many consumers away. However, the best way to consume concentrates is definitely with a dab rig. Dabbing definitely has its time and place in the cannabis world.

Let’s Compare: Dab Rig vs. Bong

bong in front of sunset on the beach

When doing a dab rig vs. bong comparison, it's relatively simple. Neither are too different from the other, and each continues to adapt to the consumer over time. Nevertheless, there are a few similarities and differences between the two.

What’s Different?

heating dab nail

  • A bong is used to consume cannabis flower and other herbs, while a dab rig is for concentrates.
  • A bong uses a slide to pack the flower, while a dab rig uses a dab nail to vaporize the concentrates.
  • A bong sets its slide into the down stem, while a dab rig has no down stem and uses a joint to hold the nail.
  • A dab rig is usually smaller in size to a bong in order to get a quick hit without losing much product inside the rig.
  • A bong only requires a lighter and weed to use, while a dab rig requires multiple tools to use appropriately. Including a hand-held torch.
  • A dab rig is usually more expensive than a bong, overall.

What’s Similar?

lighting a bong with lighter

    • Both the bong and dab rig are water-pipes that filter the cannabis smoke through the water to make for a smoother hit.
    • Both can be made from glass and silicone.
  • Both may utilize percolators or multiple chambers to filter the smoke.
  • Both leave resin in the pipe that must be cleaned regularly.
  • Both can break easily.
  • Both get consumers baked!

As you can see, the differences between a dab rig vs. a bong are minimal but drastic at the same time. Some consumers even turn their bongs into dab rigs by adding a joint and a dab nail. However, it is not recommended to use one pipe for both flower and concentrates. It deteriorates the flavor of the dab and makes for one dirty pipe. It’s best to keep the bong for flower and the dab rig for concentrates.

Kings Pipe Has Cannabis Consumers Covered

looking at weed through a magnifying glass

Any consumer looking for a higher-echelon dab rig or bong should check out Kings Pipe. Not only do they offer an array of bongs and rigs, but the quality of the glass is top-notch. From a crazy scientific dab rig to a basic straight-tube bong, Kings Pipe has it all in one place.

Check out Kings Pipe bongs and dab rigs at their online headshop!

Kings Pipe is a proud partner of Leafbuyer


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Justice Council
Justice Council is a freelance writer, CBD specialist, and cannabis enthusiast located in Denver, Colorado. His wide range of experience as a budtender, delivery driver, and CBD sales rep has given him a unique look into this new world of cannabis. Throughout his career in the industry, Justice has written many pieces on culture, economics, product knowledge, and career opportunities within the cannabis space. He takes pride in being part of a truly pioneering industry.