<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1514203202045471&ev=PageView&noscript=1"/> What’s the Difference Between a Bong and a Dab Rig? | Core Spirit

What’s the Difference Between a Bong and a Dab Rig?

Mar 11, 2020
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 4 min.

Most people have tried using a bong to inhale herbs at least once in their lives. That consumption method is quite popular among many people as it seems simple. You need to add the ground herb to the bowl and use a lighter or match to light it.

It is hard to explain why, but dab rigs never achieved that level of popularity. However, these devices are also useful and reliable for inhaling herbs. Furthermore, dabs can be an excellent choice if you want to feel a stronger effect from the herb that you are consuming.

But what is the exact difference between a bong and a dab rig? Many people pick to use one over the other before giving a fair shot to both. If you are willing to find the option that best meets your preference, here is an overview of what you should know about dabs and bongs.

What Do These Devices Do?

The primary purpose of both devices is the same – they serve to inhale the herb and experience all potential benefits that might come with it. However, the way bongs and dabs do this is different.

If you are using a bong, you will need to have a dried flower with you to insert into the device’s bowl. But if you prefer using dabs, it is necessary to have concentrates and wax.

The flowers in the bong burn via the combustion process. You light the plant with a match or lighter and inhale the smoke. On the other hand, dabs utilize heat to vaporize concentrate and wax, and then you inhale the vapor. You will need to use a torch for that, which is why beginners sometimes refuse to try this device. However, if you give it a shot, you will find that it is straightforward. The only thing to ensure is to use the right attachment, but an experienced user can help you with that.


Bongs come with bowls, which is an accessory that looks just like that. You insert the herb into this bowl, and airflow is secured by a small hole located at the bottom. Don’t worry; you don’t drill this hole yourself (unless you make your bong), but the manufacturers add it to the equipment. The preferred material for a bong is glass, although you can also find silicone, ceramic, and metal bongs. Regardless of the material you choose, it is capable of handling high heat that comes from a match or lighter.

As for dab rigs, you will need a “nail” attachment. It is an attachment that can handle extreme temperatures required for concentrate vaporization. The materials for nails include quartz, titanium, and ceramic, with quartz being the most popular choice at the moment.

It is interesting to note that you can find different styles of nail design. However, their working process is identical – you heat the material, add the concentrate, and allow a couple of seconds for it to vaporize.

As for the price, it varies depending on the unit. You can find dab rigs for cheap, but there are also premium products, and the same applies to bongs. However, if you are trying a particular device, we are suggesting starting with an entry-level unit to see if it fits your needs.

If it matters to you, note that bowls in bongs usually have a male joint that goes into a female one located on the device. On the other hand, dabs also have male joints, but nail goes over them. However, this is a matter of design, and devices may vary depending on the manufacturer.


Percolation is a term used to describe fluid movement and filtering through various materials. You might think that you need to look for a device with maximum percolation. However, that is not your primary concern with dab rigs. Furthermore, it is not about maximum but optimal percolation. Excessive percolation might decrease the device’s potency. If too much water gets in touch with oil vapor, it won’t be that effective. That is why premium dabs often come with only a single percolator.

When it comes to a bong, it is as simple as it might get. The more percolation you have, the better the performance of the device! Filtration is present throughout the entire system – downstems can be diffused, and honeycomb percolators are often present in these products. The flavor and potency remain the same regardless of the filtration level.

How Big Should Your Bong Be?

It is always nice when you see a big and nicely designed bong, but does physics support that? The answer is yes, and you should always aim for the biggest bong out there. That is because it ensures the smoke created during combustion doesn’t dissipate or loses potency. It is important to prolong the path of the smoke as much as possible. That will maximize the filtration and secure maximum effectiveness. Additionally, a long trip the smoke has to make ensures it will cool down before you inhale it.

You might notice that dab rigs are generally smaller than bongs, and there is a reason for that. Dabs create oil vapor, which dissipates and becomes trapped in the water. In other words, it is crucial to inhale the steam immediately. If you see a dab rig that is compact-sized, it is not to save on material or promote portability. It is because that is the best way to ensure maximum effectiveness of the dab. It would be best if you can inhale the vapor within five seconds from creating it.

Final Note

We mentioned that you should use dried flower with a bong, and concentrate with a dab rig. While that is the general rule, you don’t have to stick to it. That means you can try how a dried flower feels when inhaled with a dab and concentrate and wax with a bong. However, if you want to maximize the experience of using your smoking device, follow our advice. Additionally, consider other mentioned features and pick a unit that meets your expectations.

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