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


When I first discovered the amazing world of herbs, bongs—or even just a good ol’ swisher—were the go-to method for intake. It’s as easy as grinding the herb, packing the bowl, and lighting. Actually, I wasn’t familiar with dab rigs or dabs until much later. They attracted my attention because, well, who doesn’t want to go incredibly high when you’re meant to? When I was asked whether I wanted one at a party, my initial joy faded.


Bongs and dab rigs, which are typically made of glass, are used to speed up the smoking and/or vaporising of cannabis (more on this distinction later). The type of substance they are intended for is the main distinction between the two.

While dried flower is generally smoked in bongs, concentrates, also known as dabs, are typically vaporised in dab rigs, also known as oil rigs. Dabs consist of oils, waxes, and other frequently sticky materials. Dabs also don’t rest in a typical bowl; instead, they rest on a dab nail, a heat-resistant container.


It’s critical to create a distinct line between dry cannabis and concentrates in terms of potency before we discuss the specific variations between bongs and dab rigs. Concentrates are cannabis products that have been concentrated and, as their name implies, include a large increase in cannabinoids in terms of volume.

For example, the average concentration contains roughly 80% THC, whereas a powerful strain of herb will measure at around 25% THC. In spite of the fact that it has nothing to do with the actual gadgets, that is one significant difference between bongs and oil rigs.


As previously indicated, glass is often used to construct both bongs and oil rigs, although this kind of glass isn’t typically used to make glassware. The preferred material is borosilicate glass, which has a high level of reliability and is temperature- and shatter-resistant.

Glass is by far the most popular material used to make bongs and oil rigs, however other materials like silicone are also employed.


The bowl, which is a vital element of bongs but which you will never find on an oil rig, makes them generally larger than dab rigs.

Additionally, bongs come in a broad range of designs, including straight, beaker, and round bases. Although they have different designs, their basic functions mainly stay the same.


Dab rigs are often smaller than bongs in size. Due to the intensity of dabs, it is also more portable and doesn’t require a large chamber to deliver powerful hits. Instead, the water chamber is completely sealed off and contains all necessary parts. Wax and other concentrates are held externally by a dab nail (also known as a “banger”). There is probably a percolator within the dab setup to chill the vapour that is created. 


The hits from bongs are probably a little bit harsher than those from a dab device because they produce smoke. The latter exposes concentrates to high heat, but as there is no direct combustion, vapour rather than smoke is produced. As a result, though not always, the hits may feel a little smoother on the throat.


Bongs emit smoke, but the water in the chamber cools it so that it is not as hot when it reaches the mouthpiece. The type of strain and general quality of the flower will also influence the quality of the smoke, even though they are specifically used with dried plants. Additionally, bongs with ice notches will intensify this cooling effect, so you might not even notice any discomfort in your lungs.


Dab rigs can handle a wide variety of concentrates. The moment the wax or shatter comes into contact with the hot nail, it melts and produces vapour. Some dab nails have a carb cap, often called a dome, to keep heat and vapour from exiting the nail. This enables you to get the best possible convection heating for your dab for the best possible vapour.




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