Bongs vs dab rigs

Bongs vs dab rigs: get to know your cannabis gear

Both bongs and dab rigs are considered to be the best choices to consume both cannabis flowers and concentrates. Bongs vs dab rigs both share many things in common, they also have a number of differences as well.

Bongs are specifically designed to consume cannabis flowers. A simple filtration system is used in bongs. This system cools and filters the smoke down before getting inhaled. While dab rigs are used to consume cannabis concentrates. It has the same filtration system as bong has. The only difference is that a bowl is used in the filtration step of the bongs but instead of a bowl, dab rigs have banger or nail.

We are going to learn about both bongs and dab rigs in this article.

Bongs vs dab rigs, How they work:


A bong usually consists on four parts, a bowl which can be removed, a downstem which extends into the water chamber, a neck and a mouthpiece.

It is simple to understand how bong works. You put cannabis flowers into the bowl then set them to fire while you pull through the mouthpiece. The smoke that buring of cannabis stuff generates travels down into the water, where it bubbles up to the neck. The smoke reaches to your lungs once you remove the bowl.

The main part of this whole procedure is the bubbling action. Temperature of the smoke drops which makes it cool down before inhaling it, when the smoke passes through the water.

Dab rigs:

Both dab rig and bongs work very similar. Dab rigs are considered to be the extensions of the bongs. Dab rigs are specifically designed for concentrates.

A number of dab rigs are available in the markets. A dan rig looks just like a bong. The only difference is that there is no bowl in the dab rig, instead it has a nail. You do not put cannabis flowers in dab rigs, you drop a dab of cannabis concentrate onto a heated nail.

Basic similarities and differences:


  • Bongs and dab rigs rely on water filtration to cool and filter the smoke or vapor.
  • Both are primarily made out of glass and include various attachments.
  • Both regularly include “ice catches” where you can add a block of ice to further cool your smoke or vapor.

Bongs vs dab rigs Differences:

  • Bongs are for consuming cannabis flower, while dab rigs are for consuming concentrates.
  • Most bongs require only a removable bowl, while most dab rigs require a nail or banger as well as a cap or dome.
  • To use a bong, you ignite cannabis flowers using flame from a match, lighter, or hemp wick. To use a dab rig, you vaporize concentrates using a blowtorch or e-nail.

Selection of the right gear:

You have to decide the type of cannabis product you want to consume. Bongs are for cannabis flowers while dab rigs are specifically for concentrates.

Below are few factors that you should consider while selecting a bong or a dab rig:

Size vs Size:

Different sizes of bongs are available in the markets. Be sure you match the size of your piece to your smoking preferences. Ab rigs are similar to bongs in this regard. But the size of water pipe varies. As with bongs, these range from very simple, purely functional pieces to much larger, more complex, hand-blown pieces with multiple chambers, percolators, and other accessories.


A regular glass piece is sufficient for you if you are going to smoke at home. But if you want to have smoking experience outdoors, you should buy portable, smaller bongs. But you do not have much options when it comes on the mobility of the dab rigs. If you want to consume concentrates outdoor, you simply need to use vape pens.

Quality of smoke or vapor:

Ice catch bongs deliver cooler even smoother smoke. Ice catch bongs allows you to drop ice cubes into the neck to cool the smoke down before inhalation.

Actually, dabbing revolves around temperature. You need to heat your nail up to vaporize concentrates which gives the smoker more control over the whole procedure. Generally, we always recomend using lower temperature because lower temperature produces tastier and smoother vapor. And high temperature will produce a harder hitting vapor.

High-temperature dabs — 340-700 degrees Fahrenheit, or 170- 370 degrees Celsius — will scorch your concentrates, giving the dab an astringent and harsh flavor. On the other hand, low temperatures dabs — below 340 degrees Fahrenheit, or 170 degrees Celsius — do not fully vaporize the entire dab, producing a more flavorful hit and leaving behind a small puddle of oil.

Bongs vs dab rigs Function vs style:

You can get quality bongs in a very reasonable price if you are into the smoking only for functions. But if you want to show your aesthetic size then price of bongs goes up to $100,000.

Similarly, if you want to use dan rig just for functions, you can buy them in very affordable rice but if you choose to display your artistic sense, you can buy expensive dab rigs as well.

History and cultural impact of bongs and dab rigs:

History of bongs:

Bongs have a very rich and complicated history. The history of bongs is as old as the consumption of marijuana itself.

The origin of the word bong has its deep roots in Southeast Asia. This is where using the plant of cannabis for religious and vocational purposes. It derives from the Thai word “baawng”. its meaning a hollow marijuana stick.

Bong like pipes is to consume marijuana happening thousands of years ago. The evidence of the usage of these pipes comes from Caucasus Mountain region, which situates at the boarder of Europe and Asia. In 2013, archaeologists excavating a 2,400-year-old Scythian burial mound in the region discovered golden bowls caked in cannabis and opium residue. In June 2019, the journal Science Advances published a study by researchers who found evidence of cannabis use in a 2,500-year-old cemetery in the Pamir Mountains in western China.

These bowls are the strongest evidence that humans were using such stuff 2,400 years ago. Although it is not clear yet that those were real water pipes. 

Asian history of bongs:

According to history scholar John Edward Philips, Ph.D, assuming the conventional that bongs inventing occuring somewhere in Asia is incorrect. In a 1983 study published in the The Journal of African History, Philips argues that “by adding tube pipes to a water chamber, the San people … of southern Africa found that they could cool the smoke from their pipes, and thus invented the peculiar ‘dagga [cannabis] pipe’ of southern Africa.”

Researchers have discovered elaborate water pipes in Persia dating back to at least the early 1600s. Similarly, water pipes introduced to China in the late 16th century, coming from Persia along the Silk Road trading route.

To conclude, humans are consuming cannabis with pipes since hundreds of years ago. Bongs have always been the basic consuming device in cannabis culture.

History of dab rigs:

The history of dab rigs is not as old as bongs. Because cannabis concentrates emerged in the 1960s but people used to consume concentrates with knife hits. Smokers used to heat the knives up on the stoves until they were glowing red. Then put a small chunk of hash on the knives and then inhale the vapors.

Hashmasta Kut and Lucy Carson were brother and sister, they designed first ever iteration of the dab rig back in 2006. Their piece used a titanium skillet and a glass arm, allowing consumers to heat the skillet, drop a hunk of concentrate onto it, and then inhale the vapor through the glass arm.

This creation introducing glass dome and nail into the market. These inventions helped smokers a lot to consume concentrates efficiently. From there, dabbing and the dab rig took off within the cannabis scene. “This is a Pipe” co-author Melshenker wrote: “flower pipes switched over to oil rigs in 2009-2010, and artists really stopped making flower pipes.”

Dab rigs are much more embedded in mainstream contemporary culture, including music, visual art, the Internet, and electrical and digital technology. In the age of expanding legalization, concentrates have surged in popularity to become the number two most purchased type of cannabis product behind the flower. That surge has also carried dab rigs — the traditional means of consuming concentrates — into mainstream cannabis culture. 

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