Bongs vs. Dab Rigs: A Complete Guide

How do bongs and dab rigs work?

Bongs, also known as water pipes, are popular smoking devices designed for the consumption of dry herbs or tobacco. They feature a water chamber that filters and cools the smoke produced during combustion. A removable bowl holds the dry herbs, and as the user inhales, the smoke is drawn through a downstem, bubbling through the water, resulting in a smoother inhalation. 

Dab rigs, on the other hand, are specialized for vaporizing cannabis concentrates like wax or shatter. They have a heating element, often called a nail, made of materials such as quartz or titanium. The nail is heated using a torch or electric heater, and a dab tool is used to apply a small amount of concentrate onto the hot surface. 

Dispelling common bongs myths is essential for accurate information. Addressing misconceptions ensures users have a clear understanding of bong usage, maintenance, and the overall smoking experience.

smoky rolling

What are the pros and cons of using a bong vs. a dab rig?

Dad rig
  • Efficient vaporization
  • Quick onset of effects
  • Precise dosage
  • Customization
  • Equipment and accessories
  • Learning curve
  • Intensity of effects can be overwhleming
  • Smooth hits
  • Filtration
  • Customization
  • Maintenance
  • Learning curve
  • Fragility

Bong vs. Dab rig design


Characterized by a water chamber, downstem, bowl, and mouthpiece, the core structure of a bong facilitates a filtration process that sets it apart. The water chamber cools and purifies the smoke, offering users a smoother inhalation experience. 

The Bong is a canvas for creativity, with materials like glass, acrylic, ceramic, and silicone providing a spectrum of options. Glass, in particular, is favored for its purity of taste and the ability to withstand repeated use. Noteworthy additions such as percolators further elevate the design, diffusing the smoke through water for an enhanced, refined hit. 

Dab rig

Central to this design is the presence of a nail, typically made from materials like quartz or titanium, designed for precision heating. The compact size of dab rigs prioritizes efficiency, ensuring a direct and potent delivery of vapor. 

Glass is the material of choice due to its inert properties that safeguard the flavor integrity of concentrates. Complementing the nail is the addition of water filtration, contributing to a cooling effect on the vapor. 

Banger vs. bowl how to use and function


How to use


Dab rig

1. Gather Materials: Dab rig, nail, dabber, cannabis concentrate

2. Prep Dab Rig: Fill water chamber, heat nail.

3. Apply Concentrate: Use dabber on hot nail, avoid direct contact.

4. Inhale Vapor: Inhale through mouthpiece as concentrate vaporizes.

5. Carb Cap (Optional): Use carb cap to enhance vaporization.

6. Clean Nail: After use, clean nail with cotton swab.

  • Vaporizes cannabis concentrates efficiently without combustion. 
  • Enhances flavor, minimizes byproducts.


1. Fill the Water Chamber: Acts as a natural filter for the smoke.

2. Grind Your Dry Herb: Removes tar and impurities from the smoke.

3. Pack the Bowl: Cools the smoke, making it smoother to inhale.

4. Light the Dry Herb: Enhances the overall smoking experience.

5. Inhale Slowly

6. Clear the Chamber

  • To filter and cool the smoke, providing a smoother and less harsh smoking experience for users.

What material is used to smoke in a bong vs. a dab rig?

The material used in a bong is the actual dry herb or tobacco, which is ignited in the bowl, producing smoke that is drawn through water for cooling and filtration before inhalation. 

In contrast, a dab rig is designed for vaporizing cannabis concentrates, such as wax or shatter, where the primary material is the concentrated cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. 

You can find these two options for your smoking sessions at TheSmokyRolling page.

Exploring dab nails types, such as quartz, titanium, or ceramic, allows users to choose the material that suits their preferences. Understanding the characteristics of each type contributes to a more informed and satisfying dabbing experience.

smoky rolling

Bongs vs. Dab rigs FAQs

What are some of the best bongs and dab rigs on the market?

if you're interested in exploring high-quality bongs and dab rigs, checking reputable brands like Hemper or GRAV is a good starting point. 

Additionally, if Hemper has curated a selection of smoking accessories on the Smoky Rolling page, it's likely they offer diverse and well-crafted options. It's always advisable to read customer reviews and product descriptions to ensure the chosen bong or dab rig aligns with your preferences.

Knowing how to use domeless nails is crucial for efficient dabbing. Ensure proper heating, placement, and inhalation techniques for a seamless and enjoyable experience without the need for a separate dome accessory.

How do I choose the right bong or dab rig?

Material selection, such as the clean taste of glass, durability of silicone, or affordability of acrylic, sets the foundation for your choice. Size matters, with larger bongs suited for home use and more compact options tailored for portability. 

The intricacies of percolation add to the equation, influencing the smoothness of your smoking or dabbing experience. Design becomes a personal touch, ranging from minimalist to elaborate aesthetics. For bongs, bowl size and the presence of a carburetor impact functionality.