If you’re new to the world of dabbing, you might be wondering if there’s a difference between bongs and dab rigs. Turns out, there are a couple of major differences between the two! But have no fear, this handy guide will turn you into a pro when it comes to identifying bongs vs. dab rigs on sight alone. Read on to learn more.

1. Bongs are outfitted for flower, and dab rigs are outfitted for dabs

When it comes to identifying the difference between a water pipe for weed and a dab rig for concentrates, the first major indicator you want to look at is the hardware attached to it. Bongs and larger water pipes are typically outfitted with a bowl slide used for smoking flower. On the other hand, dab rigs always come with a dab nail, often referred to as a banger.

dab rig vs bong

While bongs are equipped with a bowl for smoking flower, dab rigs include a nail that concentrates are applied to.

2. Dab rigs are much smaller than bongs

Another way to tell the difference between bongs and rigs is the size. Flower bongs tend to be on the larger side so that they have additional room for extra percolators and water chambers, which help with cooling and filtration. Dab rigs are smaller since they’re designed to reduce the space your vapor needs to travel. The more space a dab has to travel through a piece of glass, the more terpenes are filtered out. With that said, dab rigs stay small since less is more. Fewer water chambers and percolators means more terpenes and better flavors.

3. Dab rigs are simpler in design

bongs dab rigs comparison

Dab rigs tend to have a simpler design than bongs, with less filtration components.

Unlike bongs which come in all different sizes, shapes and colors, and feature many different types of percolators and water chambers, dab rigs are plain. Dab rigs are plain to help preserve flavors from concentrates. With too large of a size or too many percolators, too many of the terpenes are filtered out making for a subpar dab flavor and experience. Dab rigs are typically small and utilize no more than two percolators or recycler technology to protect terpenes.

4. Dab rigs have less filtration

When you’re smoking flower from a bong, there’s combustion involved. With combustion comes a lot of heat and the actual burning of plant materials and resins. To cool down smoke and make for a smoother, cleaner, more filtered smoke, bongs tend to have several water chambers and percolators to help cool and filter the smoke, leaving you with flavors and less resiny hits. On the other hand, dabbing doesn’t involve any combustion, just vaporization.  Since there is no plant material to filter out, dab rigs usually contain no more than one water chamber and no more than two small percolators to help cool down the vapor. Dab rigs have fewer percolators since dabs don’t need filtered, just cooled. These features ensure that the terpenes are preserved and the vapor is cooled enough to be comfortable to inhale without filtering out the flavor.


Now that you know the difference between a water pipe and a dab rig, here’s a few answers to your most common questions.

Can I use the same water pipe for dabs and flower 

Technically yes, as long as you have the right attachment. You will need a bowl slide if you want to smoke flower and a dab nail if you want to vaporize concentrates. However, its important to keep in mind that if your flower bong has too many percolators and a lot of space, you might get subpar flavors from your dabs. Alternatively, smoking flower through a small dab rig with few percolators might make for a hot, unpleasant smoke that leaves a lot of resins in your rig, making it necessary to clean it more often.

Can I use a bowl slide to take dabs?
In the traditional sense, no. Dabbing requires the use of a torch and a special nail called a banger to vaporize concentrates. A lighter and a bowl slide won’t work, even if you manage to get it hot enough. The hole in the bottom will suck all of your concentrates and completely waste your dabs. However, if you have flower and some crumbly wax or shatter, you can use those concentrates as a flower bowl topper for extra potency and a slower burn.

Leave A Comment