Four Big Differences Between Bongs and Dab Rigs

Heady glass 10mm dab rig on glass countertop of 710 Pipes' Denver, CO smoke shop location

PICTURED: 10mm Heady Glass Dab Rig by Liquid Glass Arts at 710 Pipes Smoke Shop

Anyone who has stopped by our Northglenn or Denver smoke shops knows that we stock thousands of heady glass pieces – including hundreds of locally-made bongs and dab rigs. Still, many smoke shop visitors may still be wondering – what’s the difference between the two? Before making your next purchase, review these four key factors separating bongs from dab rigs to determine which type of smoking device is best suited to your preferences.

Bowl or Nail?

Bongs and dab rigs are both available in dozens of different forms, typically made from borosilicate glass or other high quality glass forms. Each type of device has a built in male or female joint, which can be used with accessories of the opposite-type joint. With bongs, you’ll insert a bowl piece into the joint and pack it with dry herb to light up and inhale. If you’re using a dab rig, you’ll substitute that bowl piece with a dab nail. Dabbing involves heating up your chosen dabbing tool with a dab torch, then using it to vaporize your chosen type of concentrates. In other words, water pipes with a bowl piece can be considered a bong, and trading that out for a dab nail can transform that piece into a dab rig. Many devoted fans of dabbing (ourselves included) swear by state-of-the-art forms of electronic dab rigs – like the Focus V Carta, Puffco Peak, and High Five Duo – to consume your favorite concentrates more easily than ever before.

Wax or Flower?

If we had to ask only one question as to whether you should use a bong or dab rig, it’s “what are you planning to smoke?” While many of our customers swear by dry herb and flower exclusively, others are much more interested in vaporizing varieties of legal concentrates including oil and wax. Dab rigs are designed for vaporizing concentrates, and bongs are built to enjoy your favorite flower. Both dab rigs and bongs percolate your preferred form through water. This filtration process helps dab rig and bong users to enjoy smoother hits, no matter the material they’ve chosen.

Bigger or Smaller?

To optimize your dabbing experience, our smoke shop team recommends using a smaller water pipe. Choosing a piece without multiple percolators is also a good idea whenever possible. Wondering why is this the standard? When vaporizing concentrates at lower temperatures, adding distance between the wax you’re consuming and the lungs they’re traveling to typically results in reduced strength and flavor. Thankfully, smoke from dry herb and flower isn’t the same way. Using larger bongs and pieces with multiple percolators increases the distance between your bong’s bowl piece and mouthpiece, which will make your hits smoother without sacrificing strength or taste. In other words, if you’re buying a heady glass water pipe to primarily use as a dab rig, you’d be better off thinking smaller and simpler. With bongs, added percs are an added perk – and the bigger the piece, the better.

What’s Your Budget?

Last but certainly not least important, there can be cost differences between your average bongs and a standard dab rig. As we’ve stated above, the same water pipes can be used as a dab rig or a bong, depending on the accessories you use with them. Investing in the equipment you’ll need to dab can be a little more pricey up front, as you’ll need a few more accessories for the dabbing process than you would to smoke a bowl with your average bong. Anyone looking to dab will need a dabbing torch, carb cap, dab nail and dabbing tool to do so, and typically a storage container to keep your spare concentrates safe until your next session. However, if you already have those materials on hand and are looking for a new water pipe alone, the smaller and simpler models recommended for dabbing will lower your total over more complex models we’d recommend buying for bong hits.

Dab Rigs, Bongs, and Accessories – Our Smoke Shop Has It All!

710 Pipes is proud to have unique, high-quality water pipes available at all three of our Denver-area locations. We also carry hundreds of additional accessories for smoking and dabbing – including screens for your existing pieces, carb caps, quartz inserts and so much more! Our Northglenn and Denver head shops (on Colfax and Evans Avenue near D.U.) are open seven days a week. Denver University students get 10% off with a valid student ID!

Still staying indoors in the name of social distancing? If you’re over age 21 in Colorado or other legal U.S. states seeking quality pipe shop products, our online smoke shop has several options available for immediate purchase from the safety and comfort of your couch. Our online smoke shop also carries a few fantastic glass dab straw options available to order anyplace and anytime. If you’re looking for a more simplistic glass dab straw, a nectar collector with a little extra flair, or an all-inclusive micro nectar collector kit equipped with a quality storage case, we’ve got the perfect options in store. You’ll also find exceptional prices on hundreds more of our popular products – all deliverable straight to your doorstep. Whether you’re shopping online or onsite, 710 Pipes is proud to provide you with the very best smoke shop products on the market today.