In a bong, the bowl is the receptacle that holds your weed, so it has a small hole at the bottom to allow airflow. They are usually made of glass, although they are sometimes metal, and can easily withstand the heat of a lighter.
Dab rigs are a bit different in that they require an attachment (a nail or ‘banger’) that is durable enough to withstand the high heat required to vaporize concentrates. Although they are basically the same, a nail is smaller and is usually made of titanium, while a ‘banger’ has a more traditional cup-like shape and can be made of quartz, titanium or glass.
The dabbing process also requires different heat sources than a conventional bong. To smoke a bong, all you need is a match or a lighter. But to heat a nail to the temperatures required to vaporize concentrates, you need a torch or an electronic nail, which heats it to the desired temperature.
Because the dabbing experience has a lot to do with temperature. Lower temperatures produce smoother, more flavorful vapour, while higher temperatures produce stronger vapour. High temperature dabs (170-370 ºC) will burn the concentrates, giving it a harsh, astringent taste. On the other hand, dabs at low temperatures, below 170ºC, do not completely vaporize all the concentrate.
More filtration is always better when it comes to getting something into the lungs, right? Well, not in the case with dab rigs. Too much filtration can reduce the potency of your dab, as if the vapor from the concentrate comes into contact with too much water, it can reduce the effectiveness of the hit. This is why you usually only see a percolator on high end cheap dab rigs.
In simple language, a percolator is a glass chamber that breaks smoke into smaller parts by forcing it through tiny holes. This breaks the smoke down into tiny bubbles within the water. And more bubbles means more surface area that has to pass through the water, cooling the smoke before it reaches the lungs.
Most of these bongs have multiple chambers along the main tube, with smaller water and holes. This helps the smoke take longer to reach your mouth, providing a smoother experience. If the percolator also has multiple water chambers, it will further filter the smoke and make it even cooler.
Bongs therefore benefit from as much percolation as you can afford. From fuzzy down tubes to triple-stacked honeycomb panels, each level of filtration makes your herb smoke cooler and smoother. No matter how many percolators are put into a bong, the smoke produced by combustion will not lose potency, flavor, or smoking ability.
You may have noticed that people always want the biggest bong, but dab rigs tend to be much smaller. Well, the size of a piece has a huge impact on the smoking experience, for better or worse.
Bigger is better when it comes to bongs, as you don’t have to worry about the smoke produced by combustion losing potency or dissipating. This means that you can extend the smoke path with as many percolators as you like to get the maximum level of filtration.
Unlike dry herb smoke, which loses very little potency when traveling inside a bong, the vapor from the extraction when using a dab ring will be trapped and dissipate into the water. This means you need to inhale as quickly as possible, which is why most dabbing rigs tend to be smaller. Most of the vapor is absorbed in 3-5 seconds, so sticking in huge percolators and tubes doesn’t give the best result in this regard.
Also if you want your bong to produce an even cooler and smoother smoke, opt for a bong with an ice capturing chamber. This accessory allows you to drop ice cubes into the neck of the bong to chill the smoke before inhaling it.
Can I use the same piece to smoke dried flowers and concentrates?
Yes you can! If you want to smoke dried flowers, add a bowl to your bong and if you want to smoke concentrates, add a dab nail! However, we recommend having two separate dedicated pieces, one for flowers and one for extracts. The reason is that the flavor you get from dried flowers is completely different than the flavor you get from concentrates. Mixing the two can often lead to an unpleasant taste and make for a less than great smoking experience.
Using different pieces will also make cleaning much easier. For example, a dab rig doesn’t get as dirty as a bong because there is no combustion and no plant material.
Finally, keep in mind that this information is to get the most out of what you’re smoking, but it all comes down to your personal preferences. Some users prefer to smoke flowers in big bongs and others like to do it in small rigs. In the end, you must choose the most appropriate to your circumstances; and testing with the right dab rig or bong is the best way to go.