What’s the Difference? Silicone Bongs vs. Silicone Rigs

What’s the Difference? Silicone Bongs vs. Silicone Rigs

If you’re fairly new to the world of silicone bongs, then you may find yourself getting confused by all of the different terms that you need to learn in order to buy the best piece for your needs. Two words that commonly get confused are “bongs” and “rigs”, with a lot of newbies thinking that these pieces mean the same thing. However, they are actually two totally different pieces that are used for different purposes, as we will be explaining today.

Main Differences Between Silicone Bongs and Silicone Rigs

As these are two totally different devices, made for different needs, buying the wrong one can leave you feeling totally confused when the time comes to enjoy some herb. Now, let’s discuss what the key differences are between these two types of devices.

Product That is Smoked

The major difference between  silicone bongs and silicone rigs is the type of product you’re inhaling through them. A bong is for flower, also known as dry herb, and a rig is for concentrates, also known as dabs. A rig is actually known for formally as a dab rig, as dabbing refers to the process of inhaling concentrates that are referred to as dabs. Concentrates include wax, shatter and sauce, and these types of devices require a special type of device that can handle the unique consistency that they have.

Meanwhile, flower is smoked using a traditional silicone bong, like the ones that you are probably more familiar with.

Method of Heating

Dry herb and concentrates are two different products entirely, with unique consistencies. Dry herb is, well, dry, while concentrates tend to be sticky, waxy, or solid, like shatter. Herb is smoked via combustion, which is why we can light it using a standard lighter.

However, concentrates do not respond well to basic combustion due to their density, which is why we have to instead vaporize them so that they melt at the right temperature. We do this using a  torch, which adequately melts the concentrate so that it turns into smooth vapor.

Potency of Your Experience

Concentrates are, by nature, highly potent compared to typical herb. They are concentrated forms of the plant compounds, produced using various means depending on the specific type of concentrate you’re using, whether it be wax, shatter, rosin or something else entirely. Concentrates will therefore give you a more powerful experience with each hit, and most users consume fewer dab hits than they would with flower for this reason. In short, one hit of a concentrate via a dab rig is far more potent than one hit of dry herb off of a bong.

The Parts

Both bongs and dab rigs have multiple parts that enable the process of smoking or dabbing, respectively. The key difference in terms of the design is the piece that actually holds the product. Bongs have bowls, which get their name from their bowl-like shape. They contain the flower securely so that when it’s smoked, it heats evenly without burning.

Meanwhile, dab rigs utilize a dab nail. This is a surface onto which the concentrates are placed, which is heated before application so that when the concentrate encounters the nail, it melts right away. Nails come in various shapes and sizes, but what they all share in common is that they are meant to get extraordinarily hot, and therefore are made differently from traditional bowls, which are not directly heated at any time.


While many people prefer large bongs, dab rigs actually work the best when they’re smaller in size. Larger bongs tend to have more efficient cooling and filtration abilities, thus producing smoother, cooler smoke. Smoke by nature can travel quite far without losing its potency along the way. But, that principle does not carry over into dabbing. Concentrates will lose their flavor and potency if they have to travel too far, which is why smaller rigs are ideal, because the vapor quickly enters the lungs as soon as it is produced.

What They Have in Common

Now, let’s quickly talk about what silicone bongs and silicone rigs have in common, besides the obvious fact that they both allow us to inhale the compounds of the same plant material.


Silicone bongs and silicone rigs are both made from silicone material, as you would have already guessed. Silicone is a highly durable material that’s becoming more and more preferable, as it doesn’t shatter or chip like glass. It’s also easier to clean, and may do a lot to improve airflow as well as flavor.


Both silicone bongs and silicone rigs can be extremely portable, making them easy to store and easy to travel with. You can bring either with you to a friend’s house, an outdoor party or a festival by throwing it into your backpack.

Basic Structure

Dab rigs and bongs look vaguely alike as they are made up of similar parts. The bowl and nail look similar enough, and both devices have a clear mouthpiece and tube, along with a sturdy base that keeps the piece from getting knocked over easily. They both have tall, elongated shapes in most cases that enable the proper amount of airflow.

Hybrid Models

Nowadays, more and more silicone bong manufacturers are creating hybrid models, which are compatible with both flower and concentrates, offering interchangeable pieces that allow you to convert the piece back and forth with ease. If you can’t decide between smoking or dabbing, you may find that a hybrid model gives you the ability to experiment with both in a way that’s efficient and enjoyable.

Choose Which Type of Herb Experience You’d Like to Enjoy and Select a Compatible Silicone Piece, Simple as That!

Silicone bongs and silicone rigs share some things in common, such as the material and general design, but ultimately, these are two distinctive devices that cannot be used interchangeably, as they are made for two different types of products. Of course, each has something unique to offer, and no single piece is objectively better than the other.

4th Aug 2021

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