The short answer is nothing, any bong can be a dab rig and any dab rig can be a bong. The long answer is there are tons of differences and I will explain them all in this awesome article. If you want to get the most out of your smoking sessions you will want to make sure you're using the right piece.
The main difference between dab rigs and bongs is what you will be consuming out of them. Bongs are to be used with tobacco, dry herbs or flowers. Dab Rigs & Oil Rigs are to be used with legal concentrates such as wax, oil or honey. With that being said they are both water pipes that use percolation to filter your smoke or vapor.
As you know all water pipes including dab rigs and bongs have a male or female joint that will accept any glass accessory >with the opposite joint. Bongs will have a bowl piece that goes into the joint so you can smoke dry herb or flowers using a traditional lighter. However, in order to vaporizer concentrated oils or waxes, you need to attach a dab nail to the joint on your water pipe. You will heat the dab nail with a dab torch and then place your concentrates in the hot nail to vaporize them. Adding a bowl piece to a water pipe makes it a bong and adding a dab nail to a water pipe makes it a dab rig.
This is one of the biggest things that set most dab rigs and bongs apart. When you are smoking dry herbs or flowers you will want a larger piece with multiple percolators for maximum filtration and cooling. BUT, when you’re smoking concentrates you will want a smaller piece with minimal percolators. Why do you ask? Because when combusting flowers in a bong, the smoke can travel long distances without losing potency. In fact the longer it travels and the more percs it goes through the smoother it will be going into your lungs. When you are vaporizing concentrates at lower temperatures than combustion, you want to use a smaller piece with minimal percs so the vapor reaches your lungs as quickly as possible without losing flavor and potency.
For the most part yes they do, depending on how fancy you want to get. The thing that makes dab rigs typically cost more than a bong is the required accessories you need to be dab correctly. You will need a dab nail, dab torch, carb cap, and dabber tool.
If you are not sure what you should be buying these articles will help you out!
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Yes, you can! If you want to smoke dry herbs add a bowl piece to your bong and if you want to smoke concentrates add a dab nail! However, we highly recommend having two separate dedicated pieces one for flowers and one for dabs. The reasons being is the flavor you get from dry herbs is completely different than the flavor you get from concentrates. Mixing the two can often lead to an unpleasant taste and make for a not so great smoking experience. Using different pieces will also make cleaning them much easier, a dab rig does not get as resonated as a bong because there is not combustion or plant material.