Bongs vs. Pipes vs. Dab Rigs: Which Is Right for You?

man smiling while lighting bong

Walk into any dispensary or head shop, and you’ll quickly realize that there are tons of different ways to consume marijuana. There has never been an easier time to engage in this relaxing activity from using edibles, vape pens, oils, and hash.

Knowing the difference between the various methods of consuming cannabis can be very helpful for determining which one is right for you. Bongs, pipes, and dab rigs all look similar, but function in separate ways and are better for producing specific effects.

We’ll discuss the differences between bongs vs. pipes, as well as bongs vs. dab rigs, so you can determine which one is right for you.

What Is a Bong?

Chances are, you can recognize a bong when you see one. They come in different shapes and sizes but have an overall, uniform look. Bongs have been around the longest of all the smoking devices on the market these days, with examples tracing back multiple centuries.

Some bongs are very basic, with a bowl for your buds and a chamber for the smoke, while others are more intricate. But in the end, they all function the same way--by using water to filter and cool the smoke that comes from the burning cannabis.

Bongs Vs. Pipes

When it comes to bongs vs. pipes, bongs will probably be much larger and cost more money. This means they’re not always super portable, although you can indeed find portable ones out there.

The good thing is they are more likely to deliver more significant hits and hold more cannabis at one time. So there are pros and cons on each side. Also, the water that filters the smoke delivers much smoother hits and is easier on your throat.

This could be a big plus, especially for beginners who aren’t used to smoking cannabis.

What is a Pipe?

Like bongs, pipes have been around for many, many centuries. They also come in many shapes and sizes but are smaller and more handheld than bongs or dab rigs. Pipes are arguably the most popular way to consume cannabis flowers because of their wide availability and affordable prices.

Plus, they’re easy to use. When it comes to bongs vs. pipes, pipes are a good tool for beginners because they’re easy to learn how to smoke. All you do is pack cannabis into the bowl, light it, and inhale the smoke from the other side.

If you’re looking for a smoking device that you can carry around with you, pipes are the best option.

Types of Pipes

  • Hand Pipes: These sit in the palm of your hand. They have a bowl and a clutch on the side to regulate airflow.
  • One Hitters: Also known as chillums, these kinds of pipes are the smallest of all three. They are best for taking minor, personal hits, hence the name ‘one-hitter.’ That’s because they can only hold a small amount of cannabis at a time.
  • Steamrollers: This pipe shape combines the functionality of both the hand pipe and the one-hitter. They are long and cylinder-shaped and suitable for passing around.

The debate between bongs vs. pipes is all about your smoking preferences and how you will use each device. If you plan to consume cannabis with a large group of people, passing a bong around will be more enjoyable. If you would like a smaller device for more personal usage, a pipe would be better.

Of course, nothing is stopping you from owning one of each!

hand lighting green pipe

What Is a Dab Rig?

A dab rig looks very similar to a bong and functions similar to one as well. They are both equipped with a water filtration system to cool the smoke before it reaches your mouth.

The difference between a bong vs. a dab rig is that bongs have a bowl to hold cannabis flowers, while dab rigs have a banger or nail. Each of those two vaporizes super-potent cannabis concentrates, like oil or hash.

Dab rigs are basically like bongs that have been adapted to utilize cannabis concentrates and oils. Instead of packing a bowl, as you would with buds, you carefully place drops of oils in the heated banger of the dab rig.

Heavy Hits

That will produce smoke cooled by the water filtration, delivering you a smooth and super concentrated hit.

Dab rigs are not great for beginners because they utilize oils that have much higher concentrations of THC. If you’re interested in trying dab rigs out, wait until after you’ve mastered the regular bongs and pipes. When it comes to bongs vs. pipes, you can’t go wrong with either as a beginner. Bongs vs. dab rigs, though, are much easier to determine-- beginners should tread carefully with the latter.

Which Is Right For You?

Between bongs vs. pipes, it’s easy to conclude that either one is fine for beginners to start with. Bongs deliver pretty big hits, especially if you choose a larger one, so be mindful of that. But they also provide smooth hits that won’t irritate your throat.

Pipes are smaller and better for personal usage. If you are starting and want a device that will deliver more minor hits, these are the best option for you.

When it comes to bongs vs. dab rigs, they look pretty similar. But dab rigs were designed to accommodate super concentrates, like oils and hash. They are much better for veteran cannabis smokers.