Dab Nails vs Bong Bowls

If you have only ever vaped, transitioning to dry herb smoking or dabbing can be an intimidating process. Not only are the processes very different from vaping, but they are also very different from each other and make use of different tools; namely dab nails and bong bowls. Dab nails and bong bowls provide unique experiences because of the tools they make use of, but it can be easy to get confused about what their differences actually are. This article will give a solid understanding of how dab nails and bong bowls differ as well as how they are similar!

What are the Differences?

1. Dabbing vs Smoking

The first important difference is that bong bowls and dab nails are key components to very different experiences. Dab nails are used exclusively for dabbing, which requires the nail to be superheated and a special dabbing tool to apply your preferred concentrate. Bong bowls are used for traditional dry herb smoking, where an open flame is applied to dry herb and the resulting smoke is inhaled.

2. Wax vs. Dry Herbs

Similar to the first difference, dab nails and bong bowls are made for specific substances. Dab nails are made for wax concentrates, and bong bowls are made for use with dry herbs, and neither are interchangeable. Dab nails get way, way too hot for dry herb smoking and would end up just incinerating the dry herb and producing nasty tasting smoke. Bong bowls, on the other hand, are not designed to be superheated for use with wax concentrates. The bowl would crack and break before you ever got a chance to apply wax to it.

3. Dab Rig vs. Bong

A dab rig is the entire setup used when dabbing with a dab nail. This includes a downstem into a water reservoir, a body cavity to hold smoke, and a top-facing mouthpiece where smoke is inhaled. Bongs are actually very, very similar, also containing downstems, water reservoirs, body cavities, and a top-facing mouthpiece. In fact, many products are designed to cater to both dab nails and bong bowls since their overall function is the same.

4. Heat Level

We mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. Bong bowls are not designed to quickly be heated and retain that heat. In fact, the heat of the bong bowl has little impact on the overall smoking experience since you need an open flame to produce smoke from the dry herbs. Dab nails, on the other hand, are made from materials that are meant to be heated with a blowtorch. This means they will heat quickly and will retain heat far better than a bong bowl would. They will also reach much higher temperatures (several hundred degrees hotter) as that is the temperature necessary for producing smoke from wax concentrates.

5. Packing vs. Dabbing

Loading your substance of choice is a different process depending on whether you are packing a bong bowl or dabbing with a dab nail. Bong bowls use dry herbs, and dry herbs need to be ground in a grinder and then lightly packed into a bong bowl. This is a relatively mess-free process, with the only concerns being little pieces of dry herb that may be dropped and possible kief on your fingers after packing. Dabbing is a more delicate process in comparison. The dab nail needs to be heated with a torch and then left to slightly cool. Then, a dabbing tool is used to pick up a small piece of wax and rub it inside the heated dab nail to produce vapor. Dabbing is a messier, stickier process since you have to constantly be handling sticky wax.

What are the Similarities?

1. Both are Accessories

While they both are accessories for different processes, both bong bowls and dab nails are usually detachable accessories. There are different kinds of dab nails and different kinds of bong bowls you can attach to your dab rig and bongs to customize your experience.

2. Can’t Dab or Smoke Without Them

Both dab nails and bong bowls are absolutely necessary in order for dab rigs and bongs to functioning as smoking devices. Without them, you just have pretty, nonfunctioning equipment.

3. Available in Many Designs

Dab nails are available in a variety of materials (quartz, titanium, and ceramic) that offer their own unique dabbing experiences, advantages, and disadvantages. Bong bowls can also be found in glass, silicone, metal, ceramic, and other designs. Dab nails and bongs can vary in size, color, aesthetic design, built-in features (like glass screens), and many other possible options!

4. Affordable

While there are very expensive choices for dab nails and bong bowls, you do not have to have a super expensive choice. Bong bowls and dab nails can be found at very approachable, inexpensive price points. Here at vapevetstore.com, you can find options for less than $10 (and that includes free shipping, too!)

5. Small and Portable

While dab rigs and bongs can be large, intricate pieces, dab nails and bong bowls are very small, very easily transported pieces. If you are wanting to be able to conveniently store them or travel safely with them, you will have no problem doing so.

Related Blog Posts

A List of the Best Titanium Dab Nails to Use

List of the Best Quartz Dab Nails

14mm Birdhouse Quartz Dab Nail

19mm Birdhouse Quartz Dab Nail


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