Let’s face it. There’s a huge upfront cost when it comes to dabbing since there are so many different moving parts for a typical dab rig setup. They come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of bells and whistles that can be a little tough to navigate, especially if you’re new to the world of concentrates. That said, we’re about to drop a huge life hack on you: you can totally use an ordinary bong for dabbing. If you already use one for flower, here’s everything you need to know about using a bong for dabs.
What’s the best type of bong for dabs?
The first step in using a bong for dabbing is to make sure that you have one that will work. Some bongs have unfortunate shapes that make them unsuitable to dab from, so here’s a handy guide for choosing the right bong for dabs.
- Smaller bongs are better for dabbing. When it comes to smoking flower out of a bong, the general consensus is that the bigger the bong the better since it gives the smoke more time to cool and filter out. However, with dabbing, it’s a little different. Larger bongs aren’t good for dabbing because they require you to drag longer to get a hit which messes up your flavors and cools your nail down too much to get a good hit. Make sure your bong is under 15” for best results.
- Avoid janky joint angles. Themed and novelty bongs are the bees knees when you’re just running flower through them. Dabs however leave a much stickier residue, so you’ll want something more simplistic in design for an easier cleanup. Further, many novelty bongs have angled joints, which will put the hot nail directly in your face or too close to your hands for comfort. These bongs are more likely to burn you or break under the intense heat required for dabbing.
- Go for a basic shape. The best bongs for dabbing are beakers with straight tubes. They’re easy to clean and the downstem can be removed and swapped for something more dab friendly. Bongs with angled mouthpieces are nice for tabletop setups, too.
- Percolators are okay, just keep them simple. A lot of bongs out there come with multiple percolators and complex reverse showerhead recycling designs. These are awesome for cooling smoke and filtering out the resin from flower, but they can be a pain to clean with dab resin. Additionally, too many percolators can filter out the terpenes in your concentrates and make your flavors less than stellar.
Additional equipment required for using bongs for dabs
If you have a suitable bong ready to go, you’ll still need a few items to be ready for dabbing. Here are a few things you should have on hand.
- Quartz Banger + Optional Adapter
To dab, you need a surface to heat up and you can’t use an ordinary bowl. You will need a quartz bucket, known as a banger. The banger should slide into your bong like a standard bowl would, so you will need to measure your slide. Bangers come in both male and female attachments, so they can slide in or sit on top of your bong. Just make sure it fits tightly for best results. You may also need an adapter depending on the size of your downstem. An adapter can help you connect the pieces if you buy different sizes.
- Dab Tool
You will need a heat-resistant dabber tool to apply your concentrates to your hot banger. They come in all shapes and sizes, so this is a fun accessory to personalize. However, they all serve different functions. Some have scoop attachments for things like live resin and sauce while others have more of a pick-like tip for grabbing sticky pull and snap shatters. Choose a tool that works best for your favorite concentrates or grab a full dab tool kit so you’re ready for anything.
A torch is a must for applying direct heat to your banger and heating it up to the correct temperature (between 350-700 degrees). Standard lighters won’t get your nail hot enough to get a dab from, so a torch is a must.
- Carb Cap
A carb cap isn’t entirely necessary, but they’re definitely worth the investment. Carb caps allow you to heat your concentrates more evenly and allow for bigger hits and more flavor. They also come in all shapes and sizes so they are also quite fun to personalize.
Why use a bong as a dab rig?
Bongs are great dab rigs in the short term. Using one can save you some money on buying an entire new setup, especially if you’re new to dabbing and unsure if you’ll like it or not. However, it should be looked at as a short term solution. It’s always best to eventually buy a dedicated and separate dab rig so you can keep your flower separate from your oils. This is mostly hygiene-related since flower resin leaves behind that bong-flavor that can change the flavor of your concentrates and alter your entire experience. They don’t have to break the bank, either. Here you can find some dab rigs for under $50.
All in all, bongs can be used as dab rigs in the short term with only a small upfront investment.