If you’re considering smoking or dabbing, you might wonder how a dab rig differs from a water pipe. The short answer is that a dab rig is a type of water pipe — but it’s designed specifically for smoking oils or concentrates.
While water pipes in general have a long- established history among the smoking community, dab rigs specifically are more of a recent trend and a peek into the future of smoking.
Both are great options to invest in, but depending on your smoking preferences, you'll have a clear choice among these two popular smoking accessories.
Learn the major differences between dab rigs and water pipes and which one is right for your smoking preferences.
It’s All About What You'll Be Smoking
First, you need to consider what you'll be smoking with this pipe. Smokers who use water pipes primarily use them to smoke tobacco, dried herbs or flowers.
Meanwhile, if you are using a dab, also known as an oil rig, you'll be using a legal concentrate along with wax, oil, or honey. To use the dab rig, you'll heat up whatever you choose as your concentrate on the dab nail to vaporize it.
Dab Rig vs. Water Pipe Parts and Accessories
Just like how you'll be smoking different things with these items, dab rigs and water pipes have different parts to help you do so.
Water pipes will use the traditional bowl piece along with a lighter to help you smoke the dried flowers, herbs or tobacco.
Meanwhile, dab rigs use a dab nail instead of a bowl piece. You’ll need to heat the dab nail with a torch to help you vaporize what you'll be smoking.
Another noticeable difference between these two systems is the overall size of water pipes compared to dab rigs. There's a reason for this difference in size, and not just appearances. Water pipes tend to be larger with more room for holding multiple percolators within the device. This is because, when smoking dry herbs and flowers, you don't have to worry about them losing potency. You could have a water pipe the size of a room and not worry about the dried flowers or herbs losing their flavor as they travel.
Dab rigs are the exact opposite. Because dab rigs are used for smoking concentrates, you want the vapor to reach your lips as soon as possible for the best smoking experience.
Obviously, dab rigs and water pipes will vary in their prices based on how elaborate you want to get with your smoking accessories. While water pipes and dab rigs have relatively similar costs, you'll want to remember that more accessories might be needed for your dabbing system.
The Best Water Pipe or Dab Rig for You
Ultimately, the choice of whether you use a water pipe or dab rig is up to you. Again, before you purchase a new pipe or rig, you'll want to consider:
- What you'll be smoking.
- The parts involved with each system.
- Overall size, especially if you have limited storage space.
- The cost of the water pipe or dab rig itself and whether accessories will need to be added later.