MJ Arsenal bong and dab rig

How to Use a Bong as a Dab Rig

It's easy to turn your bong into a makeshift dab rig as long as you've got the right tools available to you. With our quick guide on how to use a bong as a dab rig, you'll have a smooth dabbing experience in no time at all.

However, something to remember: your water pipe isn't meant to be a proper dab rig. Mixing the clean burn of cannabis concentrates with the sticky char left after blazing some flower can end up with a blend of flavors and inhalants that could mess up your experience either way.

So, consider getting a dedicated dab rig made of durable borosilicate from MJ Arsenal. Our selection of dab rigs offers impeccable designs made to give you the best dabbing experience possible.

That being said, if you still want to try dabbing with your bong, here's our guide to helping you learn how to use a bong as a dab rig:

What's The Difference Between a Dab Rig and a Bong?

Before we begin, let's lay out a few facts.

First, dab rigs and water bongs are built differently. They are made of similar parts and function the same way.

However, a bong uses a bowl piece filled with herbs, while a dab rig uses a banger or nail full of concentrate.

Another big difference is that bongs are used to smoke dry herbs or flower, while dab rigs are used to smoke a variety of different cannabis concentrates.

Each also heats their supplements differently. With bongs, the herb is simply lit in a bowl using a basic lighter. Dry herbs usually need a lower temperature to burn well enough to produce smoke.

On the other hand, a dab rig setup uses a torch-heated banger or nail to vaporize your concentrates, usually at much higher temperatures than with bongs.

While this guide details how to use a bong like you use a dab rig, it's important to know the essential differences between the two. That way, you'll know how each piece works and how you can use them better for smoking dabs and herbs in the best way possible.

What You'll Need For a Makeshift Dab Rig Setup With Your Bong

As we said before, a bong and a dab rig mostly work the same way, which makes it easy for you to learn how to use your bong as a dab rig. With just a few modifications, you'll easily have a decent setup for you to start dabbing with. Here's what you'll need:

Your Bong/Water Pipe

First and foremost, you'll need your favorite bong. A smaller bong for dabs works better, as it will ensure a more potent and flavorful pull when you smoke concentrates from the water chamber. The best size bong for dabs is usually below 15" and also needs to have a compatible downstem for your nail/banger, which we will discuss next.


This piece is also a seriously important part of fitting your bong for dabbing. A banger or nail is like a dab bowl. It's used to contain your choice of concentrate while attached to your dab rig. They can also connect to your bong's downstem, depending on whether their joints are compatible, meaning they should have female joints and male joints that fit together.

Male Jointed Nail/Banger

Simply put, a male jointed nail or banger has a narrow end so that it protrudes outward. This allows it to connect to a female jointed downstem.

Female Joint Nail/Banger

A Female nail or banger has a wide opening at its end, allowing it to be inserted over a male jointed downstem.

Check whether your bong's downstem is male-jointed or female-jointed before getting the dab nail or banger you will use to attach to it.

We also recommend using a dab nail or banger made of materials that are resistant to high heat temperatures. MJ Arsenal offers premium quartz banger/nail attachments that ensure an even heat distribution for your dab concentrate.

Carb Cap

While it is possible to go without this piece, a carb cap really helps make dabbing with your bong a more enjoyable experience. You place it on top of your dab nail or banger once you've burnt the concentrate inside.

It then controls the airflow and traps all the heat you produce, ensuring the concentrate vaporizes longer and more efficiently.

On top of that, carb caps can add a little flair to your setup, like our Champagne bottle-shaped carb cap. If you're thinking of making your bong into a dab rig, why not have a little fun with it?

Torch Lighter

Also called a butane torch, this is a type of lighter that provides a precise, continuous flame over your banger or nail. That helps it reach the right temperature so that your concentrate burns into a vapor that provides you with a smooth, flavorful draw.

You can get butane torches at numerous retailers and at numerous prices. However, if you're thinking of getting a premium dab rig, make sure to get a high-quality torch too.

Your Choice of Concentrate

Next, you're of course going to need your dab concentrate or concentrated cannabis extracts. These are way stronger than smoking flower, so we recommend slowly testing out the amounts you use so you can find out how much offers the best experience for you.

Concentrates also come in several different forms. They come in different consistencies and levels of THC and terpene content. Here are a few details to help you decide which are best for you:

  • Shatter - A commonly used type of concentrate that comes in hard sheets that break apart like pieces of glass. It also has a high THC content but is produced using butane and CO2.
  • Batter - Thick and gooey, like cake batter, this is a very easy concentrate to use for dabbing. It is also produced using butane and CO2 for extracting concentrated oils from cannabis plants.
  • Crumble - Sometimes called 'honeycomb,' this type of concentrate is loose and dry. It's also cheaper than other extracts due to how difficult it is to use.
  • Live Resin - Made from cannabis plants that are frozen when harvested and then treated with solvents, giving it a sauce-like texture. It has a high terpene content, which means a more flavorful draw.
  • Rosin - A solventless, chemical-free concentrate made from pressed cannabis plants that produce a hot oil that is then cooled. It is considered one of the purest kinds of cannabis concentrates available.

These are just a few of the different types of concentrates you can get for your next bong dab session. Research which ones offer the best flavor and effects you would prefer.

Dab tool

It's also important to have a little dab tool ready. This will help you measure out and apply your smoking concentrates to the nail or banger after heating it up.


Whether from a sink, a plastic bottle, or a filtered water dispenser, the final thing you need to make your bong into a makeshift dab rig is water. This will help cool down the hot vapors coming from your dab nail and turn them into soothing, delicious smoke. 

While it may take a few extra pieces, you can easily turn your current favorite bong into a ready-made dab rig by browsing MJ Arsenal’s selection of dab rig accessories. 

We’ll make it easy for you to prepare for dabbing, whether it is with your bong or with one of our incredible dab rigs. You can’t go wrong either way with MJ Arsenal. 

Your Step-By-Step Dab-By-Bong Instructions

Once you’ve assembled the right components, it’s time to dab. Below is a brief set of instructions on how to use your bong as a dab rig. Follow them closely, and remember that proper dabbing takes time and practice. 

  1. Replace your bowl with a dab rig nail or banger that fits.
  2. Fill the water chamber with clear, distilled water. Add enough to cover any percolators.
  3. Do a quick test by inhaling through the mouth of your bong to see if any reaches your mouth. If it does, pour some out and try again. Find the right amount of water to put in your bong for a better dab-smoking experience.
  4. Use your torch lighter to heat the nail/banger until it turns red hot. After around thirty seconds or so, leave the red-hot nail to cool off. Note: It may take some time to learn the best temperature for heating different types of concentrates. Take your time and test different heating and cooling times to find the best method to produce a solid dab hit.
  5. Now, use your dab tool to add your preferred amount of wax concentrates to your banger/nail.
  6. Cover the nail/banger with a carb cap to trap in more wax vapor, which will give you a pull that offers more flavor and a better effect from your dab.

Finally, inhale through the mouthpiece, drawing in the smooth, soothing vapors from your bong. Then exhale and enjoy the rest of your dabbing experience.

For Top-Shelf Dab Rigs & Water Bongs, Shop MJ Arsenal

Smoking dabs offers a whole new way to enjoy cannabis. When without a separate dab rig, following our steps above will ensure you can still try your hand at dabbing using a bong.

But always know the best experiences come with using the right equipment — which is why we at MJ Arsenal have produced some of the finest dab rigs and water bong kits available. Whether you're thinking of sparking up flower or cannabis concentrate, our specially designed glass pipes are made for 420 and 710 enthusiasts, as well as seasoned connoisseurs.

Shop MJ Arsenal's vast collection of smokeware and find the dab rig or water bong you'll be taking off with today.