Water Pipes

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Your glass water pipe is your ticket to enjoying your favorite concentrates and herbs. It’s where all the magic happens — and it holds all of the other accessories that make it possible for you to smoke flowers or dab concentrates. Water pipes come in all shapes and sizes and feature different percolators or vapor pathways to help cool down your smoke (or vapor) and make for better tasting and more effective hits.

What is a water pipe? 

A water pipe, better known as a bong, is a glass pipe that holds water and allows you to cool down the smoke from your favorite flower or concentrates as you hit it. Water pipes come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and may include percolators or other filtration devices that allow your smoke to bubble and cool as it makes its way from the bowl to the mouthpiece. Water pipes may also be made with glass, ceramic, acrylic or silicone. However, glass bongs are the most popular since they’re the easiest to keep clean and use, but they’re also pretty durable and easy to make. Many argue that glass ones are the best-looking water pipe, and also the least likely to leach unpleasant flavors into your hits.

How does a water pipe work? 

Water pipes work like a vacuum. You’ll draw air in though the mouthpiece as you light a bowl or vaporize a concentrate. As you inhale, the air will be replaced through the bowl or nail and fill the bong with smoke. As the smoke travels through the bong, it filters out some of the stuff that makes the flower or concentrates harsh using water and percolators, which allow it to bubble for added filtration to amplify flavor and make for smoother smoke or vapor.

What are water pipes used for? 

Water pipes can be used for both flower and concentrates. They’re used to filter smoke or vapor to help cool it down and make for a smoother, more flavorful hit.

Types of bongs 

There are many different types of bongs out there, and each serves its own purpose.

Dab rigs: Dab rigs are water pipes that tend to be much smaller than regular bongs. Since dabbing doesn’t require combustion, smaller water pipes with limited percolators are ideal for getting the most flavor out of your concentrates while still cooling off the vapor.

Straight Tube bongs: Straight tube bongs are simple in design, making them easy to use and good for newbies. They feature a straight, narrow body and mouthpiece that fills with smoke through a downstem submerged into the water chamber with a downstem. Straight tube bongs are easy to clean and allow for nice large hits.

Zig-Zag bongs: Zig Zag bongs have a kinked mouthpiece that acts as a splash guard, allowing you to have plenty of water in the bong for filtration without getting any into your mouth as you smoke. Since they have a zig-zag shape, they tend to be larger and a little more difficult to clear than other bongs, but they still look really cool and taste great.

Beaker Bongs: Beaker bongs are extremely popular since they have a wide, heavy bottom that adds stability. More importantly, the wide, conical flask shape is perfect for generating lots of smoke for bigger hits and improved flavors.

Round-Base bongs: Like beaker bongs, bongs with round bases are good for taking bigger hits. The round chamber generates lots of smoke before you clear the chamber. However, the main downside is that the round shape makes them significantly less stable than other bongs. They’re prone to tipping, but they look pretty cool.

Gravity Bongs: Gravity bongs utilize gravity to generate smoke instead of inhaling it through your mouth. A gravity bong involves a chamber of water and an empty chamber that fills with smoke as you use gravity to draw the empty chamber away from the water. Glass versions are fixed on an arm that you can flip like an hourglass, allowing it to pull smoke into the chamber as water empties into a secondary chamber.

Multi-chamber (recycler) bongs: Recyclers are great for both concentrates and flower since they provide some of the best filtration you can find. These multi-chamber bongs filter smoke using a percolator and a water chamber, constantly recycling the smoke and water through the system until it reaches your lungs. They’re great for cooling and filtering smoke or vapor, and look great in any setup.

Percolator bongs: Also known as bubblers, bongs with percolators come in all shapes and sizes. With that said, you can have a beaker bong that’s also a percolator bong if it’s made with percolators inside. Percolator bongs usually have at least two percs, which diffuse smoke as it passes through. They’re great for cooling and filtering smoke, as they bubble while you draw from them.

Egg bongs: Also known as ball bongs, egg bongs have an ovular or round-shaped percolator centered into the heart of a round or ovular chamber which makes it possible for bubbles to dissipate more effectively. In some cases, egg bongs are also recyclers. They allow for a super smooth and flavorful hit, but like round-base bongs, they’re often prone to tipping.

What are bongs made of? 

Bongs are made from ceramic, acrylic, glass, or silicone. Some can even be made with metal, wood, bamboo, or plastic, though those aren’t recommended since using them long term may be hazardous to your health. The best water pipes are made from glass since they’re easy to clean, easy to find and accessorize, come in all shapes and sizes, and offer the smoothest possible smoking experience. However, silicone, acrylic, and ceramic are also popular for their durability and affordability. The only issue is that sometimes silicone and acrylic bongs may leach unpleasant flavors into your smoke or vapor.

What to think about before buying a bong 

Before choosing a water pipe, think about how you’ll intend to use it and then take its size, filtration and percolation capabilities, material, joint size, and mouthpiece into consideration before making your purchase.

1. Intended Use 

Knowing what you intend to use your bong for is the first step in choosing one. For example, If you want to use your bong for both flower and concentrates, you’ll most likely want to buy a small to medium sized bong that can be used with both a quartz nail and a flower bowl. You’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t have more than one perc to make sure you don’t filter out too much flavor from your concentrates. At the same time, you’ll want at least one to help cool and filter the smoke from your flower. However, if you just want a bong for flower, go for something medium to large in size with as many percs as you like. Keep in mind that dab bongs should be small and free from too much filtration or percolation.

2. Material 

Bongs can be made from all types of materials. Silicone stays cool and lasts a long time, but alters the flavor of your dabs. Ceramic isn’t see through so it can be more difficult to gauge how big of a hit your taking or when it’s time to clean it, but tends to be on the larger, more durable side. Acrylic is the cheapest type of bong on the market, but tends to taste bad and may break easily. A glass bong on the other hand is always a good choice since they come in all shapes and sizes, are easy to accessorize, stand up to heat well, offer percolation and filtration, and are easy to use and clean. Heavy duty borosillicate glass bongs are ideal for most uses.

3. Size 

If you want to use your bong for dabbing, you’ll want a small one without all the bells and whistles. If you’re using it for flower, you can opt for a larger water pipe with more filters and percolators. You should also consider how much you’re capable of smoking at once. Just because you can buy a 3’ bong doesn’t mean that it’s practical or ideal. A good, medium-sized bong is great for most uses.

4. Joints 

Water pipes feature a glass joint that allows you to slide a bowl or dab nail into the downstem, but not all of them are made the same size. Standard sizes are 10mm, 14mm, and 19mm sizes. However, water pipes and slides can also come with a male or female joint. If you have a male bowl slide, you’ll want to buy a bong with a female joint. If you have a female bowl slide, you’ll want to buy a bong with a male joint. Always use the opposite sex of your bong when choosing compatible accessories, and make sure they’re the same size.

5. Percolators 

Make sure the bong you buy has at least one water chamber for both dabs and flower. If you’re using your bong solely for flower, the more percs and water chambers you have the better. Just keep in mind that dab rigs benefit from a simplistic design. You don’t want a bong that bubbles too much if you want to take dabs out of it.

6. Mouthpiece and Necks

Mouthpieces can be wide or small and they can be fixed to a straight or a curved neck. Small mouthpieces and curved necks are ideal for dabbing since they’re better for amplifying the flavors of your dabs without wasting them. They also allow you to leave the bong stationary on a table while you sit and hit it from a chair. Bongs with wide mouthpieces and straight necks are ideal for smoking flower since they allow you to take bigger hits and pull smoke more effectively. However, you can also find larger bongs for flower with curved necks if you’d rather hit your bong on a flat surface.

How much does a bong cost? 

Water pipes range anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars based on the level of artistry, quality of materials used, and the type of design. Most quality bongs fall somewhere between $100-$300. In this price range you can find a quality bong made from good materials and a functional design. However, you can spend more if you want something designed to look heady by a glass artist. You can even go cheaper when it comes to things like dab rigs, which tend to have less intricate designs on purpose.



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