So you have finally decided to improve your smoking experience and upgrade to a glass pipe. Easy, you think to yourself as you type your query in the search bar.
But when you’re greeted by hundreds of different options — pipes the size of your palm, large bongs, simple rigs, and artsy bowls — you realize that you are in trouble.
Well, your trouble ends here. As a beginner, you may feel overwhelmed, but we are here to narrow down your choices and explain some of the things you must consider before buying a glass pipe.
By the end, you’ll know how to choose a pipe that suits your needs as well as your lifestyle and taste!
1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All Playa
In the world of bongs, size is of great importance. From one-hitters that you can stash in your pocket to gong-sized bongs, there is a pipe for every possible lifestyle out there.
So before you buy a pipe, ask yourself — are you a stay-at-home or an on-the-go kind of person? If you’re planning to take hits while traveling, a small and portable glass pipe will suit you perfectly.
A larger piece might be more appropriate for the stay-at-home-and-unwind types. And if you enjoy your hits the most when you’re at an outdoor gathering with your friends, consider purchasing a shareable but portable medium-sized pipe.
However, size doesn’t only determine portability, but also the strength of the hit. Smaller pipes are perfect for beginners — they allow you to dose a hit better so that you never take more than you can handle.
On the other hand, if you’re an experienced smoker, don’t hesitate to buy a tabletop pipe. It should deliver a stronger, more satisfying hit.
2. Durability Matters: Thick Does the Trick
Since bongs are not very cheap, you will want to keep yours in one piece for as long as possible. This may prompt you to consider the more durable plastic, acrylic, or silicone bowls.
While these are all valid options, glass pipes are still a classic choice. And trust us, glass can be surprisingly sturdy, as long as you make sure that it’s thick and of high quality.
But how will you know whether the glass is thick enough? Well, look for borosilicate, or scientific glass. This glass is tougher than most other types and will survive a few bumps and drops once in a while. Don’t test it too much, though — no matter how sturdy, glass is still glass.
You should also know that larger bongs are in more danger than small and portable ones. Their sheer size and bulkiness make it easier for them to topple over and fall if the base isn’t wide enough. So make sure your bong has a flat and wide base that will keep it steady and safe.
3. Pipes and Percolators Galore
Percolators are handy little water chambers that help filter the smoke. When the smoke passes through the water, it cools down, and the by-products of combustion are removed from it. That’s why inhaling smoke that has passed through a percolator is easier and healthier for your lungs.
You don’t technically need a percolator, but if you’re tired of smoke-induced coughing, it may be time to invest in one. Don’t worry — percolators don’t affect the THC potency, so you’ll still get a proper hit if you use one.
The only downside is that you might have to clean your pipe more often due to filtered smoke residue. But then again, better to clean a bong than have that stuff in your lungs, right?
Some glass pipes have built-in percolators, but sometimes, you’ll have to add your own filtering systems. You can have one percolator or several — it’s entirely up to you. Here are some of the most common types you might encounter in your search for the perfect glass pipe:
- Tree percolators
- Honeycomb percolators
- Showerhead percolators
- Swiss percolators
- Propeller percolators
- Faberge egg percolators
All of these differ in shape, price, and maintenance needs, so you’re sure to find just the kind that suits you.
4. Mass Production vs. Art Pieces
Creativity knows no bounds, so even glass pipes can become art pieces. Don’t believe us? Well, these might prove my point. From microscope-shaped pipes to mini-volcanos, bongs can contribute to the aesthetic of your home.
The sad part is that more intricate bongs naturally cost more. Their production is more difficult, so you won’t find as many of them on the market — and when you do, your wallet might take a hit (and not the good kind).
In addition, because of their complexity, they could be more difficult to clean. Still, if you’ve found a pipe that matches your aesthetic perfectly, don’t hesitate to buy it.
If you don’t care much for art, then choose one of the mass-produced glass pipes. You won’t get much in terms of style, but you will get functionality and reliability. Plus, most modern mass-produced pipes take the form of lab equipment, and that might just be the style you’re going for.
5. A Matter of Price, Sir
The price of a glass pipe can vary — you can find bongs as expensive as $500, or as cheap as $60. Assuming that you want a quality pipe, but not a very extravagant one, you should expect to pay over $100. In the end, that will depend on your wants and needs, and whether you’re lucky enough to get the bong on sale.
Keep in mind that aside from quality, the size will also affect the price. The larger the bong is, the pricier it will be. So if you’re buying one for the first time, we’d recommend a simple medium-sized one. You can always modify it with add-ons as you gain more experience.
Also, don’t spend all of your budget on your pipe. You have to take into account things like lighters, grinders, stash boxes, cleaning supplies, and well, the most important part, the cannabis itself!
There’s no point spending a fortune on a super fancy pipe if you then can’t afford to smoke quality buds in said pipe.
To Sum Up It Up
There’s a lot of thought that needs to go into buying a new glass pipe. But what ultimately matters most is your personal preference. Although we were able to give you some pointers, the rest is up to you!