Stepping into the world of glass, can be blinding. First time toker to the iron lung smoker, choices for glass can be simple. Starting with getting the job done, to getting the smoothest smoke, to making it look the best on the way to your lungs. The first basic of making a selection in glass is if the piece is solid and can handle many smoke sessions to come.
We as buyers want to look for smooth and solid joints, where one part of glass meets the other, in the glass. Making sure to look for bubbles, cracks, ridges, to supply yourself with the best possible piece for your puffing pleasure.
Next thing to keep an eye out for is the holes for airflow. Is the hole for the bowl huge and going to give you a scooby in the mouth when smoking? Scoobies while smoking is like a right of passage but we all love to avoid it if possible; to just enjoy the sweet taste of cannabis.
Lastly, if you are going for a bong rather than a pipe, you want to consider the type of pull and size of the bong you want. Talking about pull, that’s the action on the smoke flowing thru the percolation of the piece, this can be just a down stem with one hole, to multiple percs (places for percolating filtration).
The old school classic for percolation is the standard down stem with one hole that will give you that original, big, gulp-like chugs when taking your hit. Newer styles of percs can be disks with holes to doughnut shapes, even closely melted chunks of glass to create a labyrinth for the water and smoke to pass thru. Those are only a few of the amazing options there are on the market for your purchase and use. The more percs, the smoother the hit as your smoke gets more and more filtration. Now for what you are actually looking for objectively; dry flower, water pipe, maybe a full bong or even the concentrate favorite, the dab rig.
Dry Flower Pipes
When looking for the perfect flower pipe you can have the simple but sweet straight shooter that is also called a chillum. Most flower chillums I have seen in my smoking life have been metal, but there are also glass and other materials. A step up from a chillum would be a spoon style pipe, which looks like it sounds – a spoon scooped full of flower. They can be from tiny palm sized ones to a nice girth and length to give you distance from the bowl and flame when smoking. Almost all of them include a hole or carb on the side of the bowl to help clear the hit from the pipe.
To get a little more smoke action some people choose pipes called a steam roller. That is a tube that one end is a mouth piece and one is a carb hole to place your finger for clearing the lovely smoke. If you still want to enjoy dry flower pipes, but want to feel the most dapper while you do, we recommend a classic Cobb pipe that is a callback to the old tobacco pipes that hail from older times. First made of actual corn cobs. They are an old style of pipe but have such character, the first touch of your lips and you will be time warped to a porch of a rustic cabin in the woods, nestled next to a green sea of corn.
You might even find the hammer style pipe up there at that high cabin that is similar in style but looks as it sounds, a hammer for a nail. These are pieces to enjoy to yourself or share as a puff pass piece.
The most mystical of dry glass pipes in my opinion would be the the Gandalf pipe. Picture the tall grey wizard propped up on an old wooden wagon with the long sloping pipe that looks like it could be a snow jump if large enough. Pipes of this style give you the feeling that after your hit you could be doing some magical things with possibly some very long adventures. Being a classic for many years there are many variations of this style but all should give you the hopes of smooth hits and magical highs.
Still staying on the flower topic we switch to ride the water wave, looking at water pipes from big to small types. Let’s start with the basic bubbler that resembles the hammer pipe but instead of an open air chamber, they have an attached down stem to make an area in the base into a area for water percolation. The hammer style is not the only shape a water pipe can be, they can be sculptures and conjoined shapes just at long as you still get the area for water without the risk of getting your weed wet. The possibilities are endless, so are the highs and smoother hits.
Speaking in the sense of water lets talk about the bong possibility, and what may be the right or the wrong choice for your smoking enjoyment. The most basic bong I remember making in my younger years was out of a tube of metal piping and drilling a hole for a basic down stem out of a smaller tube. Quite the rudimentary bong, thankfully there are so many great affordable options with better materials like acrylic and glass. Tube bongs are one of the industry standards that give you a gulp of smoke for a nice watered hit. They can have just a single down stem to multiple chambers to catch water and create an area of percolation, making a simple tube into a cloud chugging lung buster.
Stability in a bong is something I swear by when buying a bong with a hefty price. You want to know when you get home and start the smoke session that you aren’t going to be watching your bong tip over in slow motion while you cough to the side on your table. To battle that there is a style that has been my personal favorite and is reminiscent to sitting in a lab concocting potions, the beaker style bong. This bong has the signature characteristic of having a tube shape that leads down to a cone like shape making a big and wide base that holds a larger amount of water space than the basic tube. I consider these the big papa of the bong shapes due to the girth and weight on the base of the bong making it the ideal table piece for the topsy turvy smoker.
After reading this article we hope to have given you a basic understanding of browsing glass and what you might view as a more quality piece. Join us at Fire and Frost Supply to gander at the glass, peruse the papers and wraps, and maybe learn something new with our friendly and happy to help staff.