Glass pipes are just one of the variations of pipes used for smoking. Besides glass, you can also find smoking pipes made out of metal, ceramic, corn cob, or wood. Though there are a variety of materials used, smokers often prefer glass pipes because they allow the smoker to enjoy the different flavors available from all of the different strains of leaves. With glass pipes, you also have the option of dry or water filtration (or both) and far more options for a unique, personalized design pipes. Additionally, glass pipes made in USA offer durable construction and less chance of toxicity from questionable raw materials used in China. Consumers will find several types of pipes that are most frequently available, with a specific set of benefits and drawbacks.
Chillums/ One Hitters/ Cigarette Holders: These are the most basic types of glass pipes. They are easy to spot because they just look like a glass tube. Smokers pack material into the end of the pipe and light it up. While the simple design makes them easy to use and carry for on-the-go smokers, this style of pipes doesn’t have a carburetor and is generally limited to smaller amounts of herb to pack in the bowl.
Spoon Pipe: Spoon pipes, are probably the most popular hand pipes. They are more advanced than simple chillums because they typically feature a carb, which offers better control of your smoking experience by adding ambient air to your smoke which affects the density of the smoke/air mixture. These pipes tend to be small enough to be hand-held, with the look of a tapered “spoon” you might use for eating. Because of the size, it’s easy to use for smoking. You just pack the bowl with the herb blend or tobacco and you are good to go. The Glass Spoon pipe comes in many colors and designs.
Sherlock Pipe: A Sherlock pipe is so named from Doyle’s literary character of the same name. It features a larger bowl and a long arching stem. Depending on the design, the design often includes a third hole for cleaning and air-flow control. The smoke is dry filtered because ash from the bowl is heavier than air and will hit the side of the glass near the bend and stick inside the pipe.
Briar or Hammer: Similar to the Sherlock as a dry filtered alternative to a Spoon Pipe, the end of the Briar pipe is turned up or down before the bowl is made. There are wide ranges of this type of pipe: Brigadoon, Calabash, Pear and Apple are just a few of the pipes in this shape.
This water-filtered pipe is a bong you can take along. While similar in shape to a Spoon, it carries water for filtration and is designed to be spill-proof. It is a documented fact that water filtration significantly reduces carcinogen content (combustion toxins like carbon monoxide are water-soluble), free radical content (oxidants) and ash/solid content. This glass pipe passes your smoke through water to be filtered, but the placement of the holes prevents spillage.
The Typhoon pipe is a dry pipe that offers dry filtering through the use of air directors on the side of the glass pipe that creates an airflow vortex, which spins heavier than air solids against the relatively cool inside surface of the glass where it sticks and stays inside the pipe until you clean it. The added air also supports a cooler smoking experience and an enjoyable smoke show inside the filtration chambers. Chameleon also offers pipe designs that have color-changing glass as a feature to augment softer and smoother smoking experience.
Bongs: Bongs are not regarded as a traditional water pipe because they are designed as a single user. Like Hand Pipes, glass bongs come in a wide range of styles and colors. They include a water-filtration process that produces a smooth and clean smoking experience. These types of pipes are easy to exchange water before every use, making for good filtration and cooler smoke. Most come with an ‘ice pinch’ to allow for ice to be loaded to further cool your smoke. Some models have intense filtration modules (percolators) that provide maximum filtration, although, studies have concluded that the additional filtration represents only small incremental additional cleaning of your smoke.
Dab Rig: A Dab Rig is nothing more than a compact water pipe. The only difference is the attachment used; a quartz nail instead of a bowl. Most suppliers now ship both nail and a bowl with ALL styles of water filtered devices. When you heat-up the nail to a specific temperature, herb extract referred to as oil, errl, wax, shatter and crumble (all slang for extracted and concentrated leaf) is placed on the pre-heated quartz where it is vaporized. The water is less for filtration and more for cooling and humidifying your vapor
Hookah: A Hookah is a type of water pipe that is used for vaporizing and smoking herb blended with fruit pectin and tobacco. The smoke is filtered through the water basin, and the pipe is usually made of soft glass in a single or multi-stemmed configuration. The Hookah pipe is probably the oldest form of pipe, with a history that dates back more than 4000 years with origins in Asia and India. Because of the ancient roots of Hookah, it can have a ritualistic aspect to it. There is a wide range of flavors are available for the Hookah water pipe.
The steamroller pipe is a newer style of a pipe created primarily from the necessity of utilizing the neck of bongs that did not make it off the lather machine. The basin is cut off the bong leaving the two ends open and a bowl is sunk near the cutoff end. The end furthest away is the mouthpiece and the user covers the other end (giant carb) with their open hand. It is not a traditional carburetor though; it does not mix the smoke with ambient air. Due to the size of the hole, the rush of air pressure actually clears the pipe quickly without mixing the air and smoke, leading to some users to refer to it as a Zoom instead of a Carb. It’s designed for more advanced or experienced smokers due to the density and speed of the inhaled smoke. While this glass pipe is shaped like a chillum pipe, the volume of smoke from the larger capacity tube can give you a harder hit.
Bubblers are glass water pipes that are made smaller for cupboards and shelves where Bongs don’t fit. It’s usually considered to be a cross or hybrid model between a glass pipe and the bong. It’s still small enough to be used as a regular pipe, but it uses water, like a bong.
With such a wide range of options, you may find that you will want to explore the unique features of every type of glass pipe to find out your preferred experience. These pipes are hand blown by trained artisans to produce the desired color and shape desired by the consumer. And if you have just started out with pipes, you may probably be overwhelmed by all of the options. But at the same time, you may be wondering which one to choose. Don’t worry — we got you. Here’s The Beginner’s Guide to the Best Glass Pipes to help you out. Depending on the design and intended functionality of the glass pipe, you will have a dramatically different experience.