glass for beginners

Beginner’s Guide to Glass Pipes

Glass Pipes

For people just starting to become interested in the world of glass pipes, the first time trying to find your ideal piece can be a little overwhelming. The purpose of this article is to guide you through that first choice and every choice after that.

Why Choose a Dry Pipe?

The first thing to know is that all pipes are separated into dry and wet pipes, the difference being the use of water for filtration, i.e. wet. You may be wondering why you would choose a dry pipe over a water/wet pipe or vice versa. Many people prefer dry pipes because they give you a nice flavor and representation of your smoke (much like papers or cigar wraps, without the additives), where water pipes can take away some of the flavors due to the filtration. Dry pipes are also rather low maintenance, water pipes should be regularly emptied and cleaned (health and cleanliness kept in mind). Dry pipes should also be cleaned when possible, but typically if you can empty the burned material from your pipe’s bowl then you should be good to go for a long time.

Why Choose a Water Pipe?

Dry pipes are not for everybody however, there have been many times where a first timer or occasional smoker went to puff on a dry pipe only to draw too deep or burn their throat. For that specific reason, water pipes are ideal for many, including first timers. The filtration that comes with passing smoke through water can be much easier on the lungs and can be a far more pleasant experience overall.

Types of Pipes and Functions

Now, we will discuss a basic variety of what you might find at an online glass shop. Most dry pipes you are going to find are going to be either a bowl or “spoon”; these aren’t very complicated. In fact, bowls have three primary points: the mouthpiece, the actual bowl, and the choke/shotgun (if one is present).

The mouthpiece and bowl are fairly straightforward in function, you inhale through the mouthpiece and you put your product in the bowl. What many people miss the first time is the choke. The choke/shotgun is intended to provide additional airflow after lighting your product, so you can clear the smoke from inside the pipe without burning what you packed into the bowl. The proper method is to keep the choke covered while lighting the bowl and then release when ready to clear.

One Hitters

If the pipe lacks a choke it is very likely that pipe is what is referred to as a one hitter and is very simple to use, you pack the end, smoke until finished, and blow out the ash. Bowls and spoons can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so take a look around Kannakart, we carry it all! A note on dry pipes, however, as you burn your product down and the matter turns to ash you may catch the dreaded “Scooby Snacks”, or simply ash flying into your mouth, so grab a pack of screens as well!

Bongs and Water Pipes

Water pipes can be somewhat more complicated but for now, we will keep it short and sweet. The most basic type of water pipes or “bongs” you may find are known as either straight tubes or beaker bottoms. They’re usually comprised of four or five parts: the tube, the joint, the downstem, the slide (bowl), and possibly even an ice catch. The tube itself can be straight up and down (straight tube), or a rounded bottom (beaker bottom). They also come in many other shapes and sizes. Check out our entire collection here: Kannakart Bongs and Water Pipes. The joint of the pipe is a circular opening that the downstem goes into and is measured in millimeters, usually in the sizes 10mm, 14mm, 18mm. The downstem is inserted into the joint of the pipe and holds the slide. The downstem is an important component in every piece and especially in a piece with no other percolation/diffusion mechanics. The slide or bowl is inserted into the downstem and is what you pack your product into. The slide follows the same millimeter measurement as the joint and downstem, so be aware while purchasing.

The ice catch is a solid feature that is included on most glass pipes. The ice catcher is essentially pinched depressions in the tube that suspends ice in the tube, cooling and condensing the smoke. Be aware as the ice melts it can begin to fill your tube with lots of extra water, leading you to take a nasty sip if you aren’t paying attention; your friends will get a kick out of it, though. These design factors do matter, so take the time to look through our encyclopedia of definitions and videos.

Until next pack,

– Jack