What is a Smoking Pipe?

One of the most timeless ways to consume dry herbs, smoking pipes provide the easiest and most direct method of smoking available. Smoking pipes refer to various types of pipes that include sherlock pipes, spoon pipes, bubblers, and more that are used by packing a bowl and covering a carb hole. The type of material that the piece is made of also makes a difference for the look and feel of the pipe. The most common materials include handblown glass, ceramic, silicone, wood, acrylic, and titanium.

There are myriad factors that go into finding and buying the right pipe for yourself, and even more so in choosing a pipe as a gift. Unfortunately, very little has been written about how to buy your first smoking pipe, but that is where we come in. This guide will examine the factors involved in choosing a pipe for yourself, and will hopefully alleviate some of the questions beginning pipe smokers have.

What are the Different Types of Smoking Pipes

There are a virtually unending amount of smoking pipes to choose from. From bigger varieties with water to smaller ones that are just straight shooters, finding your perfect pipe is simply a matter of preference and trial and error. The most commonly seen types of pipes are below.

What are Glass Pipes?

Glass Pipes for Sale - Vape Vet Store

The most commonly seen types of pipe are made of glass. Glass pipes can be crafted into virtually any shape or size, along with the potential for many cool glass-blowing designs. Glass pipes are one of the more fragile types of pipe, but it is hard to beat the classic look, taste, and feel of glass. Glass pipes can be formed into very cool colors and make great collectibles, like the cherry glass pipe.

Handblown glass sherlock pipes with water view

What is a Sherlock Pipe?

Sherlock pipes often are made of handblown glass but can be made of any material. This term is more defined by the shape of the pipe and the famous detective they are named after. Sherlock pipes have a smaller chamber for the smoke to travel with a larger bowl piece to pack long-lasting and slow burn bowls. They can be very similar to normal glass pipes, but normally have more of a concave stem, like this handblown glass sherlock pipe. 

What is a Spoon Pipe?

Spoons are handheld glass pipes that generally contain four main parts. The mouthpiece, the bowl, the neck, and a carb. The mouthpiece gives you a place to inhale from, the bowl gives you a place to pack your dry herbs and tobacco, the neck is the tubing that connects the mouthpiece to the bowl, and the carb is the hole on the side of the bowl that allows you to manually the control the airflow. This control of air allows you to decide how strong your hits are while letting you moderate the speed at which you inhale smoke and burn the herb. These hand pipes provide many benefits including a discreet smoking experience and a portable travel pipe to enjoy your dry herbs on the go.

What is a Bubbler Pipe?

Handblown glass bubblers for with beach view

A bubbler is a portable smoking pipe made of hand blown glass, used to filter and purify the smoke just like a bong does. A bubbler, however, is smaller than a bong. Bubblers do not have to be made of glass but a majority of the time are found in this material. Some bubblers even change colors while you take hits from them.

What is a Dugout Pipe?

Dugout Pipes on the Beach

Small wooden box with a sliding or rotating lid that contains two chambers. the larger is for carrying dry herbs, and the smaller for the cigarette-sized pipe (often called a bat). Possibly the most discrete and least wasteful way to consume dry herbs. Check out our Dugout Pipes Here!

What is a Steamroller Pipe?

handblown glass steamroller pipes for sale

A smoking pipe shaped like a cylinder that is open on both ends with a bowl on the back. The user covers the end with his hand, and sucks on the pipe until it all is filled with dense smoke, and then pulls off his hand to inhale it all in. Steamroller Pipes are super fun and easy to use. 

Buckket Pipe Gravity Bong for Sale

What is a Gravity Bong?

A gravity bong is a homemade pipe or bong that is designed to use the force of gravity to pull weed smoke into the chamber, usually using water as the means for drawing the smoke down into the chamber. These normally are found in the form of a large jug with a big empty chamber. If you want to buy a more portable gravity bong that's not handmade, you can try out the bukket gravity bong at Vape Vet Store.

handblown glass chillum pipes for sale

What is a Chillum Pipe?

The chillum is a narrow funnel originally shaped out of fired clay. Chillums were thought to have originated in India or South America. Chillums were originally used in a spiritual manor by Hindu priests, but today they are used by stoners everywhere. Inside the chillum is a small filter to prevent the weed (or whatever it is that your smoking) from falling into your mouth. Today, some chillums come with an attachment at the top that can hold a lighter as well for easier use on the go. This attachment makes it possible to just hold the chillum from the lighter, light, and take your hit. Smaller chillums bring smoke directly into your lungs. The larger the chillum, the colder the smoke and the more you get in your lungs. This Tedrow Glass Chillum is perfect for those looking for one of the simplest smoking accessories available.

What is a Bong?

Silicone Badass Skull Bong

A bong is a filtration device generally used for smoking dry herbs, tobacco, or other herbal substances. In the bong shown in the photo, the gas flows from the lower port on the left to the upper port on the right. In function a bong is similar to a hookah, except smaller and more portable. A bong may be constructed from any air and watertight vessel by adding a bowl and stem apparatus which guides air downward to below water level whence it bubbles upward during use. To get fresh air into the bong and harvest the last remaining smoke, a hole known as the "carburetor", "carb", "choke", or simply "hole", somewhere on the lower part of the bong above water level, is first kept covered during the smoking process then opened to allow the smoke to be drawn in. Bongs can even come in silicone for less worry about breaking and care.

How to Choose a Smoking Pipe

You must enjoy the look and feel of the pipe. All other considerations pale in comparison to how your pipe feels in your hands and when you rip it. It will not matter if you have purchased a mechanically flawless pipe at an insanely good price if, in a few weeks or months, you find that you do not smoke it any longer because it is not your style and you do not enjoy the hits. It doesn't matter if a pipe is crafted by a big-name brand, if it does not appeal to you, then it is not a good candidate for purchase. If you are new to pipe smoking, you may not be entirely sure of what types of pipes suit you best or provide you with the cleanest hits. The best advice, in that case, is to look at a lot of different types of pipes, there is no shortage of variety in this category. Take every opportunity to check out interesting selections. Sooner or later, a pipe is going to stick out and you will know it is the one.

How to use a smoking pipe?

One of the most important factors in owning a pipe is smoking it correctly. If it is your first time with a pipe, it is best to get some best practice tips so you do not waste any product or overpack your bowls. Preparing dry herbs for smoking a bowl is essential in order to maximize airflow through your device and deliver the most even smoke possible. In order to do this, breaking down your herb is a crucial step. Doing this creates a homogenous airflow through the bowl where smoke can pass through evenly.

There are a few tricks to packing a smoking pipe that will help to maximize airflow. Ensure that your weed is evenly broken down but not too finely ground, and also that the bowl is not packed too tightly, as there needs to be airflow. Hand pulling your herb is the most basic way to do this, but grinders make this process much easier for a thicker base. There are many ways to break your cannabis down, so don’t be afraid to get creative. You can also use a screen if you have one available to prevent herb from pulling through the mouthpiece, and will also facilitate better airflow. For the best hits, pack your herb very lightly at the bottom and slightly denser at the top for an even smoke. This allows the cannabis towards the top to maintain a burn, or “cherry” while opening airflow for easy inhalation without any clogging.

After these steps, simply light the bowl while covering the carb hole and inhale. Once you have lit the bowl, remove the blockage from the carb cap and inhale fully. The longer you cover the carb cap, the bigger the hit.

Many consumers prefer to light their bowls with hemp wick, which is a waxy piece of hemp string that ignites easily, maintains an even burn, and doesn’t give off an undesirable aftertaste. Another heating element used often is a glass wand that can be heated to a point where it will vaporize your herb on contact, eliminating combustion smoke altogether while still delivering cannabinoids and flavor through a lighter and healthier hit.

How to Clean a Smoking Pipe

Pipes are some of the easiest pieces to clean. To clean it, start by soaking your pipe in pipe or bong cleaner or some cleaning alcohol and salt solution, and then rinsing and repeating until it is as clean as desired.

Smoking Pipe vs Dry Herb Vaporizer

While pipes are a classic choice, they are not quite as healthy as convection vaporizers due to the combustion that occurs in a typical smoking pipe.  Smoke smells more than vapor, vapes are more discreet, more portable, and while there is no lighter needed a charge is needed. Some of the natural tastes of the herb is lost in dry herb vapes, but they can provide a different and more potent taste, as well as an easier on the lungs rip. Some dry herb vaporizers simply look like pens and can easily burn your favorite dry herb.

What Accessories Can You Use with a Smoking Pipe?

When smoking a pipe, naturally you will need or want some other smoking accessories that go hand in hand.  

Herb Grinders

Herb Grinders for Sale - Vape Vet Store

As mentioned, it is important to grind your dry herb down in order to get the best burning bowl. Herb grinders can be as simple as two plastic pieces or even have attachments that collect the extra kief each time you grind up product.

Pipe Cleaners

420 Cleaner Solution for Glass Pipes

Pipe cleaners make it easy to clean out your bowls and keep your hits smooth every time. These can vary from mini towels to sprays that loosen hardened residue.

Choosing your first smoking pipe can be a tough decision to make, especially in a time where there are more options than ever. However, with a little help, you can narrow things down and find a pipe that suits you. You’ll need to consider practicalities like mechanical quality, as well as preferences like style and appearance. We’ve got the tips and info you need to simplify the decision in this guide and give you an idea of where to begin. Overall, smoking pipes can come in almost any shape or size you can imagine and perform functions of all kinds. From sherlock bubblers to chillums, the vapevetstore.com can eliminate the guesswork and help you find exactly the right piece you are looking for.

Related Blog Posts

What are Spoon Pipes, Chillums, and Sherlock Hand Pipes?

How to Clean a Bubbler

What is a Corn Cob Pipe?

What is Smoke?

How Long Do Silicone Bongs Last?

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