If you are a fan of glass bongs, you know how important it is to have the right accessories to enjoy your herb or tobacco. Two of the most essential parts of any bong are the bowl and the downstem. The bowl is where you pack your material, and the downstem is the tube that connects the bowl to the water chamber of the bong. The downstem also diffuses the smoke, making it smoother and cooler.
But how do you choose the right type and size of a bowl and downstem for your glass bong? There are many factors to consider, such as compatibility, functionality, durability, aesthetics, and personal preference. In this blog post, we will guide you through some of the basics of bowls and downstems, and help you find the best ones for your bong.
The first thing you need to check when buying a new bowl or downstem is whether they are compatible with your bong. This means that they have to fit snugly and securely into the joint of your bong, forming an airtight seal. If the bowl or downstem is too big or too small, it will either not fit at all, or it will be loose and leaky, which will ruin your smoking experience.
To ensure compatibility, you need to know the joint size and gender of your bong, as well as the bowl and downstem. The joint size refers to the diameter of the opening where the bowl or downstem goes in. The most common joint sizes for glass bongs are 14.5mm and 18.8mm, although there are also smaller and larger variants available. The joint gender refers to whether the opening is male or female. A male joint has a protruding stem that goes into a female joint, which has a recessed opening that accepts a male joint.
When choosing a bowl or downstem, you need to make sure that they match the joint size and gender of your bong. For example, if your bong has a 14.5mm female joint, you need a 14.5mm male bowl or downstem to fit into it. If your bong has an 18.8mm male joint, you need an 18.8mm female bowl or downstem to go over it.
The next thing you need to consider when buying a new bowl or downstem is how they affect the functionality of your bong. This means how they influence the airflow, filtration, diffusion, and flavor of your smoke.
The bowl is where you pack your herb or tobacco, so you want to choose one that suits your smoking style and preferences. There are different types of bowls, such as funnel bowls, cup bowls, handle bowls, diamond bowls, etc., that vary in shape, size, depth, and design. Some bowls have built-in screens or holes that prevent ash and debris from falling into the bong water. Some bowls have handles or knobs that make them easier to remove and clean. Some bowls have special features like glow-in-the-dark or UV-reactive colors that add some fun to your smoking sessions.
The size and depth of the bowl affect how much herb or tobacco you can pack in it, and how long it will last before you need to refill it. A larger bowl can hold more material, but it may also require more heat and airflow to burn it evenly. A smaller bowl can conserve your material, but it may also burn faster and require more frequent refills. The depth of the bowl affects how close your material is to the flame source, which can influence the temperature and flavor of your smoke.
The downstem is the tube that connects the bowl to the water chamber of the bong. It also diffuses the smoke, making it smoother and cooler. There are different types of downstems, such as diffused downstems, showerhead downstems, vortex downstems, etc., that vary in length, diameter, material, and design. Some downstems have slits or holes at the bottom that create bubbles and increase the surface area of the smoke in contact with water. Some downstems have special features like swiss percolators or fission discs that further enhance the diffusion and filtration of smoke.
The length and diameter of the downstem affect how much water you need to fill in your bong, and how much drag or resistance you feel when inhaling. A longer downstem requires more water to submerge it, but it also cools the smoke more effectively. A shorter downstem requires less water, but it may also make the smoke harsher and hotter. The diameter of the downstem affects how much airflow you get through the bong, and how easy or hard it is to clear the smoke. A wider downstem allows more airflow, but it may also reduce the pressure and intensity of the smoke. A narrower downstem restricts the airflow, but it may also increase the pressure and intensity of the smoke.
The third thing you need to consider when buying a new bowl or downstem is how durable they are. This means how well they can withstand heat, impact, and wear and tear over time.
The most common material for bowls and downstems is borosilicate glass, which is strong, heat-resistant, and health-safe. Glass bowls and downstems are easy to clean and maintain, and they do not affect the flavor or quality of your smoke. However, glass is also fragile and prone to breaking or cracking if dropped or mishandled.
If you are looking for more durable alternatives, you can opt for bowls and downstems made from other materials, such as metal, ceramic, silicone, or even unbreakable stainless steel. These materials are more resistant to heat and impact, and they can last longer than glass. However, they may also have some drawbacks, such as being harder to clean, affecting the flavor of your smoke, or being incompatible with some bongs.
The last thing you need to consider when buying a new bowl or downstem is how they look. This means how they match the style, color, and design of your bong.
Bowls and downstems come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs that can add some personality and flair to your bong. You can choose bowls and downstems that complement or contrast with your bong’s appearance, or that have some unique or artistic features that make them stand out. For example, you can choose bowls and downstems that have animal shapes, fruit shapes, gem shapes, etc., that make them fun and eye-catching.
However, aesthetics should not compromise functionality or durability. You should always prioritize the performance and quality of your bowls and downstems over their appearance. A good bowl or downstem should not only look good but also work well with your bong.
Choosing the right type and size of a bowl and downstem for your glass bong can be a daunting task, but it can also be a rewarding one. By following these simple guidelines, you can find the best bowls and downstems that suit your needs and preferences. Remember to check the compatibility, functionality, durability, and aesthetics of your bowls and downstems before buying them. And most importantly, enjoy your smoking sessions with your bong!