If you are a fan of smoking herbs or tobacco, you might have heard of or used a glass bong. A glass bong is a type of water pipe that filters and cools the smoke before you inhale it, providing a smoother and more enjoyable hit. Glass bongs are unique as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its features, benefits, and drawbacks. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common types and shapes of glass bongs and how they affect the smoking experience.
Types of glass bongs by design
Generally, glass bongs are categorized into two; the traditional bong and the modern bong. The traditional bongs are simple, straightforward and have a classic design. They tend to be smaller in size and have a straight tube or a round base. The modern bongs are more complex, innovative and have a variety of features that enhance the filtration, cooling and aesthetics of the bong. They tend to be larger in size and have different shapes such as beaker, percolator, silicone, gravity, bubbler or steamroller.
Here are some of the most popular types of glass bongs by design:
- Beaker bong: This type of bong has a beaker-like shape that resembles a lab instrument. It is typically made from high-quality borosilicate glass that can withstand high temperatures and pressures. The beaker shape provides stability, durability and a large water chamber that allows for more smoke production and cooling. Beaker bongs can also have percolators, ice catchers or ash catchers to further improve the filtration and smoothness of the hit. Beaker bongs are ideal for beginners and experienced smokers alike who want a reliable and versatile bong.
- Straight tube/cylinder bong: This type of bong has a straight tube or cylinder shape that is simple and classic. It is one of the most common and inexpensive types of bongs available in the market. It usually comes with a downstem that connects the bowl to the water chamber, but some models feature a stemless design that eliminates the need for a downstem. Straight tube bongs can also have percolators, ice catchers or diffusers to enhance the smoke quality and cooling. Straight tube bongs are easy to use, clean and store, making them suitable for beginners and casual smokers who want a basic and functional bong.
- Round base/bubble bong: This type of bong has a round base or bubble shape that gives it a vintage and retro vibe. It is similar to the beaker bong but with a rounded bottom instead of a tapered one. The round base provides stability, balance and a large water volume that allows for even percolation and cooling of the smoke. Round base bongs can also have percolators, ice catchers or zong designs to add more style and functionality to the bong. Round base bongs are perfect for smokers who want a tall and elegant bong with a smooth hit.
- Percolator bong: This type of bong has one or more percolators that are designed to filter, diffuse and cool the smoke as it passes through them. Percolators are devices that create bubbles or jets of water that break up the smoke into smaller particles, increasing the surface area for cooling and removing impurities. There are many types of percolators such as tree, showerhead, honeycomb, turbine, matrix or inline that have different shapes, sizes and effects on the smoke quality. Percolator bongs can also have other features such as ice catchers, splash guards or recycler lines to further improve the smoking experience. Percolator bongs are ideal for smokers who want a smooth, clean and flavorful hit with minimal harshness.
- Silicone bong: This type of bong is made from silicone instead of glass, which makes it flexible, durable and easy to clean. Silicone is a non-toxic material that can withstand high temperatures and pressures without breaking or melting. Silicone bongs can have different shapes such as straight tube, beaker or percolator that mimic the glass counterparts but with more portability and convenience. Silicone bongs can also have removable parts such as bowls, downstems or percolators that make them easy to disassemble and wash. Silicone bongs are great for smokers who want a sturdy, lightweight and travel-friendly bong.
- Gravity bong: This type of bong is a DIY device that uses gravity and water to create a powerful and intense hit. Gravity bongs can be made from household items such as plastic bottles, buckets or bowls, or bought from specialized shops that offer more sophisticated and durable versions. Gravity bongs work by submerging a smaller bottle with a bowl on top into a larger container filled with water, lighting the herb or tobacco in the bowl, and slowly lifting the bottle out of the water, creating a vacuum that draws the smoke into the bottle. The user then removes the bowl, places their mouth over the bottle opening, and pushes the bottle back into the water, forcing the smoke into their lungs. Gravity bongs are not for the faint of heart, as they deliver a potent and harsh hit that can overwhelm even seasoned smokers.
- Bubbler pipe: This type of bong is a hybrid between a bong and a pipe, as it combines the water filtration of a bong with the portability and simplicity of a pipe. Bubbler pipes are usually smaller than bongs and have a built-in bowl and water chamber that are connected by a stem. Bubbler pipes can have different shapes such as hammer, sherlock or sidecar that affect the ergonomics and aesthetics of the device. Bubbler pipes can also have percolators or diffusers to enhance the smoke quality and smoothness. Bubbler pipes are perfect for smokers who want a compact and easy-to-use device that offers a smoother hit than a regular pipe.
- Steamroller pipe: This type of bong is another hybrid between a bong and a pipe, but with a more direct and intense hit. Steamroller pipes are usually larger than bubbler pipes and have a cylindrical shape with openings on both ends. One end serves as the mouthpiece, while the other end holds the bowl. Steamroller pipes do not have a water chamber or percolators, but they may have carb holes or ash catchers to control the airflow and prevent ash from entering the mouth. Steamroller pipes work by lighting the herb or tobacco in the bowl, covering the carb hole with a finger, inhaling through the mouthpiece, and releasing the carb hole to clear the smoke. Steamroller pipes are ideal for smokers who want a strong and fast hit with minimal filtration.
- Custom bong: This type of bong is a personalized device that is made according to the preferences and specifications of the user. Custom bongs can have any shape, size, color, design or feature that the user desires, as long as it is feasible and safe to use. Custom bongs can be made by professional glassblowers who can craft unique and artistic pieces that reflect the personality and style of the user. Custom bongs can also be made by DIY enthusiasts who can modify existing bongs or create new ones from scratch using various materials and tools. Custom bongs are ideal for smokers who want a one-of-a-kind and original device that suits their needs and tastes.
How do different types and shapes of glass bongs affect the smoking experience?
The different types and shapes of glass bongs affect the smoking experience in various ways, such as:
- Smoke production: The amount of smoke that is produced by a glass bong depends on several factors, such as the size of the bowl, the length of the tube, the volume of the water chamber, and the presence or absence of percolators. Generally, larger bowls, longer tubes, bigger water chambers, and more percolators result in more smoke production, as they allow for more herb or tobacco combustion, more air intake, more water contact, and more smoke diffusion.
- Smoke quality: The quality of smoke that is delivered by a glass bong depends on several factors, such as the material of the bong, the temperature of the water, the type of percolator, and the cleanliness of the bong. Generally, glass bongs offer better smoke quality than other materials, as they do not alter or affect the flavor or aroma of the smoke. Cooler water offers better smoke quality than warmer water, as it reduces harshness and irritation on the throat and lungs. Different types of percolators offer different levels of filtration and diffusion, which affect the smoothness and flavor of the smoke. Cleaner bongs offer better smoke quality than dirty ones, as they prevent resin buildup and bacterial growth that can ruin the taste and smell of the smoke.
- Smoke intensity: The intensity of smoke that is experienced by a glass bong user depends on several factors, such as
the potency of
the herb or tobacco,