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 smoking experience. But did you know that there are many different types and shapes of glass bongs, each with its own features, benefits, and drawbacks? In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular and common types of glass bongs, how they work, and how they affect the smoking experience.
Types of glass bongs by design
One of the main factors that differentiate glass bongs is their design or shape. The design of a glass bong affects its stability, durability, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and the quality of the smoke it produces. Here are some of the most common types of glass bongs by design:
- Beaker bong: This type of glass bong resembles a lab beaker with a test tube sticking out of the side. It has a wide base that makes it very stable and less prone to tipping over. It can also hold more water than other types of bongs, which means more filtration and cooling for the smoke. Beaker bongs are typically made from high-quality borosilicate glass, which is resistant to heat and breakage. Beaker bongs can also come with percolators, ice catchers, ash catchers, or diffused downstems to enhance the smoking experience.
- Straight tube/cylinder bong: This type of glass bong is a classic and timeless design that has been around for decades. It consists of a straight tube or cylinder with a bowl poking out of the side. It is simple, easy to use, and easy to clean. Straight tube bongs can also come with percolators, ice catchers, or ash catchers to improve the smoke quality. However, straight tube bongs are not very stable and can easily tip over if not handled carefully.
- Round base/bubble bong: This type of glass bong has a round or bubble-shaped base with a flat bottom. It is similar to a beaker bong but with a more curved shape. Round base bongs are also stable and can hold a lot of water for filtration and cooling. They can also come with percolators, ice catchers, or ash catchers to make the smoke smoother. However, round base bongs can be more difficult to clean than straight tube or beaker bongs due to their shape.
- Percolator bong: This type of glass bong features a glass filter suspended into the water chamber. The filter breaks up the smoke into smaller bubbles, which increases the surface area for water contact. This results in more filtration, cooling, and humidification for the smoke, making it smoother and less harsh on the throat and lungs. Percolator bongs can have different types of percolators, such as tree, showerhead, honeycomb, turbine, or matrix. Percolator bongs can also be combined with other types of bongs, such as beaker or straight tube bongs.
- Silicone bong: This type of glass bong is not actually made from glass but from silicone, which is a flexible and durable material that can withstand high temperatures and impacts. Silicone bongs are ideal for travelers or clumsy smokers who want a portable and unbreakable water pipe. Silicone bongs can also come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. However, silicone bongs may not offer the same level of filtration and cooling as glass bongs due to their material.
- Gravity bong: This type of glass bong is not really a water pipe but rather a homemade device that uses gravity to force smoke into a chamber. A gravity bong consists of two parts: a large container filled with water (such as a bucket or a bottle) and a smaller container with a bowl attached to it (such as another bottle or a cup). The smaller container is submerged into the water with the bowl on top. The bowl is then lit and the smaller container is slowly lifted out of the water while keeping its bottom submerged. This creates a vacuum that draws smoke into the smaller container. The bowl is then removed and the user inhales from the mouthpiece while pushing the smaller container back into the water. This forces the smoke into the user’s lungs. Gravity bongs are known for producing very potent and intense hits, but they are also very harsh and unfiltered.
- Bubbler pipe: This type of glass bong is a hybrid between a bong and a pipe. It is smaller and more portable than a bong, but it still uses water to filter and cool the smoke. A bubbler pipe has a bowl, a stem, a mouthpiece, and a water chamber. The user fills the water chamber with enough water to cover the bottom of the stem. The user then lights the bowl and inhales from the mouthpiece. The smoke travels through the stem and bubbles through the water before reaching the mouthpiece. Bubbler pipes are convenient, easy to use, and offer smoother hits than pipes. However, they are not as smooth as bongs and can be harder to clean due to their small size.
- Steamroller pipe: This type of glass bong is also a hybrid between a bong and a pipe. It is similar to a straight tube bong but without water. A steamroller pipe has a bowl, a tube, and two openings at each end. The user covers one opening with their hand and lights the bowl while inhaling from the other opening. The smoke travels through the tube and hits the user’s lungs directly without any filtration or cooling. Steamroller pipes are known for producing very strong and harsh hits, but they are also very simple and easy to use.
- Custom bong: This type of glass bong is not a specific design but rather a personalized or customized water pipe that suits the user’s preferences and needs. Custom bongs can be made from different materials, such as glass, metal, wood, or ceramic. They can also have different shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, or decorations. Custom bongs can also feature different accessories or attachments, such as percolators, ice catchers, ash catchers, diffused downstems, or splash guards. Custom bongs are ideal for smokers who want a unique and original water pipe that reflects their personality and style.
How do different types and shapes of glass bongs affect the smoking experience?
The different types and shapes of glass bongs can affect the smoking experience in various ways, such as:
- Stability: Some types and shapes of glass bongs are more stable than others, which means they are less likely to tip over or spill water. For example, beaker bongs and round base bongs have wide bases that make them more stable than straight tube bongs or gravity bongs.
- Durability: Some types and shapes of glass bongs are more durable than others, which means they are more resistant to heat, breakage, or wear and tear. For example, silicone bongs and metal bongs are more durable than glass bongs or ceramic bongs.
- Ease of use: Some types and shapes of glass bongs are easier to use than others, which means they require less effort or skill to operate. For example, straight tube bongs and bubbler pipes are easier to use than gravity bongs or steamroller pipes.
- Ease of cleaning: Some types and shapes of glass bongs are easier to clean than others, which means they require less time or resources to maintain. For example, straight tube bongs and silicone bongs are easier to clean than beaker bongs or percolator bongs.
- Quality of smoke: Some types and shapes of glass bongs produce better quality smoke than others, which means they offer smoother, cooler, cleaner, or more flavorful hits. For example, percolator bongs and ice catcher bongs produce better quality smoke than gravity bongs or steamroller pipes.
Glass bongs are one of the most popular and versatile ways to smoke herbs or tobacco. They come in many different types and shapes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The best type and shape of glass bong for you depends on your personal preferences, needs, budget, and smoking style. Whether you want a simple and classic design or a complex and customized one, there is a glass bong out there for you.