In the realm of smokers, smoking with hand pipes is considered a practice for the experienced. But a beginner, who is prepared, may use the device to savour the great taste of smoking. It is, for this reason, it makes sense to educate smokers about the smoking tool.
The hand pipes are known by different names, including Bowl, Peace Pipe, Spoon, and Tobacco Pipe. Whatever you choose to call it is a matter of semantics; it does not reduce its essence in smoking. We can trace the origin of hand pipes to thousands of years ago, and they are very relevant today.
These smoking tools are available in different types, shapes, and colours and made from different kinds of materials. There are those made of glass, wood, and metals. They are of varying quality and sizes. What you select depends on your taste and lifestyle. Unlike before and thanks to the internet, you can buy any type and style of hand pipes online today.
Among the various types of Hand Pipes are the Sherlock, Sidecar, Cobb, Chillum (one-hitter, bat), Gandalf, Hammer, and Traditional Spoon Pipe. You will find each style in various shapings such as the Axe, Apple, and the Billard style. These hand pipes will fit different budgets, and get one that is right for you.
Types of hand pipes
To learn about hand pipes, let’s take a quick run through the different types you will come across in your search for a befitting smoking device.
- This type is small and straight; it is portable and offers a few hits. It’s a simple smoking device so common you will find everywhere.
- Dry hand pipes/spoon. You can refer to it as a standard pipe. It’s a three-part structured smoking pipe designated as a bowl, mouthpiece and rush or carb. This type of hand pipe is available in various shapes and sizes.
- For making the smoke less harsh, water is used to diffuse it. The bubbler pipe offers smoother hit, and this is the type recommended for beginners in pipe smoking. Two models of bubbler exist including a one-piece bubbler and bubblers with removable bowls. What this pipe does is to diffuse the smoke through water to make it smoother as you smoke.
- The glass bong. Also known as a water pipe or the bong; it has a water filter chamber that passes the smoke downward through several holes into a percolator to diffuse it for the smoother smoking experience. The bong pipes are bigger but more effective in filtering the smoke than any other.
- Beaker bong. This type of water smoking pipe has a bottom base chamber. Its shape cuts out like that of a beaker. Beaker bongs have a Downstem that gives room for diffusion through the water. With the beaker-like bottoms, the pipes allow for more drag compared to straight tubes, owing to the increase in water volume.
- Straight tube. This kind of pipes has the same diameter throughout the entire system. At the end of the tube is an angled opening for a Downstem. While Bongs of some Straight tubes give room for Downstem, other tubes have seamless designs.
- Stemless bongs. The structure does not include a removable down stem like most of the others. Instead, they have a unique built-in stem that often lands to a peculator inside the bong. Since they do not have removable Downstem, stemless bongs are usually of more durability than other pieces.
Factors to consider when purchasing a good hand pipe
Several different factors come in when shopping for glass pipes. For the best ones, however, we will discuss some of the most significant factors in the equation.
- Glass type: There are specific types of glass that go into smoking pipes. When you shop for glass pipes, ensure that the label shows “scientific” or “lab-quality” or even “borosilicate (Pyrex)” glass; it is rather safe for smoking. If otherwise, it isn’t advisable for purchase, mainly if its price is oddly low; you might end up sacrificing durability and heat resistance if you buy these glass types.
- Style of pipe: For the different personalities of smokers, there are different pipe styles. Make sure to choose a pipe style that suits your lifestyle, and particularly, the substance you smoke.
- Brand: Brands differ from one another in price and quality. Although higher brands do not mean higher quality, it is better not to buy pipes with oddly-low prices.
Advantages of glass hand pipes
Amongst other pipe types, glass pipes have an advantage over the other types:
- They add no flavours or impurities to the smoke material.
- They promote a neater smoking experience
- They are easy to clean and maintain
- They prevent unhealthy developments, including fungal growth.
- They are quite fragile
- Some glass materials cannot withstand heat well.
Maintaining your glass hand smoking pipes
Maintaining your smoking pipe, irrespective of its type is very important. Particularly for glass pipes, removing leftovers of combustion and resin can prove rather tricky. The following are two ways to clean your glass pipe without stress
- Boling method: Note not to drop cold pipes in boiling water. First, drop your cold pipe into a pan of lukewarm water gently. Then, bring it to a gradual boil with the pipe in it. When the water boils, take the pan off the heat and leave the pipe to soak in for about 15-20 minutes to soften the hardened components in the glass. Afterwards, use a pipe cleaner to clean off leftovers.
- Rubbing alcohol and Salt: Gently put your glass pipe in a large container to contain the pipe entirely. Pour rubbing alcohol and Epsom salt and leave the pipe overnight. While the alcohol dissolves the resin, the salt will break away the leftover particles.
Hand pipes play a significant role in the world of smokers. However, many people run from glass pipes because of its fragility, even if it is a better option. Nevertheless, with optimum care and maintenance, smokers are sure to the best and most satisfying smoking experience from glass hand pipes.