Ah, the ubiquitous bong. It’s the sure sign that there’s a serious stoner or medicinal patient who appreciates healthier options. And such a simple tool, too, pulling smoke through water with suction. The bong is a highly effective way to keep chunks of bong hit gunk out of your lungs. People love their bongs so much, they even give them hilarious names.
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What is the best bong?
The types of bongs offered today give more options than ever. Water pipe features have grown with the industry and bongs are creatively evolved by artists and engineers alike. So choosing the best bong may be difficult.
420 DC can help you choose your best bong. This article details common materials used, features to enhance the pipe as well as the design of the piece. There’s a lot going on inside of water pipes today, too, thanks to incredibly talented glass blowers and bong designers.
So let’s take a look inside and out to find the best bong for you!
What are bongs made of?
The different materials types of bongs are made of include things you wouldn’t believe (like plastic water bottles if you are really in a fix). But most bongs today are made of easily manufactured materials that are both cost effective and durable.
Bong material ratings include:
- Poor: bamboo
- Good: glass
- Better: ceramic
- Best: scientific glass
- Specialty: Silicone
- Not Recommended: metal or acrylic
Different types of bongs
Bongs have come a long way from ancient days. Even low-end types of bongs now feature percs and enhanced designs. And the high end pieces prove here are all types of bongs…
Plain and simple, this is the OG bong painted on cave walls. The design is still a favorite millenia later because it’s easy to clean and fairly sturdy with a good base. Straight tubes are easily manufactured and are made of every material including silicone, glass and ceramic. These bongs often have pinched glass nodes inside the neck that act as an ice catch.
With a sturdy Ehrlenmeyer flask base, this is a stable design and generally harder to tip over than other designs. Beaker bongs are typically made of borosilicate glass for durability and non-reactivity. Glass holds its shape and is easy to clean and maintain. These bongs often have pinched glass nodes inside the neck that act as an ice catch.
Round Base Bong
Similar to a Beaker Bong, this water pipe is sturdy on the bottom and the rounded water chamber allows more water than a straight tube. Created by skilled artisans, round bottom glass bongs are durable, functional and easy to clean. The shape also lends itself to cheaper plastic bongs which are NOT recommended as acrylic may react with the smoke and affect taste.
Percolators, or “percs,” diffuse air into tiny bubbles when pulled through water. This cools air faster and condenses smoke for smooth hits. Common percs include tree, stereo/matrix, octopus, propeller, turbine, disc, circ, barrel, showerhead, honeycomb, ratchet, coil, UFO, Swiss, donut, insert, cross, sprinkler and crystal ball.
High end glass bongs can feature multiple chambers, each holding water that smoke travels through. So it cools and condenses smoke and when combined with percs, multi-chamber bongs provide an exceptional cooling experience. High end glass pieces are not cheap because they are made from premium glass and have intricate, even custom, design.
At the highest end of the glass spectrum are recycler bongs. These intricately created water pipes allow smoke to pull through water, then get pulled back to the bottom to be pulled through water again. The result is an exceptionally smooth hit, cool on the lungs and condensed for maximum THC delivery.
The latest in bongs include cold elements from ice to frozen glycerin chambers. Smoke condenses greatly when chilled and these new editions to the cannabis world do that in style. There are bong molds that can be filled and frozen to create an ice water pipe. Other styles use sealed glycerine chambers built in or added on to the bong for extreme cooling.
Superior borosilicate glass in the hands of master craftsmen (and women) can create wild zig-zag designs that are beautifully functional. Those Zs that you see going back and forth also act to diffuse water, cool smoke and act as a splashguard dome. Songs can be top heavy making them more susceptible to being knocked over and broken but are otherwise solid, one-of-a-kind pieces.
These are smaller water pipes that are made specifically for concentrates. Dab rigs have a ‘nail’ instead of a bowl. The nail is heated with a butane torch lighter (usually) to a temperature suitable to vaporize the concentrate without burning it. Otherwise, dab rigs (aka oil rigs) are like bongs in every other way.
The little brother of the bong, bubblers are usually smaller than your average water pipe. Bubblers are often a single piece with a permanent down stem and indention up top to act as a bowl. No other pieces are generally required. Bubblers come in a variety of shapes, colors and materials including ceramic and glass.
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All types of bongs have certain similarities by design. But with modern advances in production, the similarities stop at simple.
Water chamber and Base: water is shared by all bongs which is why they are otherwise known as water pipes. The water chamber is usually in the base of the bong although fancier models can have multiple water chambers in different places. The base of a bong is critical to keep it from tipping over. Generally speaking, the wider and heavier the better.
Neck & mouthpiece: All types of bongs have a mouthpiece and most have necks. Pipes with a neck can be straight, bent or curved to keep water out of the mouth and flame away from the face. Some necks also have “pinches” inside which catch ice cubes to cool smoke as it’s pulled for chill hits.
Down Stem / Joint: Down stems and joints connect the bowl or slide to the water chamber. Both extend beneath the surface of the water where smoke is pulled, cooled and filtered. Down stems can be removable for easy cleaning and replacement or ‘fixed’ and permanently attached. Some down stems have gaps around the bottom end which diffuse smoke into smaller bubbles. Fixed downstems usually lead to percs.
‘Joints’ are the connection point between the slide and the down stem. Some joints and slides use sandblasted glass for an airtight seal but have been known to permanently fuse. Others use plain glass for an airtight seal. Joints and slides are measured by diameter and have either male or female anatomy. Common sizes include 10mm, 14mm & 19mm.
Bowl / Slide: Bowls and slides sit atop the down stem and hold weed. Slides (named because you slide it off the down stem at the end of a bong hit to rush all smoke out of the chambers) can be either male or female to correspond with the male or female end of the joint of the down stem.
Percolators: Also known as ‘percs,’ these are especially designed additions to the inside of the bong that swirl, diffuse and further cool smoke. Percs are also beautiful to watch in action as they often produce dramatic swirling and bubbling effects.
Splashguard Dome: A splashguard dome is just what the name implies, a dome that guards your mouth from bong water splashes. It usually sits near the mouthpiece of straight neck bongs. Splashguard domes could be listed as a percolator because some swirl and cool smoke in addition to stopping bong water splash into your mouth.
If you are looking for any one of these types of bongs you can find all kinds of cool styles at supply.420dc.com and get them shipped free right to your door.