Glass pipes have a lot to offer. They’re incredibly useful, and they also look great. Every individual can find a glass pipe that seems like a good fit for them because there are so many different colors, styles, and designs available. Whether you’re interested in water pipes, simple hand pipes, or something with an intricate and unique design, there’s something out there that will match your style. Learn more about the different types of glass pipes to determine which one is most appealing to you, and you’ll end up with something you can enjoy for years to come.
What Are Glass Pipes?
Some people don’t expect glass pipes to be very different from pipes made with other materials like clay or wood. The difference in material is actually very important, though, especially for people who want to have a pure smoking experience.
Clay and wood pipes are known to add some of their own flavors to anything you smoke out of them, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to fully enjoy your newest blend of tobacco or herbs. Glass bowls don’t impart any flavor of their own, and they’re also extremely easy to clean so you can get a fresh taste every single time.
How Are Glass Pipes Made?
If you’ve ever seen someone blow glass before, you already know how beautiful and fascinating this process can be. Blown glass, including pipes, can be produced by hand or whirled on glass lathes. Some people prefer to buy mass-produced pipes from the most respected brands in the industry because they’re looking for the most consistent experience they can find.
Others like to shop for glass pipes by local artists because the creativity can really shine through in pieces that are made by hand. When blowing glass, the artist takes very hot, molten glass and forms it into the desired shape before allowing it to cool. During the blowing process, it’s possible to include different colors of glass to create a visually appealing look. To do this, the artist will typically add color at different steps to create layers, specks, or other interesting textures. Another process that can make glass pipes especially interesting is called fuming. Hot metal fumes are introduced to the glass, which gives it a tinted appearance.
The tinting isn’t very noticeable at first because it’s on a clear background, but smokers can enjoy watching their pipes change color during and after smoking. This happens because resin from whatever you smoke will coat the inside of the pipe, and the darkness of the resin makes the fuming more visible. The color reflected from the fuming process will depend on the type of metal vapor used in this process.
You might notice that your pipe seems to be turning pink, yellow, blue, or some other color as you use it. The colors will look different depending on the lighting and angle when you look at it, which makes these glass pipes like living pieces of art. When it’s time to clean your pipe, the color will return to its original state and you can start all over again.
Benefits of Glass Pipes
One of the biggest advantages of glass pipes is that the material isn’t flammable and doesn’t add any extra taste to your smoke. In other words, these pipes are a great choice for anyone who wants to enjoy the purest smoke possible. Since these pipes are non-porous, they’re also extremely easy to clean and sterilize.
If you start to taste some flavors from your previous smoke whenever you light a fresh bowl, you can easily clean the pipe to get back to the pure flavor you love. For similar reasons, people often think of glass pipes as being a relatively healthier smoking option. People are still inhaling whatever material they’re smoking, but that’s all.
There’s no unintended smoke like you might expect from clay pipes, wood pipes, or rolling papers. The only thing being combusted is the exact thing you want. Finally, smoking out of a glass pipe is extremely convenient and fun. Glass is an ideal material for making pipes because it doesn’t heat easily, and it does cool down quickly in the event that it does get hot.
Compared to making pipes out of some other type of metal, there is a very low risk of burning your fingers or lips when you smoke out of a glass pipe. The comfortable experience is also very fun. There are almost limitless different types of glass pipes in terms of both structure and color, so the smoker can get plenty of variety without sacrificing the smoking experience.
Disadvantages of Glass Pipes
Here at HQ Vape and Smoke, we absolutely love glass pipes. That will be apparent to you as soon as you see our massive selection of them. Even so, we’ll be the first to admit that there are some slight disadvantages to glass pipes. These pipes are still a terrific option for most people, but it’s important to consider all angles before you make your decision.
For one thing, glass pipes are relatively easy to break. That’s just how glass is. This shouldn’t be a problem if the pipe is handled correctly, but accidents happen. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to repair glass pipes– they generally can’t be salvaged once they’re broken. We recommend that people be extremely careful when they’re storing, handling, and cleaning their glass pipe. If you proceed with caution, you should be able to use your glass pipe for a long time without it breaking.
Some people have also noted that options like metal pipes and rolling papers are less expensive than glass pipes. That’s true, but you pay for what you get. Smoking out of a metal pipe can be hot and uncomfortable, so it’s beyond worth it for most people to upgrade to a glass pipe. You can also use a glass pipe again and again, unlike rolling papers. One of the great things about glass pipes is that there are so many different types.
This allows people to choose the exact type of glass pipe that enables the type of smoking experience they like. Just as importantly, it allows you to have a variety of different options in terms of both function and appearance. It’s no wonder so many people like to collect a lot of different pieces! While some pipes are produced in mass quantities in factories to create more consistency, every pipe that was hand blown by a local artist is completely unique.
Regardless of whether you buy a glass pipe that was created in a factory or one that was blown by hand, you’ll have several different styles from which you can choose. Most glass pipes can be categorized into one of the following styles:
- Water Pipes
- Sherlock Pipes
- Gandalf Pipes
Each of the different types of glass pipes offers its own unique benefits and characteristics. Some are created to simply be as efficient as possible, while others are designed as functional art pieces that can be displayed when not in use. Learn more about all of your options to decide which type or types you find most appealing.
Bubblers and Water Pipes
People love bubblers and other types of water pipes because they’re known for producing smooth, cool smoke. If you find that smoke is normally too harsh for your liking, you can take control of that by filtering it through water before you inhale it. Most people like to use cold water in their bubblers to make the smoke crisp and give it a fresh taste. Some water pipes even have stems that can hold ice cubes to make the smoke especially cool and dense.
We’ve heard that other people like to put warm water in their bubblers and water pipes. This makes the smoke feel more like a warm vapor, and some people say it feels more pleasant in their throats. No matter which kind of water you use, you can count on it filtering out anything that might otherwise sneak through the glass pipe and into your mouth.
For example, bubblers and water pipes will catch resin, ash, and any of the smoking material that may get sucked through the bowl while you smoke. Just make sure you fill your water pipe to the appropriate level so you don’t accidentally inhale any of the water along with your smoke. It’s also important to change the water in your bubbler regularly so it doesn’t become dirty and taint the flavor of your smoke.
Sherlock pipes are named after the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who famously smoked tobacco out of a pipe with a curved airway. Some of these pipes are designed with flat surfaces at the bottom of the curve and near the mouthpiece so they can stand up on their own. Alternatively, these pipes may have little glass feet near the curve of the neck to help them stand upright. The ability to stand upright when not in use makes these desirable for people who like to proudly display their glass pipes.
If you’ve ever watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, you might have admired Gandalf’s pipe, which has an especially large stem. Some of these pipes might be close to a foot long, or maybe even longer. Fans of these types of pipes appreciate them for their novel appearance and the way they can make someone look sophisticated when smoking. The Gandalf style isn’t normally recommended for people who are new to glass pipes because they can be unwieldy when smoking. The long stem can also make Gandalf pipes difficult to clean. If you’re comfortable with those obstacles, though, this particular style of glass pipe can be a unique and interesting addition to your collection.
If you’re just looking for a simple, affordable glass pipe, you can find it with a chillum. This is one of the most straightforward types of glass pipes, and they’re extremely easy to use. They’re generally created without a carb or choke, which is the hole that smokers can use to control the flow of smoke through a pipe. The only downside to this is that it makes it a little bit harder to completely clear the smoke from the pipe. The upside is that it makes these pipes easy to use, even for beginners. Chillums normally come in the form of a straight tube with a bowl on one end and a mouthpiece on the other end. Simply light the bowl, inhale, and enjoy. Most chillums come with relatively small bowls, which make them great for a quick smoking session when you don’t have people to share with.
Steamrollers are also known for being one of the best glass pipes for beginners. They’re known for creating big, hard hits. The design is somewhat like a chillum, except that the bowl is moved to the top of the pipe. The end of the pipe across from the mouthpiece is left open, and the smoker can cover this part with their hand while they fill the tube with smoke. Once enough smoke is in the pipe, simply remove your hand from the far end– all of the smoke will rush into your mouth at once.
The spoon is one of the most common types of glass pipes. It gets its name because it’s shaped somewhat like a spoon, with the bowl located at the part of the spoon you’d use to scoop up your soup or ice cream. There’s normally a small hole called a carb or choke on one side of the bowl. When lighting the bowl, this hole should be covered so that air can only enter the pipe by going through the material in the bowl, filling the pipe with smoke. When the hole is uncovered, more air is able to flow through the pipe. This makes it easier to inhale all of the smoke from the pipe without leaving much or any left inside.
How to Clean Glass Pipes
No matter which type of glass pipe you choose, it’s important to clean it regularly. Dirty pipes look bad, negatively affect the taste of the smoke, and can even become clogged or unhygienic. Some people like to go without cleaning their pipes for a while so they can observe a change in color, but it’s easier to clean a pipe before it becomes completely coated in resin or tar.
There are two primary ways to clean glass pipes:
Boiling a Glass Pipe – Put your pipe in cold water in a pot, turning it to remove bubbles. Heat the water gradually until it boils and the pipe is cleaned. Let the water reach room temperature and don’t shock the pipe with a sudden temperature change.
Cleaning a Pipe With Alcohol – Dissolve salt in cleaning alcohol, then soak the pipe in it. You may need to agitate the mixture by gently shaking the pipe in it. If you have persistent resin built up in your pipe, you may also need to use a pipe cleaner or something else in addition to the isopropyl alcohol.
Come Find Your Next Glass Pipe at HQ Vape & Smoke!
At HQ Vape & Smoke, we have a wide selection of glass pipes. We stock some of the most classic glass pipes on the market, and we also work with local artisan glass blowers to get unique pieces. Our staff will help you navigate our entire selection to find something that’s right for you, and we can even provide instructions for the care of your glass pipe. Stop by today to explore our glass pipes and find one that’s perfect for your next smoke.