Pipes are the oldest smoking tool and have been used by humans for thousands and thousands of years and here at Ali Bongo we’re determined to keep this tradition alive. We have a whole plethora for you to browse and find a timeless favourite, from the old-school wooden pipes that would make even the most majestic wizard’s eyes widen to the beautifully crafted glass spoon pipes to the very much new-school modern silicone pipes by Piecemaker.
What is a Smoking Pipe?
Put simply, smoking pipes are used as a tool to smoke tobacco, weed (where legal) and other herbs. A smoking pipe is a really quick and easy way to smoke, can be made out of various materials such as metal, wood and glass, and is usually pocket-sized (although there are of course some exceptions to that!).
Smoking Pipes range from very simple such as shotgun pipes and the classic one hitter, to really intricate designs with spirals, loops, bends, the classic sherlock holmes shape and some even have the potential to hold water for filtration resulting in a smoother smoking experience; everybody has their own personal preferences and tastes, so it's worthwhile doing some research on the different types of weed smoking pipes available.
Shotgun pipes have a really basic design and are considered to be simple pipes. Typically shotgun pipes are just a straight tube, 1 end being the mouthpiece where you inhale, and the other end is a large kick hole or carb hole that you'll use for air control once you've lit the herbs in the bowl. The bowl traditionally sits on top and is of a large size meaning shotgun pipes are great for quick and easy use; a very popular type of glass pipe indeed and at a lower price tag.
Bubbler pipes are the perfect choice for smokers who prefer a cool and smooth hit without breaking the bank. This range of pipes features a chamber that contains water and sometimes even a percolator which is usually a feature reserved for a bong with a higher price tag, but in a much smaller form.
You can use a bubbler pipe just like another other pipe but the effect is outstanding. As the smoke travels through the glass it enters the water chamber which the smoke has to travel through, this diffuses and breaks up the smoke, filtering out all the particles of ash and other chemicals and nastiness which in turn results in a super smooth water-cooled smoke.
One Hitter Pipes
These super small pipes are perfect for a small hit of weed or tobacco to give you a little pick-me-up with a small bowl. Low in price but super convenient, one hitter pipes all typically have the same basic styles, but they're all about convenience and suit smokers looking for a fuss-free quick way to smoke weed or tobacco whilst being portable.
Spoon Pipes are usually made from glass and are available in a massive range of styles. These artistic glass weed pipes usually have a deep bowl allowing you to fit lots of dry herb for a large hit.
Spoon Pipes also are suitable for ornamental pieces as well as for smoking due to the artistic style and other-worldly looks they have, you'll struggle to find any two decent ones that are the same!
Plain Smoking Pipes
Suitable for the pipe smoker that isn't looking for any fanciness, plain pipes are just that; plain and simple with a fuss-free smoking experience being their intended use. These types of pipes typically have a mouthpiece, long stem, kick hole, and a bowl on top.
Arguably the oldest and most traditional way of pipe smoking, the chillum pipe is a long and straight conical-shaped pipe usually made from stone or clay and has a chillum stone that sits a little under the bowl which acts as a type of screen or gauze. When smoking a chillum pipe the air filters around the side of the stone and the large and extended smoke path as well as the cooling properties of stone or clay can give the user a cool, smooth and pleasant hit when smoking dry herb or tobacco.
Novelty Pipes are as good to smoke from as they are to look at. There are tons of fancy weed pipes out there that don't really fit into any of the other categories because they are just too quirky and ooze too much personality, like the sherlock pipes or smoking pipes that have filters and other accessories built in.
What Material of Smoking Pipe is Best?
Choosing the right materials when looking to buy a weed pipe is just as important as getting the type right. The three main materials are glass, wood and metal but there are also ceramic pipes and silicone pipes too.
Glass Smoking Pipes
Glass pipes are known to have the best taste but the highest price tag. Because the taste and overall smoking experience are best when using a glass bowl we'd recommend these over all other materials; the glass also cools down the smoke as it travels through which gives a lovely clean hit by the time it reaches the mouthpiece.
Glass pipes are probably not the most suitable type of pipe for the clumsy smoker though, they are quite fragile and prone to break, depending on the pipe.
Wooden Smoking Pipes
Wood Pipes look a lot more traditional than glass smoking pipes and are extremely durable against drops and knocks. These super stylish type of weed pipe taste better the more they are used because overtime and after prolonged use a layer of carbon is created on the inner walls of your pipe which protects the wood from heat, they call this process 'caking a pipe'; the more you know!
Metal Smoking Pipes
Metal is the other super durable choice of smoking pipe on the market and depending on the quality can give you a beautiful smoking experience whilst also being really easy to clean and lasting you a lifetime. This sturdy material has been used to make pipes for many years in a variety of different designs and different sizes to meet smoker's needs.
Silicone Smoking Pipes
The newest material to hit the scene when talking about pipes; Silicone is the most durable option, you can bend it, throw it, try setting fire to it; it just won't break. Silicone smoking pipes are also super easy to clean and use and many are non-stick, meaning it's also safe to chuck in your bag for portability without worrying about it picking up loads of dirt.
Is Smoking a Pipe More Dangerous Than Cigarettes?
Good question; although both smoking cigarettes and smoking a pipe are bad for your health, it depends on what you're smoking mostly. According to a study in Norway, only minor differences were found in health risks were found between those who smoke tobacco through pipes and those who smoke cigarettes. There are of course varying factors though, such as frequency and amount of tobacco smoked, and smoking in any way carries health risks.
How Do I Clean My Smoking Pipe?
Keeping your smoking pipe clean is super important both for your health and your overall smoking experience. You'd be surprised at just how pleasant a freshly cleaned pipe is to smoke through, to the point where you'll fall in love with it all over again!
You only need 5 things to get your pipe in top-top shape again:-
- Pipe or bong cleaning solution
- Pipe Brushes
- Cleaning rag (ideally a microfibre cloth)
- Container to fit your pipe
- Warm water
Now you have all the bits needed to clean your smoking pipe, here's how to get your smoking pipe in pristine condition:-
- Completely disassemble your pipe
- Place your pipe in your container
- Pour your cleaning solution in until the smoking pipe is completely submerged
- Leave to soak for 30-40 minutes
- Using the pipe brushes cleaning rag, rub off all remaining resin or dirt
- Rinse with warm water
- Repeat if necessary