A waterpipe, also known as a bong, uses water to filter out ash and fine particles from smoke, resulting in a cooler and smoother hit. Waterpipes have long been a popular option for smokers everywhere. The earliest water pipe goes as far back as nearly 3,000 years ago, and they were commonly used for smoking dry herbs and tobacco. Standing the test of time, waterpipes are reliable and effective in providing a highly enjoyable smoking experience.
Things to consider when buying a waterpipe
Flower or concentrate?
If you prefer smoking dry herb, then a bowl attachment Is ideal. A bowl comes standard with most waterpipes. It will hold your herb while you light up and take a rip!
If concentrates are your thing, then a dab nail or banger is the way to go. Keep in mind that if you only use concentrates, then we recommend using a dab rig. Dab rigs are specially constructed to enhance the flavor profiles of concentrates.
Types of waterpipes
Biohazard Inc. offers a vast selection of waterpipes in a variety of different styles to help stock your smoke shop. Styles range from the classic beaker, the simple straight tube, to the iconic round base waterpipe.
Bearing the resemblance of a laboratory flask in chemistry class, the scientific style beaker is a classic waterpipe known for its sturdiness due to its wide conical base. The larger water capacity of the beaker base allows for bigger hits.
The straight tube waterpipe features modern, streamlined profile, keeping its sleek cylinder shape from base to mouthpiece. The straight tube waterpipe is straightforward piece that always gets the job done.
Also known as a bubble base, the round base rose to prominence around the 1970s. These waterpipes have a sphere-shaped base with a flattened bottom so it can sit on any flat surface. If you’re looking for a more eye-catching or even nostalgic vibe for your waterpipe display, then the round base is right for you.
The waterpipe is more than just another smoking device; it is a functional art piece teeming with creative possibilities. Glassblowers across the United States have innovated the waterpipe production process to an arena for creative expression.
The waterpipe is made up of several essential components, no matter the type or style. Whether the waterpipe is a standard piece or an ornate glass masterpiece with complex detailing, every waterpipe has these following features.
Waterpipes are often classified by their base type – beaker, straight, round, etc. The base is the lower portion of the waterpipe that holds the water.
The mouthpiece is the part of waterpipe from where the user inhales the smoke.
Also called the neck, the tube of a waterpipe connects the base and the mouthpiece, conducting smoke into the user’s mouth.
The downstem of a waterpipe is the glass piece inserted though the waterpipe’s base and into the water. Downstems can be fixed or removeable. The standard downstem is a cylinder. The diffused downstem functions as a percolator because of the slits at the end which filters water and smoke.
The joint is the connection between the waterpipe, the downstem, and the bowl. When you’re shopping with Biohazard Inc, you may come across phrases like "joint sizes" and "joint genders" applied to products such as waterpipes, dab rigs, and glass attachments. Such phrases are used to distinguish whether these components are compatible to create an airtight connection. The most common joint sizes are 10mm, 14mm, and 19mm.
The bowl of a waterpipe is the piece that holds the herb.
These waterpipe components and accessories contribute to the overall function of the waterpipe and take a person’s smoking experience up to another level.
The waterpipe’s percolator is a water diffusing mechanism that facilitates a cool, smooth hit every time. Biohazard Inc. has waterpipes of various designs and diffusing techniques. Some of the most common percolator types include:
The tree perc has a main stem that branches out to any number of “arms”, which resembles a tree and its branches. The slits at the end of each tree arm allow for water and smoke to pass through to provide a cleaner, smoother hit. The more arms, the more effective diffusion.
The showerhead perc has a vertical stem with a flared round chamber that looks like a showerhead. The slits at the bottom of the chamber filters water and smoke as they pass through.
A honeycomb perc is a disk with any number of holes that looks similar to a honeycomb. Bubbles are diffused through the honeycomb holes, which reduces the size of the bubbles to filter the water and smoke. The more holes, the more effective diffusion.
An ash catcher does what its name suggests – it catches ash before it enters the main chamber of the waterpipe. Some ash catchers have percolators of its own to provide additional filtration and cooling. An ash catcher will enhance your smoke and help keep your waterpipe as clean as whistle.
Waterpipe enthusiasts also call this component an ice catcher. It is a series of glass divots that holds ice within the tube of the waterpipe without blocking any smoke. The ice held by the ice pinch cools the smoke even more before it reaches the mouthpiece.
A splash guard keeps the waterpipe’s bubbling water from splashing out through the mouthpiece. Splash guards come in different forms: some ice pinches can function as a splash guard, as well as certain percolator designs (e.g. dome percolators) and tube designs (e.g. bent neck).
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a waterpipe work?
When the bowl’s contents are heated, smoke travels through the downstem and percolator to filter through water. The smoke is cooled down as it continues through the tube and up to the mouthpiece where the user inhales.
What are benefits of using a waterpipe?
A waterpipe is easy to use. Waterpipes require less prep work than a joint. The next question in this FAQ demonstrates that it can be done in only 5 quick steps!
You will get cool, quality hit. A waterpipe will provide a cooler hit due to the water filtration process. Studies show that waterpipes are effective in filtering out carcinogens and other toxicants, making the smoke easier and safer to inhale.
Waterpipes are built to last. As long as you follow a regular cleaning routine, a well-built waterpipe will last a lifetime and can prove to be a worthy investment.
Waterpipes are fun to use and easy to personalize. Waterpipes come in a variety of colors, designs, shapes, and sizes, so you are certain to find one that best fits your customers’ tastes. Biohazard Inc. offers an expansive collection of waterpipes, each packed with unique features, perfect for any smoke shop collection.
How to use a waterpipe?
Pour water in the waterpipe. It is a waterpipe after all. When you fill the water, make sure the downstem is submerged no more than an inch inside the waterpipe.
Prep your dry herbs. Use your handy herb grinder or break it up with your hands, whatever gets the job done.
Pack the bowl. Don’t pack it too tightly! You want to make sure that there is room for some air to pass through.
Get ready to rip. Hold the waterpipe with your non-dominant hand, and the lighter in your dominant hand. Place lips inside the rim of the mouthpiece to create an airtight seal.
Take your hit! Light your lighter, tilt it over the bowl, and slowly inhale to draw smoke. When you have drawn enough smoke, pull the bowl from the downstem and inhale the smoke. Hold the smoke for two to three seconds, then exhale.
What kind of material is best for a waterpipe?
Understanding your preferences for a waterpipe can help determine what kind of material is best for your collection. Biohazard Inc. has stately glass waterpipes, attention grabbing silicone gas mask pipes, and everything in between for your smoke shop needs.
Glass is without a doubt the most popular waterpipe materials. Glass waterpipes are usually made of quality borosilicate glass, which is more resistant to heat and thermal shock than any other common glass. Users value the workmanship of a glass waterpipe as well as the pure taste that comes from taking a hit from a glass waterpipe.
Silicone waterpipes have risen in popularity in recent years thanks to its durability and easy maintenance. These waterpipes use a dishwasher safe, food grade BPA-free silicone material. The major drawback of smoking with a silicone waterpipe is the mild plastic taste you might get.
Ceramic waterpipes match the pure smoking experience and creative designs of their elegant glass counterparts. Ceramic waterpipes are heavy and heat resistant. Remember that ceramic is notoriously fragile, so handle with caution!
Typically featured in gas mask waterpipes, acrylic waterpipes are the preferred choice for smoke shops stocking on a budget. Acrylic waterpipes, like silicone, are very difficult to break.
How to clean and maintain a waterpipe?
Proper cleaning and maintenance are vital so that your waterpipe continues to look as good as new. A simple, homemade method for cleaning your waterpipe is to use a rubbing alcohol and table salt mixture. Biohazard Inc. offers cleaners and cleaning accessories specially made for use on waterpipes. To clean your waterpipe:
remove the bowl and downstem (if possible),
pour your cleaning solution,
plug the mouthpiece and downstem inlet to prevent the solution from spilling out, and
shake the glass piece so the solution covers every nook and cranny until residue is all gone.
A few best practices for maintaining your waterpipe include:
Change the water after each use.
Use an ash catcher to limit the amount of ash that gets through the waterpipe.
Dump the ash from your bowl frequently to avoid pulling it through the waterpipe.
Clean your waterpipe thoroughly as regularly as possible.