“Let's smoke that bowl, hit the bong
And then take that finger off of that hole
Plug it, unplug it
Don't strain, I love you Mary Jane
Hits from the bong y'all
Can I get a hit?
Hits from the bong”
Are you familiar with this classic 90s hit from Cypress Hill? If not, I highly recommend you check out the entire song on YouTube.
If you’re even reading this article, it is safe to assume you’re a stoner. As such, you’ve probably smoked out of your fair share of bongs, or maybe not. Perhaps you want to learn more about the different types of bongs or maybe you are on a mission to find the best type of bong – whichever is your goal, you will be able to accomplish it right here.
You Guide to Finding the Right Bong for You
This comprehensive stoner’s guide to bongs will cover all the different materials used to make bongs, the pros and cons of each, and all the different types of designs you can find on the market. It is important to keep in mind that there are going to be a handful of factors that will influence the type of bong you choose to buy, including:
- Your personal preference when it comes to taste and style
- Your individual smoking area
- Whether you are going to need something discreet to keep out of the eyeshot of flatmates
- What is available where you live
- How much money you want to spend on a bong
Buy a Bong Online to Avoid High Prices and COVID-19
There’s never been a better time to buy a bong online. It doesn’t matter what type of bong you are looking for. When you hit the online market, you will find a wider variety and better prices to choose from.
Also, COVID-19 has implications for going to brick-and-mortar stores to pick up a bong or other smoking accessories. Whether you want to avoid COVID-19 contagion or just avoid going into an actual store where you must social distance and wear a mask, buying a bong online is a great way to bypass the risk altogether.
All the bongs sold from World of Bongs will be packaged and delivered according to the industry’s best sanitation practices. Plus, it’s fast, easy, and even fun. So sit back, take a rip from a bong or enjoy your favorite strain of cannabis in whatever fashion you love the most, and keep reading to find out all about the world of bongs, literally.
What is a Bong?
“Bong” is a rather cool term to describe a water pipe used to smoke herbs. How does a bong work, and what are the desired effects for the user? When smoke passes through the chamber filled with water, it creates a bubbling sound and a flavor profile with a certain “coolness” attached to it. When smoking from a bong, the lungs are affected less harshly than traditional forms of smoking weed, such as blunts or pipes. Plus, you get to enjoy the cool bubbling sound while you smoke.
It is important to realize that while a bong is a water pipe, not all water pipes are automatically bongs. How does that work? Here are a few examples of when a pipe is not a bong but instead, something else.
What’s the Difference Between Bongs and Dab Rigs?
A dab rig and a bong look similar, but there are differences. A bong has a pipe bowl attached that’s used to smoke the herb. A dab rig has an attached vaporizer known as a dab nail, and it’s often smaller than a bong and used only for cannabis concentrates.
What’s the Difference Between a Bong and a Hookah?
Famously used by the smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, Hookahs are actually quite popular worldwide and are typically used for molasses-based tobacco preparations. These water pipes are usually quite large, with either one or several hoses attached for smoking. If you prefer bud in your hookah, shop for a cannabis-only hookah, as it will deliver the best overall experience. Hookahs with several hoses attached are great for group smoking.
What is the Difference Between a Bong and Gravity Bong?
A gravity bong has a tube and a pipe bowl or “cap” at the top and the water is at the bottom. Some water is drained to create a partial vacuum. This forces air to pull through the smoldering herb, and it fills the pipe with smoke. With a gravity bong, the smoke technically does not pass through the water. If you are curious and would like to learn more, check out our article, “What is a Gravity Bong and How to Make One.”
What’s the Difference Between a Bong and a Bubbler?
The most obvious difference between these two types of water pipes is the size. Both of these apparatuses use a water filtration system to deliver a cooled down smoking experience. The physical difference between these two pieces is generally a lot. A bubbler is a compact portable pipe. However, the bubbler differs from a regular pipe because of its water filtration system.
Materials Used to Make the Different Types of Bongs
Glass Bongs are the Kings on the Block
A glass bong contains a stem, a bowl, a downstem, and a base. The water is stored in the base. Pack up some tobacco or bud into the bowl and take a deep inhalation to pull the smoke through the apparatus downstem – through the water – then up the tube – into your mouth – and then into your lungs. Inhale…Exhale… Ahh.
Glass bongs reign as kings when it comes to this method of smoking, and for a good reason (speaking of Kings and Bongs, you can check out this other vintage piece, “Bong Toke” from Kottonmouth Kings here). Why? Well, hands down, glass bongs deliver the cleanest and purest flavor and the smoothest smoking experience. Even a relatively simple and inexpensive glass bong will always have a luxurious feel and classy touch.
The beauty of glass bongs doesn’t always come for cheap, though. While you can find a really nice selection of glass bongs for cheap, some of these pieces can range into the hundreds of dollars for a very high-end elaborate work of art, such as this gem below:
Glass bongs are awesome but be careful not to see them through rose-colored glasses. Not only are they the best type of bong - but they are also the most expensive and the most fragile. A glass bong is a lot more likely to break when dropped than say, an acrylic bong. Therefore, for many smokers, the life span of a glass bong will be limited, and one day, it will accidentally come to a shattering end.
They can also be quite heavy and large, therefore not the most practical option for a smoker who wants to toke on the go. However, you can find some exceptionally high-quality glass bongs made from an incredibly thick borosilicate glass, which makes them much more likely to withstand an accidental fall.
What’s the Difference Between Scientific Glass and Heady Glass?
Scientific glass bongs are made to create the best possible experience for the user. Manufacturers of scientific glass bongs create technologies that do a remarkable job at cooling and filtering the smoke to deliver smooth experiences.
Heady glass bongs, on the other hand, are not all about function but style. Artists take great pride in coming up with the most gorgeous and intricate designs. Some of these pieces can easily become unique collector’s items.
Acrylic Bongs are Great for Beginners
Durable. Cheap. Functional. That about sums up the main reasons acrylic bongs are such popular items on the market and why they are often the first bongs people encounter. If you are going to try something new for the first time, you are out a lot less money with the investment of an acrylic bong than probably any other type of bong, and they are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes.
What is acrylic? It is a type of plastic that is commonly used to make bongs. These pipes are incredibly durable and should be around forever. If the piece does end up breaking, it is relatively inexpensive to replace.
Many acrylic bongs are in small compact sizes, making them ideal for travel or bringing over some herb to share with a friend. Because they are made from plastic, rather than a material such as glass, these are much easier to mass-produce, which makes them cheap to buy.
Another cool thing about acrylic bongs is that you can find them in various shapes and colors to please any connoisseur. You can also find them with special features, such as percolators or ice trays. Most acrylic bongs are transparent, so another advantage is that you can tell when it is time for a good cleaning and when you’ve got it cleaned.
Now, time for the disadvantages of acrylic water pipes. First off, they give the harshest taste of all the different types of bongs. Not only can it make your weed taste bad, sometimes there are unpleasant odors emitted when the acrylic is heated. Furthermore, if you purchase an acrylic bong from a source that you are not 100 percent confident in, such as eBay, there might be harmful plastics used to make the bong that you could potentially be inhaling when you take a hit.
Ceramic Bongs Allow You to Take Your Creativity to Another Plateau
You can have a lot of fun with ceramic bongs. In fact, one of my personal favorite bongs I owned for years was a ceramic piece with 3D mushrooms and fun colors up and down the stem. You can find ceramic bongs in any shape imaginable, including dragons, aliens, skulls, fairies, mushrooms, or anything the artist comes up with that put the bong together.
Considering these pieces are usually hand-made works of art, they look lovely as decoration on a shelf or mantle. Plus, this makes your smoking piece rather discreet because people at first glance might only notice it as being a kick-knack or a collectible. The following is the perfect example of a ceramic bong that looks like it belongs on your shelf and doesn’t stand out as a pipe:
Ceramic bongs come in two different types. The first are the ones that work the same way as most glass and acrylic pieces do with a downstem, pipe bowl, and base you fill with water. These water ceramic bongs deliver a pretty good clean taste that is almost as good as you get with glass. There are also small ceramic bongs that do not use water.
The only disadvantages to ceramic pipes are that they can deliver potent hits, and you may not see how much smoke you have until it has been inhaled, and of course, if you drop them too hard, they will break. They can also heat up, so be careful as the smoke delivered can be quite hot.
Silicone Bongs Are Perfect for the Clumsy Stoner
Silicone has earned its place in the modern kitchen and is famous for being used to making baking molds capable of withstanding high temperatures without melting. Now, silicone is making its way into the world of cannabis. Nothing sticks to silicone, so you can now find this material being used for things such as resin containers, pipes, and even bongs.
Silicone is practically indestructible, soft, and pliable - similar to rubber. This is an excellent option if you have a bad habit of breaking glass pieces. I personally love to smoke out of glass, but I break a glass piece at least twice a month with my tile floors, so I keep a silicone bong around as my tried-and-true smoking buddy who always comes through. These also make great party bongs because they are not easily broken and not that expensive to replace if it comes up missing.
Another great pro to using silicone bongs is that they deliver a nice smooth taste. It is not the same as delivered by glass, but it is very close. The taste comes off so clean because these pieces are generally made from the same high-quality silicone used for baking products. And, they come in some cool color combos and handy sizes, such as this one below:
You can easily clean a silicone bong and even run it through a dishwasher cycle, but it is hard to tell if it is clean because it is not transparent. Another drawback to silicone bongs is that they are not so pretty. Not to say they are ugly, these pieces come in interesting colors and designs, but if you were to put them in a beauty contest with glass or ceramic pieces, they probably wouldn’t win. These are basic and made for their durability and flexibility. You will not find additional features such as ice trays or percolators with typical silicone bongs.
Metal Bongs Are Durable and Look Great in the Garage
Metal bongs are easy to make, and therefore, many are massed produced. A metal bong might not be the prettiest piece, but it is tough, masculine, looks great in the garage. You can count on it for a uniform experience and functionality, almost every time.
One of the advantages of metal bongs is that they include additional features that you won’t find with acrylic, glass, ceramic, or silicone. Those features are things such as hinges and tightly threaded pieces that are removable.
Being able to disassemble a metal pipe for cleaning gives you easier access to resin and residue inside the pipe, and it helps you ensure you get your piece clean. Plus, if you know a thing or two about smoking resin, this is a great way to access that precious tar when you’re out of bud. For a fun song about smoking resin, check out this Supervillains classic, “Resin.”
Another advantage of metal bongs is that they are generally inexpensive and deliver a clean and smooth smoke taste. These metal water pipes are known for their durability, and it would be tough for even the clumsiest stoner to break one.
One of the downsides to shopping for a metal bong is that you must be careful and selective regarding the type of metal you choose. No matter what, you will notice a slightly metallic taste, regardless of the type of metal you choose. However, depending on the type of metal, that taste can either be more pronounced or more subdued. Also, once the pipe has been “broken in”, the resin will line the inside of the pipe, and the metallic taste will be less noticeable.
Wood/Bamboo Bongs are Perfect for Nature Lovers
Wood is the material that was used to make some of the earliest bongs. Types of hardwood that are traditionally used include maple, oak, rosewood, and walnut. Naturally, the wood's flavors infuse into the hit, making a one-of-a-kind mix for the tastebuds. In fact, most people who buy wooden bongs do so for this flavor enhancement.
Bamboo is also used to make bongs, and you can find these types of bongs easily in places where it is plentiful, such as Thailand. Bamboo and wooden bongs are pretty durable and look nice on the shelf of any nature lover’s home. Bamboo will not give off the same flavor profiles the wooden bongs do.
Different Types of Bong Designs and How They Work
Straight-tube bongs are simple and straightforward. They have a tube that is sealed at one end by a stem and at the other end by a bowl attached to the outside of the bong. The process of using one is straightforward. A small amount of water is placed in the bong's bottom, the herb is placed in a tube, and bam, you’re set to go. Fire it up!
A beaker-shaped bong is very similar to a straight-tube bong, except its bottom is flared out into a cone shape. It gives it the shape of a beaker, and thus the name for the bong was born. Because it has a larger base, it is more stable and works the same way a straight-tube bong works.
If your bong has a hole in the middle of it, then it is a carburator bong. If it doesn’t, then it’s not. A carburetor is not intrinsic to the design of a bong, but many people enjoy the use of one, as they believe it can intensify the strength of the hit. Fresh air comes in through the bong when you release your finger off the hole, and it can force that smoke into your lungs quickly and help you to inhale all the content deeply.
Also known as a recycler bong, a multi-chamber bong is a slight variation of the straight tube bong, and the tube is not always straight. With a multi-chamber bong, the tube is divided into two separate chambers connected by a third chamber. In this design, the upper chamber holds water. This means that the smoke goes through the cooling process twice and the smoke delivered is smoother and cooler than what other bongs can provide. These bongs are more difficult to produce and can be more expensive than other options on the market. Cleaning these can be a real challenge.
Percolator bongs come in a variety of shapes, i.e. beaker, round base, straight tube. What makes this piece unique is the addition of a percolator, which is a glass piece that dispels the smoke before it can go through the water. This creates a bubbling effect inside of the bong and, therefore, better filtration and cooling processes. The percolator could be in the bottom of a single-chamber bong, or in one of the chambers of a multi-chamber bong, or even in both in a multi-percolator bong. These are complex and difficult to make, making them expensive options on the market and difficult to clean.
A honeycomb bong is a type of percolator bong. In this particular model, the “honeycomb” percolator is a disc located in the bong center. It is shaped like a honeycomb, and it adds great filtration without much lag. Honeycomb bongs can be fancy and complex, and some might have as many as two or three “honeycomb” discs.
A zong is simply a bong with a unique design element to the neck. Zongs are cool because the elaborate designs of the neck not only give the user additional room to collect smoke to take a huge rip, but they also make trippy designs that look out-of-this-world. Thus, the name “Zong” is perfect for these types of pipes. The smoke has a longer distance to travel, which allows it to cool off and creates a smoother and satisfying smoking experience.
As the name would have you visualize, these bongs feature a wider base than the tube and the mouthpiece – similar to a beaker-shape bong. The water chamber at the bottom is spherical, and it is coupled with a flat base. These are more stable than straight-tube bongs, but these work just the same as the rest.
These percolator bongs are a new take on the standard perc. Inline bongs feature a horizontal tube with a slit that sits under the water. This slit allows for an even spread of the smoke throughout the water. This even dispersion results in a clean and smooth smoking experience.
Bongs have been made in the home setting for decades. When a person makes a bong at home, they will use whatever type of material they might have on hand. Pop bottles are a popular material used to create a homemade bong. These pieces will vary greatly in terms of how they look, but most will feature a stem connected to a pipe bowl that descends into the water to create a water filtration smoke delivery system.
Cleaning Your Bong and General Maintenance
No matter which bong you choose to go with, it is important that you do not neglect to do the basic maintenance and upkeep on your bong. In fact, if you want to have the optimal experience each time you’re ready to take some rips from that bong, make sure your pipe’s clean. Here is a great article on how to clean a bong if you need more information.
Shop at World of Bongs for the Best Selection and Prices
Now that you have all this information on the different types of bongs, it’s time to have fun and shop for your new bong online today. Check out World of Bongs amazing selection and take advantage of our deals and savings, such as this Glycerin Coil Beaker Bong on sale for only $119.99.
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