Just like the Internet does, we field a lot of questions every week. Many of our customers know exactly what they’re looking for, but others have questions, and that’s alright. That’s what we’re here for.
One of the most common questions we hear in our smoke shop in Fort Lauderdale (and elsewhere) has to do with glass – such as if it’s alright to smoke out of glass.
But there are others. Here are some common ones, along with some words of wisdom.
Are Glass Pipes Good to Smoke Out of?
First off, yes. The short answer to this is obvious, but there are some more layers of detail we could get into if we wanted.
To keep it short and simple, yes, it is safe (and practical) to smoke out of glass pipes. That is expressly the reason that so many pipes are made of glass.
If you’re new to this, though, it’s important to realize that glass actually has some distinct advantages over other materials that are commonly used to make pipes.
Traditional smoking pipes are typically made with briar, meerschaum, corn cob, or clay. Glass has advantages over nearly every one of these.
Briar and corn cob pipes must be broken in slowly and incrementally or else the bowls will burn through, ruining the pipes. Glass, which does not burn, will not suffer this problem.
Meerschaum (a white mineral that looks like chalk, also known as magnesium silicate) and clay also will not burn, so they don’t need to be broken in. They share this feature with glass. However, they are much more fragile than glass, and unlike glass, they are porous and so they will absorb flavors. Glass will not.
In that sense, glass is actually superior to these traditional media. Unlike all of them, glass is not porous and will not flavor your herbs or tobacco. Glass is also physically more durable than corn cob, meerschaum, and clay. Unlike corn cob and briar, glass does not need to be broken in.
With a glass pipe, you can smoke a full bowl out of the gate with no break-in period, and you also don’t need to worry about the glass flavoring the experience or harboring any residual flavors.
One more thing: glass is clear, so it’s easy to see when your pipe needs to be cleaned.
What Are Glass Pipes Called? [Different Types of Glass Pipes]
If you’ve never smoked out of a glass pipe before, come down to our smoke shop in Fort Lauderdale to get a taste of just how much variety you can find in glass smoking pipes!
Some of the more popular types of glass smoking pipes are:
- Spoon pipes: Tiny, handheld glass pipes that have a short, thick stem and a round, typically wide bowl are known as spoons – because that’s exactly what they look like.
- Chillums: Chillums are basically a cylinder of glass with a thin stem and an open end that can be packed with herbs or tobacco. A smaller version of a chillum is known as a one-hitter.
- Water pipes: Water pipes consist of a chamber that holds water, into which is inserted a bowl which is then packed with herbs or tobacco. The top of the chamber is open and tapers off to a chimney. These pipes cool off and filter the smoke and enable smokers to take big hits called rips.
In addition to these, there is a wide range of other glass pipes that are similar and could be categorized under one of those other broader groups. For instance, there are also water rigs (similar to water pipes) and hammer pipes, and sherlock pipes (similar to spoons).
If you’re interested in learning any more about these, give us a call or come visit us in one of our smoke shops!
What Features Affect How a Glass Pipe Smokes?
Not all glass smoking pipes are created equal, so there are a few things you should look for when choosing one.
First, make sure you only ever buy a glass smoking pipe made from borosilicate glass. This glass is tougher than soda lime glass and has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion so it’s more resistant to high temperatures.
Also, consider the size of a bowl. You don’t need a huge bowl but get a pipe with a bowl that’s large enough not to annoy you. You don’t want to have to refill the bowl after every hit or two, and some pipes are made with small bowls.
If you’re getting a spoon, consider getting a spoon with a carburetor, or “carb,” that will enable you to control the rate of airflow. This will allow you to meter the burn rate within the bowl and produce more powerful hits.
Also, consider the length of the stem. One of the complaints about glass pipes is that they smoke hot, and there is some merit to that complaint. All else being equal, the longer the stem, the cooler the smoke will be before it gets to your mouth.
If you’re getting a water pipe and love a cool smoke, consider getting one of the models, that has a special chamber for ice or an ice pinch in the chimney. You can place ice in the chimney which will really cool the smoke off before it gets to you.
If you’re getting a glass pipe to keep on you when you’re on the go, consider a pipe that is small and doesn’t have any thin or small parts. Glass smoking pipes are tough but they can still break if not properly cared for.
Have Others? Come Visit Our Smoke Shop in Fort Lauderdale (or Pompano Beach)
If you still have questions, our best advice is to come visit us in one of our smoke shops in Fort Lauderdale or Pompano Beach.
Our staff is helpful and always enthusiastic about meeting our customers and we’d love to settle the score on glass smoking pipes.
Plus, we carry all of the other essential smoking accessories, including but not limited to grinders, rolling papers, and much more.
Get in touch with us at 954-530-9357 (Fort Lauderdale) or at 954-933-7083 (Pompano Beach).