Smoking, vaping and using dab rigs has seen a huge increase in the last couple of decades and as it has become more popular, more people are looking for accessories to help them get their hits.
Glass smoking pipes have seen an influx of purchases over the last decade and as a result the glass pipe industry in booming, and the UK market being very well established.
The pipes have evolved from the older, basic glass hand pipes with a long body and shorter head, rather like the old fashioned tobacco smoking pipes, to the creative and well-crafted designs that we see nowadays.
You can even get novelty pipes in the shapes of animals, outlandish patterns, fumed glass pipes, colour changing or glow in the dark pipes and even glass smoking pipes spelling out words. Whatever you’re into, there’s a pipe to suit your interests.
Why Glass Pipes?
What is so special about glass smoking pipes? Well, that’s easy to answer! Blown glass pipes do not heat up as much when you are smoking, unlike their wooden predecessors, which means you can have a proper hit. They cool down the smoke which makes it easier to draw and, importantly, they produce great tasting smoke as they do not pass on the taste or flavour of the pipe material.
When you first start smoking you turn to papers and most people prefer the natural ones as they are cleaner and give a cleaner hit. With pipes it’s the same. Most begin with wood or another type and then progress to glass for the very same reason.
They are a clean and easy to use smoking device. Glass smoking pipes are different from the glass bongs or glass water pipes that you see in that they don’t use water to filter and cool down the smoke that you inhale.
Glass pipes are made in the same way as many other elaborate glass items, by blowing the glass into a shape and design that the maker chooses. Therefore it’s possible to find a piece that is a real talking point and that’s unique.
There are so many glass pipes to choose from whether you’re after a basic model, a Sherlock pipe, an elaborate but functional design, or heady glass pipes with intricate designs. But how do you know which to choose?
What to Look for in a Glass Pipe?
If you are into glass smoking or are wanting to give it a try, how do you know what to look for in a pipe? There’s such a wide variety of top quality pipes out there today that it’s easy to become confused about which would suit you best.
Primarily, you need to choose something that will be functional. Look at the way that it has been made. You should ideally choose a pipe that has a strong shank, a mouthpiece that’s comfortable and a deep, large bowl. Having a pipe with a carb that’s usable and easy to find is also a distinct advantage. Here’s what we think you should be looking for:
1. Glass that’s Thick and Strong
Let’s face it, we’ve all dropped our smoking kit before now and your glass pipe will be no different. It’s bound to get some knocks so you need to make sure you choose a sturdy pipe, even double or triple blown glass, so that it’s less likely to break when you inevitably do let it slip.
2. Design and Colour
One of the reasons you’re looking for a glass pipe will be because of the different looks of them, enabling you to find something that’s unique to you and can show a side of your personality. When choosing your pipe, this is usually one of the most important factors that people decide on.
Empire Glassworks do some amazing novelty pipes! Some are even cleverly made into the shape of well-known figures (including a rather familiar-looking political figure from the US named “Agent Orange”!).
You need to ensure that the hole is not too wide or too narrow. You need to take it steady and don’t want your lungs to feel like they are on fire.
4. The Size
This is really dependent on what you want and how you want to use it. Do you want a hand pipe that you want to carry in your pocket? Will you need to travel with it?
These are factors that are worth considering when buying a glass pipe. The last thing you want is a great cumbersome thing when you want to take it over to a friend’s house.
5. The Bowl
It’s essential that the bowl is the right size. This will depend on the quantity that you tend to smoke. If the bowl is a bit small for you this will mean that you spend a lot of time preparing your smokes instead of getting down to it!
What’s out there on the Market for Glass Smoking?
As we have mentioned, there’s a wealth of glass smoking pipes available these days so we’ll give you a few examples of ones you may wish to try.
1. Spoon Pipes
Spoon pipes are one of the more common designs across the world for glass smoking because they make great portables. They’re aptly named due to their resemblance to the common eating utensil!
Grav Labs make some fantastic glass spoons in a wide variety of colours. They are fun to smoke and the frosted glass feels fantastic in your hands. The Grav Labs ones have a really deep bowl to allow you to have longer sessions but they are small in size and made from thick glass meaning they’re perfect to take places too.
The Grav Labs glass spoon pipe measures five inches in length and is made from 32mm Borosilicate glass. They’ve also been sandblasted for a great finish. Grav Labs also do a spoon pipe with an ash grinder as well. Today loads of online stores have glass smoking pipes for sale, such as the Herbalize Store where you can pick up the Grav Laps Spoon pipe. Many stores do free shipping too!
2. Glass Blunts
Blunts are another commonly found way of enjoying dry herbs. Blunts are straightforward and make a simple way of enjoying your smokes. No more rolling your own with one of these bad boys! They’re an innovation! You can stuff a lot of dry herbs in one and get a great airflow regardless. Once you’ve filled it, you light it and enjoy as you would a regular roly but without the faff.
Grav Labs do a simple glass blunt which is 10.5cm long and made from borosilicate class. It has a sliding feature too to make sure you have the right amount of smoking herbs for your session. They’re also simple to clean: tip out the ash, wipe away any build up and you’re good to go again!
7Pipe make a brilliant Twisty Glass Blunt. It’s a real game changer: it’s simple but looks beautiful too. The centre screw section keeps all your herbs in place and keeps pushing the fresh herbs to the front thanks to its corkscrew design, ready for another hard hit.
By simply twisting the glass you’re getting new material up front while feeding out the ash. This one’s made from thick Schott glass and is durable, as far as glass can be of course. You can also add a water filtering function onto it if you get the right accessories (14mm female glass joints).
3. Other Glass Pipes
Of course, there are many other designs of glass smoking pipes, some of which we’ve already mentioned such as Sherlock Pipes. Another type of pipe worth mentioning is the bubbler. The bubbler pipe is essentially a water pipe that’s a cross between a regular glass pipe and a bong.
The difference is that is a pipe with water, or a portable bong with a mouth piece. Some say they give you the best of both worlds: the portability of a pipe but the purity and smooth smoke of a bong. One such bubbler that’s also available in Herbalize Store is the Sidewinder Glass Bubbler. It’s a great piece of art to behold in its stunning design too!
As you can see there are so many glass pipes available in the UK but we have tried to articulate the most important points for you in selecting a glass smoking pipe for your needs. They’re actually not too expensive in some designs so you could always opt for more than one design to see which suits you best or to have a choice in appearance depending on your mood that day. Some even become collector’s items. Whatever you choose, happy glass smoking!