What is a Bong? A Complete Guide to Bongs

by Aug 24, 2021Buyers Guides

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A bong can be used for smoking dried herbs. These bongs are also known as water pipes or “water bongs.” This device filters smoke from the herb’s healing process by diffusing it with water. Although bongs come in many shapes and sizes, there is one thing that all of them have in common: they share the same basic anatomy. A bowl contains the herb to be smoked and a stem, which is the tube through which the smoke travels once heated. The shape and size can vary depending on how they are made. Some look very simple and not too distinctive, while others are more artistic than mere smoking tools. Some include extra features such as percolators which further filter and cool the smoke. There are many types and styles of percolators. This section will be more detailed in “Types of bongs.”

A Brief History of the Bong

The bong is one of the most ancient types of smoking equipment on the planet. The actual origin is still a matter of debate among historians. According to the most famous story, the bong’s origin is from Thailand. This belief is held strongly by the majority because the term “bong,” which refers to a type of smoking device made from bamboo, is widely accepted.


12″ Heavy Wall Straight Water Pipe

Others claim that while the bong might have been named after the Thai culture, it originated in Africa before reaching Asia. This conclusion is based upon archaeological evidence discovered in Africa, dating back between 1100 and 1400 BC. However, it has been used in many Asian cultures for many years. The bong has been around since the beginning of time, regardless of the culture that invented it. It has touched every culture in the globe in some way, no matter how old or young.

Types of Bongs- Materials

Out of all the various types of smoking equipment, the bongs are the most versatile in terms of their shape, size, and design. Let’s talk about composition. We mean the many materials that water bongs could be made out of. Glass is today’s preferred material for making bongs. Two reasons are behind this choice. The first is that Glass provides the best performance considering how often a bong has been exposed to extreme heat, moisture, and other elements. Glass is resistant to cracking, warping, warping, and breaking, even after long-term usage.

Second, Glass won’t change the flavor of the herb being used as much as other materials like wood. All you can taste when you smoke from the glass bong is the herb. Glass as a bong material has one major drawback: it is breakable. To avoid breakage, users need to be careful how they handle the device. Manufacturers use lab-quality Glass, typically between 3 and 5mm thick. This makes it more resistant. Some smokers may prefer other materials for bong-making. One such material is wood, which has been mentioned. For bong construction, wood is the traditional material. Many of the oldest bongs on the planet were made from wood. Hardwoods are the best choice for modern wood bongs.

There are many wood options, including rosewood, oak, maple, walnut, and maple. In modern times, bamboo bongs still have a place of use, especially in Thailand and other countries where bamboo is scarce. Bamboo is not wood. However, it’s the grass that, once dried thoroughly, can feel like wood. Bamboo bongs have a flavor somewhere between wooden and Glass bongs. While they produce less smoke than a glass bong but don’t leave behind as much, they aren’t as clean or as pure as a wooden bong. Many people enjoy the unique flavor of smoking herbs from bamboo bongs. Plastic/acrylic is another popular bong material. Acrylic bongs are a bit more versatile than glass bongs.


They are durable and won’t crack. For another, they are significantly cheaper than glass ones, much more affordable to the economically challenged smoker. These bongs are great for starting, as they can give you practice and help you get better at smoking. Plastic can’t be lit with a torch. Acrylic bongs need to have metal bowls. But, it is easy to get distracted by your torch and overheat the plastic.

It can scorch, melt or warp the plastic if you heat it too often. Additionally, the metal bowl can change the flavor of your herb. It may leave it with a metallic or harsh taste. The problem with plastic bongs? They are harder to clean. A plastic bong can retain all sorts of unpleasant flavors, including residue from past use, the flavor of what you have used, stale water, and even the smell of the bong itself. For this reason, you might need to replace a plastic bong a lot more often.

These bongs are inexpensive enough that they may not pose a significant problem. Metal ones are made from either aluminum or stainless steel. Metal bongs can look very cool and can be stylized to create an artistic appearance. Metal bongs have many advantages over plastic in terms of their construction. The most significant advantage is that metal bongs are strong and won’t shatter if dropped.


This is great news for any clumsy smoker. The main problem with metal bongs is their tendency to alter the flavor and aroma of the herb you are smoking. Some smokers are dissatisfied with this. The downside is that metal can heat up very quickly, making it a conductor and heat conductor. It is important to be careful when lighting your bowl. Ensure that the flame does not touch the bong’s skin and doesn’t get too hot. Ceramic is another modern material for bongs. It’s not the most preferred by smokers today, but it is still a popular choice.

They fall somewhere between a glass and a plastic device in terms of performance and price. They are generally cheaper than Glass but more expensive than plastic. They emit a smoke flavor that is more popular than plastic ones. However, they aren’t as clean or smooth as glass bongs. Ceramic bongs are similar to plastic ones, but they have metal bowls. Although ceramic is heat-resistant, it can’t conduct heat well. It’s also not very good for heating herbs. Smokers may find the metallic taste from the metal bowl a little off-putting. However, many smokers find the ceramic has a distinct flavor that they love. Ceramic is, like Glass, easily broken. While it may not break into 100 pieces, you can still cry if it drops on the floor.

Bong Styles

Bongs come in a variety of shapes and styles. The majority of bongs will fall within one of these categories. Tube-style, This type of bong is made from a tall, straight piece of Glass. The tube’s one end will be closed, and the bowl will protrude from the tube’s side.


8″ Heavy Wall Straight Tube Water Pipe

Beaker style this type of beaker looks precisely like those used by chemists. In essence, however, they are similar to tube bongs, except the bottom is flared. The other features are the same as for a tube. The main advantage of these bongs over traditional tube-style ones is their stability when placed on a flat surface.


12″ Heavy Wall Beaker Water Pipe

Round-base This type has a tube that is rounded at the bottom to create a sphere. It can also rest on a tabletop. The tube bong works the same as a tube or beaker, but it is not a tube.


8.5″ Round Bubble Base Water Pipe

Percolator or “bubbler?” This type is available in many forms. What is the difference between a “percolator,” and a “percolator? “Bubbler The chamber has a section inside that dissipates smoke and then sends it through the water. This causes the water in the chamber to “bubble” and “percolate,” which has an additional cooling effect.


12″ Single Showerhead Perc Straight Tube Water Pipe

Gravity style: This bong harnesses the power and vacuum of gravity. The vacuum pulls smoke from the bowl and inhales it. The basic science behind gravity bongs is the same. They can be “bucket”- or “waterfall,” but they are the same. Gravitron Version 2.0 Gravity Bong The smoke is filtered through the water chamber in a bong with no percolator before being inhaled by the smoker. This eliminates most of any debris and cools the smoke. After passing through the water chamber, the smoke is filtered through a percolator. The percolator cools down the smoke, removes any debris, and makes it feel smoother.

There are many different types of percolators for bongs.

Diffused downstream (straight): A straight tube made of slits at its base, usually between three to six. Dome: The percolator’s name refers to its dome-shaped shape. It has holes or small slits at its bottom.

Tree: A bong that has a tree-style percolator can have “arms.” Each helps to diffuse the smoke. You can choose to have arms with an open or closed bottom. There are also slits at the sides.

Inline: This perc style is a horizontal tube that has holes or slits in it.

Drum: This perc is known for its drum shape. It has many slits to diffuse the smoke.

Sprinkler: This percolator functions like a sprinkler. It shoots water and produces tons of tiny bubbles. This creates a great hit.

UFO: This percolator is another type named after its shape. It is literally a tiny space that has been inserted into your bong. It works similarly to showerhead perc, but it has more slots for increased percolation.

Honeycomb: This style includes a honeycomb-shaped disc with lots of tiny holes. These holes disperse the smoke.

Showerhead, This type of percolator works like a showerhead. It’s a vertical tube flared at the bottom and has slits or holes just like your bathroom showerhead.

Swiss: This is a vertical-style percolator. It’s named this because it looks somewhat like Swiss cheese. Because the holes are all through, smoke is diffused around it instead of filtered through like other types.

Retire: This percolator comes with two tubes. The smaller one has a slightly larger circumference. The smaller tube will fit in the larger. Both tubes have diagonal slits that are opposite. Smoke flows through both tubes and diffuses through the slits.

Turbine/Cyclone: This percolator could remind you of the old “tornadoes in a bottle” science experiment. But it’s a cooler, grown-up version. It’s a disc with angled openings at the sides. This causes the water to spin inside the bong like a tornado and makes it very hypnotizing.

Helix: This percolator design features a tube that spirals up to the bong chamber. This type can also be made up of two spiraling tubes (known as a “double Helix”).

The Benefits of Smoking from a Bong

Bongs have a long and rich history. They have been iconic smoking devices for hundreds upon hundreds of years. In recent years, however, they have seen a substantial increase in popularity. Many modern features have been added to bongs, which eliminate the unpleasant side effects. Bongs are more loved and important than ever. Additionally, bongs are considered the most healthful way to enjoy herbs in their “classic sense.” Many bong smokers also cite the bong’s water filter system as a carcinogen-removal method. Others prefer bongs due to their flexibility, efficiency, unbeatable flavor, and historical importance. By “historical importance,” we mean that bongs have been the dominant smoking device for many centuries. You can’t compare. Online headshops know firsthand that bongs remain the most popular smoking device, and they deserve our respect and reverence.

What is it that makes bongs so delicious?

Most smokers prefer a bong over traditional glass pipes because of its water filtration. Inhaling tar or burnt ash from regular glass pipes or cigars can lead to respiratory problems. This can be a painful experience. Nobody has ever experienced this and thought, “This is nice.” With bongs, you don’t have to worry about this. The water captures the ash. The water traps the ash and immediately inhibits its movement – especially in your mouth.

ROOR Custom Sandblasted 14

ROOR Custom Sandblasted 14″ Beaker Water Pipe – Sparkle

Many people also praise bongs for their ability not only to trap ash but also other substances. Additionally, bongs are known for their ability to trap and filter harmful carcinogens and smoke-borne toxic toxins. Water filtration helps to cool down the smoke before it gets to the mouthpiece. The smoke is inhaled more smoothly and does not irritate our throats or lungs. The difference between smoking a bong and a regular dry-glass pipe is vastly different. They are cooler, smoother, and more enjoyable to use. You can smoke from smaller pieces with bubblers, which offer the convenience of a hand pipe and the superior filtration of bongs. A bong is still better because they are easy to use and has a lower chance of clogging.

ROOR X Eleven30 2-in-1 16

ROOR X Eleven30 2-in-1 16″ Straight Tube Water Pipe and Dab Rig Combo – Green Mint

Water filtering is essential!

Furthermore, bongs have water that helps filter out a lot of tar. This is the reason why bong water eventually turns dark brown. To get the best cooling and filtration possible, make sure your bong is clean. It’s not a pleasant experience to smoke through contaminated bong water. This can also affect the aroma and flavor of any concentrates or herbs. Some people believe that smoking from a bone marrow bong absorbs more significant amounts of beneficial compounds than the actual tar. Because the bong water absorbs many compounds, it is believed that more must be smoked from a bong to get the same results. Recent advancements have made bong technology a lot more advanced. To enhance our smoking experience, there are many options for percolators and glycerin coils that can be used.

Smoking from a bong using a basic percolator will produce large bubbles but have a low surface area. A more advanced percolator produces smaller bubbles but has a larger surface area. You’ll enjoy cooler smoke and better filtering. An ash catcher is an excellent addition to any bong. It will ensure smoother hits. This will give you smoother smoke and even more water filtering. Additionally, it will trap any ash before it gets into your bong. This ensures that your bong stays clean and functional, as well as ensures optimal performance.

How to Smoke A Bong

Let’s face facts: If you’re a frequent online customer or a keen smoker, then you already know how to smoke a bong. For those new to the world bongs, don’t be afraid. Here’s a foolproof guide on how to smoke a bong as a seasoned, smoky expert.

1. Get water in your bong

Your bong’s style and size will dictate the amount of water that you need. It is a good rule of thumb to fill your bong with water at the level of any percolator or down stem. Another tip is to fill your bong full of water, even if it’s not yet clean or brand new. Then inhale hard. This will get the water directly into your mouth. You can then spit it out. Keep doing this until there is no more water left in your mouth. Now you have the perfect water level. This will make it easy to remember when you fill up your bong.

2. Grind Your Herbs

While you can still use your fingers to grind your herbs, it’s best to use a grinder to ensure a consistent grind and to prevent your bowl from getting clogged. It’s best to grind your herbs as finely as possible. You shouldn’t grind the herbs too fine that it becomes dusty. They will go through your bowl piece if you grind them too fine.

3. Place Your Herbs in the Bowl

The bowl is the Glass funnel-shaped piece in which you place your dry herbs. You should pack this piece with your grind herbs. It will allow airflow to pass if it is packed too tightly. It is always better to pack a small container so you can reuse it.

4. Ignite

Your dominant hand should hold the bong. Place your mouth over the mouthpiece. Your lips should touch the mouthpiece. This will create an airtight seal. While you inhale, switch on the lighter and turn on the flame for your herbs. You can continue to inhale as you circulate the bowl with your flame. After inhaling your preferred amount, you can stop lighting the bowl. After a few seconds, remove the bowl and continue inhaling until the main chamber of the bong is empty. This is it! This is how you can smoke a bong.

To Perc or not to Perc

As previously stated, not all bongs include percolators. Some older generations (pre-Keurig) may associate percolators with coffee. This is a factual fact. Bongs use percolators that operate similarly to traditional coffeemakers. This is because they permit the interaction of water with another substance. Ground coffee is the raw material used in coffeemakers. A bong is made of dry weed. All percolators provide the same purpose regardless of their construction (though different styles offer unique and exciting experiences). In a bong without a percolator, the smoke goes through the water only once. The smoke is percolated twice through water using a percolator.

This reduces the temperature of the smoke and eliminates any particulates. As a result, the hit is cooler and smoother than with a non-percolator bong. Although percolator bongs are slightly more expensive than non-percolator bongs, most modern smokers prefer them and are prepared to spend more for an excellent, smooth, and velvety hit. Every individual is unique. Therefore, if you have the opportunity, try both to see which one best meets your needs. Is larger always preferable? Not always! Sometimes. This is where you must truly “tune in” to ascertain your requirements. Consider the following questions: Where is it going to be stored? It must fit on a cabinet or bookshelf. Or can you allow it to grow as large as you wish and shine like a diamond on your coffee table? What do you like to do after you’ve smoked?


folks who are extremely active may choose to consider purchasing a vaporizer. What is the most comfortable inhalation size? It is directly proportional to the device’s height and the depth to which it must be drawn. While some individuals possess Herculean lung capacity, others require two puffs to perform the task. However, the majority want a unified experience. Do you have a rough concept of the size of the chamber you desire? Now, add a few inches to allow for growth. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, your new pipe will never tire you. After determining the size range, you desire, pull out a ruler or another object of comparable size to assist you in comparing your online buying possibilities.

Online buying for bongs has several advantages, including increased privacy and the ability to choose your size without being hurried by a salesperson. A disadvantage is that, despite efforts to convey size via images accurately, a vast pipe may occasionally appear smaller than it is. While browsing the site, it’s recommended to compare the measures to a ruler. This will prevent you from having to deal with the trouble of returning the item. Finally, a word about size: if you need something smaller, say 12 inches, a pipe with a splashguard will suffice.

This will prevent the bong water flavor from interfering. Allow us to share a lovely story about breaking up with you: A Guy purchased a very reasonable 20-inch inline cigarette two years ago. It was knocked over multiple times by pets after being dropped on the hardwood. Only the dirty buildup at The Cleanability Factor, located in the difficult-to-reach inner perc, indicated wear. There are three ways to increase durability.

1- Borosilicate glass of your choice

2- Joints that are reinforced

3- Stable, large bases

This is a public service announcement for all first-time bong purchasers: Durability is critical! Although it’s simple to dismiss, this is a constant factor. Borosilicate glass was the deciding factor between a bong that never dies and a new one with a one-day life expectancy. Borosilicate glass is so critical to constructing high-quality pipes that we have devoted an entire essay to it. Consider it ‘Pyrex’ due to its capacity to tolerate extreme temperatures while maintaining a robust, substantial feel.

Previously, to afford borosilicate, you had to forego all the enjoyable features of pipe making. However, in the golden age, this is no longer true. Remember that you can always add sophisticated attachments to a simple, robust, and cool bong. While premium glass is the most important factor in extending the life of a water pipe, there are additional measures to boost its durability. Flared bases or beaker bases might assist prevent your pipe from tipping over. Consider the term weeble-wobble. By flavoring your water using beaker bases, you may improve water filtration and enhance the amount of smoke that bubbles. On straight stems and lining silhouettes, flared bases are common.

These provide a stable base for your pipe. Reinforced joints (also known as Dewar’s joints) provide an additional layer of protection against breaking. Between the main chamber and the slide is a second piece in this joint. If it is struck by something, the force is distributed between two locations. When combined with borosilicate, base designs and two-pronged joints perform effectively. Triple whammy? A pipe that possesses all three characteristics is referred to as a triple threat. Indeed, the pipe I mentioned previously had a flared bottom and a Dewar’s joint.

Due to the fragility of the Glass, the pipe shattered just above the second joint. The additional shielding rendered the pipe completely worthless. On the other hand, my borosilicate inline pipes have withstood several drops without any reinforced joints and are still robust. Unbreakable silicone bongs are also gaining trendy. Sure silicone pipes may be readily rolled up to the desired size without breaking, making them one of our must-have beach items. Regrettably, they frequently lack appropriate attachments and further percolation.

Bongs Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Bongs Cost on the Internet?

Bongs can be purchased for as little as $30 or as much as hundreds of dollars. Silicone ones are typically priced between $30 and $70, making them an economical option. The cost of tiny glass bongs can range from $25 to $100, while the price of larger glass bongs are in the $100 range and up. The maximum is $1000’s.

Can You Purchase Bongs?

The federal law is continually evolving. While it’s true that these aren’t only used for cannabis, it is also possible to use them for consuming different dried herbs. You can order from anywhere you have internet access as long as you are at least 18 and not under 18. Our best online head shop It’s 4:20 Somewhere carries medical and recreational dab rigs, bongs, water pipes, as well as glass pipes and accessories.

Are water pipes considered bongs?

Water pipes are those that incorporate some type of water filtration. Additionally, this pipe category includes bongs and bubblers.

How are bongs made?

Temperatures as high as 1163°C can cause glass bongs to start in liquid form. The craftsperson shapes the molten metal into a bubble using a hollowed-out steel blowpipe or rod, which is blown to make a circular shape.

How do I dab with my bong?

Dabbing with a bong requires a quartz banger or another form of dab nail. Concentrates must be heated to convert to vapor. It is critical to verify compatibility. We adore the Heavy Duty Rig by Higher Standards. This rig is available in a large version and includes 100 percent quartz nails. With proper upkeep, it can last an eternity. This compact but highly effective apparatus is constructed of medical-grade, robust borosilicate glass. It is designed to provide the best flavor and reliability possible.

Is It Safe to Use Silicone Bongs?

Yes. Each silicone bong is composed entirely of Medical Grade silicone. The bong is the earliest and most extensively used method of combusting tobacco among tobacco enthusiasts. While bongs had grown in popularity since the 1970s, when they made a resurgence on the market, they have been around for decades. What is the best feature of a bong? It’s convenient, easy to use, and an excellent way to smoke tobacco. Because the smoke is typically heated before inhalation, a bong produces more relaxed, smoother smoke.

Final Remarks

Glass bongs are the most popular on the market. They are available in an array of styles, colors, and designs. They are easier to clean than other materials, more sanitary, and can endure an extremely long time if they are thick enough. However, one disadvantage of glass bongs is their proclivity for cracking. Always keep your bong locked and away from your dog’s ears and wagging tail. Numerous individuals have had their bongs smashed and have been brought to their knees. Bongs are not only made of Glass. Additionally, they can be made of other materials. If you are prone to being clumsy, you may want to consider purchasing a silicone bong.

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