Whether you're a first time smoker or a long time toker, the age old question stands; which method should I use to burn the herb today? There are bubblers, water pipes, papers, vaporizers, handheld pipes, and the selection goes on and on. With so many options available, the quest may seem a little daunting. Let's start simple and talk about glass handheld pipes.
The Pros of a Glass Pipe
If you've never tried smoking out a glass pipe, then it's something you should probably try. At least once… or twice… or however often you want. There are many good things about these handy tools; these points are just a few:
There's nothing quite like the smooth hit you get out of a brand new glass pipe. The only thing you taste is the product that you're smoking, rather than the material your pipe is made out of. Essentially this means that you are only smoking your product, not the pipe itself. Also, glass pipes don't get hot the way metal pipes do. So that means more toking time and less burnt lips. But the taste is the main selling point here.
Glass pipes are easy to clean and maintain. Unlike hand pipes made of other materials, glass doesn't corrode or burn away with time. This means that glass pipes will generally have a longer life-span in that aspect. Scraping the resin out of a glass pipe to clear the airway usually doesn't do as much damage to glass as it would to other materials, such as wood or bone, as long as you do so with care.
The size of these little beauties makes them easy to take with, wherever life may lead you. Usually glass pipes are no larger than the length of an outstretched hand; while some are as small as a person's little finger. The choice is yours. Generally, they are perfect pocket size; although you may want to invest in a pouch, to protect your piece. Overall, portability is definitely a mark on the positive side when it comes to making your final decision.
There are an immense amount of shapes and styles available. Circles, stars, sea creatures, elephants; the options are endless, and those are just the specialty pieces. The most popular is the spoon shaped pipe, which has endless variations all on its own. Then we have the classic Sherlock style, if you're feeling particularly sophisticated. Chillums are a nice little compact piece, shaped like a tube. Steamrollers can either be handheld or much larger. There are several varieties of glass handheld pipes, which makes the adventure of choosing one unique every time.
Let's face it, glass pipes are simply beautiful to look at. Not only are they any shape you can imagine they are brilliantly colorful. Or if it's your preference, you can have one with no color at all. Some shops will even let you choose the colors you want and let you watch as it's made. The ranges of colors available are as endless and as beautiful as the stars in the sky. Each one is its own little masterpiece. As if this wasn't already enough; their appearance can change significantly the more you use it. Usually this leaves you with a stunning transformation.
The art of glass blowing produces exactly that; art. So, no two pieces will ever be the same. There's a special fascination with the talent that goes into the effort of making glass pipes. From the most detailed and intricate designs to the most basic, each piece is hand-crafted. It all depends on how whimsical and artistically talented the glass blower happens to be. This is what makes each one so special. They are all a reflection of the artist who created them.
Cons of Glass Pipes
With all of those good things swimming around in your brain, you may have already made up your mind to choose a glass pipe. But, it wouldn't be fair if we didn't also discuss a few of their negative points.
They are made of glass after all, and glass is quite breakable. The durability issues of glass pipes are by far their greatest flaw. Depending on how intricately designed your glass piece is, there could be a few frighteningly fragile areas that take special care to avoid breakage. Not only that; even the most basic design is constantly at risk of bring broken. Granted, the thickness of the glass can make a huge difference between a chipped pipe and a broken pipe when it's dropped on a concrete floor. Most glass, however; won't survive a significant fall, unless of course, it has a soft landing. Even the act of clearing out the bowl into an ashtray, can put your glass pipe at risk.
Sometimes the intricate design of a particularly amazing glass piece can make it hard to clean. The cleaning process of a glass pipe can be a pro or a con. The glass itself is generally easy to clean, but sometimes the shape of the piece makes it nearly impossible to scrape. In most cases there are alternative cleaning methods. To a smoker determined to scrape the resin clean, this method can prove to be quite dangerous to the fragile nature of the pipe.
Pricewise, glass pipes are generally more expensive than other materials; due to the individuality and the craft that goes into them. Some smaller glass pipes are very affordable. The more intricate the piece, the more pricey it will be. Also, the thickness of the glass plays a large part in the price that you will pay. All in all, you get what you pay for.
Now that you are equipped with a basic list of the good qualities and the bad qualities of glass handheld pipes, you should be able to assess whether or not they are right for you. Of course, reading a list of pros and cons is a far cry from actually trying it out in person. So if you are still questioning whether you should go glass or not, try it out and see for yourself. Most likely, it will be a decision that you were glad you made. If you are looking for a high quality glass pipe browse through our glass gallery and find one that is right for you.