Whether you’re a longtime smoker or new to the field of grass, you’ve likely been curious about the various modes of consumption available for use. Walking into a smoke shop with thousands of options can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Pipes are generally made from one of three materials: glass, wood, and metal. There are pros and cons to each type of instrument that any user would be wise to consider, to ensure that they’re getting the best experience possible. There are many options to consider purchasing at any smoke shop, from vaporizers, to water pipes, bongs and more. Today we’ll compare the three most popular materials used for pipes and the benefits and drawbacks to each, so that those of you in the market for a pipe will know exactly what to look for on your next trip to your local head shop.
Those who prefer glass pipes are in luck, as these are by far the most common. Most pipe shops carry more glass pipes than any other type – 710pipes has a huge variety of these for sale at both our Northglenn and Denver locations. Seasoned smokers tend to prefer glass pipes, because glass in inert and allows for a pure, unadulterated flavor. Glass pipes also tend to have a smoother feel than those made from other materials. To keep this standard of quality, you’ll need to avoid accumulating too much built up resin from prior uses. However, these pipes are by far the easiest to clean. Just leave your piece in a bowl of 90% isopropyl alcohol before bed, and every bit of debris should melt away by morning. This usually does the trick, but if the build-up is extra tough, adding rock salt to the alcohol will give that necessary boost in power.
Glassblowing is a well-respected and highly skilled art form, with time and care put into each piece you’ll find. They’re hand-crafted and highly customizable, with a wide range of shapes, colors, and even pop-culture icons already in stock. However, depending on the amount of time, skill, and material in any glass pipe, some glass pieces can be more expensive than those made from other materials. Glass pipes can break rather easily, and therefore need to be handled and stored with care, though pricier pipes are generally thicker and more durable.
Wood pipes have an old-school fifties-vibe,and have been rising in popularity of late. The classic look and smooth feel of a wood pipe is certainly hard to resist. They also tend to add a smokey, natural flavor to whatever you’re smoking – which some really enjoy, and others would rather avoid. I personally love my wood pipe and would recommend adding one to any pipe aficionado’s collection. If you enjoy the style and unique flavor, it may be your new favorite.
However, unlike their glass counterparts, cleaning these pipes can be unusually tricky. Since them soaking overnight isn’t an option, you’ll have to scrub at it vigorously with a firm brush – and even that isn’t always enough. Since the resin is very difficult to fully remove, it tends to accumulate over time, as does the non-so-subtle smell. If you don’t mind that familiar aroma eventually permeating the space where your pipes are stored, this won’t be much of an issue for you. Otherwise, this may not be your top choice.
There are quite a few advantages to metal pipes compared to those described above. For starters, these will almost always be the least expensive pipes on the market. Novice smokers on a budget can affordably start here. The sleek appearance and feel of these pipes in your fingers certainly have their draw. Metal pipes can often be disassembled into smaller pieces. This is beneficial for those who seek to transport or store their pipes in small containers – disassembly makes this more feasible than ever before. Like glass pipes, metal ones can be cleaned with ease with an isopropyl alcohol soak. Disassembly allows for smaller containers for soaking, but regardless, the cleaning process for metal pipes is as painless at it gets. Another major perk is the toughness of these almost unbreakable instruments. For anyone who has heard the heartbreaking sound of a glass pipe falling to its demise, the unaffected clang of a metal pipe hitting concrete will sound like music to your ears. Their toughness and lasting durability are hard to pass up, especially for their comparatively low price.
Despite all of these great qualities in most metal pipes, some are certainly better than others. The type of metal used in their creation varies from piece to piece, and some may leave a bitter taste in your mouth (literally). Remember, the metal taste varies by the quality of the metal used and will be much more noticeable in some pipes than others. If you’re dead-set on the purest possible taste, glass pipes are almost certainly your best bet. If you’re still leaning toward metal above the alternatives, representatives at your nearby head shop can help you find the best options that this category has to offer.
Stop by 710Pipes at our Northglenn or Denver locations to see the wide variety of products that we have available! Our expert team can answer any questions that remain, and help you find the products that fit both your preferences and your price range.