What Is A Bong?
A bong is a water filtered smoking device that filters the smoke providing a smoother, cooler and cleaner hit. The bong filters the smoke through water, which removes heavy residue particles and water dissolving molecules and prevents them from entering your system. Three main features define a bong – the water chamber, the tube and the downstem. A water chamber is the bottom of the bong that holds the water which functions to filter and cool the smoke. The tube is where the smoke flows up from the water chamber through to the mouthpiece. It is usually a long neck vertical tube, but can be created with elaborate chambers that further filter the smoke. The downstem is a diagonal stem that protrudes from a small hole in the tube and the end rests in the water chamber. The top of the downstem flares to hold a bowl and is used to draw in air and smoke, which creates the bubbles that filter the smoke. Most bongs available are made from acrylic, glass, wood or ceramic.
Types of Bongs
The size, shape and height of a bong can really impact how a piece pulls smoke through. Below are the types of bongs that can be found at any local smoke shop.
The bubbler bong is a hybrid of a bong and a hand pipe. It is small in size which makes it a portable bong. It features a drop down chamber that filters and cools the smoke. It has a long neck that ends at the mouthpiece and has a carb instead of a slider stem. The bubbler bong can provide a smoother hit with a light drag, but if you pull too hard while using it you may inhale some water.
The mini bong is popular for the same reasons the bubbler is. It is portable and light weight, which is great if you are always on the go. Mini bongs also have the possibility of inhaling water because of its size. They are often made of thinner glass that breaks easily and can be difficult to clean because they usually contains small crevices that are hard to reach.
A percolator bong includes a suspended chamber filled with more water for multiple filtration of the smoke. The chamber creates smaller bubbles which are more efficient at filtering and cooling smoke. The percolator’s downstem contains more holes and smaller slits which provide a better diffusion but increase drag. Some percolator bongs have additional sub chambers that provide plenty of filtration and benefits, but again make it harder to pull the smoke through.
Scientific bongs are made from laboratory grade borosilicate glass which is stronger and heat resistant. These types of bongs can range from straight tubes to beakers to designs with bent mouthpieces, percolators and ash catchers. Scientific bongs are really known for providing a very smooth hit with a thick smoke.
A recycler bong is made to filter smoke through water twice. It contains a tube that allows the smoke and water to travel together toward the mouthpiece before the water circles back to the water chamber. These types of bongs tend to provide a cooler and more flavorful smoke.
Dab rigs have a similar function, and often form, to traditional bongs. The only real difference is that instead of a bowl, they have a heating surface the is meant to vaporize extracts, called a nail or a skillet. The nails can be made from glass, titanium, or quartz and can be housed inside of an open top glass dome.