SCREENS! (or, how I got ash in my mouth once and never let it happen again)
It doesn’t matter how you smoke -- papers, wraps, spoons, bongs -- no one likes getting hit in the mouth with smoldering ash (or even worse, bits of wasted smoking blend)!
It’s a very simple issue, with a very simple solution: the screen!
Yet, there are so many different types of screens out there -- you might even think that with so many options on the market, choosing the wrong screen would result in a terrible sesh. You’ll be quite surprised, by the end of this article!
Types of Screens
Metal Screens - These screens are the classic, everyday, pick-up-a-bunch-for-a-buck kind of screens. They’re jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none screens.
We specifically carry our SMOKEA Brass Pipe Screens (5-Pack), because they’re quite easy to shape to any bowl and even easier to cut to size, if needed. To use them, you simply push the screen down into your bowl with your thumb. If the screen is too large, cut a little of the extra material off and you shouldn’t have any issues. If your bowl is perfectly clean, your screen might pop out easily until you load your smoking blend on top of it.
These screens are meant to be disposable, so no worries about taking the time to clean them!
Glass Screens - The modern “standard,” SMOKEA’s Daisy, Jack, and Star Screens are made of glass, with special shapes to help them stay in the right position. Air flows under and between the little “nubs” that surround the center stem.
They’re fairly one-size-fits-all; you only need to make sure that the center prong will fit into the hole at the bottom of the bowl you’re using. Once these screens are seated properly, you’ll have a mostly-flat surface to pack your smoking blend on top of.
The difference in design is mostly aesthetic. Each of these types of screens will perform almost identically, so just choose the type that you like the look of most!
They’re flat like a pancake, with loads of little holes poked through, making them look just like a “slice” of a honeycomb. Since they’re flat, there’s nothing like a stem to really keep them in a set position; however, once you have a little build-up in your bowl, they’ll lock into place perfectly.
The honeycomb holes allow for fantastic airflow while still preventing loose bits of material from getting through, and cleaning is a breeze, since many pokers will fit right through the screen’s holes.
Built-In Screens - The middle-ground, always-around, never-let-you-down solution. If you’re constantly losing your screen or if you simply don’t want to fight with getting a screen to sit properly, these are the best choice for you! You can find built-in screens in individual bowls, dry pipes, water pipes, and more!
They’re very straight-forward -- a bowl, with a screen built right in. These screens can vary in design, from star patterns to honeycombs, but they’re all designed to be an easy way to keep ash out of your mouth with minimal fuss.
Since the screens are integrated, you’ll want to be gentle while cleaning out any leftover residue or build-up. Glass cleaner is very helpful here.
Screens are Simple!
I told you it wouldn’t be so bad, didn’t I? Quite a few options, yet you’re bound to find a perfect screen option for your smoking needs. No matter what screen you choose, there’s a good chance it’s going to get the job down -- choose the right screen, and you’re going to have an easy time all around.
As for me, I think it’s time to clean out my favorite honeycomb screen and get back to work!
- Dave Alter