Pipe Materials - What's the Difference?
Glass has been many a smoker’s go-to material for pipe products, but it isn’t the only material out there. Lots of different pipes are now constructed with metal, wood, and even different plastics. Smokers who have tried several types may have developed a favorite, but a review of the various materials is outlined below for those who have yet to try a particular product or two.
Glass. The benefit to glass pipes is that they virtually have no effect on the smoke taste itself. It is the most widely used material for pipes, so smokers are sure to find the exact size, style, and color they want, no matter how unique. The downside to glass is that it is easily breakable. Thicker glass and quartz pipes are a little more durable, but are still prone to chips and fractures if handled too roughly. Glass is fairly easy to clean, and smokers can find a wide range of cleaning products for their various glass pieces.
Metal. Metal pipes are far more durable than glass, but aren’t available in as many options. Metal is mostly used for hand pipes, and is combined with glass for some designs. Some users report an altered smoke taste with metal pipes, but quality pipes made from food-grade titanium shouldn’t affect the taste as much. Metal pipes can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol, but users must rinse all traces before lighting anything else to avoid the adverse effects from alcohol vapor.
Wood. The natural look of a wood pipe can’t be beat, and neither can their price. Some users also enjoy the flavor different types of wood add to their smoke, but varnished pipes will last longer. Cleaning wood pipes takes a little more time and attention. Since wood cannot be submerged in cleaning solutions, it must be vigorously brushed to remove residue. Eventually the wood will soak up too much of the smell of the product you’re smoking and you will have to replace it. Some wood pipes are combined with metal or glass to prevent too much smell transference.
Acrylic. Another durable and cheap option, acrylic pipes are good pieces to have in your collection. You won’t have to worry about a friend accidentally breaking it since it is made from hard plastic, but they also don’t come in as stylistic designs as glass pipes do. Many users have noted that hits from acrylic pipes are much harsher than glass, but they are much easier to clean afterward.
Silicone. The newest type of pipe smoking material, the benefits to silicone are its flexibility and durability. The soft texture makes silicone pipes unbreakable, and they are also one of the cheaper options. Some of these types of pipes are contractible, like the Roll-uh-Bowl pipe, for easy storage. Many silicone pipes include glass or metal parts where burning product is placed to prevent burning the silicone. Since these pipes are newer, they are definitely a unique piece to have in your collection.
Now that you understand the basics behind some of the different types of pipe materials, you can choose a pipe that is best for you. As far as which type of pipe to choose (water pipe, hand pipe, vaporizer, etc.), you will have to check out our other blog post here.
- Abbigail Montgomery