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Types of Bongs Explained - Full Guide

types of bongs explained

Bongs are one of the most widely preferred smoking tools and have been for many years. Although nothing new, it continues to be a very popular choice among smokers. Going back twenty-four hundred years, Chiefs of the Scythian tribe in Russia used water pipes. Fittingly, these bongs were crafted with gold. Today, you can find bongs made from all sorts of diverse materials. There are numerous varieties of bongs to choose from. This guide will help you better understand the differences between each particular type and which kind may be right for you.

Types of Bongs

Materials used

When crafting a bong, there are all sorts of materials that can be used. The most popular substance used in making bongs is borosilicate glass. Glass water pipes are a favorite of many smokers due to their smooth smoking experience, unaltered taste, and easy cleaning. Glass bongs also have a classy look to them and can make nice display pieces.


Full Color Beaker Glass bong


Plastic Bongs, composed of acrylic, are undoubtedly the second most popular. They are a good alternative to glass because they are generally cheaper and are less likely to shatter if dropped.

Silicone is a commonly used material that has grown in popularity in recent years. Because of their durability, many marijuana smokers are embracing silicone water pipes as their daily toking device. These bongs also have the factor of being disposable if you need to get rid of it for any reason. Since silicone is fairly cheap, replacing it wouldn't be expensive.

Ceramic bongs are customarily hand-crafted and therefore can be quite expensive. They have more weight than most other types and are all-around unique pieces.


Head Beaker Bong


Although not commonly used, some bongs are made from wood. Wood bongs have a rustic feel when compared to other types such as glass or plastic. Back in the sixteenth century, Thai people used a bamboo water pipe they called buang. In fact, that is where the modern-day word bong came from.

Metal bongs are another variety that is not seen often. Although metal gets hot faster than other materials, water pipes made of metal are extremely durable and can last a while.


Pipe roor bong


The last category simply cannot go without mentioning and that is DIY bongs. Serious cannabis enthusiasts can make a bong out of almost anything. From bottles and soda cans to fruit and vegetables, virtually anything you have on hand at home can be made into a functioning water pipe. In desperate times, stoners can engineer some interesting devices.

Design and shape

The shape and overall design of a bong cannot only make it stand out as a distinct piece, but also provide some satisfactory functions.

A straight tube bong is a classic cylinder-shaped pipe that simply draws the smoke straight up the tube to the mouthpiece. Generally, the bottom will have a base that is wider than the rest of the pipe to help it stand securely.


Barrel Style Chamber Bubbler


A beaker bong, or scientific bong, has the shape of a scientific beaker and has a larger-width water area at the base. This makes it less likely to tip over, which is always good. This gives more room for the smoke to pass through the water before inhalation.

Round bottom bongs, also called bubble bongs, are very similar to beaker bongs except they have a rounded base. They offer the same stability with their ratio width on the bottom to the width of the rest of the bong.

In addition to the classics, there are assorted novelty bongs that come in all shapes and sizes. There are bongs crafted to look like commonplace items such as food and drinks, animals, nature, and more.


Mini Spaceship Mini Bong


Bubblers are smaller versions of water pipes that are regularly utilized because they are much more portable than full-sized bongs. Since these pipes are smaller-scale they can be somewhat harder to clean.

There are two other types of bongs that work a bit differently than traditional bongs which pull smoke through the down-stem as you inhale it. Gravity bongs and waterfall bongs do the hard work for you. They employ natural forces to pull the smoke, which can be easier on your lungs. A gravity bong is generally made by cutting the bottom off of a bottle, inserting a bowl piece in the lid, and submerging the bottle in water. As the matter in the bowl is lit, the bottle is slowly lifted out of the water. The suction created fills the bottle with smoke, allowing the user to inhale a massive hit after removing the cap. A waterfall bong works similarly, with a bowl piece installed in the bottle cap. However, with this kind, the bottle would not be cut, but a drainage hole would be made at the bottom. The hole would be blocked while the bottle is filled with water. Once filled, the bowl is lit and the hole is unblocked to allow the water to flow out.

Mechanisms and Features

Every bong has the basic mechanisms of a bowl, which holds your herb, and a down-stem that suspends into the water. Some bongs have a small hole called a carb. This hole is covered while initially lighting your bud, then let go when you inhale the smoke. Some bongs are not made with a carb hole and instead have a slider, that produces the same effect. The slider is a bowl and stem piece that slides out of its fitting and slides back into place.


Rocket Ship Mini Bong


One extra feature that some bongs have is a percolator. They can have one or more. These percs improve the smoothness of the rips you take and add an extra element of filtration and cooling.

Ice catchers are another cool aspect that a lot of glass bongs have. Essentially the ice catcher is a spot in the neck of the glass that can hold ice cubes to cool the smoke down even further.