Some people are strictly out-of-the-box, factory-setting types and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, the more experimental mods out there have found ways to customize their cars, clothes, and homes to suit their fashions, so why should water pipes be any different? A surprisingly large market exists for smoking bowls that can be used to create piecemeal water pipes honed to a smoker’s unique style. But there’s more to consider than your personal aesthetic when determining which smoking bowls will work for you.
Heat-Resistant Glass is a Must
As with any glassware purchases, quality is of the utmost importance. In most cases, the smoking bowls that you come across in your searches will have been designed from borosilicate glass. While borosilicate glass is standard among smoking accessories it also delivers optimum quality by adhering to simple science: borosilicate glass is the most thermal-shock-resistant glass that is widely available. Since smoking bowls are in the direct line of fire (literally), it is important that the bowl you ultimately decide upon has been created from heat-resistant borosilicate glass.
Finding the Right Fit
Smoking bowls come in a variety of sizes so you’ll also need to determine the size of the accessory you’re attempting to trick-out with a fashionable bowl. Then, you’ll need to shop for bowls that have an accommodating size. If you’re ordering online, websites typically have the sizes of their glass bowls clearly displayed so there should be no discrepancies.
While size is most important when determining how a bowl will fit to your glass piece, it’s not the only factor. You may want to take the extra precaution of ensuring you purchase a bowl that takes advantage of a ground glass joint design. While ground glass joints are popularly used by chemists for quick assembly and the obvious benefits of leak-tight mechanics, they are also often used when designing quality smoking bowls.
The size of the bowl itself will obviously determine how much herb you’ll be able to pack. While this typically finds the largest bowls being the most popular, you may feel the pull to compromise if you find a smaller bowl with a particularly arresting design. Regardless of the size of the bowl you settle on, you may find it helpful to check into the size of the air hole offered by the glass bowl. Smaller air holes can be beneficial in trapping ash and debris.
UPDATE: Using a Bowl Piece with a Downstem
You’ll commonly find smoking bowls making use of a downstem percolator to bring you a smoother smoking session. Chances are that the glass bowl piece that was included with your water pipe had an attached downstem perc. A lot of bowl pieces with attached downstems are on the smaller side but you can find downstems accommodating more generous smoking bowls if that’s something you require. While most smokers will enjoy the smoothness offered by a downstem perc, they aren’t for everyone.
The Fun of Shopping for Glass Smoking Bowls
When perusing selections of smoking bowls, you’ll often find the most fun aspect to be sifting through the vast amount of creative and inspiring designs on the market. A big reason people are drawn to creating piecemeal smoking accessories is the opportunity to inject their own personalities into their water pipes. Handblown glass smoking bowls are more affordable than custom glass pipes yet still exude a strong sense of originality and personality. In the curves of glass you’ll find carnivalesque designs, animals, mythical creatures, aliens, and even Darth Vader
There’s no shame in settling for no-fuss, straightforward water pipes. However, a lot of smokers put immense pride and personality into developing charismatic piecemeal glass pipes with creative smoking bowls as the crowning jewels. If you want to add something extra special to your smoking experience, you too may wish to explore the idea of piecemeal smoking accessories.