To anyone on the periphery of the 420 community, smoking weed may seem pretty straightforward. For some partakers, it is
quite simple. But when you start hearing about your buddy’s new steamroller pipe or seeing dab rigs at your local smoke shop, the terminology alone can set your head spinning as well as any toke. The truth is that you’ve maybe used a steamroller pipe without even knowing it. This is because they’re pretty classic, tried-and-true models as far as pipes are concerned.
UPDATE: Is it a Steamroller Pipe or Chillum?
A few people have written to us asking if there’s any difference between a steamroller pipe and a chillum pipe or if they’re just different names for the same piece. The differences are as enormous as the hits off a steamroller. Really, there are only a handful of design similarities that would even make chillums and steamrollers comparable. You shouldn’t expect a lot of bells and whistles with either design. If you’ve never heard of a chillum pipe, you may recognize it as a one hitter or bat. Maybe you’ve even seen a display of OG chillum pipes at the counter of a dispensary. Chillums are loved for their affordability and convenience. Metal chillums are pretty common because they offer the durability for secure portability. However, you can find glass models (such as the OG chillum model we just mentioned) that serve up better flavor. A chillum lacks a carb hole and a bowl and is typically quite tiny. A decent steamroller weed pipe will be pretty large. Unlike the chillum pipe, a steamroller has a built-in bowl and the open end of the tube acts as a massive carb hole. Steamroller weed pipes deliver juggernaut hits which we’ll be talking more about in the blog below.
Why is It Called a Steamroller Pipe?
The look of a steamroller pipe
is rather unassuming so even if you were hitting one for the first time, its appearance probably wouldn’t garner any double-takes. While it may most resemble a submarine or a Super Mario Bros.
warp zone pipeline, the steamroller pipe actually earned its name through a resemblance to the piping that runs along the old steamroller locomotives.
While the steamroller pipe is noted for its simple, classic design, you may be surprised at just how far back such a design goes. When formalizing treaties, Native Americans would often smoke from ceremonial pipes. These pipes would serve as the inspiration for the steamroller pipe.
A Classic Design
Steamroller pipes are renowned for delivering hardcore hits. While this has obvious appeal, light tokers may find a hit from a steamroller pipe to be intense with some harsh impact to the throat and lungs. These aren’t typically the refreshing hits you’d expect from bubblers and water pipes and they’re about as far away as you can get from the soothing hits of a vaporizer. Rather, steamroller pipes are celebrated as rugged juggernauts of smoke.
You can purchase a steamroller pipe in all sorts of sizes. While you’ll typically find them in glass, it is possible to get steamroller pipes in wood, bamboo, and even clay in some rare cases. The average steamroller pipe offers up an accommodating bowl and remains open at both ends of the body. The design allows for simple, intuitive use. You simply light the bowl, pulling from end while using a hand to cover the other end. Once the chamber is adequately filled with smoke, you release your hand from the other hand and inhale the smoke. Again, these are typically immense hits that deliver optimum impact.
What to Look For When Buying a Steamroller Pipe
If you’re in the market for a steamroller pipe, one of the first aspects you’ll want to look for is the material from which the pipe is constructed. Obviously, you’re looking for quality. For example, reliable glass pipes are often forged from high quality borosilicate glass.
It’s often in your best interest to find a steamroller pipe with some kind of stabilizing factor. Most often, this means looking for a pipe with glass feet. You don’t want to shell out on a top-of-the-line glass pipe only to watch it roll off a table top.
A lot of steamroller pipes offer the convenience of carb holes. A carb hole cut into the side of a glass steamroller pipe can be helpful if you’re trying to regulate the size of your hits. This can obviously be a nice option if you’re planning on using your pipe socially. Some steamroller pipes even come equipped with mouth guards or mesh screens so you’re not accidentally sucking on ash.
For a lot of consumers, appearance matters too. Luckily, you can easily find a wealth of interesting, innovative designs and a variety of colors when searching out the perfect steamroller pipe to add to your collection.
While a steamroller pipe may not be the best fit for everyone, particularly casual tokers, they’re time-honored design and bountiful hits have kept them as favorites in the 420 community. Perhaps you’ve even been using one without even realizing it. From Native American ceremonies to modern day smoke circles, steamroller pipes have carved a respectable niche in their own robust way.