What to Look for When Shopping for a New Glass Pipe

What to Look for When Shopping for Glass Pipes

When it comes to smoking, nothing beats a nice glass pipe. Silicone, metal and other materials may get the job done but the right glass pipe will give you the cleanest, smoothest hit without chemicals and outside flavors contaminating the brew. When it comes to choosing the right one, it’s important to know what details will contribute to the best quality. Not every glass pipe is created equal. In fact, some may be downright dangerous or, at best, a waste of money. Maybe you’re using it for medical purposes or perhaps purely recreationally. Either way, it’s an item you’re planning to use often that will affect your general quality of life so it’s important to really know what you’re getting.

The Beauty of Borosilicate
Borosilicate is used in most glass pipe designs for its heat resistance.

The first and possibly the most important factor is durability. Glass breaks. A glass pipe made from flimsy, thin glass with visible flaws and thin joints is going to cause you problems. You want to know with which kind of glass your pipe is made. Borosilicate glass (“German Schott glass”) has a high silica content and quartz is just pure silica. These kinds of glass are going to be the most durable by far, being less breakable and more tolerant of higher levels of heat. Borosilicate won’t interfere with the taste of the hit either. Many pipes imported from India and China may have been made in production lines that use cheaper, more breakable glass. Pipes made in the U.S. are usually made with borosilicate or quartz.

Thick Joints Won’t Disappoint

The thickness of the glass matters too. It’s good to be sure that the glass around the pipe is not just thick but evenly distributed. Having sturdy thick joints is good because this can be where breaks happen. Glass that is blown (versus glass from a production line) is usually thicker. Glass that contains art may have varying levels of thickness in some places but as long as the pipe as a whole is thick and generally even in glass distribution this is fine.

The Importance of Annealing

Glass also needs to be annealed. This is the process that involves cooling down the glass slowly. Annealing ensures that the temperature evens out through the piece and relieves internal pressure on the piece rendering it harder to break. Glass that hasn’t been annealed has trouble coping with far less intense changes Continue Reading

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