There are 3 main joint sizes that are available in both male & female connector applications.
10mm – Found mostly on low cost miniature common object rigs like tea kettle rig & mini 6” rigs
14mm – This is the most common joint in the head shop industry dominating both bongs & dab rigs in male & female applications.
18mm -18 is a bit oversized for most but a personal favorite of mine because you don’t have to clean it as often & the un-obstructed flow last much longer. Then again less accessories are available in this size.
There are literally 1000’s of different types of percolators, but what exactly is a percolator? According to Wikipedia percolation “refers to the movement and filtering of fluids through porous materials”. In today’s head shop industry, a percolator could be anything from the end of a removable diffuser stem, a dome percolator, a tree perc system, a recycler percolator system, a honeycomb disc, & the list goes on & on. No matter what the shape, percolators do primarily 3 things, percolators restrict smoke flow & in turn filter out some impurities that get caught in & around the percolator’s surfaces. Lastly, they take the smoke flow on a longer trip resulting in greater “cooling power” of the smoke.
Buoy bases, straight tubes, beakers, & Recyclers. What does it all mean? There are 1000’s of water pipe styles out there. Many of the body styles were named after laboratory equipment or everyday objects. Here’s some of the more popular ones
Traditionally almost all bongs were constructed from borosilicate (hard) glass or soda lime (soft) glass. Today they’re made from everything from glass to silicone to bamboo.
Cleaning & Storage
No matter how you use you water pipe, you’re going to have to clean it eventually or it’s smoke flow will seize up & it will be extremely difficult to clean. There’ a lot of products to clean you water pipes specializing in dab rig & bongs. But you can always keep it clean with rubbing alcohol, salt, & some bamboo skewers or q tips for cleaning accessories like bowls & bangers. For extra tough cleaning jobs, place the piece under very hot running water to loosen up the residue (do not burn yourself). We recommend always safely storing your pipes when not in use, if you have a cabinet with space, why not get a little collection going, or better yet why not a half-baked style pipe shrine?
Price vs Durability
How durable of a pipe do I need & how much should I spend knowing an item is fragile? What’s your lifestyle & intentions with your new pipe? Will it live in your trunk? Do you regularly travel with your pipe? Do you have pets that could break it? These are all things to think about. You may require a unbreakable silicone pipe or you may be able to responsibly care for a $600 show piece without ever breaking it, it depends on your situation.
Online Headshop vs Retail Headshop
Online – convenient, cost effective, discreet, secure
Retail – expensive, public, limited selection, often in bad neighborhoods