Smoking veterans can be quite contentious when it comes to which smoking pipe is superior. Many swear by the classic bowl-style pipes, which include spoon and sherlock pipes. Others prefer the simplicity offered by chillums, which are often called bats or one-hitters. Smokers quickly develop their favorites, but which pipe is best? The answer is not as simple as you may think it is.
Even though chillum pipes are simple, they are not without their nuanced pros and cons. Below, you’ll find some of the most prominent likes and dislikes smokers talk about when using chillums.
There is not much to a chillum pipe. They are smaller, cylindrical pipes with two opposing open ends. The front end is opened wide and is the “bowl” of the pipe (though it is not a bowl in the traditional sense). All you do is pack the front end with your desired amount of dry herb and smoke!
If you are using a dugout pipe system, the packing process is further simplified. All you do is press the pipe, bowl first, into the dry herb storage container and the pipe will self-pack! It is hard to get easier than that!
Because of their simple, cylindrical design, it is hard for an observer to determine what you might be smoking. Some chillums are designed to look like cigarettes, which means an onlooker would need to be next to you to realize that you are smoking something other than tobacco.
While not all chillums are quite this discreet, most designs are will work well to keep you from being conspicuous while smoking.
Even when using a glass chillum, the core of their design makes them very durable pipes. Since they are a cylinder, there is not a noticeable weak point that would cause the pipe to easily break. This should entice beginner smokers who are getting used to handling a glass pipe, as well as those who treat their pipes roughly.
While chillums are easy to use, their design limits how much dry herb they can hold at a time. While a chillum pipe can be designed to hold a large amount of dry herb at once, this is usually because the overall size of the pipe is quite large, which both increases its price and decreases the ability to discreetly use it.
This is why smaller chillums are often called “one-hitters.” They hold just enough dry herb for one or two solid hits before they need to be refilled. If you want to pack your pipe once and leisurely smoke without needing to regularly refill it, then this drawback may lead you to a different style of pipe.
While the airflow in most chillum pipes is great, most also lack a carb hole to help regulate airflow. While this may not be a huge problem for beginners, veterans who like to experiment with different levels of airflow during a hit may be left wanting more.
Since there is no carb hole and because there is such a direct path between the bowl of the pipe and the mouthpiece, hits from a chillum pipe tend to be hot and harsh. This can be mitigated by taking small hits, but there is not much else you can do.
If you have a hard time handling spicy hits, you may want to look for a pipe design that helps cool the smoke before it reaches your lungs!
Bowl-style pipes include a lot of popular styles, including spoons, sherlocks, gandalfs, and bubblers. We will focus on the strongest, general benefits that can be found in most bowl-style pipe, regardless of the specific style you choose. We will also look at the biggest drawbacks of these kinds of pipes, too.
If you want to pack your pipe and enjoy a leisurely smoking session, then bowl pipes are what you want. Even small spoon pipes can be packed with enough dry herb to give you a great smoking session, but large spoon pipes or sherlocks can last for a really, really long time!
If you are a beginner smoker, a spoon pipe is perfect to try out a larger bowl size. Their price points are usually budget-friendly, too!
Spoon pipes, likely the most popular bowl-style hand pipe, are almost always built with a carb hole. This makes sense, as you are usually dealing with a decent amount of dry herbs at once, and airflow control is necessary to make sure you avoid getting a boatload of smoke at once.
Carb holes can be intimidating or confusing for new smokers, but they are extremely simple to use. A bit of trial and error will help you land on exactly how you like to use your spoon pipe!
As you might have guessed, airflow control will lead to smoother, cooler hits, something that bowl-style pipes do well. This is particularly true of sherlock and gandalf pipes since their long vapor paths allow the smoke to cool before being inhaled.
If you happen to be using a bubbler or a bong, the water filtration will also aid in keeping your hits nice and cool.
It is very obvious what you are smoking when you use a bowl-style pipe. The conspicuous design stands out easily, so if you want to smoke in a public place and not get a lot of attention, then a bowl-style pipe may not be the solution for you.
Bowl-style pipes that have long or twisting stems, like gandalf and sherlock pipes, are more prone to breaking. You will want to be careful while handling them and especially while cleaning them. Spoon pipes can also be fragile, but there are hefty, durable spoon pipe styles that are more resistant to cracking and damage.
While using a chillum might require extra packing if you want to smoke more than a few hits, bowl-style pipes do not accommodate brief smoking sessions well. Dry herb often needs to be packed into the bowl to prevent it from falling into the vapor path of the pipe. If you only want to pack a little, you might have a problem keeping the dry herb in the bowl.
You can avoid this problem by buying pipe screens to put in the bottom of your bowl to prevent dry herb from falling through. This is handy if you only want one pipe and would prefer that it cater to longer smoking sessions.
Whether you choose a chillum pipe or a bowl-style pipe will be determined by which style fits you best. Do you want a pipe that is quick, easy, and discreet to use, or do you prefer a pipe that caters to a long, relaxing smoking experience? You will need to determine what your primary needs are in a smoking experience before you know which pipe is best for you.
You may even need to try both styles! How would you know which pipe fits you best if you have barely used either? Buying two budget-friendly versions of each pipe is a great way to discover what you like before investing in a high-quality, more expensive piece.
Physical retail stores, like vape stores, head shops, and legal dispensaries, are always increasing their glassware inventory. While your selection may not be ideal, going to a store is a good opportunity to get your hands on a pipe with which you are unfamiliar.
If you want more variety in your potential choice, then shopping online is the go-to solution. You will want to be sure to choose a store with not only a great selection of pipes but also a store that stands behind its products and offers the best buying perks, like here at vapevetstore.com!
We offer free, U.S. shipping on all orders with no purchase minimum required. If you are struggling to choose a pipe, let us know! Our customer service can walk you through what you want out of a pipe and help you find a product that you will completely love!
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Sometimes, our regular pipes just aren’t cutting it. Whether we’re out and about or relaxing in our backyard, having a discreet way of smoking makes life a whole lot easier. Check out these discrete and really cool different pipes available. Read this article to learn more and who knows, you may just be inspired to try one.