The concept of a bong bowl is simple enough– it is just like the bowl that is found on a pipe except that it is attached to a bong and removable (and is removed in order to inhale the smoke filling the water chamber). As such, bong bowls are an integral part of any bong. Without one, a bong is unable to function properly. Because they are such important pieces, it’s a good idea to take a moment to familiarize oneself with the types of bong bowls available and some important considerations to make smoking more enjoyable.
The material a bong bowl is made of is going to affect the flavor and experience of smoking from a bong – not to mention cleaning. For example, the most popular material is glass because it is clear (making it easy to tell when cleaning is needed) and there is often no flavor associated with glass unless it is dirty. Or, for clumsier individuals, silicone bong bowls offer a greater level of security while also being easy to clean and not affecting flavor too much. Or, plastic bong bowls or wooden bong bowls are available for the more adventurous or budget conscious smokers.
A bong bowl’s size is going to affect how much dry herb can be packed in there. While this can be remedied with additional packing, no one wants to have what amounts to a one-hitter as their only bong bowl when there is a group of people to share the bong with. Make sure to consider what is the most likely use for the bong bowl and purchase accordingly in terms of size. Also, pay attention that the downstem attached to the bong bowl is going to fit properly within the bong. While not the bowl itself, it will have a huge effect on the bong bowl being usable or not.
Remember that there are plenty of third-party attachments available for bong bowls. For example, ash catchers can be attached to a bong and the bowl can sit inside them to make it less likely that any ash will pull through the bowl. Not to mention that percolators can sit between the bong bowl and the water chamber itself to allow for a smoother hit. Don’t be afraid to accessorize.
As mentioned before glass is the most popular bong bowl type. It is going to be the most flavorful bong bowl (in terms of not affecting the flavor of the hit) because glass has no taste and is neutral. That is, with proper maintenance. But maintenance of a glass piece if easy – being clear means that there should be no surprises about when it’s time to clean and what areas need attention. Just be careful – even the thicker glass will shatter from a rough fall.
A popular alternative to glass because of the lightweight, indestructible nature of the silicone material. Silicone is certainly worth looking into if someone is more of a klutz. Not to mention, it doesn’t affect the flavor nearly as much as the less popular wood, plastic, or metal bong bowls (all of which are also available). Generally, silicone is also easy to clean because of the nonstick nature of the material. Keep in mind that the part where you place the dry herbs is made of glass and the silicone structure is built around the glass.
Bong bowls with screens are exceptionally nicer to have around than those without because they don’t allow ash to fly into the water chamber of the bong. Think about how bad it is to have a mouthful of ash and imagine that 10x worse as far as flavor when it all collects into the bongwater. This fouls up the water and makes the flavor of the bong hit sink rapidly. Use a screen to prevent those issues and avoiding changing the water all the time.
What is ‘best’ is really going to depend on the person and their needs. If someone needs a massive bong bowl in order to use for a party or large group setting then the perfect or ‘best’ bong bowl for the loner stoner is not gonna cut it. Not to mention, if there is a particular preference for glass that someone has not even the ‘best’ silicone bong bowl in the world will suffice to match those needs. All in all, think about what the bong bowl is going to be used most for and then begin to search accordingly for a bong bowl that will fit those needs best.
Cleaning is by far the most tedious and annoying part of any piece or maintenance routine – but it’s necessary and without it things can get nasty pretty quick. A bong bowl is no exception. While water doesn’t often contact the bowl piece, make sure the periodically clean out any caked residue material from the bong bowl piece. Then, find a container that will fit the piece and is able to be closed/sealed. Then, make sure to fill the container with enough cleaning agent (420 cleaner, hot water, vinegar and salt, or rubbing alcohol) to completely submerge the bong bowl. Next, begin to shake with all the might available to sift the agent into the bong bowl and clear out the resin. After a few good shakes, and most of the resin releasing from the bong bowl, drain the cleaning agent properly and manually remove the remaining stubborn resin. Repeat this simple process as necessary to maintain a clean, flavorful smoke. Make sure to rinse off (and even burn off) any residual cleaner if applicable.
Bong bowls are available at any smoke shop – especially if they sell bongs. These are not difficult pieces to find and shouldn’t be difficult to replace in a pinch. However, it is not always easy to find a bong bowl that best matches a personality or a need or a specific niche. For greater selection and diversity, look online for bong bowls to complement your bong. Specifically, vapevetstore.com has a large selection of bong bowls and all orders shipped in the USA are 100% FREE!
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