Glass pipes are amazing for smoking your dry herb of choice. They are easy to operate and handle, easy to clean, and simplify the smoking experience a great deal. Even though they are easy to use doesn’t mean there will not be questions from novice users. One of the most common questions we get from novice glass pipe users are questions about what the carb hole on a pipe is and how you use one. If that sounds like you, you’ll find the answers below!
A carb hole is a small hole found on many different kinds of glass and silicone pipes. The location of the carb hole is generally between where you would pack the dry herbs and the mouthpiece. While its precise location will vary, it will always be located in a position to allow air to bypass the bowl. This allows you to customize your smoking experience by letting you manipulate how much smoke is being created while you take a hit from the pipe.
Carb holes are present in some glass pipes in order to allow for airflow to be manipulated. Airflow is manipulated by whether or not you have covered the carb hole while taking a hit, or how much the carb hole is covered. When you completely cover the carb hole, the air is forced to move through the packed bowl. This is what helps the dry herbs burn and what will create the smoke you inhale. Of course, if you never uncover the carb hole, you are going to make super thick, super hot hits that many novice smokers (and veteran smokers) cannot or do not want to handle.
To remedy this, you can uncover the carb hole! When the carb hole is completely uncovered, air flows from the side of the pipe into the mouthpiece. Since the majority of the airflow bypasses the bowl, this makes it easy to clear any smoke that remains in the smoke pathway. This particular benefit will vary from pipe to pipe, as some pipes have a very large chamber for the smoke to gather, while others have a short stem and the amount of smoke that remains in the pipe after taking a hit is minimal.
However, the best benefit of a carb hole is when you partially cover or repeatedly cover and uncover it while taking a hit. This allows you to control how much smoke is being produced at once, making hits easier to take and can also help cool the smoke down before it reaches your lungs. Manipulating the carb hole is a bit of an art form, but the more you use a particular pipe, the faster you will find the most comfortable way to smoke from it!
Of course not! You should be focused on getting a pipe that works best for your smoking needs. For example, if you plan on using one-hitter-styled pipes, you’ll almost never find one with a carb hole. Many styles of chillum and steamroller pipes also lack carb holes. If you are a novice smoker, it may not matter whether one of the early pipes you own has a carb hole or not. Be sure to take an inventory of what you know you want out of a pipe first, and then go shopping for a pipe that has those characteristics!
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