How to choose and maintain a pipe?

by Liu Renhao

How to choose and maintain a pipe?

How to choose your pipe?

Whether it is glass, wood, metal, or acrylic, the choice of a pipe must be made on the use you are going to make of it. If we use it at home, we can take a fine glass pipe, but for the ride, we will take it more in metal or thick glass, in wood...

How to choose your pipe? Several things to remember such as the material, the size.Then the color and the aesthetics are important: a pretty pipe is more pleasant than an old one.

1 / The parts that make up the pipe.

Several parts make up a pipe: A small diagram of a pipe

There is the bowl (hearth):

The bigger it is, the more tobacco you can put in your pipe and smoke for a long time. On the metal vats, which have a very large hole, we often find grids that make it possible not to "eat" tobacco while smoking. These screens can be purchased separately and come in several sizes. (small or medium )

We can put a grill in the fireplace

The body:

The longer it is, the more time the smoke will have to cool and soften before reaching your mouth. The smaller it is, the more the pipe will fit in the pocket...

Example of different pipe body size

The draw:

This is the inside of the pipe, the wider it is the easier you can pull the pipe, and the more smoke you absorb at one time.

Example of 3 different prints from the largest on the left to the smallest on the right

And various parts:

Some pipes have an open draft, an "air intake" at the end. It is not blocked, and you place your finger to close the pipe. When you have sucked in the smoke, you can lift your finger, continuing to suck, which lets fresh air through, and blows out the rest of the smoke.

The pipe is "open" on each side keep the air intake closed with your finger

There are also sometimes small parts in a compound pipe, such as rings to hold several parts, a mouthpiece, etc. They are often screwed and removable.

A pipe composed of connecting rings, a metal mouthpiece for the mouth ...

2 / The materials.

There are pipes in different materials on the market.


Traditional, wooden pipes are often classic in shape, with a hearth that is often (but not always!) Removable (screwed). Wood is a warm and traditional material. It is pleasant to the touch and in the mouth. However, it is a “living” material that will wear out naturally over time (taking on a certain patina) but which will also retain the taste and smell. Wood is sensitive to moisture and may warp and split slightly. However, this is quite rare for a pipe. However, a wooden pipe should not be cleaned with any liquid, even pure water.


Glass pipes are often the prettiest. It is a material that is easy to maintain because it will not “age” over time, unlike wood. Glass does not become porous, will not crack. Regular maintenance will eliminate odors and deposits, dirt, etc.

The reverse of the glass… is that it breaks! Some glasses are thicker than others. So some bongs can have walls up to 9mm! Glass pipes remain fragile, and their thickness generally ranges from less than a millimeter to 2 mm. Glass pipes are generally intended for use at home, but some small ones can go with you on a walk, for example, the "shotgun" by Black Leaf.


All metal pipes are the most resistant, and the best choice for “all-terrain” use. They are often removable, which facilitates their maintenance. Metal is not necessarily the most pleasant material in the mouth, especially not in cold weather. They are often pretty because the metal can be colored, and of very varied shapes.

Acrylic (plastic)

Plastic pipes are in fact multi-material because plastic alone cannot make a 100% pipe because it would melt!

There are therefore also plenty of small "multi-material" pipes: the body of the pipe can be in colored or transparent acrylic, and the tank in metal, as well as certain parts such as the mouthpiece, the assembly rings, in metal. These pipes are generally small to medium.

Pipe made of several materials: wood for the tank, metal for the body, and plastic for the decoration ...

3 / Size and shape

To choose a pipe you also have to think about the size: the smaller the pipe, the hotter the smoke you will absorb in your mouth. The bigger and longer the pipe, the easier it will "pass". You also have to think about the “draft”: the narrower the inside of the pipe, the more difficult it will be to vacuum.

4 / Special features.

Some pipes have peculiarities; for example, the air intake which I mentioned above. Others are “camouflaged” (mushroom pipe for example), transformable (magnetic pipes…), we have a special shape like the “eagle bill” for inhalation. Some are completely removable which makes cleaning easier, others have a central removable part like the Popey pipe, cooling pipes like the Black Leaf pipe in a box.

There are also "water pipes", which are more small bongs, called mini bongs, than real pipes.

How to maintain your pipe?

Be careful, a dirty pipe is a pipe that you do not want to smoke! The taste and smell can quickly put you off smoking. If you want to keep this pleasure, you have to maintain your pipe regularly.

To do this we use different accessories, and different methods depending on the material.

For glass pipes:

As for the gongs, I recommend that you use our organic cleaning products. You immerse the pipe in the diluted product, you wait, if necessary you brush, you rinse, and presto! It's clean.

For Metal Pipes:

Substantially the same as for glass pipes, taking care according to the quality of the metal and if the pipe has several parts to dry well after rinsing.

For wooden pipes:

Warning! Wood is a “living” material that fears humidity. I advise against using products, or even water. (Except for the fireplace, if it is metal and can be dismantled). Use a single-use, dry pipe cleaner. Moreover, for all pipes (except some specific ones like "USA pipes" in glass) the pipe cleaner is an essential accessory.

Find Mini Bongs Here