Glass pipes are smoking devices used with tobacco and made of treated glass. They have gained popularity among modern smokers for the purer flavor of the smoke, the various shapes, and styles that impart different smoking experiences, and the beauty of the glasswork itself. Each pipe is handmade, often working from hot glass with various blowing or sculpting techniques, but sometimes from cold glass that is cut and polished like gemstones. The glass can also be treated and detailed, such as by rolling the hot glass in colored glass powder or passing metal vapors through it.
Types of Glass Pipes
Glass pipes come in multiple shapes and sizes. Each offers a different experience, though they all have the same basic function. Most pipes you’ll find can be put into one of five categories:
Chillums, or glass bats, are the most basic design. These small glass tubes are packed with tobacco in one end then lit and inhaled from the other. While easy to use, they lack carburetors and only hold a small amount of tobacco.
Glass Hand Pipes
Glass hand pipes sport a small bowl to put your tobacco in and a hole that acts as a basic carburetor. The user alternates between covering the hole to draw air from the bowl, then uncovering to inhale the smoke; the smoke is fresher this way.
Sherlocks feature a large bowl and an arching stem and are named for their resemblance to the fictional detective’s pipe. Some are called Gandalfs instead for their elongated pipes.
Bubblers filter smoke through a chamber of water that removes harsher elements. Hot or cool water can be used, with different smoking experiences.
Steamrollers have open glass fittings on either end of the pipe; the one nearest the bowl is the carburetor. Optionally, a middle glass chamber “rolls” smoke to cool it faster. The resulting hits are powerful, but they can be overwhelming for novices.
Proper Use of Glass Pipes
Glass pipes work at their best when smoke is passed through quickly to not become stale, and when they are kept clean and free of buildups like resin and tar. The best are made of borosilicate glass, which is more resistant to physical damage and heat. Cleaning your treated glass pipe can require meticulous attention, but Bud’s has a wide selection of cleaning supplies to make your job easy while also protecting the integrity of your pipe.
The Downtown Phoenix Head Shop, Bud’s Glass Joint is also proud to carry exclusively Arizona-blown glass. Our pieces from Arizona legends Lizard Stix, Frank Pipes, HP Loveglass and Desi B, to name a few are as artistic and unique as they are functional. Browse our collection of expertly-made pipes and see what catches your eye.