For the smoking connoisseur, a collection of pipes often encompasses a variety of weights, sizes, and shapes, but a pipe smoker nearly always has a favorite, a staple among the set. At Lighter USA, we take the art of smoking seriously, which means knowing the ins and outs of smoking pipes. Here’s a side by side comparison of some of the popular options.
Water Pipes vs Dry Pipes
One of the first choices a smoker makes is the type of pipe they prefer — dry or wet. Both are used for tobacco and marijuana, and both have pros and drawbacks.
A water pipe is typically noted for filtration and cooling. The water within the pipe actually cools the smoke, which helps prevent the smoker from experiencing the burning sensation in the back of the throat. Also, a water pipe has its own built-in filtration system by design, which helps prevent the inhalation of toxins. (You can learn more about the toxins found in pipe tobacco here). Downsides to the water pipe are that they can be difficult to clean and that most water pipes aren’t exactly portable.
Dry pipes present a great option because of their portability. It is easy to take it just about anywhere, which means you won’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to smoke from your pipe at your desired location. They’re also an economical choice, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the taste of the owner. One of the downsides to a dry pipe, though, is that the bowl is typically smaller than that of a water pipe, which means the space with which to place tobacco or legal herbs is limited.
Straight Stem Pipe vs Bent Stem Pipe
One of the main differences between dry pipes is the shape of its stem. Pipes either come with a straight stem or a stem that curves to varying degrees. A bent stemmed pipe is easier to hold in the mouth and is preferred for hands-free smoking. The straight-stemmed pipe, on the other hand, requires a fair amount of hand usage.
Many pipe smokers complain that bent stems collect moisture, which can cause a number of problems, including an increased chance of tongue bite. Tongue bit occurs when a smoker inhales smoke that is too hot and subsequently burns the tongue. When tobacco is moist, it tends to pack too tightly into the bowl, causing the smoker to puff harder than normal, which is why bent stems might be problematic. A straight stem, which doesn’t lead to moisture problems, is a great option to avoid tongue bite.
Smooth vs Textured Pipes
Just because they are for smoking doesn’t mean they can’t be pleasing to the eye, too! Smoking pipes come in either smooth or textured finishes, and the choice is dependent upon the smoker’s preference. A textured finish is a little more rustic in style while the smooth finish lends toward a simple and clean finish. Choosing between smooth and textured finishes will not affect your smoking experience in any way. This is simply an aesthetic choice.