Best weed pipe types

Discover the Best Weed Pipe Types for Your Smoking Needs

Posted by VITAE GLASS on

We know that navigating the different weed pipe types before making a purchase can seem overwhelming. They come in different designs, materials, and functionalities, each offering a unique smoking experience tailored to different preferences.

In exploring the different types of weed pipes, we'll get into how each type caters to specific needs, whether you're inclined towards the simplicity and discreetness of one hitters and spoon pipes, or the artistic allure of sherlock pipes and bubblers.

In the end, it's about picking the pipe that best fits you, however, after this guide, you'll know all the variations and how to use them.

A Brief History of Weed Pipes

Before we begin let's quickly cover the history of weed pipes. Here's a brief overview:

1. Ancient Beginnings: The oldest known cannabis smoking pipe, found in the Lalibela Cave in Ethiopia, dates back to 1320 AD [5] . This discovery, along with records of bubbler pipes in ancient Egypt [3] , highlights the long-standing relationship between humans and cannabis consumption through pipes.

2. Cultural Significance: In ancient Asia, around 500 BC, the earliest signs of humans smoking cannabis were observed [4] . This practice spread across different cultures for various purposes. For instance, in India, cannabis was used for spiritual enlightenment for thousands of years, while Rastafarians in Jamaica and some Native American tribes incorporated cannabis into their societies for meditation and religious ceremonies.

3. Evolution of Materials and Designs: Initially, pipes were made from clay, wood or animal horns, but with the beginning of the Iron Age around 1200 BC, metal became a popular material due to the availability of advanced tools [4] . The 1960s and 70s saw the emergence of glass pipes and bongs, revolutionizing the pipe-making industry. Bob "Snoddy" Snodgrass, known as the "Godfather of Glass," played a significant role in this evolution.

Types of Weed Pipes

Let's get into the world of different weed pipes because they're not all the same. Each is tailored for different smoking experiences and preferences. Here are the most popular types:

Different types of cannabis pipes
  • One Hitters: Ideal for those seeking a quick, discreet hit, one-hitters are small, cylindrical tubes designed for a single inhalation. Their compact size makes them perfect for on-the-go use [2]. There are two styles; Chillums and Dugouts.

  • Spoon Pipes: Known as the most common type of weed pipe, spoon pipes feature a bowl for packing your herb and a stem leading to the mouthpiece. Made primarily of glass, they offer a straightforward and effective smoking experience.

  • Hammer Pipes: Resembling a hammer in shape, these pipes have a flat bottom for stable placement. Similar to spoon pipes but with a distinctive design, they appeal to users looking for both functionality and aesthetics.

  • Sherlock Pipes: With a curved stem reminiscent of the iconic detective’s pipe, Sherlock pipes provide a touch of sophistication. They are perfect for those who appreciate a longer, cooler smoke. They are sometimes called Gandalf pipes.

  • Bubblers: Combining the portability of a hand pipe with the smooth hits of a bong, bubblers contain a water chamber that filters and cools the smoke. They are suited for smokers looking for a smoother experience in a handheld format.

One Hitters

If minimalism, simplicity, and efficiency are your style then one-hitters are for you. Here's a closer look at their features and how to use them:

Smoking one hitter
via Boing Boing

Design and Material: A one-hitter is a slender pipe with a straight tube design, with an open end or small bowl to place your herb and a mouthpiece on the other. These pipes are typically made from glass or metal. The choice between glass and metal often comes down to personal preference regarding aesthetics and taste [13].

Usage Instructions:

  • Grind your herb to a fine consistency.

  • Pack the ground herb into the end of the one-hitter.

  • Light the herb and inhale through the mouthpiece [14].

Types and Variations :

  • Chillums: A traditional form of one-hitter, used for thousands of years. They are typically cone-shaped and can be used with a bong joint as well.

  • Dugouts: These include a compartment for the one-hitter and another for storing cannabis, making them highly portable and discreet.

  • Bats: Resemble the shape of a baseball bat, providing a cigarette-like smoking experience [17].

One-hitters are celebrated for their discretion and conservation of cannabis. If you are a light recreational user of cannabis or microdose, then you'll want a one-hitter. They are also great for parties and music concerts due to discreet use [16].

Spoon Pipes

Spoon pipes are the most classic of all cannabis pipes. They are simple in design and function, yet they will never disappoint at getting their job done.

Spoon pipes do not include any form of water filtration. Instead, the flower is burnt and the smoke is delivered directly to your mouth.

Here's a closer look at their features and usage:

Metal spoon pipe
via HØJ

Design and Material: Spoon pipes are not very complex. On one end of the pipe, there is a spoon-like opening where the cannabis is packed which is known as the ‘bowl’. Bowls range in size and therefore range in the amount of cannabis that can be placed inside of them.

Below this opening, the inside of the bowl has a pocket of air where the smoke will collect before it is inhaled. To control the flow of smoke and air, spoon pipes feature what is known as a carburetor, or a ‘carb’.

A carburetor is a little hole on the side of the bowl that you cover with your finger as you light the cannabis.

When the carb is covered, the smoke collects in the bowl. When you release your finger, this allows the air to push the smoke into the next part of the pipe known as the ‘stem’.

Stems attach the bowl to one end and the mouthpiece to the other and keep the cannabis smoke inside of the spoon pipe as it travels from bowl to mouth.

At the end of the stem, you have the mouthpiece opening, the part you pull from.

They are primarily made from glass, silicone, or metal, each material offering a unique smoking experience. Glass spoon pipes, in particular, are favored for their sleek design and purity of taste [22][23].

How to Use:

  1. Grind your herb into a semi-fine consistency.

  2. Gently pack the ground herb into the bowl, not too tight to allow for proper airflow.

  3. Hold the pipe by the stem, place your thumb over the carb hole, and light the herb while inhaling through the mouthpiece. Adjust the airflow by releasing the carb hole as needed.

Maintenance: Regular cleaning is important to maintain the functionality and longevity of your spoon pipe. Using screens can also prevent debris and resin from entering the mouthpiece, ensuring a smoother smoking experience.

Pros of a Spoon Pipe

1. Spoon pipes are easy to use and a great way for a smoker of any experience level to comfortably smoke.

2. Spoon pipes are small and handheld, excellent for cannabis-friendly events or travel.

3. Spoon pipe bowls can generally hold a large amount of flower that can be shared with friends.

4. Because of their uncomplicated design, spoons are generally the cheapest of all pipes and they can be made from glass, silicone, wood, ceramic, and even clay!

Cons of a Spoon Pipe

1. Because spoon pipes do not use any water, they technically produce the dirtiest of all smoking pipes, and the hit can be hot and hard on your throat. 

2. These high temperatures can also burn away some of the essential cannabinoids, further taking away from the overall quality of smoke.

3. Spoon pipes become dirty quickly as resin easily traps and accumulates. This requires a lot of consistent cleaning.

The KØL 2.0 solves all of these issues with an easy-to-clean mechanical filtering system that cools the smoke without water so no more coughing.

Hammer Pipes

Hammer pipes, a distinctive choice in the world of cannabis smoking devices, are known for their unique design and functional features:

Glass hammer pipe
via Etsy

Design and Material: These pipes are typically made from durable borosilicate glass, and include a larger chamber for catching ash, a rounded bowl with a carb for easier access to the flame, and a flat base ensuring stability during use.

Color and Style Variations: Available in an array of color options, hammer pipes cater to a variety of personal preferences. Some models feature artistic designs such as linework or wig-wags, adding a touch of personal flair to the smoking experience.

Brand and Material Diversity: While brands like Bard Glass, Evan Cals Arts, Eyce, and Schmalex Glass are among those offering hammer pipes, these devices are not limited to glass alone. Silicone options are also available, providing a durable and often more colorful alternative. Regardless of the material, hammer pipes maintain a 'T' shape, akin to a cobb-style pipe, and are capable of holding a decent amount of flower [11][19].

These features make hammer pipes a unique option that is not a favorite style among smokers. Typically if function is more important than design to you, then you may find a hammer pipe to your liking.

Steamroller Pipes

Steamroller pipes look like something out of a scene with Native Americans. These pipes are often chosen by those seeking an intense smoking experience due to the powerful delivery mechanism. Here's a breakdown of their key features:

Smoking steamroller pipe
via Marijuana Packing

Design and Material: Characterized by an elongated glass cylinder, steamroller pipes have a mouthpiece on one end and a carb hole at the other. This layout is unique among weed pipes, with the carb hole's placement at the end allowing for a rapid intake of smoke. These pipes can be crafted from various materials including glass and wood.

Usage and Experience: To use, one simply needs to grind the herb, pack the bowl, cover the carb, light the herb, and inhale. This process delivers massive hits directly into the bloodstream, akin to bong hits but without water filtration.

The intense and powerful hits are attributed to the pipe's design, especially the carburetor hole's location, enabling quick shotguns of heavy smoke. It's this feature that makes steamroller pipes suitable for more experienced smokers.

Variety and Selection: Steamroller pipes are available in two main designs: one for smoking dry herb and the other for concentrates. Popular brands include ROOR, Grav Labs, and Marley Natural.

Sherlock Pipes

Sherlock pipes, often referred to as Gandalf pipes, are not just tools for smoking; they're a statement of style and preference for many cannabis enthusiasts.

Here's a breakdown of their unique features and why they might be the perfect choice for you:

Sherlock pipe
via Puffco

Design and Style:

  • Long, Curved Neck and Mouthpiece: This iconic design is not only visually appealing but also functional, providing cooler hits due to the extended path smoke travels before reaching your lungs.


  • Standing Sherlocks: These come with a flattened base or two glass dots for support, allowing them to be displayed as pieces of art when not in use.

  • Gandalf Pipes: Known for their elongated style, Gandalf pipes offer an elegant smoking experience, reminiscent of the wizard they're named after.

Material and Construction:

  • Main Parts: Each Sherlock pipe consists of a mouthpiece, bowl, and carb hole, crafted to ensure a smooth smoking experience.

  • Variety in Designs: From the Spiral Sherlock Hand Pipe to the Striped Giant Sherlock Pipe, there's a design for every taste, whether you prefer something simple or a pipe that's a conversation starter.

A lot of people are drawn to the old-fashioned aesthetic of these pipes. As such they make for great conversation pieces to be shared amongst friends [29][19]. If you bring one of these out, be ready with your best Gandulf impression from LOTR.

Due to the design and often fragile nature of these pipes, they do not transport easily so keep them at home.


Bubblers are a unique hybrid in the world of weed pipes, combining the filtration benefits of water with the compactness and ease of use of pipes. Here’s a closer look at why they stand out:

Bubbler pipe
via Purr Glass

Water Filtration: Similar to bongs, bubblers use water to filter smoke, which results in a smoother, cooler hit. This feature is particularly appealing to those who find bongs too big but still want the benefits of water filtration.

Portability and Design: Unlike their larger bong counterparts, bubblers are designed for portability. Compared to bongs, their compact size makes them ideal for on-the-go smoking sessions, however, they are still bigger than most weed pipes [3].

Ease of Use: For new smokers or those looking for a less intimidating experience, bubblers offer a straightforward method of consumption. Simply fill the water chamber, pack the bowl, light, and inhale. The inclusion of a carb hole allows for control over the smoke flow, making the experience customizable to individual preferences.

Bubblers represent a middle ground between the intense experience of bongs and the simplicity of traditional pipes, offering a balanced option for a wide range of users.

Concealable Pipes

Concealable weed pipes, often referred to as stealth pipes, cater to those who prioritize discretion in their smoking habits. These pipes are ingeniously designed to blend into everyday scenarios, making them perfect companions for users who are always on the move or wish to keep their cannabis consumption private.

Concealable path pipe
via Path Pipe

Stealth Pipes: Made primarily from metal, stealth pipes boast a design that can easily pass off as mundane objects, making them an excellent choice for social gatherings like parties and festivals.

Dugout Systems: A step beyond the standalone stealth pipe, dugout systems offer a more complete solution. They typically include a carrying case with a special compartment for the pipe and another for storing cannabis. Many dugouts are made to look like everyday objects.

Innovative Designs: Some concealable pipes come with features tailored for the utmost discretion and portability. For instance, foldable pipes hinge in the middle, allowing for compact storage that can easily be hidden away. Meanwhile, certain stealth pipes are designed to mimic socially acceptable items, further camouflaging their true purpose, just as the Path Pipe, which looks like a steel box when closed.

Water Pipes

Water pipes, also known as bongs, are far more intricate than simple pipes.

Bongs take on multiple shapes and sizes, some as large as 6 feet high bongs, with a plethora of different types to choose from. 

To be defined as a water pipe it must feature the inclusion of water to filter the smoke before inhalation. 

Smoking water pipe
via VITAE Glass

Pros Of A Water Pipe

1. Water pipes are extremely effective at getting you high as the water protects the cannabinoids from being burnt away from too much heat. And the more cannabinoids equal increased effects!

2. Not only does the water protect the quality of your smoke, but it also makes bongs some of the cleanest pipes to smoke out of.

3. The smoke itself is filtered by the water which prevents the build-up of resin that can take away from the flavor and taste of the cannabis flower.

4. All of this filtration makes for one the lightest hits on your throat. But for those of you who enjoy those big, milky pulls; don't worry. You can pack and burn just about any amount of cannabis into a bong as you wish.

Cons Of A Water Pipe

1. The intricacies of a water pipe can sometimes be intimidating for new smokers, as they appear complicated to the eye.

2. If you aren't sure how much cannabis is right for you, then you may want to steer away from a bong as the size of the hits can be difficult to judge.

3. We love our tall bongs but they can be difficult to transport; so if you want to smoke on the go a spoon pipe of one hitter is better for you.

4. Cleaning a bong can be tricky if you don't have a modular bong. The detachable design makes cleaning easy.

How to Choose a Weed Pipe

Choosing the right weed pipe is a personal journey that hinges on several key factors:

1. Material Considerations:

  • Glass: Offers smooth, flavorful hits and comes in durable, high-quality options like borosilicate, which is resistant to thermal shock [9][10].

  • Metal, Silicone, Wood: Each has unique cleaning requirements and durability, with metal and silicone being notably resilient [11].

2. Design Preferences:

  • Bowl Size: Tailor your choice to your smoking habits; larger bowls for longer sessions. One hitters for quick sessions.

  • Shape: For cooler smoke and a comfortable grip, consider shapes like the spoon and sherlock style.

3. Quality and Budget:

  • Quality: Opt for borosilicate glass for durability and a superior smoking experience. Thicker glass pipes are less prone to damage and maintain the cannabis's flavor better.

4. Price: Quality doesn’t have to break the bank. Prices range from $20-$50 for high-quality options, with more intricate designs being pricier.

Common Weed Pipe Materials

You now have a good understanding of the different weed pipe types. If you've selected the style you like, next is choosing the material your pipe is made from.

Each material offers a distinct set of advantages that cater to various smoking preferences and needs. Here's a breakdown:

Glass Pipes:

  • Non-Porous Nature: This keeps the flavor pure and reduces residue buildup, making it easier to clean [11].

  • Artistic Designs: Available in a wide array of colors and patterns, glass pipes are as much a piece of art as they are a smoking tool.

  • Borosilicate Glass: Known for its durability and resistance to thermal shock, making it a premium choice for smokers.

Metal Pipes:

  • Durability: Metal is highly resilient, making these pipes a cost-effective, long-term option.

  • Ease of Cleaning: These can be easily cleaned, though they require more frequent maintenance to prevent flavor alteration.

  • Flavor Impact: This may introduce metallic undertones to the smoking experience.

Wood Pipes:

  • Flavor Enhancement: Certain woods, like briar, cherry, and olive, can impart a mild, pleasant flavor to the smoke.

  • Preparation Required: Wood pipes need to be burned or 'seasoned' inside the bowl before first use to prevent actual burning during smoking [11].

  • Cleaning Process: Wood is harder to clean, differing from the simpler cleaning methods of glass and metal pipes.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Pipe

Maintaining and cleaning your weed pipe is not just about aesthetics; it's about ensuring a pleasurable smoking experience and the longevity of your pipe.

Here’s a straightforward guide to keep your pipe in pristine condition:

1. Essential Cleaning Tools:

  • Isopropyl alcohol and salt for soaking and scrubbing.

  • Zip-lock bags for soaking small parts or the entire pipe.

  • Pipe cleaners, cotton swabs, and warm water for detailed cleaning.

2. Cleaning Steps for Optimal Maintenance:

  • Empty the pipe of any residue.

  • Place the pipe in a zip-lock bag filled with isopropyl alcohol and salt. Shake well.

  • Let it soak for a few hours or overnight for a deep clean.

  • Gently scrub stubborn spots, rinse with warm water, and allow it to dry completely.

3. Alternative Cleaning Methods:

  • For bubblers: Fill with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt, shake, rinse with hot water.

  • For heavy buildups: Freeze the pipe to make scraping off easier or use acetone for a faster clean.

Different Weed Pipes Sorted

You have now been brought into the diverse world of weed pipes, from the convenience of one-hitters and the aesthetic allure of spoon and Sherlock pipes to the functional sophistication of bubblers and the discretion of concealable pipes.

Materials like glass, metal, and wood not only dictate the aesthetics but also influence the taste and maintenance, making the choice of pipe a highly personalized decision.

As the cannabis culture continues to evolve, so too does the innovation in pipe design and materials, promising ever-more satisfying and diverse smoking adventures.

Weed Pipe Types FAQs

What are the top methods for smoking cannabis?

The top methods for smoking cannabis include:

  • Pre-Rolls (Joints): A portable and classic way to enjoy and share.

  • Vape Pens: Known for their convenience, discretion, and dosage control.

  • Pipes or Bowls: Simple and traditional smoking tools.

  • One-Hitters: Compact and discreet for a quick hit.

  • Dab Pens: For consuming concentrates on the go.

  • Dab Rigs: Designed for a more intense experience with concentrates.

  • Water Pipes: Offer filtration for a smoother hit.

  • Bubblers: Combine the portability of a pipe with the water filtration of a bong.

Which pipe is known for not burning your throat?

The KØL pipe is renowned for its mechanical cooling, cough-less technology that significantly cools the smoke and filters out hot resin and tar, preventing burns to your tongue and throat. Made from medical-grade aluminum, this pipe is durable and easy to clean.

How does the length of a weed pipe affect the smoking experience?

The length of a weed pipe affects the temperature of the smoke inhaled. A longer pipe chamber provides cooler smoke, while a shorter pipe results in warmer smoke. In France, very short pipes are known as "Brule gueule" or "mug burner." These are not recommended for beginners due to the uncomfortably hot smoke they can produce.

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