How To: Determining Joint Gender and Size

While all of DHC’s glass comes with it’s own bowl piece or nail/dome combo, there may come a time when you want to personalize your bong or rig, buy an adapter for extra perc, or the bowl breaks or cracks from use. This is when it’s important to know about the joint gender and size of your smoking supplies.

Male VS. Female

You may already know the difference between male joints and female joints...but if you don’t, that’s okay, too! Bongs, bowl pieces, ash catchers, adapters, nails - these all have a gender, making it crucial to be able to distinguish between male and female smoking supplies.  


Take a look at your go-to bong. If the joint that you fit the bowl onto tapers at the end and you have to put accessories over it, then it’s a male. This means bowl pieces, domes, nails or other adapters must be female. Smoking devices like rigs that are designated for legal concentrates or oils work best with male joints.


If your smoking device has a joint that has a slightly wider mouth and accessories have to be inserted into it, rather then over it, it’s female and all add-on accessories should be male. Most conventional water pipes designed primarily for dry legal herbs or tobacco are going to be female.
Just think of basic anatomy or sex ed class and you should be able to guess which one’s which. Male goes in female; female slides over male. Easy enough. 

Size Matters

Before you go and pick up your new bowl piece or nail, there’s something else you need to be sure of: joint size. Luckily, there are only three common sizes you need to worry about.

10 mm

Commonly referred to as mini or nano joints, these are typically found on pendant rigs and other small pipes designed for legal concentrates. 10mm joint sizes are possibly the easiest to identify since they are super small

14 mm

This joint size is very common among standard water pipes, especially small to medium-sized ones. To see if your joint size is 14mm, grab a dime and hold it over the end of your pipe or bowl piece, whichever one is female. 14mm joints are slightly smaller than a dime, so if the dime doesn’t fit into it, the joint is most likely 14mm. If the joint is significantly smaller, though, you may have a 10mm joint on your hands.

18 mm


Also very common, 18mm joint sizes are generally used on larger devices like straight tubes or beakers. This size offers optimal air flow and can be identified using a similar dime method. If you can fit a dime through the female joint of your pipe or bowl piece, it’s 18mm.

Modify For Your Needs


While these are the standards for smoking supplies, there are ways to change up both the gender and size of your favorite smoking device. Glass adapters and dropdowns can be found with a few simple strokes of your keyboard and for usually less than $5, allowing you to not only turn a female joint into a male, but also transforming your 18mm bowl joint bong into a 10mm nail-outfitted rig.
Now that you know the ins and outs of joint genders and sizes, browse the DHC store for examples and visuals, or for the next addition of your smoking supplies collection!


  • Diva

    Thanks for the 411.. want to replace my bowl with a pinched bowl. Didn’t know how to size until now. Appreciate it

  • Dette

    Thank you guys. Good to know :-)

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