There’s more to dry pipes than just the typical bowl piece. While many see water pipes as the intricate items to understand and interpret, we forget how many different types of water-less hand pipes are out there, and how truly diverse these smoking supplies can be. Read through the following guide of Types of Dry Pipes to become an expert identifier and figure out the next addition to your smoking supply stash.
As the name suggests, these pipes are small enough for only one hit at a time. While all hand pipes are characteristically covert, these are popular as being top notch in portability and discreteness - some even mimic a cigarette! One-hitters, or bats, are very easy to use, as they are typically just a skinny tube with a spot at one end for packing a single pull, with a mouthpiece at the other end. You really just light and pull like you would a standard cigarette or roll.
Some one-hitters even come with a dugout, or a portable box with 2 compartments: one for legal herbs or tobacco and one narrow compartment for the bat, providing easy loading on the go. One-hitters can be made of a variety of materials including glass, quartz, metal, acrylic or wood.
Chillums are similar to one-hitters, except they feature a larger bowl and have more options for artistry and size. They're made up of a small straight tube with one end used for holding a personal sized amount of tobacco and the other end used for inhaling, but they differ from one-hitters in that they can hold more than a single drag.
Chillums are also seen as great starter pipes for beginners, since you only have to concentrate on loading, lighting and inhaling, and they're perfect for one-person smoke sessions. Most varieties of chillums are manufactured out of glass or titanium, but they can be made out of wood.
PRO TIP: Due to their size, chillums are best lit at a 45 degree angle to prevent dry herb from falling to the floor.
Glass blunts are quickly growing in popularity, due to their simplicity and the control of being able to load just the right amount of tobacco or legal herbs for the smoker’s needs, whether that be smoking alone or in a group. Glass blunts are made to replace rolling papers or hemp wraps, and most are constructed with an outer tube and an inner tube, held in place by some type of rubber casing. Instead of needing to become a master roller, or running the risk of having to smoke a whole wrap on your own, a glass blunt lets you easily load and smoke as much as you want. The glass construction provides a smoother hit and a durability that standard papers just can’t match. After the pipe is loaded to your liking, light the end and inhale through the mouthpiece. If you go too long between hits, you may have to relight the product to produce smoke again, like a normal wrap.
Most glass blunts are alike in the way they function, but some operate a little differently. Some glass blunts have a slide mechanism or an extending mouthpiece you can remove to load your tobacco, and then reinsert and push forward as contents burn to eject ash. Others have an interior twisted structure that you can rotate as you smoke in order to empty. And some are simply a glass blunt! Or a glass tube that you pack and smoke like a normal roll and then gently tap to ash. But all designs alleviate the usual anxiety of burning ends dropping where they may, in the most messy or inconvenient of ways.
Added bonus: glass blunts are intrinsically wind resistant, healthier than standard papers, and eco-friendly thanks to their reusability!
Good ol’ spoon pipes are the most widely known, quintessential smoking device used by smokers worldwide.These traditional dry pipes feature a bowl for tobacco and a carburetor, with a mouthpiece at the other end. Some vaguely resemble a spoon shape, hence their name, but others have evolved with the times and come in various shapes and sizes. For those who don’t know, a carburetor, or carb, is the hole usually found on the side of the bowl end that allows additional air to be drawn in. When the hole is covered with a finger or thumb, incoming air is lured through the bowl and its contents, moving smoke into the pipe.
When the hole is then uncovered, air enters through the carb opening, allowing all of the smoke in the pipe to be rapidly inhaled. Smokers generally agree that glass pipes with carbs produce fresher smoke than those without them (like the one-hitters, chillums or glass blunts above). Spoon pipes are commonly constructed out of glass but can also be shaped out of silicone, wood, clay, ceramic, or even crystals!
The most sophisticated. Named after the famous Sherlock Holmes pipe, sherlocks capture a somehow traditional yet unique aesthetic, exhibiting a large bowl for tobacco and an extended, arching stem that often curves down and back up for quite the comfortable smoking experience. Gandalf pipes fall under the Sherlock classification, but are distinct in that the stem is highly elongated, much like the one everyone’s favorite smoke-ring-blowing wizard used in LOTR.
These dry pipes feature a novel curved mouthpiece that presents a longer path for smoke to travel, thus creating a smoother hit.The bottom of the bowl usually has a flattened base or stabilizing “feet” that allow the pipe to stand freely when not in use. However, sherlocks (and galdalfs) may or may not have a carb, so be sure to check before buying if that’s something you want. These pipes are normally made of glass or wood, and sometimes metal.
PRO TIP: Sherlock Pipes can be larger and a touch more delicate than standard hand pipes, so they may be best for smoking at home instead of on-the-go.
This is another pipe that may initially look like a chillum in design...but is definitely not. Steamrollers traditionally feature a cylindrical design, capped by a mouthpiece at one end while a bowl is usually indented into the top of the opposite end. Steamrollers are typically made of thick glass, while some are even built with a nail instead of a bowl, for smoking oil. The cool thing is both ends are open, and the bowl end doubles as a type of carb. So, you light the tobacco or legal herbs, then cover the open end near the bowl with your hand, which fills the pipe with smoke for you to swiftly inhale all at once after you re-expose the end.
Steamrollers have a notorious reputation for consistently delivering heavy smoke that hits harder than the average dry pipe, although some steamrollers do have chambers between the bowl and the mouthpiece that allegedly cause smoke to be "rolled" to increase cooling. Because of their supreme, low-resistance clearing capabilities, steamrollers are not recommended for newbies. However, for seasoned smokers who know their inhaling capabilities, steamrollers can bring quite the experience.
Specialty pipes refer to any type of hand pipe that doesn’t quite belong in any other category, like a themed or novelty pipe, or one made with a unique design or function, or is maybe even a mix between two types. They are often uncommon pipes that offer the user something different. Specialty pipes are traditional enough that you can simply pack the material into the bowl chamber, ignite and go, and most specialty pipes even feature a carb, letting you clear your smoke and alter your airflow.
Specialty pipes can come in an extremely wide array of shapes, styles, and colors, and can be made with glass, wood, silicone, metal or acrylic. But all variations offer something unique that will make for a stand-out piece in your smoking supplies collection!