A Deeper Look At How Bongs Work
3 min

What Is A Percolator And Why You Should Use One

3 min
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'Percolator' is a term that's used a lot in the cannabis paraphernalia industry. You’ve probably already seen a percolator bong on Instagram or at a friend’s house. Let's take a look at how a percolator can improve your bong-hitting experience.

What Is A Percolator?

In lay terms, a percolator is a class of glass bong. This is described as a piece where the smoke is forced to break up into smaller streams. Most percolator bongs will have multiple chambers along the main shaft, with more water and smaller holes.

This works so that your smoke will take longer to reach your mouth, leading to a smoother experience. If the percolator also has multiple water chambers, it will filtre more of your smoke and help it cool down even further.

How It Works And How To Use One


If you’ve never seen a percolator bong, then it’s easier if we take it back to physics class. What the percolator essentially does is force the air coming from the bowl to go through tiny holes. This breaks the smoke into tiny bubbles in the water. Having multiple small bubbles of smoke instead of a couple of huge bubbles will make it so that more surface area of the smoke is in contact with water. With more surface area in contact with water, the temperature will decrease faster.

This, combined with the added time the smoke takes to travel, leads to an overall cleaner and fresher smoke. Most people stand by this as their preferred method of smoking. It definitely isn’t just another useless contraption.

Does It Affect The High?


The quick answer is no. There is nothing that backs the loss or gain of cannabinoids just with the use of a percolator. Although some people claim it gets them higher, this is probably just because they find it easier to take larger hits with a percolator piece. If anything, you could imagine there being a slight loss of THC because of the added filtration. But this highly unlikelyl as THC isn’t water-soluble.

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What Are The Benefits?

The benefits are obviously notorious. Once you have smoked out of a percolator piece, you will not feel content smoking out of a traditional bong. The smoking experience is dramatically improved. The smoke is smoother and tastier. With the lower temperature, terpenes are more easily identified by your tongue. Other than a percolator piece being more expensive, there are really no negatives to think of in regards to the percolator.

Different Types Of Percolators


There are different ways of “percolating” a piece. Let’s first start with the classic: the percolator bong. Like we described above, this is a piece where the chamber isn’t just one fat, open tube; it has segments with water and smaller tubes forcing the smoke to split into tiny bubbles. The percolator in integrated within the glass bong and can not be removed or replaced.

Another interesting percolator device is the downpipe. You can have both a percolator bong and a percolator downpipe for maximum effect. A percolator downpipe has small holes in the lowest extremity instead of one large opening. This, once again, forces the air to split up into smaller bubbles.

Another cool and optional bong upgrade is the ash catcher. This is another extra attachment that is placed between the downpipe and the bowl. As the name would suggest, an ash catcher is basically a removable part mainly used to catch the ash, keeping your bong - and smoking experience - cleaner in the long run. However, most ash catchers come with a built-in percolator for extra diffusion.

Percolators can be subdivided into further subcategories, coming in a wide array of designs, but they ultimately lead to the same result. You might find that a certain design works best for you, but there is no ultimate percolator. The most common designs are tree, inline, turbine, honeycomb, shower head, and spiral percolators.

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Top 3 Percolators


We obviously could not go on about percolators without giving you a few of our favourites. We’ll offer you three examples that vary by price, so that everyone can enjoy the percolator experience.

Glass Herb And Oil Bong Black Leaf

The first is from a famous German brand smokers' paraphernalia: Black Leaf. This Glass Herb And Oil Bong is a true masterpiece. It’s a great entry-level piece for its price and it delivers extremely smooth hits. This piece comes packing a percolator downpipe and a six-armed percolator in the chamber. And for even fresher hits, it also has dents to hold ice cubes, which we recommend you take advantage of.

Glass Herb And Oil Bong Black Leaf

View Glass Herb And Oil Bong

Glass Oil Rig Blaze Inline Diffuser

The second one on our list had to be the Inline Diffuser Oil Rig from Blaze. This is a beautifully designed bong that packs extreme functionality and finesse into one piece. The inline diffuser works extremely well in percolating the smoke and delivering smooth hits.


View Glass Oil Rig Blaze

Glass Bong 'black Leaf' Honeycomb With Lid

Last but not least is the HoneyComb glass pipe by Black Leaf. This bubbler has some well-thought-out features. The large screw-off lid allows for easy filling and cleaning, and adding ice is super simple too. The big opening on top can also be used as a big kick hole for an added rush. The honeycomb diffuser makes for a smooth inhale, and with the oil bowl attachment, it transforms into a dab rig. Made from 5mm thick borosilicate glass, it is nearly impossible to shatter.

VP glass bong black leaf honeycomb lid

View 'black Leaf' Honeycomb


Written by: Francisco
Francisco is a 20-year-old writer and photographer. His love for cannabis made him decide to pursue it in a professional realm. With a purpose of reducing the stoner stigma, Francisco writes positive and progressive articles.

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