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What To Consider When Buying A (First) Bong
3 min

What To Consider When Buying A (First) Bong

3 min

Fed up with rolling joints? Not so keen on your vaporizer anymore? Maybe it's time to seek out a bong! But what should you look for when choosing that inaugural bong? Have no fear! This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know and more, so you can shop like a pro.

Navigating the world of bongs can be difficult with so many different brands, materials, shapes, sizes, and types. This guide will help you figure out which bong to select. Before we dive in, think about how and when you want to use your bong. What do you want to smoke with it (herbs or concentrates), will you use it on a daily base or occasionally, and is it for home use exclusively? Answering these questions will help you define which bong is best for you!

Material

Bong Material

When perusing your local head shop or browsing online, you’ll notice that bongs are commonly made from either silicone, glass, or acrylic. These are certainly the most popular materials, and for good reason. They are often easy to clean, sleek in design, and overall make for an enjoyable and hassle-free smoke experience. Although some may regard glass bongs as fragile, it is possible to buy bongs constructed from a material known as “scientific glass” (borosilicate) that is much stronger and can withstand the occasional knock.

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Glass, Acrylic, Silicone, Or Ceramic: Choosing The Right Bong

Other, less common bong materials include ceramic and metal. Metal bongs are known for being sturdy, making them ideal for those looking to take a toke on the go. In some cases, it has been noted that metal has the potential to impact the flavour of your herb or concentrate, unlike glass or ceramic.

While bongs made from one material undoubtedly have their place in the world of smoking, more and more, we're seeing pipes constructed from numerous components. One such company that prides itself on combining sustainably sourced materials is Marley Natural. Run by the immediate family of the late musician and cannabis icon Bob Marley, the company produces bongs made from a combination of materials such as wood, glass, and metal. The result is a highly functional water pipe that provides great looks as well as a smooth and flavourful hit each time you reach for it. 

Of course, your choice of bong and its material will really depend on your smoking regimen. Are you planning on taking your water pipe with you on your travels, or will it stay safely nestled at home? The material will almost certainly impact how portable your bong can be.

Size

Bong Size

It is the age-old question: “Does size matter?”. Well, in terms of purchasing your first bong, it does indeed! Once you’ve decided on the material of your bong, you now have to find one that is suitable in size. How do you determine which size is best for you? Once again, consider how portable you want your piece to be, and how size may impede or improve the functionality of your smoking experience.

A larger bong will have a bigger chamber, allowing you to take more sizable and cooler hits, whereas a smaller bong will be much more compact in size, making for hotter and harsher smoke, much like smoking from a regular pipe. For many smokers, however, discretion plays a huge role, and thus they may opt for a smaller bong they can travel with over a huge centrepiece bong. That said, for use exclusively at home, a large, ornate glass bong might look really nice in your lounge. For your first purchase, we recommend bongs with a height of around 20–35cm.

Price

bong Price

While you might think you need to invest as much money as possible into your first bong, this is not the case. You can buy many high-quality bongs at very reasonable prices. But, it is hugely important to set a budget you can stick to. As you may expect, acrylic bongs are the cheapest option for the budding smoker, and often the go-to for many first-timers.

We recommend a budget of around 100 EUR for your first bong. This is substantial enough to ensure a quality item without breaking the bank. Whether you are looking at glass, silicone, ceramic, or the like, set your budget and find your chosen bong.

Design

Design Of A Bong

Now onto the really fun part. Along with the material used, the design of your bong can vary widely, from simple, streamlined pieces to massive models with numerous chambers and percolators. Although the most unusual or crazy-looking bongs will no doubt catch your eye when browsing, they are often not recommended for novices. This is not to say that you can’t have fun picking a future bong. There are some amazing novelty bongs available on the market, such as gas masks and alien bongs, that are sure to be the talk of your smoke group.

For a first-time purchase, we recommend a smaller, simpler bong that will house your herbs or concentrates with ease. You can still find sleek, easy-to-use models featuring flourishes like ice-catchers; this way, you can cool your smoke for smoother hits.

As an additional tip, the use of hemp wick is widely praised amongst bong users as a substitute for a traditional lighter. As it burns at a lower temperature compared to a lighter, simply light up the hemp wick and focus on enjoying the smooth flavours of your herb instead of on lighting the bowl.

Maintenance

Maintenance Of A Bong

Regardless of which type of bong you choose, maintenance is hugely important, and will extend the life of your piece significantly. Bongs made from glass are arguably the easiest to maintain, and bongs made from silicone can even be cleaned in a dishwasher for a truly low-maintenance experience. Ceramic or metal bongs, on the other hand, can potentially be a little trickier to maintain. This often leads to earlier replacements compared to other types.

Help is at hand, however, as there are numerous tools you can use to increase the longevity of your chosen bong. Cleaning the bong with alcohol wipes and a cotton-tipped brush will make short work of the grime. If there are stubborn spots of dirt, you can even buy cleaning tools made from surgical steel to pick those pesky remaining pieces out of your soon-to-be-pristine bong.

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How To Deep Clean Your Filthy Bong Or Pipe

Which Bong Will You Choose?

There you have it. Just a few factors to keep in mind to help you make that all-important first bong purchase. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your brand-new bong today! A new world of cannabis enjoyment is soon to be unlocked.

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
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