Glass Bongs Guide

Glass Pipes, Wood Pipes, and Metal Pipes: What’s the Difference?

Tuesday, 01 December 2015

Many smokers out there start off with a pipe as their first smoking companion. It’s a great place to start for a few good reasons: they’re cheap so you don’t have to spend much to buy or replace one if you lose it, they’re small so they’re easy to hide, or carry around with you and they’re reliable. They also tend to come in a lot of great shapes, sizes and designs. This means a whole group of friends could all have one and no two will look the same. It lets you pick a piece that matches your personality and expresses your individuality. Today, we’ll look at a few of the different types of pipes out there to let you know their pros and cons. This is in no way a comprehensive list of every type out there, it’s a rundown of some of the most common to give any beginner smoker a leg up in picking one they’ll love for a long time!

Glass Pipes


Your local head shop likely has these in spades. They’re a great reliable piece for those who like to keep their smoking experience pure because glass is inert. This means that the flavor of your herb will be unchanged by the material you’re smoking from. This means you’ll be able to better tell the difference in flavor between good herb and crappy herb. They’re also a dream to clean because you can simply dunk them in Isopropyl alcohol and let it sit until it’s totally clean (usually overnight). Depending on the piece, it might also feature a really cool design or color scheme that better expresses your personality.


These pieces are usually the most expensive of the three mentioned in this post. This is because glass pipes for sale are often hand made by glass blowers. That means all those colors and designs that match your personality are something you’ll have to pay for. They can also be a bit on the bigger side, which means although you can easily clean them, you’ll need a container big enough to hold the total size of the piece to take advantage of it. The last big problem is durability. Glass is not good friends with high force impact, so constant care is needed when handling or transporting one of these.

Wood Pipes


Are you a bit of a hipster? It’s okay, we don’t judge here at Vapesterdam. It’s okay to like the nostalgic look of an old school piece with a wood bowl. These pieces have a very earthy, natural feel because of their use of wood and can sometimes look like something a dad on a 50’s sitcom might smoke after a long day at the factory or whatever. The point is, these pieces often have a very distinctive look to them that either communicate “I’m a smoker with a 1950’s throwback style!” or “I’m a smoker who’s one with the earth.” Either way, when you smoke with them, you always feel like you’re smoking in style.


A wood pipe is a pain in the ass to clean. You can’t soak it in cleaning solution to bring it back to being good as new so you’ll likely have to settle for a hard-core brushing. This means your piece will accumulate resin and smell stronger and stronger until it’s impossible to hide. The moment you buy a wood piece, start the count down. Its days will be numbered unless you can afford to not care about the smell.

Metal Pipes


You can likely find metal pipes at your corner store so you don’t even have to head over to the nearest head shop (unless it’s closer). Metal pipes are the cheapest out of all the three. I got my first one for $7 and I’m pretty sure I overpaid. They usually unscrew into smaller pieces which benefits you in a few ways:

  • You can use a much smaller container than you would with a glass piece to clean it because it’s in pieces
  • You can transport it more easily in pieces rather than a single unit and when you’re putting it back together to use it
  • You feel like a secret agent or assassin putting together a gun they carried to the location in a briefcase when you go to use it

The last one is arguable but you get the idea. Cleaning is a breeze, transportation is a cinch and it also feels cool to screw it back together. The price tag also means replacing it if you lose it is not an issue. Breaking it won’t be an issue because, well, metal. When was the last time you easily broke something metal?


Not all metal is created equal. Have you ever licked a nickel? How about a penny, have you ever put a penny in your mouth? Probably not, but some pieces will close the gap for you by providing you with the exact same flavor experience. You have to be careful when selecting the type of pipe you get, otherwise you could end up feeling like you have a mouth full of pennies whenever you take a hit.  Lastly, these pieces aren’t always the best looking. They’re rugged for sure, but that comes at the cost of their design.


What you should take away from this is that your pipe should communicate what you’re about. Are you about style, personality, or utility? Whichever you are, the piece you pick should be something you’ll be happy with for years to come, so take your time, think about it and choose wisely. Take that advice and you’ll be thanking us 10 years from now.