A bowl is one required apparatus when it comes to smoking from a bong. It is the part that holds the herb! Most bong bowls are shaped like a bowl or an upside down bell. They consist of two parts; a head (the bowl) that is attached to a long and slender cylinder (the downstem). They come in many different sizes; from small single hit bowls, to mid sized bowls, all the way to fat party bowls. The length of the downstem varies too. The downstem is the part that slides into the bong. The stem needs to be long enough to reach the water in the chamber but not so long as to touch the bottom. Most bowls are versatile and can be used for many different bongs.
How to use a Bong Bowl?
When you want to use a bong, the first step is to place your bowl into the downstem first. This hole is typically found near the bottom. The downstem will slide right in or out. The bowl has what is called a male connection piece while the bong will have a female connection piece. The female part should have a small rubber o-ring to create a good seal. Make sure the ring is in place and there are no cracks before getting ripped, otherwise the session will be less than optimal.
Next, pack your bowl with ground herbs. If you don’t grind your buds first, the bowl will not burn evenly. Some bongs will have a carb but most will not. Instead of having a carb you’ll pull the bowl out slightly or completely depending on the size of your stem. If your seal and downstem are in good order but you are having difficulty pulling in a hit, it is probably time to clean the bowl. Bowls will get clogged with resin over time. Keep your pieces clean for the best smoking experience.
Different Types Of Bong Bowls
There are a few different types of bowls and materials used to make glass pipes. The kind for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Most people use glass bong bowls; they’re easy to find and come in tons of sizes, shapes and colors. Below is a list of some of the most popular types of bowls:
Glass Bong Bowls
Glass is the most prevalent and popular type of bowl. They come in all sizes from tiny to huge. You can find tons of different colors and designs to suit your style. The price of glass ranges from dirt cheap to fairly expensive. It remains relatively cool while smoking so you can touch the bowl. It is also relatively easy to keep clean. However, glass is fragile and is prone to breaking when heated too many times or is dropped.
Gravity Bong Bowls
A gravity bong is considered a homemade bong, though there are a few kinds you can buy. Gravity bong bowls don’t get too hot so they can be handled throughout the smoking session. Rather than use your lungs to gather smoke, you let the physics of gravity do the work with this type of bong. Just remove the bowl before you clear the hit or you’ll lose your herbs!
Dab Nail for Bongs
A dab nail for a bong is also called a banger or domeless nail. These bowls let you dab wax, shatter and other concentrates. They are generally used with a dab rig. However, most rigs are very similar to bongs and the bong bowls can be interchanged. Because a dab nail must be totally torched they can get too hot to touch. Bangers are fairly fragile so be careful when handling them.
Cool Bong Bowls
If you’re looking for an interesting bowl or something aesthetically pleasing, you can find some really cool bong bowls. The bigger the bowl and the more artistic it is the pricier it will be. There are multi-bowl bongs too, like in-line, double bowls, and revolver heads, for folks that really want to get ripped. Ash catcher bowls are great for keeping your bong clean. There are even electric bong bowls for state of the art smoothness.
Metal Bong Bowls
Metal bong bowls are sturdy and practically indestructible. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. Metal bowls are relatively inexpensive but can be harder to find than glass. Most are in the shape of a funnel. They also heat up quickly and become too hot to handle. However, there are excellent poker tools and pull slides on the market to help with hot bowl handling.
How to Clean a Bong Bowl
Cleaning your bong and bowl is important for the best taste and fullest hits. First, soak your pieces in a cleaning solution or rubbing alcohol. After a good soak, you can scrub with a pipe cleaner and rinse with water. Let your bowl dry completely before using.
How to Make a Homemade Bong Bowl?
If you’re in a pinch you can always craft a bong bowl from a number of household objects:
Fruit Homemade Bong Bowl
You can make a bowl from an apple! Just carve out two tunnels that connect through the fruit using a knife, screwdriver or pencil.
Bottle Homemade Bong Bowl
Grab a plastic bottle and fill a quarter of it with water. Poke a hole in the neck of the bottle near the top for the carb. Make another hole near the top of the water line for your bowl. Use a hollow highlighter and wrap the larger end with tinfoil. Make sure you poke holes in the foil to let the smoke through. Insert the unwrapped end of the highlighter into the downstem hole and voila!
Remove the cap from a plastic bottle and wrap foil around the top. Poke a few small holes in the foil. Cut the bottom two inches off the bottle in a ring. Grab a container that is bigger than your foiled bottle and fill with water. Push the top bottle into the water until there is an inch or two left. Light your bud and pull the bottle up. Pull the foil off and inhale while pushing the bottle back into the water.
Bong Bowl Sizes
Bowls come in different sizes so it is important to know what you need before buying one. You can easily measure using a penny. First, check your stem size. Lay the penny flat and the stem on top. If the stem barely covers the penny you have a 10mm downstem. If the penny is half covered you have 14mm. If the penny is entirely covered it is 18mm. For the bowl measurement, place the penny perpendicular into the bowl. If the penny won’t fit at all you have a 10mm bowl. If the penny is nestled just inside the bowl it is 14mm. If the penny is completely engulfed by the bowl it is 18mm. The bigger the measurement the more herbs can fit the more powerful punches it will deliver.
Written By: Katy S.