But that doesn’t mean the only option is settling for lower quality products. Affordable glass is available at trusted online headshops, that recognize the importance of balancing price and quality.
Be wary though; there is a large discrepancy between high grade affordable glass hand pipes and cheap low end glass. There are numerous aspects to consider to make sure you get the right type of budget glass.
To guarantee the best smoking experience, there are certain types of pipes that should be avoided. In the past, wooden, acrylic, ceramic, and plastic pipes were seen as the way to go. They were extremely cheap and easily obtainable. As the smoking industry has expanded over the years, the unanimous consensus is that these days it is all about glass. In a broad perspective, there are two types of glass. Soft glass is also on the list of types of pipes to avoid. It is flimsy, unreliable, and melts at a lower temperature. Soft glass is also usually made from questionable materials and it is unknown what type of glass you are even smoking out of. The other type of glass, the one you want to always purchase, is hard glass. Hard glass can withstand higher temperatures, is made from sturdy borosilicate glass, and is reliable and durable.
Glass thickness is one of the most important ways to determine whether affordable glass is of high or low quality. Thick glass (usually around 5mm) is more sturdy, durable, and is far less likely to suffer heat damage or stress cracks/fractures. Think of thick glass water pipes and vapor rigs as an investment, while thin glass pieces are a rental. Sure you can save some money buying a thin glass pipe in the short term, but when it breaks or gets damaged you’ll have to replace it. In the long run you’ll end up spending more money than if you had originally bought a thick glass piece. There are many pipes made from thick borosilicate glass that have a low price point, and buying one ensures that you get the most out of your purchase.
Taking one short examination of the joints on a pipe or rig, you can tell immediately whether the glass was blown with precision or carelessness. Some budget glass has seamless joints that flow perfectly into the percolator or chamber. This is exactly what you want to look for. You want to avoid any low price glass pieces where you can feel the joints not connecting properly. When you run your fingers over the joints, if it feels rough or raised, this is usually a sign of cheap glass. If the joints feel smooth and leveled, then you know you’re getting high quality affordable glass.
Percolators on high quality budget water and concentrate pipes are always going to be level, have even holes, and contain open slits. This way your smoke or vapor can be properly diffused and filtered for the smoothest and cleanest hits possible. Low quality cheap glass will contain crooked percs, closed slits, or an uneven arrangement of holes. This leads to percolators that don’t live up to their maximum potential in efficiency, and it affects your smoking experience in a negative way. Nobody wants to buy a product that doesn’t work well or doesn’t function as advertised. This is yet another reason why it is so crucial when shopping on a budget to find a trustworthy retailer that provides high quality glass.
A quick visual scan of any glassware, including bubblers and accessories, will tell you a lot about whether affordable glass is in proper or poor condition. Cracks, bubbles in the glass, scratches, or indentations are dead giveaways of inferior glass. Strong glass will always have a sleek and flawless look to it, and you’ll never find any defects or imperfections. Sometimes sketchy retailers will try to sell damaged items, especially in smaller glass products such as ashcatchers or glass accessories (downstems, adapters, and dropdowns). Being aware of some of these malpractices can help you make well-informed decisions when shopping on a budget, and will lead you to online headshops with a proven track record of conducting business in the proper manner.
When shopping for budget glass, it’s pivotal to choose brands that have a reputation for providing high quality glassware at a reasonable price. These are companies that have been in the glass industry for an extensive period of time and have garnered respect and recognition for their outstanding work. Grav Labs, American Made Glass (AMG), and our own lineup of DankStop products are just a few examples of brands that can be trusted to provide you the right glass. Click on the image below to start shopping for quality glass: