Hey guys and gals! Today I would like to talk to you a little bit about pipe theories. More specifically the differences between metal and glass. Many of us know that hands down glass is better than metal, but why is that? Hands down we’ve all been in situations where glass is just not available and you have to resort to using foil, coke cans or whatever else we can get our hands on, but that’s another day. Today, we are just going to focus on the pipe aspects.
Sure metal is cheap and durable but have you ever really thought about the effects of smoking from metal? I know that not everyone can afford a big ole shiny new piece of glass all the time and when times are hard and you need something that works, metal pipes sure seem like a bargain. Aside from being cheap metal pipes, they come in a bunch of cute styles and colors so you get the feeling of having something worth a damn, but the reality of it is you just spend your hard earned money on junk.
I call metal pipes junk because they almost always are made with the cheapest metal possible, as quickly as possible and with no concern for the end user. The smoke coming out of your pipe is going to be hot and dry, and with metal that heat has to go somewhere. I’m almost positive you have grabbed a hot pan or a hot dish from the oven or stove and burnt the hell out of your fingers or hands, well the same theory goes for metal pipes. Metal is great at conducting heat and if your on the ass end of that heat you can really get burned!
So aside from the white hot burning of your lungs and fingers from metal pipes, they also tend to have impurities in the metal itself. When you want to sell something cheap and made quickly, you sometimes gotta cut corners. Unfortunately those corners being cut might be in the metal you use to make the pipe or it might be in the way the pipe is attached to the bowl. Corroded metal can entail a number of significant health risks, although you can avoid these by going for stainless steel pipes. Stainless steel pipes aren’t 100% better though, they are still metal and will still conduct heat, but in the long run are easier to clean and more likely to not having an unpleasing metallic taste to the smoke.
So what about glass pipes then? Are they really worth the money you have to shell out to get a really good one? Well in my opinion, yes, yes they are. Although as with shitty metal pipes, there are also shitty glass pipes. I’m talking about the glass pipes that are so thin that you don’t want to squeeze too hard for fear of breaking. The kind shops or people like to pass out at festivals with cards attached promoting their businesses but then you stick it in your pocket and forget about it, end up getting drunk or stupid high, forget it’s in your pocket and pass out only to wake up in the middle of the night or morning with broken glass all in your pocket or skin. (Yea thats happened once or twice to us!)
Nevertheless thats not the glass I’m speaking of today, although those pos throwaways are still better than metal pipes IMO. I want to talk about the decent glass pipes that are anywhere from super duper extreme to nice and simple. While some glass pipes can be found at a steal at your local shops, a lot of the market has shifted over to online sales and most of the best prices can be found there. The best part about shopping online for glass pipes is that you can really narrow down your search by price, design and stability. The crap part about shopping online is that you can’t actually put your hands on it, get a feel of its weight or size. And let’s be honest here, we as stoners like to put on hands on what we’re spending our money on and eye balling it to make sure it’s what we really really want.
Glass is also generally a much healthier option than metal, with no substances to make its way into the smoke. With so many glass blowers out there trying to make it big, you can almost guarantee that your pipe is going to have love, time and thought put into it. With glass pipe makers being a dime a dozen, they really can’t even afford one bad review for fear of being ostracized from the market. Now that doesn’t mean Joe Blow is going to be better than big names like HGB or Zong, it just means that Joe Blow is going to be slightly more unique than the standard big names.
In terms of performance, a good metal pipe and a good glass piece should perform equally well… if they are brand new. Over time, however, glass pipes begin to edge away from metal designs. When corrosion begins to set in, the performance of a metal pipe can be affected adversely. In some cases, the corrosion may become so bad that you may just end up inhaling metal fumes along with your weed and who wants that?! Fuckin NO ONE, thats who! The great thing about glass is that you almost always get a good clean tasting hit, which is the whole point of smoking high quality weed right?!?! You want to be able to taste the hints or strawberries or lemon or whatever your favorite flavor may be. Metal just can’t live up to glass on that aspect.
So what is your personal preference? For us, it’s glass all day long! We do have a spare metal pipe always on hand just in case we decide to go on a trip or go somewhere where we might need to ditch it and not have to worry about the money we just wasted. But everything is about preference! There is no wrong way to smoke! Wait, yes there is! Don’t forget to inhale!