What determines quality of a bong/rip?

Discussion in 'Water Pipes' started by Rupert Pupkin, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Rupert Pupkin

    Rupert Pupkin New Member

    So I have a pretty nice bong. It's about 2 feet tall, got a nice round bottom with a cool triple-helix twist thing about half-way up that acts as an ice-catcher. It's got a diffused female piece and a slide with a rubber o-ring.

    Now it's not name-brand or anything, only cost $80, and it rips decently. But I've ripped some other bongs that rip smoother and better, and the glass stays cleaner, and they change colors much better than mine.

    I'm kind of just wondering what makes a bong higher quality? Is there better glass, better blowing techniques? With a bong I think you do get what you pay for. I really love the look and feel of a top-notch bong, and I'm looking to buy one eventually, but I don't want to go in there blind.
  2. Rocketman

    Rocketman Sr. Member

    Its a great amount of things.

    Mostly in the thickness of the glass, the quality, the shape and chemicals.

    Like you said, a bongs quality will usually be shown with the price. It also has to do with how much water there is, and if theres an ice catcher and stuff.
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  3. Rupert Pupkin

    Rupert Pupkin New Member

    I see in my local headshop that they have some $400+ Sovreignty and Toro bongs. These are obviously top of the line, and I'd LOVE to test drive one to see what all the hype is.

    I realize that the price is inflated because they are artists and they only make a small number of pieces each year. What do some of those high-end glass pieces rip like? Is it smooth and effortless? I want to invest in a bong that will last me the rest of my life, barring any catastrophes.
  4. jdogg2112

    jdogg2112 Sr. Member

    The very first feature you should look for in a bong is glass on glass joints. They make a better seal, they're nicer to use, and it's overall a better experience to smoke through 100% glass. Beyond that, quality is determined by thickness of the glass, (to a lesser degree) quality of the glass, how well it's blown, and the design. Poorly blown bongs will sometimes have slightly misshapen or non-symmetrical parts, and often have bubbles in the glass, particularly around the joint. Also look out for visible fuse lines around the base where the beaker was attached to the tube.

    As far as design, some general guidelines are that tree percs are usually preferred over dome percs and open ended percs are preferred over closed ended percs. Also, a diffused downstem will give you a nicer hit than a regular downstem, so look for that too. Diffusers cool the smoke more than a regular downstem, but they also reduce the turbulence in the bong. Regular downstems produce such big bubbles that you get this "chug chug chug" type of effect instead of lots of small bubbles being smoothly created. If you want to see an extreme example of what I'm talking about, go find a video of someone hitting a Zumo with a regular downstem. Talk about enormous bubbles.

    Toro and Sovereignty Glass bongs are very high end. They combine excellent design with excellent quality. Go look in the milkshot thread which is stickied in this forum. 420Downunder has a great collection of high end pieces. He has photos and .gifs of him hitting his various pieces. They should give you an idea of how some of the more complex components in these bongs work.

    I have a 20" beaker bottom with a single perc and a 14" beaker bottom. They're both glass on glass, and after using them for a while, I would never buy a bong with a rubber seal.
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  5. Rupert Pupkin

    Rupert Pupkin New Member

    Yeah I have seen many of 420DownUnder's amazing shots and bongs. Those pics are what got me interested in some high end glass pieces. I used to think they were wayyyy overpriced, but it seems as though the price can be reconciled with the quality.

    And yeah, diffused downstems are the bees' knees. I recently broke my downstem and replaced it with a diffused one and it hits much smoother.

    A couple questions. You mentioned closed-end vs. open-end percs. What do you mean by that. (I know the different kind of percs: tree, dome, etc.)

    Also, do you really think that percs do that much? I've hit bongs with percs and I've found that while the initial rip is much smoother than a non-perced bong, I almost always cough violently from this weird tingly uncomfortable sensation in my throat, similar to the feeling of vaping too hot. And is there such a thing as too many percs?
  6. jdogg2112

    jdogg2112 Sr. Member

    An open ended perc is simply one in which the end of each branch of the tree is an open hole. A closed ended perc has these holes sealed off and just has holes in the sides of each branch.

    My feeling is that percs do make quite a difference. In my experience, the same amount of smoke going through two chambers of water will be noticeably cooler than one chamber. Can you have too many percs, though? In my opinion, yes. The more chambers of water you add, the more drag the bong will have, and some people say they lose too much of the flavor. Two to three well-designed chambers is a sweet spot for me. Anything more than that is just too much drag. Cleaning also becomes more difficult the more percs you stack up in the tube.

    I really like my 20" single perc with an ashcatcher, but lately I've been enjoying the smaller single chamber bong with the ashcatcher. I don't really like taking enormous rips anyway, so the smaller two chamber system is nicer and easier to hit.

    EDIT: another thing to keep in mind when comparing perc'd and non-perc'd hits is that when you're smoking through multiple water chambers, there's a tendency to take bigger hits. Sometimes you increase the size of the hit more than the additional cooling can compensate for, so you'll cough anyway. I usually cough more smoking through a bong than a pipe, even though the smoke is cooler. The hits are just so much bigger.
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  7. Rupert Pupkin

    Rupert Pupkin New Member

    Ahhh that does make a lot of sense. My perc'd bong has 3 triple tree perks on top of the beaker bottom. It's a bit overkill, but I definitely do take massive rips and have to suck pretty hard because of the drag.

    I think my ideal would be a single tree perc with maybe 4-6 arms, an ash catcher, and an ice catcher. There's this realllllll nice Sovereignty piece at the local shop that meets exactly those specs, but it's $420.00 and I just don't think I can justify spending that much. But we'll have to see...
  8. Madamayo

    Madamayo New Member

    This, my friend, is a decent bong rip:


    This bong comes equipped with Glass on Glass (Its a Zorro), it's about twice your normal thickness, has a diffused downstem, and a close domed perc. Hits smooth as hell, and when I don't have a broken ashcatcher (essentially a bubbler slide), it's about as smooth as it can get. ($150 USD online =D)
  9. Mazzinator

    Mazzinator Sr. Member

    i just bought a new bong today.i broke my old one about a week ago, it was a no name beaker bottom 18" bong with a 4 closed arm diffuser tree,diffused downstem,GonG,and a splash guard at the top.1/2" glass.
    i bought an MGW glass 22" straight tube 1/4" GonG bong, 9-arm open bottom diffuser chamber, diffused downstem, splash-guard and ice catcher equipped.with the beaker bottom i noticed that it was a glug-glug piece, which made clearing it not so smooth, and with the closed bottom diffuser it created alot of drag while clearing.now compared to my new piece with the open bottom diffusers, clearing it is soooo smooth.no drag at all.
    the difference in price between them is about $150-175 and the new name brand piece is just way better to smoke out of.its just alot smoother allowing for bigger hits and a more enjoyable smoke.i really dig the scientific look of the name brand pieces, which just makes me want to use mine cause it looks so cool.

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