How to Use a Chillum Pipe - Best Practices

Chillums are a very popular smoking pipe. This article offers an easy-to-read guide on how to use a chillum pipe, plus the best practices to make sure you get the best smoking experience possible. Read on.

by: Mathew H. | 08/12/19 1:30PM


How Does a Chillum Pipe Work?

Chillum pipes are a great, straightforward way to enjoy your favorite dry herbs. For optimal performance, be sure to grind any dry herbs you plan on smoking in a chillum pipe. You should know how to pack a chillum pipe. Lightly pack the ground herb into the larger, open end of the chillum. Then, you will light the dry herb with a flame and slowly inhale to create smoke. The smoke path from herb to mouth is very direct, so a slow inhale will prevent any ash from being accidentally inhaled.



How to Fill a Chillum Pipe with Herbs

Packing a chillum pipe is easy. First, you need to use an herb grinder for any dry herbs you plan on smoking – smoking small dense nugs is less efficient as the exterior of the nug will burn long before the interior. You want to lightly pack the ground herbs in the open end of the chillum. Pack it too tightly and it will be difficult to get a proper draw once you light it. Generally, you want to lightly pack it until the dry herb is able to comfortably stick inside the pipe.

How to Smoke a Chillum Pipe Properly

The key to having a great experience while smoking a chillum is slow inhales. Once you have confirmed that the dry herb is lit, you want to take slow, long draws to create an enjoyable smoking experience. Ideally, these draws should include a decent amount of fresh air to cut down on the harshness of the smoke. Unless you have a particularly large bowl head, you may only get a few solid draws before needing to re-pack the chillum.


How to Hold a Chillum Pipe

If you're reading this wondering, 'what is a chillum pipe', just remember: When you are smoking from a chillum pipe, hold it away from the heat source as much as possible, while still being able to smoke. The last thing you want to do is burn your eyelashes off and drop your pipe. Holding the chillum pipe midway or closer to the mouthpiece is ideal, though if your chillum has a flared mouthpiece, you may be able to get a good grip on the pipe there. Depending on the style of chillum, there may be glass marble grips or something else built in to the design for easier handling.

How to Clean a Chillum Pipe

Cleaning any kind of pipe depends on the material from which the pipe is made. However, the most common materials for chillum pipes are glass, metal, and silicone and can all be cleaned in similar ways with similar cleaning products. Using a cleaning agent of your choice, which can range from a homebrew cleaner with vinegar, boiling water, or 420 specialty cleaner bought through a store, you will soak the pipe for anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes – the longer the more time the cleaner has to work. Cotton swabs with rubbing alcohol and paper clips can be used to clean any other stubborn stains or resin that may still be present.

After soaking, it is always important that you thoroughly rinse your chillum pipe, as well as allow it to dry. This ensures that all of the cleaning agents of your choice has been completely removed from the pipe and that the pipe is safe and ready for smoking.



One-Hitter Pipes vs Chillum

These two kinds of pipes are similar but offer slightly different experiences. One-hitter pipes are generally much smaller, sometimes close to the size of a cigarette – and look like one too! They are packed in a similar fashion to chillums, but you will be able to pack less than a chillum. A one-hitter pipe may only provide one to three draws before it needs to be repacked. Chillum pipes, on the other hand, are much larger, allowing for enough dry herbs to be packed for double the amount of draws the cigarette one hitters offer. However, both are easy to use and discreet to travel with.


Chillum vs Bowl

The chillum vs bowl debate is a common theme when you are shopping for glass pipes. Bowls, as their namesake suggests, usually refer to what is technically referred to as a spoon pipe. They are the standard glass pipe, often referred to as a Bowl, and they hold the dry herbs in a large similar to other pipes that connects to a stem and a mouthpiece. The smoke path is less direct than a chillum, so the smoke is typically less harsh and flavorful. When debating a chillum versus a bowl, bowls are trickier to clean, but they hold more herbs than chillums. Chillum pipes, on the other hand, have a straight vapor path to the mouth and are more easily cleaned like a one hitter. And also like a one hitter, chillums will require several packs during long smoking pipe sessions.


Dry Herb Vaporizer vs Chillum

Dry herb vaporizers offer a lot that traditional pipes, like chillums, simply cannot, such as heat control, vapors and not smoke, and so much more. Dry herb vaporizers allow for heat customization to help get the ideal flavor, and most dry herb vaporizers use convection (hot air with no direct flame) to produce vapor, whereas chillum pipes will use combustion (direct flame to actually set the dry herb on fire). Dry herb vapes are easy to use, very portable, plus, vaping dry herbs is considered a healthier option versus smoking them.

Though chillum pipes do not offer the bells and whistles of a dry herb vape, they are generally less expensive and are very straightforward to use and clean. And if you enjoy smoking, they provide a way to quickly smoke in a way that is natural.


Best Tips for Using a Chillum Pipe

If you already know what a chillum pipe is, time to get the best out of your chillum every day. The following steps will help make sure that your chillum pipe consistently provides the best flavor and smoking experience.

  1. Clean Often: Chillums do not have as wide of vapor path as other pipes, and they have a straight vapor path from herb to mouthpiece. This means that they are prone to becoming clogged as the smoke and herb particles make their way through session after session – but do not worry, frequent cleaning will help prevent this. Over time, the residue that builds up can also affect the taste of what you are smoking. Regular cleaning will help make sure you keep puffing the pure taste of your dry herb.
  2. Do Not Burn Your Eyelashes: Chillums are a little shorter than other pipe types, which means you need to be careful when you apply a flame to your dry herb. The flame may be able to reach your face, singing your eyebrows or causing other injuries. So just make sure to test the lighter before smoking so that you are aware of the flame’s height. You can also avoid this by lighting the chillum pipe a few inches away and only bringing it closer when the flame has died down. You can also tilt your head back when you light it, allowing the flame to go up and over your head instead of into your face.
  3. Great Travel Pipe: For ease of use, it is hard to beat a chillum. If you plan on traveling and want something that will quickly and easily allow you to start smoking, chillum pipes are ideal. They require almost no prep (just be sure to have an herb grinder handy), are great at smoking small amounts of dry herb at a time and have an easy cleanup process.

Where to Find Chillum Pipes for Sale

There are a lot of different places where you can find chillum pipes. Your local smoke or head shops may have some available, and you can easily find a larger selection through online retailers. That includes right here at, where we not only offer a great selection of chillum and other pipes, but we offer free US shipping with no minimum order. If you have questions, reach out to us! Our customer service will make sure you get taken care of and get a chillum pipe you love!

Related Blog Posts

Glass Smoking Pipes - The Complete List of Cool Glass Pipes

How Do You Smoke A Pipe With A Carb

Are Vaporizers Healthier than Smoking