All pipe screens regardless of material have multiple benefits for smoking pipe users. This section will list a few of the benefits associated with pipe screens.
One awesome thing about pipe screens is the fact that they are super cheap to acquire. They usually come in large packs due to the fact that pipe screens wear out overtime making them disposable.
The obvious benefit of pipe screens is that they protect your throat from hot embers or small chunks of herb, i.e. scooby snacks. If you have ever accidentally inhaled either of these while smoking you know just how unpleasant it can be.
Fortunately, there is not much work involved with installing a screen on a small smoking pipe or any smoking pipe for that matter. Simply insert the screen into your bowl and press down to make the screen fit the bowl properly.
Users have flexibility when choosing silicone pipe screens material wise. The most common materials are brass and stainless steel. That said, you can also find glass pipes screens that are custom, making them personal to you.
If flavor is a big focus for you, metallic pipe screens might be something you should avoid; although the impact to flavor is typically minimal and unnoticed by the average user. It is well known that metallic materials can influence the flavor of your herb, leading to a lackluster experience in some cases. If you are adamant about getting a pipe screen without sacrificing flavor, we recommend you consider glass pipe screens which offer superior flavor in comparison to metallic variants.
Outside of glass, metallic pipe screens are not built to last forever and sometimes even used for silicone bongs, although they will last a while. Thus, you will want to make sure you have backups for the next time you want to have a smoking session.
The screens do eventually clog, they are not immune to residue buildup. Fortunately, they can be soaked in various cleaners or even heated with a flame to open up the screen pathways. If you slack on changing out or cleaning the screen, eventually it will not be much of a screen at all.
To conclude, pipe screens are an excellent accessory to add to your smoking repertoire if you frequently deal with hot embers or small chunks of herb. They are affordable, plentiful, and come in multiple materials. That said, they are not for everyone and are largely situational.