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If you are new to the smoking scene, you may wonder why it takes so long for users to decide on the right metal smoking pipe to purchase. After all, new users tend to think one pipe is just the same as the next. However, there are a wide variety of factors to consider when trying to find and purchase the right smoking pipe.
When choosing a pipe, you should always consider how you plan to use it. This can include how often you plan on using it, as well as whether you are looking for a portable and more discreet option, or just something to use around your home. These considerations can drastically change what type of pipe you should consider. For instance, one-hitters are a great portable option, while pipes with a bigger bowl are a better selection for those looking to smoke a higher quantity in one session.
While it can be easy to think one pipe has the same mechanical components as the next, there is more than one attribute that can cause problems for a user. Before making your selection, you should consider the varnish, the fills (filled pits or holes inside of the pipe), as well as how well the parts are aligned. A well-made pipe will have a uniform grain, a weight that is not too heavy, and proper finish (no signs of uneven staining, spots without wax, sandpaper marks, etc.).
When it comes to pipes, size usually coincides with convenience. If you are wanting something more discreet, you will want to opt for a smaller sized metal smoking pipe (as smaller selections are easier to store and manipulate). However, the two most important aspects of the size of your pipe will come down to how well (comfortable) it fits in your hand, and the size of the bowl (as some pipes are set up for single hits, while others provide the ability for larger quantity smoke sessions).
Not all metal pipes are created equal when it comes to cleaning. In fact, some can be downright difficult to clean, but no matter what pipe you purchase, you will need to perform regular maintenance. If you do not, the purity, scent, and flavor of your dry herbs can (and usually will) be affected. The amount of resin build-up will greatly depend on the quantity you smoke, the frequency you smoke, how often you go between cleanings, as well as the quality of herbs you are using.
The financial aspect is certainly a component in purchasing a metal smoking pipe. It may not be as crazy as glass pipes, but prior to looking for a metal pipe, you should always know the budget you are working with. In general, metal pipes are fairly affordable, however, you don't want to end up falling in love with the perfect metal smoking pipe, only to find out it is out of your price range.
Metal smoking pipes come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Some are designed for discretion taking on the shape of other items (like the lipstick pipe), while others can offer unique benefits suited to the specific style of pipe. Generally speaking, pipes can fit into one of five different categories. These include bubblers, chillums (and/or one-hitters), Sherlock pipes, spoons, and steamrollers.
Sherlock pipes are highly recognizable and are named from the iconic literary character who smoked from them - Sherlock Holmes. The pipe is fairly straightforward in use. At one end of the pipe, it has a bowl (where it holds the dry herbs and where you light it). The smoke will travel up and through the stem and to the mouthpiece. There are Sherlock pipes available both with and without carburetors.
Spoons are the traditional classic hand-held pipe design and are very similar in construction and shape to a chillum. This form of metal pipe consists of a bowl at one end (where you deposit your dry herbs), and somewhere (typically in the side of the bowl or the tube) will have a carburetor. To use the carburetor, simply cover the hole with your finger while pulling the smoke into the pipe. Once you are ready to take your hit, uncover the hole and inhale.
Metal one-hitters are a basic smoking pipe with a simple tube-shaped design. They are very straight-forward in how they are used, and they make a great starter pipe for beginners. Generally, due to their size and simplicity, these metal smoking pipes tend to lack a carburetor (small hole) and offer only one to three hits for each time you load it.
Water Pipes like bongs and bubblers are a type of smoking pipe that uses water filtration methods. The water acts as a filter for the smoke to go through. As it travels through the filtration, the water diffuses the smoke and creates tiny bubbles. This results in a smoother flavor without some of the harsher elements found in traditional pipe smoke.
Out of all the pipe options, steamroller pipes feature a cylindrical design and are the most complicated and complex pipe to use. It is a cross between the spoon pipe and a chillum. Traditionally, they are open at both ends, with the bowl typically indented into the pipe. Some designs do offer extra chambers to allow for the smoke to further cool down. While small in size, steamrollers pack a powerful punch and are generally recommended for more experienced users.