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What is a Sherlock Pipe

ohio-sherlock-pipe-on-window-sill

What is the Sherlock Pipe?

Quick Definition

The Sherlock pipe is an absolute classic among those in the smoking community. Modeled after the pipe smoked by the iconic Sherlock Holmes, this pipe presents both practicality and a flair for style. It is named as such due to the shape. Sherlock pipes typically feature a large bowl with a gracefully arched stem that makes for smooth, clean hits. Often the bottom of the bowl itself is flat, enabling the piece to stand up without it tipping over, reducing the chance for any breakage when it is not in use. All around, it is a great option for smokers everywhere who want a dependable, sophisticated piece.

The History

Long before they were officially dubbed the Sherlock pipe they were referred to as bings or billards. The popularity of these pipes can be seen all over the world, even as far as in the English colonies of Africa, India, and of course, in America. They have one of the more unique design aesthetics, easily differentiating them from chillums, spoons, bongs, and other glass pieces, and were the hand pipe choice of English smokers some years ago.

Depending on the size of the bowl on your Sherlock pipe, you should be able to get anywhere from three to six hits. However, if you are careful not to torch your dry herb and instead take hits while carefully lighting the sides or corners of the bowl, you should be able to get a considerably larger amount of hits. The best part is, there are a variety of various kinds of Sherlock pipes depending on your taste and smoking needs. Multiple different companies out there craft their own signature Sherlock pipes and they have long been hailed as a classic among smokers everywhere. Furthermore, they are quite portable and make for an excellent group session.

sherlock-pipes-sitting-on-table

Sherlock Pipe Categories

Sherlock pipes can be used to smoke your typical dry herb or you can pack the bowl half full and top it with a dab of wax, a smear of oil, or a little dab if you are feeling especially indulgent. Due to their elongated shape and curved neck design, Sherlock pipes are highly distinctive and beneficial for a variety of reasons. Like the other pieces out there, there are a variety of diverse types of Sherlock pipes depending on your preference.

While the name is incredibly famous and well-known around the world, not everyone knows the Sherlock pipe by that name. Historically they have also been known as the Meerschaum pipe made from the mineral known as sepiolite which is often found floating amid the sea foam in the Black Sea. They are also often referred to as the Gandalf pipe named of course after the pipe smoked by the infamous Gandalf the Gray in H.R.R. Tolkien’s well-loved Lord of the Rings trilogy. You may also notice that the famous Sherlock pipe resembles a bubbler, which are basically the same thing as you can add water to the pipe for cleaner, refreshing hits; much like you do with a bubbler. Of course, people also refer to them in simpler terms like a glass bowl, glass pipe, or glass bowl.

Category 1 – Standing Sherlock Pipes

These are a particularly awesome choice if you are looking for a reliable ‘table’ piece as they feature a flat bottom sometimes assisted by glass or marble appendages on the bottom of the bowl that will assist in keeping your piece upright when you set it down. We have a wide selection of these pieces available right here on our site in a variety of both colors and designs. For example, our beautiful custom USA double hand-blown Sherlock glass pipes. These are a magnificent piece to add to a collection and will run you anywhere from $30 to $70 depending on where they are crafted.

These pipes are always ready to go and perhaps the best part is, using a pipe that stands upright on its own allows you to have two free hands to prepare your herb or other product and put it in your bowl without having to hold it in your hands. The reason this pipe can stand on its own although it has a bulbous shaped bowl is because during the manufacturing period the creators fuse a flat piece of glass to the bottom of the bowl. This addition of the flat glass both allows the Sherlock pipe to keep its shape and keep its design aesthetic. Better yet, the depth of the bowl allows for a generous amount of herb to be packed and enjoyed by yourself or with friends.

Category 2 – Color Changing Sherlock Pipe

These quality glass pipes are especially fun as they change color when they are used, with the color intensifying with each use. This color change occurs due to the manufacturing process. While the pipe is being made the blower completes a process known as fuming which allows the vapors of the heated gold, silver, and alloys to pass through the glass, leaving metal ions on the glass. These ions color the bowl lightly over time. Of course, as you smoke through a color changing Sherlock, resin builds up over time adding a darker background behind the metal ions, allowing them to really shine through. Once you clean your Sherlock you will lose color, and must begin all over again which is part of the fun!

Our color changing Sherlock pipes are different than our standing Sherlock pipes as they take on the shape of your classic spoon bowl only with a more pronounced bowl that takes the shape of your classic Sherlock pipe with a deep and roomy bowl for plenty of dry herb, oil, or wax. The best part is, our color changing Sherlock pipes are comfortable to hold in your hand and they have a conveniently placed carb hole that makes your smoking experience enjoyable and stress-free. An excellent quality color changing Sherlock pipe will range from $30 and up. For example, our Sherlock pipe with a built-in glass screen is perfect for anyone who is tired of buying screens and it’s only $29.99.

Category 3 – Wooden Sherlock Pipe

For smoking in superior class and style, a classic wooden pipe is the way to go. Wooden pipes are as versatile as they are unique in design and style. Most wooden Sherlocks are crafted out of hardwood varieties, with softer wood being used on in the crafting of the elongated stems. Not only can these be used for dry herb, but they can be used with your traditional tobacco product if that’s your thing. One of the most advantageous aspects of these pipes is that they are practically unbreakable. With a variety of different wood finished, these pipes can be as unique as our glass Sherlock collection.

Category 4 – Gandalf Pipes

While these are not always considered to be the same as a Sherlock pipe, many people fit the two into the same category. They smoke like a normal pipe and are available in both wood and glass varieties. Not only are they excellent for tobacco use, they are also perfect for your dry herb. Shaped like the iconic pipe smoked by the well-known wizard known as Gandalf the gray or Gandalf the white. Due to the distance the smoke must travel through the pipe, the hits you get from a Gandalf pipe are generally much cooler and enjoyable to the tongue.

Cleaning your Sherlock Pipe

One of the best ways to clean your Sherlock pipe is to first place it in a large Ziploc bag. Once you have it sitting upright in your Ziploc bag, you should fill it with a generous amount of isopropyl alcohol to completely cover the entirety of your pipe and then seal the bag. The best thing to do next is to allow it to sit overnight, or at least for half the day; you want to give it time to really soak. Once you think it has sat for long enough, drain the alcohol and use some pipe cleaners to get into every nook and cranny, allowing for all the resin to be loosened and removed. Lastly, you will want to run hot water through the pipe a couple times and voila! Your pipe should be good as new.

Benefits of a Sherlock Pipe

Sherlock pipes have long been a favorite among smokers because they are stylish, classic, and easy to use. Glass pipes such as these are by far the most popular pipes among smokers’ due to their diverse selection and ease of use. Another benefit is that Sherlock pipes do not heat up as quickly as say, a metal pipe/bowl. With large carbs and bowls, your smoking experience is both more enjoyable and tastier. Additionally, it can be fun to watch your pipe fill up with smoke as its bringing about a beautiful color change. With a variety of shapes, designs, and colors glass pipes such as these are some of the more interesting pieces on the market. The only downside is that they are more breakable than their metal counterpart, and they are a bit more difficult to clean.

Where to Buy a Sherlock Pipe

Of course, we are partial to our own products here at nyvapeshop.com, but we do offer a wide selection of interesting, practical pieces that will last for years to come when cared for properly.  Most of the glass is double blown, ensuring the utmost quality and craftsmanship, and there are plenty of affordable options made right here in the USA.  Browse our selection for more information.