Would you like to buy a nice bong but have no idea what the differences are between the many types of bong? Let us help you! This blog will give you the answer to all your questions. What is the best material? What additional tools come with a bong? What are the advantages compared to a joint? All the questions that run through your head when you want to purchase the ultimate smoking tool are finally answered.

We examine the following topics in this article:

  • What is a Bong
  • Terms: Bowl, Kickhole, Downstem & More
  • How Does a Bong Work?
  • Acrylic, Silicon, Ceramic, Bamboo or Glass Bong?
  • Pros and Cons of a Bong
  • What Types of Bongs are there?
  • Cleaning a Bong
  • Buying a Bong? Compare and Choose!

What is a Bong?

We all know what a bong looks like. A kind of hollow pipe with a water reservoir at the bottom. A bong is actually an adapted water pipe. Many people think that they are both the same but there is a big difference between them. With a water pipe, you often smoke aromatic tobacco or steam stones using charcoal. With a bong, you smoke weed, dried herbs and dabs. You do this simply by putting some smoking material in the bowl and lighting it. The bong then fills with smoke which is filtered and cooled through the water in the reservoir. It’s then time to inhale and get pleasantly stoned. You can get stoned much faster with a bong than with a normal joint or vaporizer. A bong rip is pretty powerful and causes a coughing fit in many people. Often you only need one drag from a well-filled bong to get the desired effect.

Bongs are usually made of glass but all kinds of other materials are also possible. When buying a bong you can let your imagination run wild. Are you going to go for a cheap mini bong? Or for a large glass bong? Whichever it is, ordering a bong is fun but you have to know what you want.

Bongs are particularly popular in the US. That’s mainly because more pure weed is smoked there than joints with tobacco. Bongs are ideal for that. As you might expect, the bong has also flown across the ocean from the USA in the direction of Europe. We have welcomed it with open arms here and this smoking tool has become very popular in a few years. The nice thing about bongs is that they come in all shapes, sizes, materials and colours. Lots of people buy a bong that goes well with them or their smoking gear. 

Here’s Where to Buy a Bong!

Terms: Bowl, Kickhole, Downstem & More

We’ve already mentioned the terms ‘bowl’ and ‘bong rip’ but we can guess that they may not mean anything to you. Before proceeding to tell you more about the various bongs and additional functions, it’s a good idea to be familiar with all the terms. So here’s a short list to clarify everything:

  • Bong rip: an inhalation from a bong.

  • Screen: this is the gauze filter in the bottom of your bowl that prevents the weed or herbs from falling through.

  • Bowl: the round-shaped projection of the bong. This is what you put the weed or other smoking material in. The bowl is often connected to the water reservoir by means of a ‘downstem’. Bong bowls are usually heat-resistant so you can heat them up intensely. You can jazz up your bong with a special bong bowl.

  • Downstem: this is the pipe that goes from the bowl into the water. This enables the smoke to be filtered and cooled through the water. Downstems are sometimes referred to as downpipes or adapters. In some bongs the downstem is permanently fixed to the bowl but there are other bongs where these are supplied loose.

  • Kickhole: this is the hole that is usually on the back of the bong. You hold your finger on the hole when about to take a drag so that the bowl fills with smoke. Then you remove your finger from the kickhole so that you can inhale all the smoke. Not every bong has a kickhole. You often operate bongs that don’t have this air hole by lifting up the bowl when the bong is filled with smoke.

  • Ice Bong: if the bong’s description states that it is an ice bong, then it usually has recesses on the inside of the hollow pipe. These enable you to fill the pipe with ice cubes. By this means, the smoke is additionally cooled which makes it feel a lot softer for your lungs. Try it out and you won’t want anything else.

  • Bong Grind: this is the fitting format of the bong bowl (and downstem). The diameter of the connector to the bong bowl can vary. So it might not fit your bong or downstem. The bong grind is often indicated with ‘SG’. The most common size for bongs is SG14. This means that the connecting piece of the bowl has a diameter of 14.5 mm.

  • Percolator / Recycler / HoneyComb / Diffuser: these are all names for special filters in bongs. The best known is the percolator. Indeed, percolator bongs are extremely popular. All types of filters have their own name and function. Almost all of them are characterised by the fact that they provide additional filtering for the smoke. A Diffuser is often not in the bong but in the downstem. There are special downstems with diffusers.

  • Dab Rig / Dab Bong: these are special bongs for dabs, oil or other concentrates. The principle is the same but the bowl is different. In place of the standard bong, these bongs have a nail or bonger which enable dabs to be smoked better.

  • Nail: a dabbing is a special bowl for concentrates. Nails come in different types and sizes. All dabbing nails have to be intensely heated first before you introduce the concentrates. You do this with a torch lighter.

  • Banger: a banger is also a special bowl for concentrates, but in the form of a kind of dish. These too have to be heated before use with a torch.

  • Torch lighter: this is a lighter with a blue flame. These are also referred to as gas lighters, storm lighters or wind lighters. 

Now that you are familiar with all the tricky terms, we can begin!

On the left a dabbing nail, on the right a banger

How Does a Bong Work?

Smoking a bong is extremely easy. But if you’re going to dab with a dab rig or dab bong, then you need to know what you’re doing. We have put together 2 mini manuals for you so that you can do it right first time.

How Does a Weed Bong Work?

You don’t need much to use a weed bong. First, fill the bong with a bit of water. Make sure that the downstem is just under the water. Now fill the bong bowl with your weed or other dry herbs. Then get your lighter and put your mouth to the mouthpiece. Place your finger on the kickhole and light the weed in your bowl with your other hand. Now you need to inhale as strongly as possible to fill the bong with smoke. Once it contains sufficient smoke, remove your finger from the kickhole and inhale it all. Keep repeating this until all the weed in the bowl has been smoked. Refresh the water if you use the bong for several sessions one after the other.

It’s really important that you clean your bong immediately after use. This will ensure that the dirt doesn’t stick to the bong. What if this happens? Then it will be difficult to remove the dirt and cleaning the bong will be a laborious task. Later in this article you can read about how best to clean it.

How Does a Dab Bong Work?

For dabbing with a dab bong or dab rig, first you fill it with water. Then you heat the nail or banger. You will need a torch lighter for this. Keep heating the nail or banger until it glows red-hot (very important). Now allow the glass to cool down for about 10 sec and place the concentrate on top with a special dabber. The dabs burn and you can inhale the smoke via the mouthpiece. 

There are a lot more tips, tricks and tools you can use for dabbing to make it easy for yourself. Read our blog about dabbing or our 4-part Cursus Dabs Maken for more information!

Weed bong in use: the weed in the bowl is ignited and the bong fills with smoke.

Acrylic, Silicon, Ceramic, Bamboo or Glass Bong?

Buying a Bong? Then you have to choose from certain materials. Bongs are made from acrylic (plastic), silicon, glass, ceramic, bamboo and still more. By far the most popular are glass ones. This is because glass is the classic material and because users like to see the smoke on the inside of the bong. Not only is that nice but you also know when your glass bong is filled with smoke and you can take a hit. There are yet other advantages and disadvantages. We will try to mention them all so that you can make an educated choice if you buy a bong!

Glass Bong

A glass bong has many advantages. As mentioned, you can see through it which makes it easier to use. Glass also has the least influence on the taste of the smoke. We are told, admittedly by some of the connoisseurs, that plastic or acrylic, for example, affect the taste (not in a good way). Another advantage of glass bongs is that they often look fancy. Even the best-selling budget bongs are a feast for the eyes. Glass bongs sometimes have pretty colours or a beautiful imprint. Out of all the materials, glass bongs give you the biggest choice.

As you may have guessed already, the disadvantage of glass bongs is that they can break easily. But that won’t happen as long as you use them properly. But if you take too big a rip just once and drop it, then that’s the end of it. Glass bongs are also more expensive than ceramic or acrylic, for example. But you do get a whole heap of advantages in return.

Silicon Bong

A silicon bong is extremely convenient and heavily underrated. These bongs are nowhere near as popular as acrylic or glass bongs and we don’t really understand why. Silicon bongs don’t usually break. They are really heat-resistant, difficult to break and cleaning them is nice and easy. Moreover, most silicon bongs are collapsible so that you can carry them around with you. Put it in your pocket if you’re going out and just throw it down if you’re too stoned to put it down gently. It doesn’t make any difference.

The disadvantage of a silicon bong is that often it has no percolators or other filters. There are glass bongs which are fitted with a detachable glass percolator. Furthermore, you can’t look through the bong and they often don’t look as attractive as glass bongs for example (though tastes differ of course).

Stone or Ceramic

The big advantage of these bongs is that they can be made in all kinds of pretty, funny and even absurd forms. You can mould them in any form you want. The same freedom applies to colour and decoration also. Ceramic bongs are generally more robust than glass bongs but if you drop one there’s still a strong chance it will break.

Ceramic or stone bongs often influence the taste of the smoke. Over time, the bong can develop a distinct taste. Cleaning them is difficult because you can’t really see where the dirt is. Dirt attaches itself more easily to ceramic than to silicon.

Miscellaneous bongs

Acrylic Bongs

An acrylic bong is often regarded as the budget bong. They are nice and cheap, and usually last a long time. They come in all kinds of colours and different sizes. From mini bongs to large bongs, acrylic does them all. Are you going to buy a bong just to try it out? If so, then an acrylic bong makes a good choice. 

But the taste of acrylic bongs can be a disadvantage. A lot of people find that the taste of the smoke deteriorates over time. Acrylic is a type of plastic that is extra suitable for smoking through. Don’t make a bong yourself from plastic because if you heat this material then harmful substances can be released. The classic water bottle is not a good idea if you value your health!

Bamboo Bong

A bamboo bong is quite special. You don’t often come across them which is a pity. Bamboo is actually highly suited to making bongs. They don’t break easily, they’re very portable and they look cool. A bamboo bong is often thoroughly seasoned and lacquered so that you can clean it easily after use.

The disadvantage with this material as well is the taste. They hold out longer than acrylic bongs, but bamboo bongs too affect the taste of the smoke over time. In acrylic bongs this taste is actually experienced as nasty always. With bamboo bongs it’s often remarked that they develop their own taste. This is also the case with wooden weed pipes for example.

Pros and Cons of a Bong 

A bong has plenty of advantages compared to a joint. You get stoned faster than with a joint. They are easier to use as you don’t need a tip, rolling paper and other equipment. It takes no time at all to fill a bong and thus you can be smoking in no time. Bongs can also be softer for the airways provided the smoke is filtered and cooled properly. Another advantage of a bong is that there is nothing to run out of. Unlike rolling paper, tips and tobacco which you can run out of. You can also say that a bong looks great. And there is such a vast choice that you’re bound to find one that you personally think looks great.

There are, of course, disadvantages to bongs as well. We mentioned earlier that you need to be careful not to drop them. Ceramic and glass bongs are particularly easy to break. Moreover, a really nice bong with lots of extras can be quite expensive. It’s up to you, of course, how mad you want to go, but in the end you can expect to spend something in excess of one hundred euros. Fortunately, there are still always budget bongs available which cost less than a tenner. Bong smoking is also regarded as expensive sometimes. A well-filled bowl with 0.3 grammes of weed is gone after a few rips. In contrast to a joint, you don’t have to buy tobacco and you get a lot more stoned. And finally, there’s the matter of cleaning. That can be a laborious task. Read on for the best tips and tricks for cleaning bongs.

Cleaning a Bong

It’s extremely important to clean a bong. If you don’t clean a bong properly, the smoke will taste very bad. Furthermore, a filthy bong looks nasty and the dirt is bad for your health. So make sure you have all the tools you need for cleaning your bong properly. And the most important thing when it comes to cleaning bongs is: don’t wait too long. Do it straight away after using the bong. This will prevent the dirt from building up. If you leave it for an hour then the dirt will be baked on and cleaning will be a time-consuming and laborious task. A few tools for use in bong cleaning.

  • Bong Cleaner: this stuff gets stubborn dirt off. You can remove all the dirt from inside the bong with this. It is especially necessary for baked-on dirt. Without bong cleaner it will be a difficult procedure. Don’t use any chemical cleaning products. They may contain harmful substances.

  • Pipe cleaners: a pipe cleaner is really handy when cleaning a bong. There are a lot of places that you cannot easily get to in a bong. But a pipe cleaner can! You can buy them in all kinds of sizes.

  • Screens: screens prevent dirt from ending up in your bong. A screen is placed in the bottom of the bowl. When buying screens, be sure to choose the correct size. You can find pipe cleaners and screens with the pipe accessories .

  • Pipe Cleaning Tool: this is a handy tool for removing small bits of dirt from corners. Keep the pipe cleaning tool near to hand when smoking the bong and avoid having to clean certain things later.

How to Clean a Bong - Step-by-step Plan

At Dutch Headshop, we are experienced when it comes to cleaning bongs. From this experience, we have created a step-by-step plan for you which will enable you to get any bong clean. All you need is a container, bong cleaner, pipe cleaners, tea towels and water. Oh yes, and a positive attitude because although the result is great you may find the work tiresome.

  1. Heat up a saucepan of water or put the kettle on. 
  2. Remove all the loose parts from the bong and put them in the container.
  3. Take your bong cleaner and look on the back to see how much you are supposed to use.
  4. Once the water has boiled, leave it to cool down a bit so no accidents occur. Then fill the container with hot water and add the bong cleaner.
  5. Agitate the loose parts back and forth in the container. Leave it all to soak for half an hour (or longer if so instructed on the bong cleaner packaging).
  6. Take tea towels and make sure all the holes through which water can escape are sealed. The kickhole can be a bit tricky. It may be better to tape this. 
  7. Now you know how you can seal everything, fill the bong completely with hot water and bong cleaner. Seal the holes then with the tea towels and shake the bong from side to side well for 30 seconds.
  8. Leave the bong for half an hour or more, shaking it a bit every so often. Once all the dirt is off, you can empty the bong. Then rinse it through thoroughly with hot water.
  9. If all goes well, the bong is now clean once more. Can you still see small, stubborn bits of dirt? Then grab your pipe cleaners and start rubbing! 

What Types of Bongs are there?

Now you’ve read this article, you know all the ins and outs as far as bongs are concerned. But there are still a couple of special bongs that we haven’t mentioned so far:

  • Mini bong: the mini bong is very popular. It’s simply a small-sized bong. These are highly portable and therefore ideal for when you’re out and about.

  • Gravity bong: this is a special bong that uses gravity to develop smoke. Water is often used for this but there are also handy systems in which air is used to further develop the fire. You can make a gravity bong yourself from a water bottle but that’s probably not a good idea because of the health risks. Special gravity bongs are also manufactured. They can be very expensive. But we also have the Bukket Gravity Bong, a budget bong with which to give it a try.

  • Gasmask bong: this is a device that looks a bit daunting. It’s a bong attached to a gas mask. An absolute killer that gets you completely gone within two rips.

  • Ice bong: the ice bong was mentioned earlier. A bong qualifies as an ice bong if it has recesses. But there are also special ice bongs that you can freeze and/or cool beforehand.

  • Percolator bong: a bong with percolator filters in the bottom. Usually more expensive than ordinary bongs. Large glass bongs often have percolators. Are you a connoisseur? Then a percolator bong would be the natural choice.

  • Beer bong: a bong in the shape of a beer glass. Good fun if you’re fond of a lager or want to have a good time with your friends. A beer bong makes a great birthday present and isn’t particularly expensive!

Buying a Bong? Compare and Choose!

We have a wide range of bongs waiting for you in our shop. Buying a Bong? Check out the bong shop and look for one that suits you. With the information from this article you should be able to make the right choice! Still having trouble? You can always phone, email or chat to our customer service!

Do you also want to know everything about grinders? Read our similar blog "Buy Weed Grinder? These Are The Options". With the help of this blog you can make a good choice from all our grinders!