A huge thanks to my friends over at DankGeek.com, a terrific online headshop, for sending over the spoon pipes for this article.
What is a Spoon Pipe?
A spoon pipe is the most common type of glass pipe. This is also the first pipe of many smokers. There is a really good chance you’ve seen a spoon pipe before even if you didn’t know what it was called. The pipe is named after its shape which resembles the look of a kitchen spoon.
Most often, a spoon pipe consists of the bowl portion (this is where the weed goes), a carb (this lets you release the smoke that builds up in the pipe chamber, a stem which is tapered, and a mouthpiece which usually tapers back out. Check out this diagram:
Spoon Pipe VS. Bowl
The terms spoon pipe and bowl are often used interchangeably so many people are confused about the difference or if they are really the same thing.
A spoon pipe refers to a pretty specific pipe shape, while bowls are a more widely used term for basically any dry piece. So, all spoon pipes are bowls, but not all bowls are spoon pipes. The term bowl is also regularly used to describe the slide portion of a bong (shown below). You can pretty much call anything that doesn’t hold water a bowl and no one will argue with you.
Remember, the term bowl is slang so everyone uses it differently.
Thick Glass Pipes: The Truth About Triple Blown
If you’ve been around smoke shops or smokers then you may have heard the term triple blown and double blown thrown around. These terms were created with good intentions in mind, but they are actually really terrible descriptors for what boils down to glass thickness. Also, if you say triple blown around a glass artist they are probably going to laugh at you.
Pipes are made by melting glass – borosilicate glass to be more exact. I have some resources later on about how to make a spoon pipe, but for now, I don’t want to dive in too deep. To create a thick pipe you have to layer the glass up. This also allows you to layer up different colors to achieve a desired artistic effect. The term triple blown is used to indicate a pipe has three layers of glass.
So, why is the term so misleading? It’s because not all layer thickness are equal. Three layers of thick glass are going to be thicker than three layers of thinner glass. An artist may also use frit (think of little pieces of shattered glass). A layer of frit will usually not be as thick as if an artist does a full layer of glass rod. These are 2 methods for layering glass – there are hundreds of methods.
Calling something triple blown completely negates the huge variety of methods used by glass artists. One could achieve the same thickness using only two layers or dozens of layers. In the end, it’s better to characterize a pipe by the actual thickness of the glass rather than the number of layers it contains.
How To Use A Glass Spoon Pipe / Bowl: Step by Step
Smoking out of a spoon pipe is really easy once you get the hang of it, but it may be confusing to someone who has never seen one used before. Just follow this step by step guide and you’ll be fine.
1. Packing Your Pipe
First things first, you’re going to need to fill your bowl with herb. For this, you will need to break it down into smaller pieces. The easiest way to do this is with a grinder. You can pick them up at most smoke shops, or grab one on Amazon. If you don’t have a grinder then you can simply break it up with your fingers. Some people also use scissors to break down their herb.
A note on pipe screens: If your bowl is made properly you do not need a screen. Some people add metal screens to their pipe because they are worried about herb falling through the bowl. The screen is going to make your herb taste metallic and make it more difficult to pull smoke. If the bowl hole is the proper size then very little herb should come through – especially after you’ve smoked out of it a few times a have a little bit of resin buildup. Everyone’s preference is unique, but I personally prefer a 2mm bowl hole.
You’ve ditched your screen and broken down your herb, all that’s left is to get it in the pipe. When filling the pipe I don’t like to pack it down really tight. For me, tightly packed bowls begin to taste bad about halfway through because all the ash that’s built up on top. I would rather smoke 2 loosely packed bowls, than one that’s been packed super dense.
2. Hold the carb
Right next to the bowl you’re going to see another hole – this is called a carb. Place your finger over this hole as you hold the pipe. Make sure you’re holding the pipe in a way that will allow you to take your finger off the carb later.
3. Inhale through the mouthpiece + Light the bowl
Both of these steps need to be done at the same time. If you try to light the bowl without inhaling then there is a good chance you are going to burn your finger. If anything, start inhaling first then light the bowl to avoid a burn.
You do not have to inhale very hard. If it’s your first time use a bowl or spoon pipe then make sure to take it as easy as possible. It’s a lot more comfortable to start small and work your way up than the other way around.
4. Release the carb
As you inhale the pipe itself will fill with smoke. To release this smoke you need to take your finger off of the carb.
The smoke will rush in a lot quicker than it was while the carb was covered so you may not want to inhale as hard. Also, make sure to save some room in your lungs for the smoke inside the pipe. If you wait until you can take any more smoke to release the carb then you’re not making things very easy on yourself.
That’s it. Just repeat the process until satisfied.
Color Changing Glass Pipes
Have you ever seen a pipe that was one color when it was clean and completely changed colors after being smoked? This happens because of a process called fuming. Glass artists will use real silver and gold to achieve this effect. Basically, they heat up the metal super hot so it turns into a gas. When the gaseous metal touches glass it sticks to it. The color changing effect happens because the fume looks different on dark backgrounds versus light backgrounds.
Simple silver fuming will look yellow on a clean pipe, and simple gold fuming will look pink. Expert fumers can get a lot more colors out of the same metals. By using very precise temperatures, fume layers, striking procedures, etc. a true master of fume can achieve most of the colors of the rainbow.
How Are Glass Spoons Made?
I could totally explain to you how to make a glass spoon pipe but there’s no need because you can watch a video from Revere Glass which goes step by step into making a simple clear glass spoon. If you enjoy this video then you should check out his channel which has more advanced techniques as well. Enjoy:
If you’re looking for a spoon pipe or just a hand pipes in general don’t forget about dankgeek.com.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article then here are a few of my other articles you may enjoy: