Glass Hand Pipes VS. Glass Water Pipes

There are many kinds of smoking devices out there.

I would like to give my comparison, pros/cons on two smoking devices that I use on a daily; glass hand pipes and glass water pipes. I must first tell you, that my opinion may differ from yours or the next on which is better, some of you might not even use either.

I also need you to know, there are many sizes for hand pipes, many designs for water pipes (percs, ash catchers, etc)

This will be a simple review, on normal glass hand pipes & straight glass water pipes, no percolators, just a normal straight water pipe.


Hand pipes are a great smoking device. I own 4; three of which are hand pipes, one is a chillum. All are different sizes. The main things to look for when buying a hand pipe are;

  • Overall size, does it fit in your hands right?
  • Rush hole, do you prefer it on left, right, or none? I prefer having pipes with the rush hole on the left side.
  • Pipe length, do you have long hair, facial hair? If the pipe is shorter than 3 inches, your hair may regret it.
  • Bowl head size, how much do you smoke? The head size will depend on how many times you need to pack it.
  • Thickness, are you clumsy? As a daily, and clumsy smoker I go for double or triple blown glass.

My first-hand pipe ever was single blown, and it was broken within 2 months. The thicker the glass, the more durable it will be. Not all thick pipes are expensive either, you just have to look around to find out what suits you best.

Price Ranges:
Glass pipes usually start off from about $10, they can go all the way up to $100+.

The different design, color, thickness, etc determine the pricing.  If the glass has a brand, such as Illadelph, Chameleon, RooR, you may pay more for that brand.

Each head shop is different, some you may be able to even haggle down a bit. For some glass hand pipes online check out SDR SHOP they have a bunch of glass, hand pipes, and even Chameleon brand glass.

What I like the most about hand pipes, is the size. I can stick them in my pocket, purse, etc. They are easy to carry and transport.

Depending on the hole size in the bowl head, some glass pipes may need a glass screen for use. You can always put a piece of bud bigger than the hole so nothing sucks thru until your piece gets resin, but whenever you clean, you will keep needing to cover the hole with bud.

I like the rush holes on hand pipes for two reasons. One is because it allows me to keep the bowl going, keep getting more smoke. Two, because having a rush hole makes the hand pipe easier to clean, and I clean my pipes almost daily so having another hole to work Q-Tips around is always a plus.

There are few downsides to hand pipes. Mainly the size/thickness of the pipe, but you can avoid that by doing the right picking. Depending on how you care for yours, it may smell or resin up the case you keep it in. Unless you get large “party pipe”, hand pipes are only good for 1 – 2 people smoke session. Unless of course, you want to keep repacking and repacking and making the pipe super hot.

1. Pocket-sized
2. Lightweight
3. Easy clean

1. Not good for large groups
2. Tend to dirty quick
3. Some are too small/thin


Glass Water Pipes are a neat smoking device. I own one. It used to have a single percolator, which broke, so now it is a straight pipe.

Water pipes allow you a cooler hit, with adding water & ice. Some even go for a flavored hit, different flavored drinks, or frozen strawberries instead of ice.

There are a few things to look out for when buying a straight water pipe.

Ice catcher, if you want to add ice & avoid the possibility of breaking things, an ice catcher is preferred.

Size, some water pipes are 6 inches, 8 inches, even 1-foot & still very easily smoked. Others are 2 feet 3 feet even 5 feet tall, depending on your needs, depends on the size.

Most water pipes tend to come with small glass bowl heads, if that is the case there is always bigger replacement heads for it.

The other things to look out for is some small glass water pipes, will have a rush hole on the back of them, I would advise against that, you will get wet.

Thickness just like with hand pipes is also a plus to have.

Price Ranges:

Just like hand pipes, water pipes also range in size, design, brand name, and features. A straight pipe is cheaper than one with a percolator.

Mini water pipes can be $10-30, again this depends on where you look, what area you live in, or if you are buying online.

Normal-sized pipes (4in-12in) can range anywhere up to $100 more or less depending on the design, brand features. Some HUGE water pipes can even go for $1000’s of dollars. Again, it all depends on what you are looking for.

What I do like about glass water pipes, is the hits. I get more good smoke, less tar/junk.
The ice does help a lot in cooling. I feel that (depending on the day/green/mood) I get a lot higher off a water pipe than I do a hand pipe.
Water pipes allow filtration, they pack a bigger punch than hand pipes and can be used in a smoke session with a few people, depending on the bowl head size.

They come in many colors, designs, to fit every personality.

What I do not like about water pipes is the constant keep-up. Some have a different view on keeping up with their water pipe. I like fresh clean water every time. I empty it after every session & refill with clean water when I want to use it. I clean the water pipe about 2 times a week.

The slide I tend to clean every day (if I am using daily) due to the resin it collects.

Although easy to clean with water, rubbing alcohol, salt, and soap, water pipes can sometimes be tricky, to get everything clean, especially if you are one who lets their water pipe go months without cleaning.

1. Water filtration system
2. Cooler hits.
3. It can be used with friends.

1. Always having to refill
2. Not a pocket piece
3. Not always easy transport

Although I love both hand pipes and water pipes.

If I had to only ever choose one, I would pick the hand pipe because of not having to worry about water, ice, removable slides & bowl heads, I also don’t have to worry about a place to put a hand pipe.

They fit anywhere, purse, dresser drawer, etc.

Water pipe will not fit in my purse, it is a stand-up piece that can be broken by animals, or transport.

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