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The 5 Minute Guide to Percolators

As you probably already know, the thing in your bong that runs the smoke through the water (Wow! Can you hear that? Deep Purple playing “Smoke on the Water”)… Anyway, where were we? Oh, that thing in your bong is call a Percolator – or Perc for short. Its job is to break up the smoke in the water without letting the water come up to your mouth.

There are dozens of designs – maybe even hundreds – but this is a fast guide to some of the most popular styles of percs. This way, when you go shopping you have a sense of what you’re talking about.

  • Straight Pipe – This is the simplest type of percolator. A straight pipe comes out of the bowl and into the water. There is a slit at the bottom that let’s smoke through. This is as easy as it gets.
  • Multi-Hole – Most multi-hole pipes are designed to be used with concentrates and wax. The smoke enters the water and is forced through a maze of increasingly smaller holes. This breaks up the smoke and cools it nicely.
  • Honeycomb – Inside of a straight pipe there can be one or several small plastic circles. They have dozens of tiny holes. This makes the smoke break up. One is good, but three will give you a great experience. When it comes to advanced smoking percs, this tends to be the least expensive and is still very effective.
  • Inline – This is really simple, but very effective. This is a pipe that enters the water horizontally from the bowl. There are several tiny holes on the underside of the pipe that smoke goes through into the water. These sometimes have bad gurgling if they aren’t designed well, but if they are, they’re awesome!
  • Tree – Now we’re getting into the more advanced glass styles. Unused, they look like laboratory equipment. There are several tiny tubes coming out of the central pipe. The smoke moves through them in the water.
  • Matrix – A matrix is a cylindrical chamber with tiny horizontal and vertical slits in them – the smokes moves through these. Stereo matrix pipes have two of these facing each other, one that puts smoke in and one that lets it out.
  • Showerhead – This design is self-explanatory. It looks like a shower head facing down – the smokes enters the water through small holes. These also can gurgle a lot when they are poorly designed. They should be cleaned well because the holes tend to be very small and get clogged easily.
  • Dual Rig – This is not technically a percolator, but a bong design. This rig will have two bowls and two mouthpieces. They have separate percs, one for herb and the other for concentrates. It’s one-stop shopping for smokers.

There are many more styles of percs that we can describe later on, like vortexes and pinwheels, but this is a good start for the newbie. Ultimately, you will need to try them for yourself. You might also find that you want a different pipe for different blends since they each work differently.

There you go! You’re on your way to being a bong connoisseur. Take a pic of one of your pipes and post it below – we would love to see what you’re working with!

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