A Pipe Battle Revisited: Glass vs. Silicone Pipes
Nowadays, there are two types of pipe materials that are widely available on the market: those made from glass, and those made from silicone. Glass pipes have stood the test of time, and we have evidence that they’ve actually been used for thousands of years. Obviously, silicone is a product of the modern age, so it’s a newer addition to the pipe market, but it’s proving to be extremely valuable in many ways.
So, Which Type of Pipe is the Better Choice Then?
Well, that all depends on what you’re looking for. There are some clear differences between each one that need to be considered before settling on the perfect pipe for your smoking needs.
Durability is important, especially among the clumsier herbal enthusiasts out there. Handling our pipes up to several times a day greatly increases the chances of dropping them, and they can also get knocked over when they’re stored. It goes without saying that glass isn’t the most durable material of all time. Although glass pipes use a specific type of glass material that’s thicker and sturdier than, say, the glass used to make wine glasses, it’s still capable of shattering, chipping, or cracking if exposed to enough of a blow.
Therefore, silicone easily beats out glass in this department. Silicone doesn’t chip or shatter, and cracks only happen under extreme circumstances, like twisting the pipe beyond its capability. You can drop silicone a thousand times and not worry about the repercussions, other than some of your herb falling out.
While there are certainly portable versions of both glass and silicone pipes in terms of size and shape, it’s easier to travel with a silicone pipe because you don’t need to be as cautious about protecting it from breaking while in transit. With glass pipes, we have to be careful to wrap them beforehand and store them in a secure spot in our bag, where they won’t get knocked around and risk breaking. A silicone pipe can just be thrown in there without worrying about what might happen to it, because of its durability. And, while it’s not good to bend or twist a silicone pipe on a regular basis, it is flexible enough to work with smaller spaces.
Both silicone and glass are relatively easy to clean, especially when compared to other materials used to make pipes, like ceramic. They’re both nonporous, which means that you don’t have to scrub like crazy to get resin out of the nooks and crannies. But, because silicone is dishwasher-safe, it does come with an advantage over glass. However, ultimately, the process of cleaning is the same if you opt for a dishwasher-free method and instead choose to soak your pipe in a cleaning solution made for pipes.
Many argue that the best material for preserving the flavor of the herb is glass. Glass does not leech its own compounds into your smoke, and therefore the flavor is clean and fresh every time. Some people do argue that silicone slightly alters the taste of your smoking sessions due to the compounds in the silicone material. So, if flavor is your number one priority, a glass pipe is a safer bet.
Ultimately, how easy a pipe is to store depends more on its size or shape, and both glass and silicone pipes come in various designs, with some being far easier to store away in a safe and discreet place than others. But, the durability factor comes into play here once again. Silicone bongs are technically easier to store because you can keep them in a place where you don’t need to worry about them getting rattled around and possibly breaking, like a drawer that’s filled with other items. And, you can keep it in a place where if it gets knocked over, it’s no big deal, like on a shelf with lots of heavy books.
When it comes to aesthetics, things are up for debate. Both glass and silicone pipes come in beautiful designs that are completely unique from one another. A lot of traditionalists will tell you that glass pipes are more beautiful, and that the art of blowing glass automatically gives them more aesthetic value. But, visual taste is subjective.
Perhaps the biggest question is, which of the two materials is better equipped to handle the heat of your smoking sessions? Well, the answer is both. Both of these materials can withstand higher temperatures than those that result from smoking your herb. In other words, they can both adequately manage the act of smoking without any issues, so you don’t need to worry about one being likely to melt as a result of regular smoking.
Glass or Silicone: Choice is Simply Yours to Make!
As you can see, neither glass nor silicone is the objectively superior option. There is a reason why both remain so popular – they each offer their own unique advantages over the other, and ultimately both have what it takes to satisfy your smoking hobby. So, instead of trying to look for evidence that one is better than the other, simply ask yourself what your priorities are when it comes to smoking.
- -If its durability and portability, silicone may be the way to go.
- -If it’s flavor and aesthetics, it’s likely that a glass pipe will suit your needs.