Water pipes, in general, provide the greatest degree of filtration for cannabis users. The way in which they cool and filter the smoke prior to it reaching your lungs is incredible. As such, this is one of the best ways to smoke weed. But what if the best could be even better? To some, the percolator bong is the peak of water pipe function.
Wait - what is a percolator bong, you ask? Well, you've come to the right place. Today, we're going to answer all your questions surrounding percolator bongs:
- What does a percolator do in a bong?
- How does a bong percolator work?
- What are the different types of percolators in a bong?
- Is this style right for me - or should I stick with the basics?
In short, percolators add an extra layer of filtration to your water pipe. Some people love them, and others hate them - which is why we'll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of what the purpose of a percolator in a bong is. We've got a lot to cover, so let's get right into the first question on our agenda today: what is a percolator bong in the first place?
What is a Percolator Bong?
So, what is a percolator bong exactly? You already know there are so many different types of water pipes - from beakers to straight tubes, recyclers to dab rigs, and much, much more. But did you know that each of these types of bongs can be equipped with percolators? To put it simply, a percolator bong is any type of bong that has a percolator inside it. This brings us to the next question...what exactly is a percolator?
These are small design features incorporated inside of your bong. While percolator is the scientific name, many just refer to these as percs. Typically, they're found within the tube component - not the base or the beaker. Percolators come in different shapes and sizes, but they are usually made of glass themselves. However, you may come across percs made from metal or silicone, too. No matter their shape, size, or construction, they all have one common goal - which we'll unpack in the next section.
What Does a Percolator do in a Bong?
Now that we've defined what is a percolator bong, it's time to actually get into the meat and potatoes of these little contraptions. So - what does a percolator do in a bong? Simple: they add an extra layer of filtration to your smoke. If you're looking for the cleanest, smoothest hit possible - a percolator bong is likely your best bet.
You see, when using a water pipe without a perc, the smoke has only gone through the water once. While this does filter out some of the impurities and cool the smoke down a bit, some consumers want the smoothest, coolest hit possible. The fact of the matter is that even the best bong in the world will still let some impurities through. And, even adding ice to the bong won't cut it for some people when it comes to temperature cooling.
But when you add a percolator into the equation, the smoke has to travel through multiple levels of filtration. We like to think of percs as "mini bongs" within your bong. These extra layers of filtration give the smoke plenty of time to be filtered and cooled off before it ever reaches your lungs. And trust us - you can definitely taste and feel the difference.
Now that we know what these do, let's move on to how they actually work...
How Does a Bong Percolator Work?
At their core, percolators are just little devices that help to filter and cool your smoke. But how does a bong percolator work, exactly?
As we mentioned before, these devices are usually located within the tube component of your bong - but not always. It all depends on the type of bong you're using. For example, some straight tubes will have a downstem that leads directly into the base. In this case, the perc would be located within the base itself. But in most cases, you'll find them inside the tube.
These little devices work by forcing the smoke to travel through multiple levels of filtration and diffusion. The smoke has to travel through tiny slits or holes, which breaks it up into smaller particles. And within each perc, there is more water - which filters and cools the smoke even more. This not only filters out impurities, but it also helps to cool the smoke down significantly. You can learn more about why there's water in a bong - in general - in our blog.
The more levels of filtration and diffusion, the cooler and smoother your hit will be. However, this does come at a cost - which we'll unpack later on. First, let's talk about the different types of percolators in a bong.
What are the Different Types of Percolators in a Bong?
Now that we know what is a percolator bong and how they work, let's take a look at some of the different types of percs you might find inside your bong. While there are quite literally dozens of different types out there, we're just going to focus on the most common ones.
- The Showerhead Perc: Probably the most common type of perc, this one gets its name from its resemblance to a showerhead. It typically has between 12 and 20 slits or holes - which helps to diffuse the smoke quite a bit.
- The Tree Perc: One of the older types of percs, tree percs are named for their branches - or "trees." They usually have anywhere from two to seven arms, each with their own set of slits or holes. This type is known for providing a very smooth hit.
- The Honeycomb Perc: As you might've guessed, this type gets its name from its resemblance to a honeycomb. It's basically a disc with a bunch of small holes - which helps to diffuse the smoke and provide a very smooth hit.
- The Disk Perc: Similar to the honeycomb, this type is just a disc with slits or holes. It's known for being very sturdy - but also for providing hits that are on the harsher side.
- The Turbine Perc: This perc gets its name from its resemblance to a turbine engine. It has blades that help to spin the water and diffuse the smoke. These types of bongs are usually pretty tall - which means you'll need a lot of water for filtration.
Pros and Cons of Percolator Bongs
Now that we know what does a percolator do in a bong and some of the different types out there, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.
The biggest pro of using a bong with a perc is that it helps to filter and cool your smoke significantly. This results in hits that are much smoother on your throat and lungs. And as an added bonus, it also tends to make the flavors pop a bit more. If you find that even the best bongs of 2022 are a bit too harsh for you, it's worth looking into a percolator bong. However, to most people, the cons outweigh the pros. We'll explain...
Percolator bongs are typically more expensive than those without. This is because they tend to be a bit more complex - and therefore, more expensive to produce. But to us, this isn't why we avoid them. The real reason? Most percolator bongs break easier and are tougher to clean.
Think about it. With a standard bong the only intricate pieces where gunk can get stuck is one downstem, the bowl, and the walls of your bong. But when you introduce percolators into the mix, learning cleaning a water pipe becomes more difficult - as getting inside those tiny percolators is next to impossible. This means you need to clean your bong more often to prevent plant matter and resin from accumulating.
Another reason we don't love percolator bongs? They break easier. While this isn't always the case, percolators are usually the first thing to break in a bong. This is because they're so fragile. And as we discussed in our complete guide on how to fix a broken bong, once your perc shatters, there's no repairing it.
What is a Percolator Bong & How Does it Work? Wrapping Things up
So, what does a percolator do in a bong? And how does a bong percolator work? A percolator bong is a type of bong that features one or more percolators - which are basically just filters that help to diffuse and cool your smoke. Now that you know all about what a percolator does in a bong and how they work, you can decide for yourself if one is right for you. Just remember to keep in mind the pros and cons we listed above.
If you're on the hunt for a simple, reliable bong that's easy to clean - and also delivers impressive filtration - look no further. As you’ll learn in our bong buying guide, our portable water bong doesn't have any percolators - and that's by design. It's simple, easy to clean and provides smooth hits every time. There's a reason our product is considered among the best bongs in the world. So check it out today and treat yourself - or get it for a loved one, as it's definitely one of the best stoner gifts currently on the market!