In the UK bong scene there is one question that just doesn't seem to go away: ‘To perc, or not to perc? Beaker bottom, or percolator bongs?
Beaker bottom bongs are a fixture of the UK bong scene, their iconic shape is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a bong and their functionality cannot be questioned. Beaker bongs offer more room for water, cooling your smoke more. Also, since beaker bongs are bottom heavy you don’t have to worry as much about hearing that heart breaking sound of shattering glass when a wayward elbow collides with it. It will stand its ground!
Beaker bongs are the epitome of simplicity, but some across the UK people want more; enter the percolator bong.
Percolator bongs have percs built in; additional water chambers that filter the smoke further as it makes its way to your mouth. They are often in the main tube though they can come before the main water chamber if they’re part of the ash catcher.
They also act as a diffuser, breaking the hit up into smaller bubbles and cooling it further. Don’t worry, the active ingredients aren’t water soluble, so you won’t have to worry about losing them in the extra water, however some THC will stick to the glass but not a noticeable amount, so you don’t have to worry about it impacting your high! The more holes the further the diffusion, however more holes also increase drag.
So now you know what a perc is and what it does, they question is; is it for you?
It really depends on how often you smoke and how much you want to get from your glassware. The entire function of the perc is to allow for a cooler, smoother hit so you can take bigger hits with smoke than you could with a regular bong. For some people the cooling effect off the water chamber is more than enough, so they’ll generally eschew the extra cost of a percolator, others value the extra smoothness and are more than willing to spend the money.
Percs come in several different shapes each of which have different qualities.
A straight perc is the simplest kind, it’s imply a tube that passes the smoke under water.
A tree perc has anything between 4 to 64 arms, the more arms the more diffusion.
A vertical tube that flairs out at the bottom with holes for diffusion.
A gridded inline perc is a horizontal tube with gridded slits cut around and under it, sometimes it’s called a barrel perc.
A disk shaped percolator that looks like honeycomb (funny enough). It generally features a lot of holes for diffusion.
A disc shaped perc with slits cut along the side, It's angled in such a way to for ce the water to spin through it.
An elaborate perc that flares out with a series of semi-rings revolving around. The spacing of the rings means the smoke is diffused out between them.
In short, a percolator is for the smoker who wants to take bigger and smoother hits with less of the coughing that beaker bottom bongs can occasionally cause. If you’re not a frequent smoker then the investment may not be for you, but if you want to get as much from your bong as you possibly can, then we cannot recommend a perc enough!
If you already own a perc-free beaker bong but want to avail of the smoothness of a perc, fear not, you can buy a perc that will fit neatly into the neck of your glassware. For those who are in the market for a brand new bong with a built in perc you can find everything you need here.
For a wider range of bongs and accessories be sure to check out Everyone Does It UK.