Percolators are additional filtration chambers located inside a bong or water pipe, usually inside the main chamber or within the tube on the way to the mouthpiece.
Working Principle of Percolator Bongs
Although there are many different styles of percolator that appear very different, the basic principle is the same with each: smoke and water are forced through the percolator by the negative pressure from the user inhaling on the bong. Firstly, this accelerates heat transfer – that is, the hot smoke is rapidly cooled by the bubbling, aerated water. Secondly, this action breaks up the smoke into finer particles, increasing the surface area. Again, this cools the smoke as well as filtering out some of the harmful carcinogens and particulates from the hit. The result is a spectacular bubbling action and a smooth, cool hit every time.
A percolator bong is any type of bong, usually made out of glass, that includes a percolator, or ‘perc’. These percolators act like a filtration system, and will typically be located in the stem of the bong, although some models may have one in the base. The style and size of the percolator itself will depend on the type of perc bong you have, which we will come back to later on.
Percolator bongs are considered to be the ideal choice for most regular smokers. If you’ve ever used bongs both with and without percolators, you’ll have noticed the stark difference in the quality of the smoke produced. Without this extra filtration system, the smoke can be very harsh on your throat, while it will be much smoother, and cooler, with a percolator.
How do percolator bongs work?
Percolator bongs will typically include all the parts that a regular glass water bong has - a base, the bowl where you place your dry herbs, a tube or stem, and the mouthpiece. But they will also have a percolator, the style of which will depend on the type of percolator bong you get.
To take a hit with a percolator bong, you’d follow the same processes as any regular bong. You place your dry herbs into the bowl, light them, and then inhale the smoke via the mouthpiece. When taking a hit, you’ll hear that classic bubbling sound you get with water bongs - these bubbles help to increase the surface area that the smoke travels through, cooling it down and at the same time removing any impurities, toxins, and other dangerous substances.
What types of percolator bong are there?
Perc bongs come in all shapes, sizes and styles. In fact, most percolator bongs can be separated into distinct categories based on their aesthetic, design, and overall function. Some of the most popular types of percolator bongs for sale here at EDIT include:
Honeycomb percolators: Arguably the best looking type of percolator bong, honeycomb percs typically have two round discs in the neck filled with holes in a honeycomb pattern. This creates multiple chambers which help to diffuse the smoke and give a much smoother hit.
Inline percolators: Inline percs have a horizontal tube going across the neck which has tiny holes or slits in it for diffusion. The more holes or slits the tube has, the smoother your hit will be.
Matrix percolators: This type of percolator bong has a perc with both horizontal and vertical slits in them, allowing for greater circulation of the smoke. While creating clean and smooth smoke, matrix percolators also look great.
Showerhead percolators: These bongs have percolators that look like (you guessed it) a showerhead. They typically have a tube which connects to the water chamber, pulling smoke to the top and then back down a narrower tube to the holes or slits for diffusion.
Swiss percolators: These are some of the most complex percolator bongs, but their intricate design also means they’re some of the best-looking. Swiss perc bongs have multiple holes that look almost random in terms of where they’re placed, giving off a likeness of Swiss cheese, but they’re designed perfectly to give you a smooth, satisfying hit.
Tree percolators: This type of perc bong gets its name from then multiple rods or tubes which extend downwards through the tube, which somewhat resemble the branches of a tree. These small tubes in tree percs provide more space for the smoke to pass through on its way to your lungs, thus providing extra filtration.
Turbine percolators: Turbine perc bongs look awesome when you’re taking a drag, as the smoke travels up the neck through multiple chambers, producing an almost whirlwind aesthetic but at the same time diffusing the smoke to extremely pleasant levels.
Should you get a percolator bong?
Percolator bongs are great at diffusing your smoke and providing smoother hits, so we’d always recommend getting one. However, there are many different types of bong to be aware of, with others having their benefit too, so you should be aware of these before making a decision on which type of water pipe to purchase.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of percolator bongs:
Advantages of percolator bongs
The extra level of filtration and diffusion provided by the percs provide a smoother and cleaner hit of smoke, and an overall greater smoking experience.
This filtration also helps to remove more toxins and carcinogens from the smoke that wouldn’t be possible without a percolator, meaning it’s more healthy for your lungs.
The extra attention to detail in the design of percolator bongs makes them look great, both when not in use and when the smoke is travelling through the percs.
Disadvantages of percolator bongs
They tend to be a lot more expensive than regular water bongs without percolators.
Because of the percolators and the extra chambers this creates, cleaning perc bongs is quite a bit more tricky than regular glass bongs.
The high level of filtration could actually make it harder to take a full hit at once, while it also may remove some of the essential elements you’re trying to extract from the dry herbs.
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