There are 3 main types of glass pipes you can opt for:

1. Annealed High-end Borosilicate Glass

The process of annealing borosilicate glass pipes is an additional step that is added by some manufactures for various reasons.

The annealing process heals the micro-fractures that the manufacturing process introduces. borosilicate glass,” “lab-quality glass” or “scientific glass.

A good approach for this may be to purchase both a higher-end annealed borosilicate glass pipe and a 5$ to 10$ glass pipe of about the same size. Use them both equally to see how they perform.

A decent annealed borosilicate glass hand pipe, ( 25$ to 150$ ) should last you for a solid year through use and even small drops on semi-hard floors, wood floors, etc. As with any glass pipe though, drop it just right on too hard of ground, concrete, etc and it can crack or completely break.

2. (Non-annealed) High-end Borosilicate Glass

These are the middle of the ground pipes that are still made of good glass but are missing the annealing step. Such pipes are still good pipes but may not last as long as a pipe that has been strengthened through additional heat and a slow cooling process of annealing.

3. Lower Quality Glass (not borosilicate glass, lab-quality glass, or scientific glass)

Mainly this is a cheaper pipe that is meant to be a cheaper pipe just for that reason. A simple, quick, and partially disposable medium that is meant as a convenience. This is a mutually understood fact and you shouldn’t expect an inexpensive glass pipe to last very long under normal stresses.





Pipe Categories and types

Glass Hand Pipes (Spoon Pipes)

Glass hand pipes, also referred to as spoon pipes, are the most common glass pipes you find in any given headshop. They can be any of the variety mentioned above with different coloring and textures added to the pipe.

Gas and Convenient Store Pipes

Most small hand pipes you can find at average convenient stores will not be of the more expensive borosilicate variety but probably of a lower quality glass compound and blowing process.

Glass Bubbler Pipes

These are a type of small pipe that could be described as between a bong and a hand pipe. Bubblers often are slightly larger than hand pipes but smaller than small bongs and closer to the size of micro bongs.

Bubblers are usually made of higher quality glass, although cheap glass bubblers can be found as easily. Bubbler pipes are also great for travel because of the small size and the relatively small amount of water that goes inside.

Glass Water Pipes (water bongs)

Bongs or Glass Water Pipes have been around a long time and are an entire segmented category in and of themselves. Water bongs come in all shapes and sizes from micro (couple inches) to 12-foot bongs which require two people to operate most of the time.

Sub-categories in the bong category would include Acrylic Bongs, Ice Bongs, Peculator Bongs, Wax and Dab Bongs, Plasma and Electric Bongs, Character, and Novelty Bongs, Glow in the dark Bongs, Silicone Bongs, Hida-Bongs, and others. 

Glass Steam Roller Pipes

A steam roller pipe is a glass through a tube with a bowl on top. This type of pipe can be used for taking extra-large hits or steamrolling hits back and forth.

Sherlock Pipes

Sherlock glass pipes resemble traditional wood sherlock pipes in that they are elongated down towards the bowl and then swoop upwards. Right off the bat when you see a long glass sherlock pipe you might wonder to yourself if it will break quickly or not. Surprisingly, if the sherlock pipe is made out of annealed borosilicate, lab, or scientific glass then it will probably be fairly tough and last awhile despite its somewhat flimsy look.

Many of the less expensive sherlock glass pipes don’t have glass beads on the bottom for standing upright and must be laid on its side when not in use.

Acrylic Pipes

Acrylic is a transparent plastic material with outstanding strength, stiffness, and optical clarity.

Acrylic a is a great choice for bongs, bubblers, and other pipes. If you’re looking to spend less money and have something which will be strong for a long time and resist falls and breaks, then acrylic is a great material.

Some folks only prefer glass and so it’s a personal choice but acrylic pipes come in a large variety and are easier to clean than glass or metal pipes on most occasions.

Silicone Pipes

Silicone bongs and pipes are other great choices as they are nearly unbreakable and most are even dishwasher safe to get them extra clean without having to worry about breaks and cracks.

Metal Pipes

Metal pipes have been around a long time especially for small hand pipes. While metal pipes may not seem that smooth for smoking though they can be convenient and good for traveling or an extra back-up pipe that is virtually indestructible under normal circumstances.


E-pipes made for dry herb often are shaped as traditional wood pipes. The ones made specifically for dry herb have a ceramic oven for placement of the dried leaf material.

E-pipes heat the herb instead of burning and combusting which leads to a far cleaner end-result.

Wood Pipes

Wood pipes are perhaps the oldest type of pipe made by man. Tradition wood pipe, especially hand-carved and meerschaum/wood combinations can be very expensive.

Small cheap wood hand pipes can be found just about everywhere and the type of wood, i.e. cherry-wood, add certain taste nuances to the flavoring of your tobacco or herb product.

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