When it comes to choosing your next, or first, bong, the variety of styles and designs available can be a little overwhelming at times. The main two designs that you may encounter are fat-bottomed beaker bongs and straight-tube cylinder bongs, but which is better? While the aesthetics of a bong are important, we should pay attention to other factors too. Aesthetics alone should not drive our bong purchases; we need to pay attention to the smoothness of the hit, the quality of the build, and also the practicalities, such as cleaning and durability. Read on to find out whether you are in the market for a straight-tube bong or a beaker bong as we cover the main differences between the two.
Cylinder Bongs vs. Beaker Bongs: Smoothness
Nobody enjoys a harsh bong. The smoothness of the hit that a bong can give is a substantial factor when choosing your next bong. In terms of the materials used, glass bongs provide the smoothest hit, so now we need to decide between a glass cylinder bong and a glass beaker bong. Which will give us the smoothest hit from our sweet herb? The honest answer is that both styles can deliver a smooth hit. The beaker-style glass bong will have a larger internal volume compared to a similar-sized cylinder bong. The larger internal volume means we can add more water to the chamber at the base of the bong. More water equals more filtration and cooling, which often translates to a smoother hit. However, it’s not that simple. In terms of the ability to give us a smooth hit, there are a couple of other factors to look out for.
The straight lines of a glass cylinder bong lend themselves better to the addition of extra features. One such extra feature that can add to the bong’s smoothness is the ability to add ice into the mix. Ice notches or an ice ring inside the glass tube allow for the insertion of a chunk of ice to aid cooling further. These ice notches or rings are more readily added to the straight-tube cylinder bong than to the flared base of a beaker bong. When a bong has ice notches, we can rest an ice cube on the notches, which are close to the base of the cylinder. As we pull our sweet smoke through the system, the smoke passes over this ice after passing through the water chamber and is cooled even more. As the ice melts, the water drips down into the water chamber, cooling this water more too. Cooler water equals cooler smoke. Cooler smoke means we get a smoother hit. Check out Molino Glass’ collection of straight-tube cylinder bongs – they all feature either an ice ring or ice notches.
Cylinder Bongs vs. Beaker Bongs: Build Quality
Another factor to consider is the quality of the build. We should check to find out if the bong you are considering is made from high-quality glass. Not all glass is created equal. Standard consumer-grade glass can be problematic when used in bong manufacturing, as it can crack during the rapid heating or cooling processes. If you want your glass bong to last, you should ensure it is made from Pyrex or borosilicate glass. The development of Pyrex glass came from borosilicate glass, and both are much stronger than standard glass. Borosilicate glass is a glass type that incorporates boron trioxide, which is less susceptible to thermal expansion, meaning it will be stronger and last longer than standard glass.
Pyrex was born out of borosilicate glass manufacturing, but somewhere along the way the borosilicate was switched for soda lime, and the result is a similarly strong and sturdy glass which is also more resistant to heat changes. When you are checking out the features of your potential new bong, make sure you insist on the tubing being formed from quality Pyrex or borosilicate glass, such as that used by Molino Glass.
One more thing to consider when assessing the build quality of your next bong is the thickness of the glass used. Whilst the thickness of the glass will not affect the performance of your new weed bong, it may have a bearing on how long your bong stays intact. A thicker glass will be stronger and more resistant to damage should you knock your bong over or, heaven forbid, drop it. Molino Glass uses three main thicknesses of glass (5mm, 7mm, and 9mm) in their range of quality glass weed bongs. Their classic American bong utilizes 5mm-thick Pyrex glass, whereas the Rasta Revolution Glass Bong is an awesome 7mm-thick option. But for the ultimate in strength, look no farther than this stunning 9mm-thick Classic Cylinder Bong. The thickness of the glass will have an effect on the price, with thicker glass being a little pricier, but bear in mind that due to its simpler design, a straight-tube glass cylinder bong will usually be cheaper than a beaker bong with the same thickness of glass.
Cylinder Bongs vs. Beaker Bongs: Cleaning
Nobody enjoys a dirty bong. It’s essential to keep your glass weed bong clean to ensure the flavor and smoothness of your weed hits. Over time, a bong will get dirtier, and you will need to clean it out. The straight-tube design of a glass cylinder bong will be easier to clean than a beaker bong with its hard-to-reach corners. The corners and angles of a beaker-style weed bong will make it a little trickier to clean than its straight-tubed cousin.
Two ways to ensure your bong stays squeaky-clean are to use good cleaning products, such as this organic bong cleaning fluid, and by adding a few drops of Resin Block to help remove the tar from your hits.
Silicone Cleaner Stopper – GreenUS$9.99
Organic Glass Bong CleanerUS$3.50 – US$24.99
Cylinder Bongs vs. Beaker Bongs: Durability
We’ve already spoken about the quality and the thickness of the glass. In terms of durability, we should also pay attention to how the glass bong will handle. A straight-tube cylinder bong, with its uniform thickness of the downstem, will be easier to grip. And after a night of heavy hitting, a bong which is easier to grip will be less likely to get dropped.
On the other hand, glass beaker bongs have a wider base, which can make them more stable when not in use and less likely to be knocked over. The larger bottom of a beaker bong can also help avoid breakage from knocking over your new bong. The extra weight at the bottom means a beaker bong will have a lower center of gravity, meaning it will require a heavier knock to topple it over.
Our Final Thoughts…
While a high-quality glass cylinder bong and an equally-high-quality glass beaker bong are both capable of delivering super-smooth, sweet hits of delicious weed smoke, the addition of ice notches to a cylinder bong and its ease of cleaning make this style of bong very desirable. Getting your hands on a 9mm-thick straight-tube glass cylinder bong should be the order of the day. These sturdy, easy-to-clean glass bongs are a delight to smoke from, and you will enjoy many long, hazy, smokey nights together. When it comes to buying a glass weed bong, the classic straight-tube design will not disappoint!