That’s the world’s first smoker’s choice, water pipe or hand pipe. Why? Because water pipes have been around about as long as regular hand pipes have. These tools both date back more than 10,000 years with archeological evidence to back that up.
But which is better? Wet or dry pipe?
Well, as with everything, it depends on need and personal preference. However, with advances in smoking technology and ramped-up production of glass smokeware in the last decade since (re)legalization began, the list of differences between water pipe and dry pipe is getting smaller.
Growth of glass happened fast
Today the story is completely different. Cheaply produced, high end glass delivered right to your door means a variety of new possibilities in both bongs and pipes. Artists can finally make beautifully decorative and highly functional pieces at the same time.
Yes, China will pirate that material and sell it at prisoner wage rates, but innovation has changed nearly every smoking tool for the better.
This renaissance in American glass artistry producing high end smoking gear hit at the end of the 1980s. This new enlightenment finally brought together great heat handling and incredibly durable, cheap glass. Borosilicate was great for pipes as well as kitchen wares!
Worked boro glass
So glass smoking goods rose greatly in quality and quantity in as fairly short time frame. For about a decade, these imports flooded the market killing most American glass manufacturers except for the artists.
People are really attracted to the look of boro glass, but what does that have to do with the difference between dry pipes and water pipes? Well, as I stated up front, the differences are growing smaller all the time.
Now you can have very small pipes, like hand pipes, that are clearly designed with a water chamber. You can also have a water pipe with built in accoutrements like ashcatching screens and portable, self-standing designs.
In short, the main difference between a water pipe and a pipe for dry herb is the filtration. Water naturally filters out ash from bud burnt with combustion, keeping debris from ever entering your mouth. Some feel the smoke is also filtered somewhat although there is little evidence this is true. Still, water also cools smoke and condenses the particles making it easier to choke down a huge hit.
Likewise, some pipes can also have built in percs which cool smoke before being inhaled. Some hand pipes can even have water chambers for filtration. There is the argument that any filtration takes away from flavor, so some smokers who consider themselves purists, light their dry pipe bowls with hemp wick and prefer dry smoke for the flavor.
So the differences between water pipe and hand pipe are getting fewer. Still, the question is, how portable do you want to be, and how much filtration do your want? It comes down to personal choice.
Not sure where to start? Here are some product recommendations no matter what your preference - water or dry.