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What Is a Bubbler and How to Use It

By Brad N July 28, 2019

Bubblers, bongs, and pipes create ripe opportunities for weed smokers to experiment with different consumption methods. 

Each of these devices comes with unique features and offers a slightly different experience. They can be used by both recreational and medical cannabis users alike to suit different needs.

Bubblers are less popular than bongs or regular pipes, but that doesn’t mean they’re any worse. In fact, a decent bubbler can become a long-time companion, largely thanks to its portability and additional filtration.

This article will help you get familiar with different types of bubblers and how to use them.

Let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Bubbler?

A bubbler is what you get when you cross a pipe or bong. In essence, bubblers are smaller, handheld bongs. They might not offer you the most badass rips in the world, but if you need a portable pipe with additional water filtration, then you’ve found yourself a keeper.

What Parts Does a Bubbler Consist of

When, where, and how the bubbler pipe was first created is shrouded in mystery, just like the man behind the invention. However, when you take a look at how pipes evolved into bongs, the bubbler pipe seems like a natural crossover.

What Parts Does a Bubbler Consist of?

The anatomy of a bubbler pipe is simple. The device consists of the following elements:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Bowl
  • Stem
  • “Water tank”

The stem is built around the bowl to hold a small amount of water, which cools and filters the smoke before inhalation. This ensures clean and smooth hits.

While at their core bubblers rely on the same principle — using water for filtering smoke — you may come across different types of this device.

Bubblers come in six basic models. Each one has its own advantages, and you’ll probably find yourself switching between one unit and another to find a perfect match.

Below we briefly go over each type of bubbler:

  • Hammer: as the name suggests, this type of bubbler resembles a hammer. Thanks to its design, it can rest on a flat surface without rolling around, so it’s a quite stable unit.
  • Sherlock: this type of bubbler looks like what Sherlock Holmes would hold in his mouth. It looks like a hammer bubbler, but it’s curved into a delicate “S” shape.
  • Sidecar: a sidecar bubbler features a stem and mouthpiece that adhere to the side of the water chamber. This type has been designed to solve the problem of water splash-back, something common with hammer and Sherlock bubblers.
  • Pendant: if you want the ultimate convenience, this type of bubbler will become your best friend. It’s usually a little bit smaller than the other types because it features a little hole or ring so it can be attached to a necklace or string and worn as a handy necklace.
  • Concentrate: this bubbler is designed exclusively for smoking concentrates and essential oils instead of cannabis flowers. It works exactly like a dab rig but is more compact.
  • Double bubblers: a double bubbler comes with two chambers instead of one; this feature is also known as dual percolator. Thus, it filters the smoke twice, allowing for an extra-clean and cool hit of flavor.
  • How to Use a Bubbler

    Using bubbler is super easy.

    Start by willing the water tank with some cold water (the colder, the tastier your hits). Then, grind up your favorite strain as you would with a regular pipe or bong and load the bowl of your device.

    How to Use a Bubbler

    If your bubbler comes with a carb cap — it’s all the better. If not, cover the carb with your thumb and place your mouth over the mouthpiece.

    Now all you need to do is light the bowl and gently draw the smoke into the chamber and inhale. Don’t take sharp breaths; instead, try to pull the smoke slowly but consistently so you don’t start coughing.

    Remove your thumb from the carb and then inhale the rest of the smoke from your bubbler.

    That’s it — enjoy!

    The Pros & Cons of Using a Bubbler

    Like all smoking devices, bubblers have their pros and cons. Here’s what to expect from a bubbler when wheying the good and the bad:


    Pros

    Cons

    • A bubbler works much like a bong, but it’s more portable.
    • They provide smoother hits than regular pipes.
    • It can be enjoyed on the go.
    • It’s usually made of sturdy glass.
    • It combines lightness, durability, and ease of use for novice smokers.
    • A bubbler is more difficult to clean than a bong or pipe.
    • It also needs a more regular cleaning routine.
    • It’s not as customizable as a bong.
    • It has a small bowl and tends to burn faster than a bong (some people may consider this an advantage). 

    What’s the Average Cost of a Bubbler?

    The price of a bubbler varies widely between different models. You can pay from less than ten dollars to more than $200 for a high-grade bubbler. This can make your choice pretty confusing.

    What’s the Average Cost of a Bubbler?

    Essentially, there are five major characteristics that determine the cost of a bubbler:

  • Type of material: any bubbler made from scientific glass will typically be more expensive than those made of less durable materials
  • Color: the more colorful a particular model, the more expensive it will be.
  • Detail work: details go by the same token as colors. More details contribute to a higher price tag.
  • Manufacturing method: anything handmade is going to be priced higher than mass-produced items — so is the bubbler. 
  • Brand: some brands are considered premium and thus their products cost a little more than generic or less popular brands.

  • Don’t get us wrong, you can get a quality bubbler for under $25 — even those made of borosilicate glass. Generally speaking, you should be able to get a decent-performing bubbler pipe with a cool design for somewhere between $25–$60.

    If the bubbler is made of lab-quality glass and you’re looking for something with a unique style and craft design, you’re going to spend more cash. But at the end of the day, a craft bubbler pipe it’s probably a safer choice.

    Do you use bubblers? If so, what type is it and how much do you spend on a bubbler on average? Give us a shout in the comment section below!


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