Not all smokers prefer using pipe screens for their bowl sessions. Users have got special types of bowls with holes small enough that they can filter out even the ash. However, such bowls will also get filled with tar gradually. Thus, regular users, too, have had moments where they got the foul-tasting material into their mouths. This is where pipes come in.
Pipes are challenging to make; nonetheless, they have been used to consume anything from tobacco to hemp plants.
For the modern user, pipes have become a necessity of sorts. They keep your mouth safe from ill-tasting, gross debris. They also ensure that the bowl stays safe in the long run.
Pipes have also got a manufacturing difficulty. For example, some pipes have big holes allowing some unburnt herb to pass through. This means that when the hole over the bowl is big enough to avoid being covered with too much tar, it’s also big enough for bigger particles of ash to pass through it.
That’s where pipe screens come in, they make it easy to keep your mouth and hands clean. Pipe screens weed out the resins and smoking particles from accumulating in the bowl—so that the bowl doesn't clog up. If you want a high-quality smoking experience, pipe screens are the way to go. In this blog, we will tell you why you should use a pipe screen and everything else that is important.
What Is A Pipe Screen?
A pipe screen is a screen with many small slits carved into it—so as to prevent particles of smoke and debris from passing through it. The primary function of a pipe screen is to prevent clogged bowls, all the while also stopping resin from building up in pipes and bowls.
Pipe screens are usually made from stainless steel, and these pipes are in vogue these days. However, they can also be made from other materials like brass, quartz, aluminum, and even titanium. A ton of pipe screens are currently sold in the market— all of them being sold in various sizes and designs so as to meet preferences of all the customers.
Some pipes have gasifiers that help clear out the chamber with air. The gasifiers also ease the process of inhalation while cleaning out the pipe. Pipe screens are especially useful when your bowl is made of brass/silver.
Without a pipe, when a user puts the dry herb—which is freshly grounded—in their bowl. Without a screen or some shield to guard against the dry, burnt material/ash, some small particles will find their way into your mouth or land on your tongue. This leads to an unpleasant smoking experience as the dry and woody smoke particles leave a bad taste in your mouth.
The primary function of a smoke pipe is to dump out the particulates of the piece you are smoking. This can be done between a session or at the end of a smoking session.
They also block the tar from building up in the glass bowl. This also allows you to have a pleasant smoking experience. And you also don't have to clean your piece now and then. You can have a pleasant smoking experience even when you don't use a pipe if you have got some premium water-based pieces.
Different Pipe Screens For A Smooth Smoking Experience
Most smokers prefer to use a pipe screen. However, they are confused about which pipe would work best for them. Since there are many types of pipes, the confusion generally stems from the kind of pipe that would deliver the best-possible results. Every pipe screen has its advantages. Also, different pipes work best with different pieces.
Some users prefer making pipe screens in their homes—using nothing but tin foil, where the basic design is created by just poking toothpick holes into a customized pipe.
Nevertheless, smoking or inhaling particles of smoke from heated tin or aluminum may have adverse side effects on the user's health. Thus, when it comes to pipes, it is advised to buy a big pack of them so that you don't have to worry about using tin foil or a homemade aluminum pipe.
Below we have described, in detail, a few of the most commonly-used pipes.
Improvised screens, as is evident from the name, have come after a long series of improvisation performed on them. Creative cannabis enthusiasts use these screens. Improvised screens are made when users are in a rush. They can be as simple as improvisation performed on a sinks' faucet.
Also, if you are an expert, you would know that there are at the very least 2-3 more methods to make an excellent pipe for yourself.
Most people don't improvise their pipes since they know that pre-made pipes are better improvised and work flawlessly.
For this pipe, you will need a small chunk of aluminum foil. All you have to do is to carve out a piece of foil that fits onto the pipe bowl. Afterwards, you will have to poke tiny holes in the same foil.
The only negative thing about this pipe is that when you heat the aluminum, it may discharge dangerous fumes. Moreover, our experts are not sure about whether or not the foil screen harms the body. Still, you should be on the safe side and go for other safer options.
Paperclips are generally made from steel, so they (most of the time) are germs-free. Paperclip pipe is made when you straighten a belt clip which is then twisted into a flat and tight spiral-like shape.
To make the twisting part even easier, you should use a pair or two of nose-like pliers. The pliers would hold the stiff wire—all the while the spiral is twisted tightly into a more stiff spiral-like shape. This spiral is so tight that at times even the ash cannot be trapped inside it.
Yes! You heard that right, tobacco (a herb) can be used for filtering another herb. You will have to put a sliver of tobacco in the bowl then you can fill the rest of the bowl with any other herb of your choice and light that up. The ash will not be able to ooze out as it gets trapped inside tobacco.
If you start smoking and the taste of tobacco comes up, you should stop immediately.
The only downside of this pipe is that if the ash isn't successfully trapped, you will lose both the tobacco and the other herb that you mixed it with.
Circular Mesh Screens
Circular mesh screens are, well, just small particles of the metal mesh itself. They are usually made from safe substances like stainless steel, tin, or brass. These pipes are sold in bulk quantities and tend to be very economical. They are difficult to clean and may get damaged on prolonged exposure to heat.
The best thing about this pipe is that it can be reused as long as it hasn't broken down. However, you have to replace it regularly. The screens fit all the sizes as they are legit made to just fit perfectly inside the bowl. You have to gently press them down into the bowl and they'll fit effortlessly. They are flexible; thus, fitting them isn't an issue. Only make sure that the screen covers the hole.
The bad thing about this screen is the danger of overheating aluminum. Also, most of the time, users are not sure what a mesh screen is made from.
Since these screens don't cost much, they are still widely used.
Stone Pipe Screen
These screens are mesh screens with a twist; that is, these screens are mesh screens with an addition of a rim. The rim is designed to fit well inside the stone pipes. They are also much stronger than a mesh without some rim. Besides this, the two screens are almost the same.
Glass screens have a special shape that makes them look like flowers. These screens fit neatly inside the bowl. They are safe to be used inside the bowl, are beautifully crafted, and they don't need to be regularly replaced because they are heat-resistant.
You have to clean them regularly. A wash in alcohol plus grease solution will leave them neat and clean.
Regularly cleaning them is also important. If you don't clean regularly, you will break the screen. This is because the tar and ash accumulate on top of the screen which makes it impossible for you to clean the screen without breaking it.
As the glass pipe can be sensitive, its breakage is a real issue that often comes up. Also, even a slightly chipped glass screen has to be replaced—you can't use a chipped screen. This is why you will always find glass screens sold in packs.
If you properly take care, a Glass screen may even last a lifetime. A glass screen is costly as compared to a metal mesh screen. However, it's still not that pricey if you have budgeted accordingly.
The easiest and most affordable pipe screens are the circular mesh ones made of silver or brass. These screens are sold in bulk and may last at least 4-5 sessions in each pack.
Moreover, they are also easy to use. It would help if you tucked them into empty bowls. Next, you will press on the screen so that it fits onto the bowl.
Generally, the screens get burnt or caked with tar as they cannot sustain constant direct heat on their surface. That's why it makes sense that users should buy many of these kinds of screens. Moreover, buying screens in bulk also makes you eligible for discounts.
These screens are also available in a slightly harder version. Those screens are pre-shaped and have a circular metal rim—which also makes them useful when used for stone pipes. The stone pipe screen is not designed to be disposed of immediately. The mesh pipe screens, on the other hand, have to be disposed of immediately, and they also have to be regularly cleaned plus replaced.
Glass screens act as an alternative if you want something that can be shined and refilled. They come in the shape of little flowers. Moreover, they are sold in multipacks so that you can toss them out when you have used them.
Pipe screens are also reusable. If you don't want to discard a perfectly usable screen, you can wash them, and they will come out perfectly clean and sparkling when dipped in a solution of isopropyl alcohol. Also, add some big-grained salt cubes to the pipe screen cleaning solution for better cleaning results.
If you don't want to clean your glass screen, you still have got yourself covered. The glass screens hold up longer and can be used for a significantly longer period than mesh screens.
The glass screens are also more effective at keeping your mouth and stomach clean. They have a special talent for trapping small particles.
There are also some other innovative options like a built-in screen. These are used when you want to get rid of the disposability problem. Other bowls come with screens placed inside the bottom of bowls.
You can also have simple built-in screen bowls with a single wall and a small handle. Additionally, these tiny screen bowls have a few holes poked in the glass bottom.
Still, if you are someone who enjoys complexity, then you can veer into an entirely different territory, also called the Honeycomb Screen Bowl territory.
This double walled bowl keeps the stem clean by blocking even the tiniest particle of ash from falling into it. Fortunately, even these complex designs won't dent your pockets significantly. They are pretty affordable and sold at discounts.
Thus, whatever screen option suits you, you don't have to worry about splurging too much money on it.
Having a clean and hygienic smoking experience shouldn't cost too much money. Moreover, these screens can be easily cleaned and reused, which is an additional advantage.
All you need to clean them is a solution of alcohol and salt. Similarly, the cleaning is also not very effortful. Have a clean, solid, and pure smoking experience with screens of your choice.
Pipe Screen: How To Use One
There are three main types of pipe screens which are made from glass, brass, or made of metal. As mentioned earlier, glass screens are the most famous and efficient.
These screens are most commonly used for vaporization. Metal screens are only used when there is a slight chance of vaporization, in which case they are safe to use.
Glass screens are flower or jack-shaped instruments placed directly in the center of your bowl—on top of the hole of the piece.
As you repeatedly use the bowl for the smoking sessions, you will see that the glass screen has started blackening after some time. The glass gets encrusted with a shade of burnt residue over it. These resins can then only be cleaned using a solution of alcohol and salt (sometimes grease is also added to this solution).
Usually, it's time to clean when the screen becomes too big and starts clogging the hole in the bowl. This will make it harder for you to inhale the smoke, and that's how you will know you have to clean the screen.
Always buy a glass screen which is neither too big nor too small. Get a perfect size, one that fits in the glass piece neatly when you drop it in the pipe. Afterwards, you should also check if you can get an okay amount of airflow once you start smoking.
Ensure that the screen covers the hole in the right ratio to make the small holes visible.
Once a screen has been used too many times, it's dangerous to use the same screen again if it hasn't been cleaned before usage. If the screen has become weak, it's time to discard it and buy a new one. Because the pipe itself may fall apart, which can lead to inhaling toxic fumes.
A cleaned screen is much more reliable – the entire point of using a screen is to have clean smoke, so what's the point if the screen gives you more toxic fumes?
You should always first go for cleaning your pipe screens because if you don't clean them, you are wasting too much money on buying new ones when you can reuse the one you have. Also, it would help if you didn't clean the pipe too often as it may also lead to the breakage of the pipe itself.
There are types of screens which have to be cleaned beforehand; that is when you haven't even smoked for the first time using them.
This may sound shocking, but these pipes are coated with a hazardous chemical film. The film has to be burnt before you can use the pipe.
This is also why you should check the exterior of the pipe screens so that you know it is safe to smoke using that pipe screen. If this sounds like a lot, then, well, you can always buy the glass pipe screen to ensure extra safety.
Pipes Screens Vs. Water
Water trapped in a bubbler can also act like a screen filter used by your pipe. This will trap the ash and other toxic substances before they hit your system. However, there is a problem which is that if there is no screen, the dry herb material will be sucked into the chamber.
Similarly, there is also the fact that the residues will build up and accumulate over time inside the chamber. Soon, you will have an unclean pipe with a strong stench.
Hence, the best way to go about a water pipe is using a pipe or a bubbler that utilizes water but also has a glass screen which will be the first layer for filtration.
Now, if you find there is no screen, then water is still the best way to have something that can act as a temporary substitute. Pipes are not heat-resistant (except very few), so you should remember that they will likely get hot during your sessions. Hence, you should prefer cold water to hot one inside the bubbler.
Or, you could try and start with the warm water to check how that will affect the hit you get. Since warm water is known to remoisturize the contents leading to a complete and smooth hit, using a pipe screen and water will boost the experience and make for a much healthier smoking session.
Always use a good quality screen when smoking off a pipe. When getting a hit for the first time, empty the bowel before the first hit. This gives you a clean pipe which will make up for an even burn. You also accumulate more smoke this way in your hit.
Once you reach the end of the hit, take the fingers off. Moreover, cleaning the pipe after smoking has ended is a good idea as it removes the other residues.
Some water pipe designs, particularly the ones with water pieces, may have got holes big enough to allow the unburnt herb to pass through. Water pipes also have a special mechanism to prevent the particulates from getting into your system. Screen pipes are also very efficient. They will keep the debris from getting into your mouth. Users generally tend to favor screen pipe cleaners over water ones.
Users should look for all different pipe options before they stumble upon one that works best for them. You can buy a jumbo pack of 100 different mesh screens or can go for a pipe that filters automatically. There is no shortage of options available at this point in the market.
Filtering the distasteful debris particle now only costs a simple screen. Just use a pipe screen and avoid looking like an amateur coughing and spitting during every smoking session.
Moreover, pipe screens are also very effective. Using a pipe screen ensures a far smoother and enriched smoking experience whenever you smoke. Plus, they are also cheap, can be cleaned in a matter of a few minutes, and last a long time given that you use them with proper care.
We suggest that if you are using a pipe screen for the first time, you should go for the glass pipe. It is the safest and cleanest option. Not just that, it will also ensure a better taste. Lastly, it's easy to clean and is long-lasting.
Now you know why you should use a pipe screen?