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Glossary of Glass Terms and Smoking Definitions You Should Know

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Glossary of Glass Terms and Smoking Definitions You Should Know
You’ll often hear common glass terms and smoking lingo thrown in when you buy a smoking piece. We’ll list down some of the frequently used words that you’ll come across in forums, head shops, and from smoking experts.

Glossary of glass terms

Ash Catchers – an external attachment that you insert in the joint and holds the herb bowl. It’s an additional filtration layer that keeps your bong cleaner longer.

Boro, borosilicate – glass that contains at least 5% boric acid, allowing it to have a higher temperature and chemical corrosion resistance.

Bowl – where you place your herbs to smoke

Bowl slide (a.k.a. bong bowl, herb slide) These are often detachable parts in a bong and doubles as a carb hole.

Carb, carb hole – a hole at the side of a glass piece that you regulate to allow air to go in for easier drag. You press on it to keep the smoke in as you inhale, then release for clearing.


Diffuser/Diffused downstem – a type of downstem that has holes or slits to spread smoke for effective filtration and cooling.

Downstem – Long, slender tube that connects the slide to the bong. It’s inserted inside the bong’s joint with the tip submerged in water for filtration.

Drag – airflow resistance. It’s the effort that you use to pull out the smoke from a pipe. A heavy drag means you need to suck in harder to clear the pipe. Less drag means clearing is effortless and natural, as if you’re just breathing in.

Dry piece – any type of pipe that don’t use water for functionality.

Frit glass – the glassblower adds crushed or beads of glass to the surface, creating a granular textured surface.

Fumed glass – Glass piece created with fumes from real silver and gold. The result is varying hues of blue to purple (silver), as well as pinkish or greenish patterns (gold).

Ground joint – joints that have a frosted appearance, usually having a tapered shape for easy insertion and removal.

A spoon

Heady glass – custom-made glass created with signature techniques of expert glassblowers and artists. They can be solo works or a collaboration between two or more artists. One such example is glass pieces from Empire Glassworks.

Ice pinchers – these are often 3 inner prongs inside the tube of your bong. It holds ice above the water chamber, effectively cooling down smoke as it passes through.

Joint – usually found at the side of the water pipe. This is where you’ll insert the downstem or bowl slide. They come in different sizes, usually in 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm. You see small joints in mini bongs, and large joints in big, tall bongs.

Keck clip – an attachment that keeps the downstem and bowl slide in place, preventing detachments, falls, and breakages.

Linework – a technique applied to glass that gives it a pattern of stripped colors. This Wig-Wag bong is an example of this intricate work.

Percolator or percs – these are added parts in a bong that functions both as a smoke filter and a moisturizer. Honeycomb percs and tree percs are common examples of percolators loved by smokers.

Piece – a general term used when talking about any type of pipe or rig for smoking.

Recycler – a type of glass piece that continuously cycles water as you pull for maximum cooling and filtration.

Soft glass – any type of glass that’s not as durable and strong as scientific glass. Because of this, they have bolder, distinct colors compared to other types of glass.

Splashback (a.k.a. backsplash) – when water reaches out through the mouthpiece when you rip from a water pipe. This causes a wet hit that many bong or bubbler smokers hate because of the nasty flavor and smell of used water.

Splash guard – a dome-like park usually found on top of the bong and at the base of the neck. It doesn’t affect the functionality and flavor and only serves to prevent splashbacks from happening.

Water pipe – used to describe a pipe that uses water for filtration and cooling.

We hope that this glossary of glass terms helped you get a better understanding of pipes as well as the smoking industry. Use them to your advantage when you buy bongs, dab rigs, and hand pipes online. Do you have a glass terminology that’s making your head spin? Share them with us in the comment section below and we’ll help you understand what it means!

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