Difference Between Chillums and Steamrollers

June 25, 2019 Handheld Pipes

Difference Between Chillums and Steamrollers

Different handheld pipes offer a variety of smoking experience. We’ll talk about chillum vs. steamrollers and see how these seemingly similar dry pipes differ from each other.


Chillums and steamrollers come in a vast selection of sizes. However, between the two, chillums offer a better option of portability and concealment. The smallest chillum that we have is the Grav Labs Donut Shape Glass Chillum, which is 2.25” in size. That’s about almost the size of a hockey puck. For our steamrollers, we have a highly portable Grav Labs Mini Steamroller that is 4.5” long, slightly bigger than your standard cigarette. If you want to have something you can quickly put in your pocket, a chillum is best for you.

Chillums don’t have carb holes, and steam rollers have a bowl sitting on top of the pipe.


Another thing that separates chillum is where you put your herb. If you need to pack a chillum, you have to look at it closely since you load it at the tip of the tube. To differentiate the mouthpiece from the tip, manufacturers fashion the end into a conical shape. The cone helps to contain the herb and prevent it from falling into the pipe. Also, glass chillums are mostly pipes with no carb, which means a bit a draw resistance.

Steamrollers got their name because they look much like locomotive engines. The bowl often extends from the top, or position on the upper side of the pipe. Some have discreet bowls that are blown into and positioned in the middle of the tube rather than near the end. There’s also an air hole at the tip of the steamroller which serves as a massive carb hole to help you draw in the smoke faster and deeper.


Chillums are often categorized as one-hitters, especially the small discreet ones. The size of the bowl is enough for a hit or two, which means you have to load it again before you pass it to a buddy for sharing. If you only want to smoke a small amount or want to have a quick session, the chillum is highly ideal for you.

Steamrollers, especially big ones, can have bowls that have the same size as that of a bong. You can almost pack about half a gram of herb for one session or more, depending on the bowl size. The large capacity is great for sharing, having longer sessions, or if you need a stronger effect from your herbs.

The traditional way of smoking a chillum needs a bit of practice compared to hitting from a steamroller.


It’s a bit complicated to use a chillum in a traditional manner. Although you can draw from the mouthpiece, there’s a risk of getting ash in each draw due to the short smoke path. You have to clip a chillum between your fingers and cup your hands to draw out smoke from the pipe. You can use it as a pipe by drawing from the mouthpiece, but that will beat the overall experience of a chillum. If you want to smoke it traditionally, you have to ask someone to light it for you.

Some describe using a steamroller as you would with a bong, except you don’t have water filtration. You can use it independently without relying on someone else to light up the bowl for you.


Chillums are suitable for instant gratification. One load is enough to get you medicated. However, if you want a more profound, stronger experience and a longer session with friends, you should get a steamroller. Compared to the two, a steamroller has bigger hits because it’s capable of producing and gathering more smoke.

Chillums and steamrollers have subtle differences that you will soon appreciate the longer you use them. One offers convenient and instant gratification, while the other provides a long, straightforward session for a deeper experience.

Have you tried smoking a chillum and a steamroller? Which one is your favorite? Please share your smoking story in our comment section!


One Response to “Difference Between Chillums and Steamrollers”

  1. […] also don’t have carb holes, while a steam roller has one right at the tip. Take a closer look at these differences before you buy a […]

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