What’s the Difference Between a Stemmed and Stemless Bong?

January 06, 2020 Bong Posts

What’s the Difference Between a Stemmed and Stemless Bong?

When looking at an online headshop, you’ll see different bong designs which include percs, ice catchers, and even stem. We’ll discuss the difference between a stemmed vs. stemless bong to help you check which is the best for your needs.

What is the stem?

The stem acts as a bridge between your herb bowl and your bong. The glassblower will decide whether or not to add a stem based on the design of a bong.

Boro Glass 19mm Female Removable Diffuser Downstem Beaker Bong 10 inch

If the bong has a removable tube that goes through the water chamber, it’s a stemmed bong.

Stemmed bong

A stemmed bong usually has a deep water chamber, which makes it necessary for something to act as a tunnel for the smoke to reach the water chamber. You know you have a stemmed bong if you have a removable downstem.

Advantage of a stemmed bong

Most bongs don’t have a carb hole, so you need to lift up the herb bowl to release the smoke. This often causes the joint to break, especially if you take out the bowl at a wrong angle. With a stemmed bong like the Grav Labs Beaker Bong, you have the luxury of removing and attaching the bowl without any worries. Should the stem break, you can always get a replacement, and the bong is still useable.

You can also choose the type of perc you get from the stem. You can have:

  • Showerhead
  • Swiss-style
  • Tree-arm
  • Barrel
  • Slitted
  • Fire cut
  • Disc style

The levels of diffusion you get are variable, and you have different choices to enhance your smoking experience.

Disadvantage of a stemmed bong

You have to know the measurement of your downstem should you need to replace it. It’s easy if you still have it whole, but it can be a minor problem if you broke it. You need to use a pencil trick in order to measure the right length of the stem that will fit inside your bong. Too short, and you’ll need much water. Too long, and you’ve got either a suspended stem or a blocked one.

The additional expense can be heavy for a smoker who’s on a tight budget. Depending on the style and brand, a downstem can cost $9.99-$39.99.

Some find cleaning a stemmed bong tedious to clean because of the removable parts. You have to take the downstem out and place it in a separate bag to get it cleaned up.

This straight tube bong clears easily because of the stemless design.

Stemless bong

A stemless bong is often called a bong with a fixed downstem. The stem can be as long as a third of the bong like the Pulsar Fat Can Double Slit Matrix Perc Bong with Ice Catcher. Most often than not, a stemless bong has a perc almost immediately at the end to help clean and moisturize your smoke.

Advantage of a stemless bong

Since you have a fixed stem, you don’t have to worry about using keg clips to keep them in place. It’s easier to lift the herb slide without the stem lifting and falling off.

Because of the smooth connection, many find that the stemless bong has lesser drag, especially those with short connections. Since you have a continuous link, you have fewer air pockets that can cause problems with your drag.

If you’re the person who prefers simpler designs, a stemless bong is perfect. You have fewer parts to worry about and using it has fewer complications.

Disadvantages of a stemless bong

You have to do regular maintenance with the stemless bong. Since you’re dealing with one piece, once you get the smoke pathway clogged, you’re in trouble.

Although use of the stemless bong is straightforward, cleaning can be the opposite. You have to be careful in shaking the bong to help the cleaner reach all the tubings. Those who became overzealous with cleaning often had an accident by breaking the stemless bong, rendering it useless.

However, the common cause of breakage of a stemless bong is when you lift the herb bowl. There are times when the bowl gets stuck in the joint of the stemless that a wrong pressure can cause it to crack.

Which one is better?

The difference between the two is not that significant. Both have their pros and cons depending on your smoking style and preference. If you’re still undecided, click here now and browse through our collection! We have different stemmed and stemless bongs that can provide flavor and functionality that you’re looking for.

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