The shape, size and features of a hand pipe can vary drastically among the various types. However, the anatomy is mostly the same, even in the most advanced pipes. In a hand pipe you will typically find a carb (carburetor), a bowl, a stem, and a mouthpiece for smoking. Here are how the components work:
The Anatomy of a Hand Pipe
The bowl: is the round, bowl-shaped basin that is used to hold your smoking material. Some may refer to the entire hand pipe as a bowl, but it would be more accurate to refer to it as a hand pipe. Bongs also use bowls.
The Carb: the carb is use to regulate the airflow when inhaling. Not all hand pipes come with a carb, but they help in getting you more precise control over the rate at which your bowl is cleared. Smaller pipes don't always have one - as you need all the airflow you can get. Carbs are almost always found in larger sized hand pipes.
The downstem: Bubblers are a specialized type of hand pipe that will have a small downstem integrated into pipe, so that you can add water. Keep in mind that many pipes don't have that and are of the dry variety that don't need water.
The mouthpiece: is used to draw in smoke from the bowl to your mouth.
Large Vs Small Hand Pipes
Larger pipes can hold more smoke and will almost always have a carb to let you precisely regulate the flow. Larger hand pipes need more glass in manufacturing and will tend to cost more. Larger pipes are less portable and harder to conceal than smaller pipes but tend to offer more features then your smaller hand pipes.
How do you use a hand pipe?
- Grind your smoking material and pack your bowl, but don't pack it too tightly or it will be harder to get the air circulating into the bowl. Also, if your pipe contains a water chamber you will want to fill it with water first, add enough water to get the downpipe submerged, but if you have a dry pipe this step can be skipped .
- Hold the carb down with your thumb and keep puffing until you are ready to inhale.
- Once you are ready, release the the carb and keep inhaling until you've sucked all the smoke out.