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Glassics Glossary

Glassics Glossary

Posted by GLASSICS on Oct 4th 2020

Here is a general list of some of the common terms we use to describe our products which may confuse some customers. Please note that these definitions are not official by any means but are simply our best understanding of them and represents how we use them throughout the site. If there's a term that you were looking for but don't see on this list, please let us know and we will be happy to add it.


Small scientific glass tools with the purpose of changing the size, shape, angle or orientation of a standardized glass fitting. For example, Adapters can be used to convert between 14mm and 18mm fittings, between male and female fittings, etc. They can also act as helpful heat barriers or allow users to adjust the height of a Bowl Piece or Concentrate Nail. More details on their many uses can be found in this Blog Post, "Four Helpful Uses For Adapters".


A type of scientific glass attachment used to provide additional layers of water diffusion/filtration and in turn, smoother hits. Ashcatchers are attached on the main fitting of a Bong or Bubbler and (as the name suggests) collects the first wave of ash and debris, preventing it from reaching your main chamber. This is a very affordable option for someone wishing to upgrade their smoke setup, without having to purchase a whole new piece. They also greatly reduce how often you have to clean your original water pipe.


A specific style of Domeless Nail, typically made of quartz. Bangers are usually designed as an upside-down, "J"-shaped hook with the stem leading from the water pipe fitting to a large, flat-bottomed bucket where concentrated oils are applied. When compared to traditional Domeless Nails, this bucket design allows for quicker heating, larger dabs and creates more separation between the heated portion of the nail and the water pipe itself.


A style of dry water pipe with a female glass fitting which utilizes a taller, narrower design compared to Bubblers. Although their default use is dry, Bongs can be converted to Dab Rigs by employing either a nontraditional, male Domeless Nail or a simple Adapter. Bongs come in a variety of different perc styles/shapes and typically offer the most additional features including added percs, splash guards and ice pinches. We also carry 9mm Bongs which are

nearly twice as thick as our standard 5mm glass pieces and offer much greater durability and stability. 


A type of glass made from a mixture of silica and boric oxide. Borosilicate glass is extremely resistant to thermal shock and chemical corrosion when compared to more common forms of glass. Because of these properties, virtually all medical and scientific lab equipment as well as most common cookware (think Pyrex) uses this type of glass. More information on borosilicate's use in scientific glass can be found in our Blog Post, "Four Reasons You Should Be Smoking Out Of Glass".


The removable portion of a dry water pipe where the smoking material is housed. Bowl Pieces are typically designed with a round opening which tapers down to a small hole in the center for smoke to be drawn through and into the glass pipe. They utilize standardized, scientific glass fittings and are easily inserted and removed for convenient chamber clearing and easy cleaning. These come in male and female fittings as well.


A style of dry water pipe with a female glass fitting which utilizes a shorter, wider design compared to Bongs. Although their default is dry, Bubblers tend to be the ideal style for converting between dry and dab purposes. Bubblers come with a variety of different perc styles and typically offer some additional features such as splash guards or ice pinches.


A tool used to cover the exposed top of Domeless Nails, restricting airflow and allowing for lower temperature dabs. When a Carb Cap is placed over the opening of a Domeless Nail, the concentrated oil inside is insulated and heated indirectly, rather than directly. This limits how fast surrounding air can cool the nail and preserves the unique flavors and characteristics of oils, instead of destroying them with excess heat. More details on low temp dabs can be found in our Blog Post, "How To Use Carb Caps For Low Temp Dabs".


A term used to describe one style of how water pipes are used. Concentrate/Dab Rigs are those that are intended for vaporizing/smoking extracted oils and utilize a heated surface such as a Dome & Nail or Domeless Nail in place of a Bowl Piece. These concentrate nails typically have a female fitting which attaches over the male fitting of a Concentrate/Dab Rig. More details on the differences between dry and dab pieces can be found in our Blog Post, "Dry Bowls & Dabs: The Two Uses Of Glass Water Pipes".


A long tool used to apply concentrated oils to a heated nail on a Dab Rig. Dabbers come in many styles and materials and are often attached to Carb Caps (such as the ones we carry) for extra convenience. Different dabber tip designs are used for different consistencies of concentrated waxes and oils but are typically shaped like flathead screwdrivers or mini shovels.


A name for concentrate water pipes which is characterized by male glass fittings and smaller, simpler designs compared to Bubblers. Although their default is concentrate, Dab Rigs allow the option to convert to dry use by employing either a reverse/female Bowl Piece or a simple Adapter. Dab Rigs are designed with a variety of perc styles which typically aim for minimal diffusion in order to preserve the unique flavor characteristics of concentrates.


The spreading of something more widely. In terms of water pipes, diffusion refers to how much a perc or Downstem distributes or breaks up smoke bubbles to increase surface area contact with water. The more a water pipe diffuses smoke, the smoother the hit tends to be since the smoke has had more time and physical contact with the cool water before being cleared. Pieces with higher levels of diffusion also tend to need to be cleaned more often as more contact with water means more filtering of debris and therefore more buildup.


The section of a water pipe which connects to either a Bowl Piece or concentrate Nail with the opposite end submerged in the main water reservoir for filtration. Downstems typically come in two varieties: removable, Diffused Downstems and Natural Perc Downstems.

  • Removable, Diffused Downstems are found on most of our Bongs and allow for easier cleaning, quick replacement and increased smoke diffusion (see above).
  • Natural Perc Downstems are found on some of our Bubblers and Bongs and are connected the the entire water pipe. Although they offer less diffusion than removable, Diffused Downstems, they create less buildup and require less frequent cleaning. More details on the differences between these two styles can be found in our FAQ page.


A style of nail setup which comes standard on our Dab Rigs and utilizes two separate pieces: a nail and a dome. When using a Dome and Nail setup, the nail is placed in the center of the water pipe's male fitting. Once the head of the nail has been heated properly, the dome is placed on top, (secured around the male fitting) surrounding the heated nail. This creates a channel for air to enter through the top of the dome and force smoke into the Dab Rig's water reservoir and smoke chamber. Dome and Nail setups are intended for small- to medium-sized dabs and are considered an entry-level dab setup. For more information on how these differ from Domeless Nails, visit our Blog Post, "Four Differences Between Domes With Nails & Domeless Nails".


A style of nail setup for Dab Rigs which utilizes a single exposed nail and can be paired with a Carb Cap for lower temperature oil applications. With a Domeless Nail, you simply attach it over or inside the glass fitting of the water pipe and heat the dish or bucket. Once heated, dabs can be applied directly to the nail as the design naturally pulls smoke into the Dab Rig's water reservoir and smoke chamber. Domeless Nails allow for all sizes of oil applications but typically take more time to heat up due to their larger size. For more information on how these differ from Dome & Nail setups, visit our Blog Post, "Four Differences Between Domes With Nails & Domeless Nails".


Scientific glass attachments used to extend and lower the height of a Bowl Piece or Concentrate Nail from a water pipe for better visibility and/or usability. For Dab Rigs, these can also be used to collect reclaimed oil which condenses on the inner walls before traveling to the water reservoir.


A term we use to describe one style of how a water pipe is used. Dry water pipes are used to smoke dried herbs and leaves such as tobacco and require a bowl-shaped opening to contain the plant material for smoking. With scientific pieces, these bowls are removable and have a male fitting which connects into the female fitting of the water pipe itself. After filling the water pipe's chamber with smoke, this Bowl Piece is then removed from the fitting to allow fresh air to enter and clear the hit. More details on the differences between dry and concentrate pieces can be found in our Blog Post, "Dry Bowls & Dabs: The Two Uses Of Glass Water Pipes". All of our dry pipes can also be found in our store under Bongs and Bubblers.


The section of a water pipe or accessory where attachments can be made. These fittings are either one of three sizes: 10mm, 14mm and 18mm and are either male-shaped (inserted) or female-shaped (encased). The round, tapered design of these standardized, scientific glass fittings ensures that connections are air-tight. This design also allows Bowl Pieces to be removed quickly and conveniently to clear smoke in the chamber as well as to clean or replace parts as needed. More details on converting between different fittings using Adapters can be found in our Blog Post, "Four Helpful Uses For Adapters".


The shape of scientific glass fitting which covers or encases the male scientific glass fitting. Female glass fittings are found on all of our dry water pipes, Domes & Nails, reverse Bowl Pieces and nontraditional Domeless Nails.


A unique style of Bubbler with an 90°, "L"-shaped design resembling a hammer. These Hammers are our smallest dry water pipes making them ideal for easy storage and travel as well as being great starter-bubblers. They come in three distinct styles: Tree Perc, Matrix Perc & Showerhead Perc.


A common feature found in many Bongs which allows ice to be stacked inside the chamber of a water pipe for additional smoke cooling. Once the smoke passes through the percs and collects inside the piece, it comes in contact with the ice creating even smoother and more enjoyable hits. Ice catches come in a few different varieties such as 3-prong pinches (most common) and donut rings.


The shape of a scientific glass fitting which is inserted into a female scientific glass fitting. Male glass fittings are found on all of our Dab Rigs, most of our dry Bowl Pieces and on some of our Domeless Nails.


A filter that forces smoke to pass through a layer of water as it travels through a pipe and into the main chamber. Most of our water pipes employ a single perc where the Downstem meets the main water reservoir, but we also some carry Bongs with Additional Percs. Percolators come in many varieties such as tree percs, matrix percs, and honeycomb percs, just to name a few. Each perc provides different levels of smoke diffusion which results in varying degrees of cooling, pull resistance and cleaning difficulty. If you would like to know more details about how percs function and the differences between each style, visit our Blog Post, "Comparing Different Types Of Scientific Glass Percs".


A term used to describe how water pipe features are sometimes attached at multiple points for increased durability. Many areas of a water pipe can be considered "reinforced" but the most common features with this type of construction are tree percs where multiple arms are reattached to the base of the perc and Natural Perc Downstems where a bridge connects the top of the Downstem to the base of the water pipe.


A term used to describe all of the glass water pipes we carry on this site. Scientific glass is characterized by clear, borosilicate glass construction, standardized glass on glass fittings to create air-tight connections and additional glass features such as added percs and Splash Guards. Unlike other styles of glass water pipes, scientific glass focuses on function, durability and efficiency over visual flare or artistic expression. For more details on why we believe scientific glass is superior to other types of glass, visit our Blog Post, "Why You Should Be Using Scientific Glass".


A type of feature found in many Bongs and Bubblers which helps prevent water from reaching the user's mouth. As the user inhales and fires the perc(s), water can sometimes get splashed upwards towards the receiving end of the water pipe. To reduce this splashing effect, some pipes have implemented various styles of Splash Guards between the last perc and the mouth piece of the pipe. For more details on various water pipe features including Splash Guards, visit our Blog Post, "Five Common Water Pipe Features".


A term used to describe how an accessory will fit every type of standard fitting regardless of size and shape. We currently only offer one "Universal" accessory which is our Universal Ceramic Domeless Nail and can be adjusted to fit all six configurations of fittings (10mm Male, 10mm Female, 14mm Male, 14mm Female, 18mm Male, & 18mm Female). This means it will fit just about every water pipe (dry or concentrate) we carry without the use of any Adapters.

Note: Some of our smaller 10mm Rigs to do not have long enough neck fittings to reach the deepest 10mm female fitting on these Universal Ceramic Domeless Nails any may require an Adapter.

If you have any questions about any of these terms or would like to see something included please let us know at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.