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Why You Should Be Using Scientific Glass

Why You Should Be Using Scientific Glass

Posted by GLASSICS on Oct 4th 2020

At Glassics, we specifically focus on providing "scientific" glass water pipes in the form of Bongs, Bubblers & Dab Rigs. Although there are a number of other styles of glass water pipes on the market, we believe scientific glass affords many benefits over these other types. If you're wondering why someone should use glass at all, you'll want to go ahead and visit our Blog Post, "Four Reasons You Should Be Smoking Out Of Glass", before continuing on with this post.

Scientific glass is characterized by:

  • Durable, borosilicate glass construction
  • Standardized glass-on-glass fittings (to create air-tight connections)
  • Additional glass features such as added percs, splash guards and ice pinches
  • Prioritizing function, durability and efficiency over visual flare or artistic expression
  • Compatible with various Bowl Pieces, Domeless Nails, Ashcatchers and other accessories/upgrades
  • Medium price tag $$


When it comes to structural stability and longevity, scientific glass is the ideal choice as it utilizes proven, standardized designs with little room for construction flaws or glass inconsistencies. The use of borosilicate glass also contributes to its structural integrity as it can withstand rapid heat fluctuations and physical shock much better than softer glass alternatives. Other styles such as "heady" or "grommet-style" pipes tend to use thinner, less stable glass with a greater potential for weak spots and other general construction flaws.

An even more durable option that we offer in the Glassics store is our extra-thick, 9mm Bong Collection which features both beaker and pedestal styles, in two different lengths. These 9mm Bongs are almost twice as thick as standard 5mm scientific glass, providing substantial strength and stability. The additional weight of these pipes also helps to keep them balanced with a lower center of gravity and smaller likelihood of being knocked over. All 9mm Bongs include a 3-prong ice around the center of the neck as well. This gives users the option to fill the chamber with ice for even smoother hits.

Upgrade & Replacement Options

Another benefit of using scientific glass pieces is the option to upgrade or replace items including Bowl Pieces, Downstems, Adapters, Domes & Nails, Domeless Nails, Ashcatchers, Dropdowns etc. The standardized glass fittings allow for all of these accessories and more to be used universally as long as the sizes and fittings (genders/shapes) match.

Say, for example, you break or misplace a removable Downstem. Rather than replacing the entire Bong, you can simply replace the Downstem piece, or even upgrade it to one of our Tree Perc Downstems or Showerhead Perc Downstems. The same goes for Bowl Pieces and other commonly exchanged glass accessories as long as you pay attention to the joint size and shape. But fear not, our Adapters can solve just about any connection differential if things aren't matching up.

Although heady glass also utilizes the same standardized glass fittings, most of these pieces are seriously limited in terms of the accessories that are compatible. This is due to unique pipe shapes that often prevent specific additions. Grommet-style pipes are even more limiting and typically do not allow for any additions or upgrades whatsoever.

Grommet Water Pipes

Another common style of glass pipe, which we touched on already, is called a "grommet" pipe. This style is typically much cheaper and more fragile when compared to scientific pipes.

These shortcomings are evident in their construction where thin (and often colored) glass walls are paired with an even thinner Bowl-Piece-Downstem combination slide. Due to the brittle design and cumbersome shape of these slides, they are commonly broken during regular use.

Not only do grommet-style water pieces look and feel cheap, but they do not perform nearly as well as scientific pipes. The rubber grommet connection between the bowl and the bong creates a leaky seal and can even impart an undesirable (and likely hazardous) taste to your smoke.

The simplistic and thin glass designs also typically do not allow extra features to be included such as added percs or ice pinches. Although grommet-style pipes are often very affordable and widely available, you tend to get what you pay for in quality and usability.

Grommet style pipes are characterized by:

  • Thin/fragile glass construction
  • Less-than-airtight rubber seals
  • Extremely brittle bowl piece slides
  • No additional features
  • Low price tag 

Heady Glass

Although we've chosen not to carry this style in our store, heady glass is very easy to appreciate and focuses on artistic expression and creativity over pure utilitarian function. As mentioned above, most heady glass utilizes the same, scientific glass-on-glass fittings for Bowl Pieces and Downstems, but the body of these pipes are blown with various types of colored glass.

Heady glass has a more artisan, "handmade" feel to it and often employs unexpectedly unique shapes and designs, such as random objects, animals, or pop culture icons for example.

Since we're all about affordable pricing and high-functioning glass pipes at Glassics, heady glass doesn't have much of a place in our store. Heady glass pieces are often priced independently as works of art rather than as functional tools which increases their value significantly. These items are considered to be one-of-a-kind creations, crafted by skilled and creative artists. The cost of materials for heady glass is normally higher (especially for rare glass colors) and the time required to envision and assemble each pipe is greater than scientific pieces, all factoring into the final price tag.

Aside from the prohibitive cost, heady pieces usually feature fewer functional details such as highly-diffusing percs. Any additional percs or other features usually require more standardized shapes such as those found with scientific glass water pipes.

Heady glass is characterized by:

  • Visual appeal prioritized over function
  • Works of art created by renowned artists
  • Standardized glass-on-glass fittings (to create air-tight connections)
  • Meticulous & labor intensive construction/assembly
  • Few functional features, if any
  • Heavy price tag $$$

If you have any questions or would like to see something included in this post, please let us know at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.