First of all, you should always determine whether or not your local smoke shop would be willing to order anything that you are specifically looking for, before you decide to go looking for yourself. Not only do you support your local smoke shop, but you may even get it at a better price depending on whether or not they are affiliated with a good wholesaler. An additional point to add to this is the fact that if you do for any reason have some future problems with your piece, you can at very least be near the place that you ordered from. Some shops may even know a local glass blower who can repair a glass piece at a small price.
When beginning your search for the perfect piece online, you want to first make sure you are ordering from a reputable dealer. Going to random novelty incense and rasta wanna-be merchandising sites isn’t going to lead you in the direction of a legit glass dealer.You want to search for a glass dealer that has a lot of open discussion going on for new age smoking apparatuses. The ever changing development of new attachments for glass water pipes or “bongs” is at an amazing level and can be specific in measurements,if you are trying to put together something part by part. Often narrowing your search down with brand names of pieces or phrases like “worked glass” or “heady glass” can help lead to dealers online that actually may hold some insight per quality of the item you are looking for. Though you may find yourself paying a little more for a name brand pipe or water pipe, you can be assured that the quality of the work is held to higher standard than many of the thin and poorly crafted imports.
Once a good site has been found then the quality and price can start to be examined. Be sure not to only be swayed by one site after a few days of looking around because prices for glass vary a great deal from site to site. An important aspect to glass pieces these days are the type of glass used in the product. Borosilicate glass is a smart detail to look for if you are going to be using something that might get cold as it is more tolerable to temperature changes that could crack or weaken a lesser quality glass piece. Also, this type of glass is tough and can take some bangs depending on its craftsmanship. As a good rule of thumb, never buy Chinese glass pieces to smoke from. Mostly characterized by swirling colors on thin glass, these pieces though low in price, are even lower in quality. Many times these can break in your hands cutting you severely due to the poor annealing process of these imported glass pieces.In this process, so many are made at once in this situation the individual pieces aren’t cooled properly which in turn, weakens the end product.
If you are in the market for a new water pipe or tube, the thickness of the glass is always a big selling point. Many times it is easy to find nice water pipes that are not any type of brand and have no markings, which to some is desirable, but also in these cases it can be hard to get details on the thickness of these tubes mostly because the way its looked at is “if it’s not name brand, who cares.” When in doubt about the details on a piece, its best to just look elsewhere.The most common tube sizes you will find are 3.2mm, 5mm, 7mm, and 9mm varying in shape and height and appealing to people across the board. If a piece isn’t already predetermined, then as a side note-anything large enough to not be moved around much is a plus for keeping something around for a long time. If something is big enough to stay stationary, it isn’t being passed around as much and only has to dodge the knocked over approach .
A few last thoughts when ordering new glass online is indeed if the piece is new, or at very least cleaned up entirely. The last thing you want is to get in any kind of trouble for ordering something that has been used illegally before you even possessed it. Additionally you should ask yourself, is the piece easy to clean, or could it be fragile in areas that look to get clogged up? Sometimes tree and dome percolator bongs get broke during sometimes even very light use, though a great addition to a smoother pull, it would only be a smarter step with a well known maker. Also, be sure to check your local and state laws to make sure ordering online is an option for you as some states aren’t as lenient as others. Most of all, don’t get caught up in a quick decision with items like these, it is an ever changing market with something coming out all the time to replace the last “buzz” piece. With all these things in mind, the only thing left to do is make a well informed decision that will bring a new piece for years to come…..or until the next raving party!