Herb pipes are made from a lot of different materials including wood, ceramic and metal. But without a doubt the most popular material for such pipes these days is glass. Glass is popular for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it’s an extremely versatile material that can be molded or blown into virtually any shape, and that glass does not alter the aroma or flavor of the herb in any way. In this post, the team at The Smoking Buddha Parker smoke shop will look into the different types of glass pipes.

The following list represents some of the most popular types of hand pipes on the market today.

Chillum pipes

Chillums and one hitters are essentially the same thing. They’re super simple and designed (as the name implies) to provide 1 or maybe 2 hits max. They resemble a glass tube and creators often infuse the glass with color as well as twists and turns to give each pipe a unique character. They’re easy to conceal and handy if you just want a mild buzz. But they’re not really meant to share and the hits are going to be limited in size due to the lack of a carburetor.

Spoon pipes

Spoon pipes are what most people think of when they think of glass herb pipes. They’re so named because the rounded bowl at the end of a straight shaft sorta resembles a spoon. They’re a step up from chillums because they hold about twice as much herb and they have a carb hole that enables you to produce more robust hits. At the same time, they’re compact, easy to conceal and you can pass them around if you’re feeling social. Just beware that they need to be cleaned fairly often and they’ll break if you drop them.

Hammer pipes

You’ll be able to pick out a hammer pipe at the local smoke shop because it resembles, you guessed it, a hammer. The advantage of the hammer pipe is that ash falls into and gets trapped in the hammer section so that you don’t inhale it. Hammer pipes are also really stable when set down and they have a compelling, kind of Old World air about them a lot of people find appealing. On the downside, they’re not all that easy to clean.

Steamroller pipes

The steamroller is a stoner’s best friend. This is a fairly new style of pipe that has taken Parker and the world beyond by storm. Why? Because you get some monster hits from a steamroller pipe. Hits large enough to steamroll your consciousness. The steamroller is a glass tube, but many times larger than chillum. One end of the tube is the mouthpiece and the other end is a huge carb. The bowl is set into the top of the tube. If you love big, fast hits you’ll love the steamroller. On the other hand, it burns through herb and because there’s no water filter it can be tough on the throat.

Monsoon pipes

A monsoon pipe is basically a spoon pipe with a bit of water in the shaft that filters the smoke to make for a more pleasant experience, and one that’s easier on your throat and lungs. The design is actually really simple and all you do to prevent getting a mouth full of water is tilt the pipe down and away from you when you fire it up. It’s a bong that fits in the palm of your hand. The downside is that it’s potentially messy and you don’t get a whole lot of filtration.


Once you get into bubblers you have left the spoon pipe far behind. The bubbler is a full-on water pipe that’s smaller than a typical bong but considerably larger than a chillum or spoon pipe. A quick poll of our headshop staff indicates most prefer using a bubbler to a monsoon pipe because the additional water it holds will produce a much smoother smoke. The downside is that the presence of water means it doesn’t travel as well as a spoon pipe. And it needs to be cleaned fairly often.

Sherlock pipes

Let’s be real, shall we? The Sherlock pipe – designed to evoke the profile of the fictional detective’s tobacco pipe – is an indulgence, plain and simple. It’s inconvenient, fragile and doesn’t conceal as well as a spoon pipe. Yet it tends to fly off the shelf at the pipe shop. Why? Because it looks cool as shit and you’re going to elicit a whole lotta “whoas” when you take it out at a party and pass it around. Just be careful who you pass it to or it might grow legs.

Typhoon pipes

A typhoon pipe is in a class all by itself. You can’t really compare it to other pipes other than it’s a dry pipe and you hold it like a spoon pipe. The typhoon pipe creates a kind of vortex of air inside the bulbous chambers. In theory, this air movement should cool the hit and purify it a bit. In theory. Does it? Plenty of people swear by it. On the downside, hits are typically pretty modest and it’s not so easy to conceal.

Closing Thoughts From Our Pipe Shop Pros

Glass pipes come in all sizes and configurations these days so head on down to The Smoking Buddha and check out our offerings. We’re sure you will find something that will speak to you in both a practical and aesthetic sense.