For the Stoners of the world, there are many different ways to enjoy your smoking experience. Two of the most popular of these methods are water pipes and dry pipes.
Water pipes provide a smooth, filtered smoking experience by utilizing water to filter out upwards of 90% of particulate out of the smoke. They are typically large, fairly expensive, hard to travel with, and indiscreet. They produce far less of an odor than their dry hand pipe counterparts, and for those who enjoy smoking them, the feeling they get is said to be a smoother experience that is elevated in intensity when compared with dry pipes.
Dry pipes have their advantages too. They are easy to conceal, easy to travel with, less fragile than bongs, and less expensive in comparison to water pipes. They can be brought on the go with ease, require little to no setup, and can be found at just about any convenience store throughout the country.
Overall, the answer to which is best depends on the preferences of the user, the situation in which the piece is being used, and the comparison which is being made. While we cannot account for your personal tastes when comparing water pipes vs. dry pipes, we still seek to dive deep into the comparison between the two popular smoking methods in order to provide our Stoner friends with a solid understanding of the pros and cons of both pieces.
Comparing Water Pipes vs. Dry Pipes
Let’s get down to the details. We organized this article into a few common categories that are important to stoners when finding a new piece to make it easy to compare dry pipes to water pipes.
Cost – Which is More Affordable?
At a glance, the quick answer is that dry pipes are more affordable than water pipes. Typically, for a dry pipe, you will pay in between the $10 and $40 mark. For custom blown glass, and more intricate designs, you will obviously pay more.
Meanwhile, water pipes are more expensive, usually hanging out in the $40-$150 zone, though some larger, more intricate bongs can run upwards of $400+.
Overall, price all depends on what you are looking for. In terms of value, you can get a solid water pipe for about $60, and a dry pipe for about $15. Additional designs will cost more. Water pipes that come with percolators, ashcatchers, ice catches, slides and glass bowl attachments will cost more.
Usually, you can get some high quality water pipes for under $100 that are perfect for most users.
Portability – Which is Easier to Travel With?
As far as portability (how easy it is to travel with something) goes, dry pipes are usually the clear winner. They are much smaller than water pipes, usually about 4.5” long, whereas water pipes are about 6” tall or larger.
On top of this, dry pipes do not require water, which makes them easier to travel with. Not to mention, they are all one piece, where most water pipes are 2 or 3 pieces between the bong itself, the slide, and bowl attachment.
Lastly, most dry pipes can easily be fit into a coat or pants pocket for quick movement. The same cannot be said about most water pipes, even if they are empty of water.
Overall, dry pipes are much easier to travel with for people who are usually on the go smokers.
Ease of Use – Which Has the Easier Set Up?
Dry pipes get the W in this category as well. With no water needed and usually no attachments to set up, getting ready to smoke a dry pipe can take as little as the 30 seconds it takes to pack your herb into the bowl.
Water pipes on the other hand can take a while to set up. You must make sure that there is the right amount of water in it; too much and you will have poor suction, and too little and you will have poor filtration. You also need to set up ice for an ice catch if needed, as well as insert the slide and bowl, along with ashcatcher or percolators if you have them.
All in all, it will take about 5 minutes to get your water pipe setup properly and ready to smoke. Not really that much time, but if you are in a rush or on the move, you simply will not have the time to set up a water pipe easily.
Smoothness of Smoking Experience – Which Provides a Smoother Experience?
This is where water pipes start to take over. In terms of smoothness, there is no argument here, water pipes are the clear victor over dry pipes.
The water allows for filtration and cooling of the smoke so that by the time it reaches your mouth, throat, and lungs it is no longer hot, but cool and smooth. The filtration takes out up to 90%+ of carcinogens and particulates out of the smoke, making it healthier and less harsh on the lungs.
Experience – Which One Gets You More Lifted?
Again, bongs take the victory for this category as well. Just one large puff of a bowl pack should be enough for even the most seasoned stoners to feel quite lifted.
The nice thing about water pipes over dry pipes in this category is that you can save a lot of herb over time by using them.
That being said, sometimes the results of smoking a water pipe can be a bit overwhelming. They are definitely not for the super social smoker. You are more than likely going to want a big fat snack and a nice piece of couch after a few puffs of a bong or dab rig, whereas dry pipes are definitely easier to dose yourself on because the hits are not likely to surprise you with just how much smoke you inhale from them at one time.
Variety – Which Has More Variations?
It’s hard to truly answer this question without first searching through quite a bit of products available on the web. To be fair, there seems to be a lot more coloration differences and intricate design details within dry hand pipes themselves than with bongs. This is largely the case because of the way they are created.
It is much easier to hand blow a hand pipe than it is to do so for a water pipe, as a result, there are more color variations and little differences between most hand pipes, where a lot of bongs are relatively the same in terms of looks.
However, when it comes to add-ons, and overall types of smoking pieces, water pipes are again the clear victor here. Here is a list of just a few of the attachments you can add to water pipes:
As you can see, water pipes are far better for adding on to. Whereas hand pipes and dry pipes typically can only toute small add-ons like screens and grip.
As far as the individual types of water pipes and dry pipes, each has their own subset of product types.
- Dab Rigs
- Recycler Bongs
- Carburetor Bongs
- Straight Pipe Bongs
- Beaker Bongs
- Multi-Chamber Bongs
As you can see, there are many types of both dry pipes and water pipes. Water pipes do have a few more variations, as they are more complex and have more working parts. Dry pipes still have quite a few different product types that are all make for some of the best gifts for stoners.
Durability – Which One Lasts Longer?
The answer to this question all depends on what type of stoner you are. If you are meticulous, and have a method to your smoking experience, typically doing it alone or with a few close friends, you will likely get more mileage out of a water pipe.
If you are a stoner who is always on the go, who likes to smoke before or during occasions like traveling, parties, gatherings, etc… you will probably want to play it safe and go with a dry pipe in order to save yourself from witnessing your water pipe break right in front of your very eyes like a slow motion scene from an action movie where the hero wants to save someone, but just can’t.
Overall, dry pipes clog a lot easier. Within a few months of steady use, you will need to clean your pipe in order to continue using it. This isn’t that difficult, time consuming, or expensive, but it can be a pain in the butt when your hand pipe just clogs out of nowhere on you.
The same problem usually can’t be said about water pipes, which do slowly accumulate resin and scum towards the bottom where the water is held, and also in the bowl pack itself where the herb is being burned. However, a bong never usually clogs unless you absolutely neglect any type of cleaning for prolonged periods of regular use.
Overall, both are durable as long as you take care of them. Because you tend to travel and be more active while smoking dry pipes, you are likely to drop them more often, but they are also more resilient because they are compact and have a small surface area. Water pipes on the other hand might only have to be dropped or tipped over a single time to make them break. Be sure to factor this in when using and purchasing both pieces.
Pros and Cons of Water Pipes
- Clean, smooth smoking experience
- Helps you save on herbs because a little bit goes a long way
- Have to be cleaned less often, rarely clogged
- Come in a wide variety of types, shapes, sizes, and models to suit just about any stoner’s desires
- Reduced odor compared to dry pipes
- More expensive than dry pipes
- Break very easily
- Not easy to travel with
- Not easy to conceal
- Can take a while to set up compared with dry pipes
Pros and Cons of Dry Pipes
- Affordable pricing
- Very easy to conceal
- Easy to travel with
- Quick and clean set up in seconds
- Clog fairly easily compared to water pipes – need cleaning often
- Not as smooth of smoking experience as water pipes – can burn your throat and lungs sometimes
- Much stronger odor than water pipes
- Not as many variations and add-ons available as water pipes
Dry Pipes vs. Water Pipes – Which Do We Prefer?
Honestly, we couldn’t call ourselves true Stoners if we didn’t like all types of pieces and smoking devices.
When it comes down to it, we like both water pipes and dry pipes. If we had to choose, it is more about the occasion than the type of smoking device. For relaxation days, we prefer the water pipe.
For the days where we are on the road, or at a social event, dry pipes get the job done. Overall, both are great, it just depends on what you are looking for.
Check out our large selection of gifts for stoners to find all sorts of bongs, hand pipes, dab rigs and more!