Everything You Need to Know About Recycler Rigs

the ultimate guide to recycler bongs
November 6, 2018 By Stoner

Perhaps you have heard of a recycler bong lately, or you are completely new to the term. Either way, even seasoned Stoners can learn a bit about recycler rigs in this article.

In this article, we will cover:

By the end of this article, you should have everything you need to know about recycler bongs to take the next in the buying process. Let’s get started.

What is a Recycler Bong?

Recycler bongs get their name from the way that they recycle the water and smoke inside of them continuously while the pipe is being smoked. This continuous cycling of the smoke provides cooler and more filtered hits. This cooler smoke makes for a smoother smoking experience, and is also quite entertaining to watch through many of the intricate designs that are made within recycler bongs.

How Do Recyclers Work

How Do Recycler Bongs Work?  

Recycler bongs work by separating the chamber of the bong into two separate compartments.

The first compartment is the larger part of the bong at the bottom of the tube, where the water is contained along with any internal percolation and filtration components.

The second compartment is an offchute of this main compartment, where the water is sucked into, with the smoke, creating a vortex that continuously recycles your smoke and air in order to filter the smoke multiple times per hit.

These two compartments are separated by tubes called the intake, and the drain.

Intake – How Smoke is Filtered

When you inhale while using a recycler bong, the smoke is brought through the stem from the bowl.  From the stem, it is filtered through the water in the main compartment of your recycler bong to create smoke.

From here, the smoke travels through the intake, to the second compartment. Along with the smoke comes some water. This water then pools at the bottom of the second compartment, and the smoke is then filtered through it back to the main compartment of the bong through the drain.

Once back to the main compartment, the smoke is then filtered once more through the main percolators in the bong, and up through the intake. From here, some smoke leaves as you inhale it, and hotter, less filtered smoke is trapped for further filtration through the recycler bong.

Drainage – How Smoke is Recycled

Once the smoke has reached the second chamber, you will be able to inhale some of it, however, due to the way the suction works in recycler bongs, most of the smoke will be recycled to the main part of the bong.

This allows even more filtration. By the time you take the complete hit from a recycler bong, chances are the smoke you are inhaling has been filtered a handful of times.

This makes the smoke smoother, and cooler than traditional bongs. The process of how a recycler bong works is actually quite magical to watch. Take a look at the video below to see one in action: 

Credit and thanks to the homies at Smoke Cartel for this video!

What is an Incycler Bong? 

An incycler is also referred to as an internal recycler bong. This is a broad categorization for any bong that has an internal recycler. Most recycler rigs are incyclers, as they are easier to make, and harder to break. The smoke is internally recycled in order to cool and filter it, pronouncing flavor more and making a more enjoyable smoking experience.

What is the Difference Between Recyclers and Incyclers? 

Incyclers are just a specific type of recycler bong which recycle water and smoke within the piece. Recyclers specifically can be broken down into two major categories: internal and external recyclers. Internal ones are given the nickname incyclers. For the most part, incyclers are smaller, because more parts can be fit inside the piece itself. External recyclers may be smoother, as they are typically larger, and more complex.

Which One is Better?

Honestly, it all depends on your personal preferences for design and functionality. Overall, we prefer incyclers because they are usually less expensive, and have similar performance to external recyclers. They are also more durable, with less easy to break parts and complex designs. However, some people prefer more complex pieces of glass and as much percolation as possible. In that case, external recyclers are probably the better choice for you.

dab rigs vs recycler bongs

Why Do Some People Prefer Recycler Dab Rigs? 

There are a few main reasons why people prefer recycler rigs over traditional dab rigs:

1. Cooler Smoke

First of all, when you smoke a recycler, there is nothing like it. For the most part, this type of water pipe is used exclusively for dabbing. The reason being that they cool smoke far more efficiently than traditional dab rigs. 

Because of the way recyclers constantly cycle smoke and filter it through water dozens of times before it reaches your mouth, by the time you take a hit, even high temp dabs are cool as a cucumber. This allows for people to smoke dabs on a regular basis without having to worry about doing damage to their throat and lungs.

2. Better Percolation 

When you watch a recycler at work, you can see that they have far more percolation than traditional dab rigs. Because the smoke is filtered through water multiple times, it has time to go through percs many times over, ensuring more filtration.

This allows for extremely smooth and tasty hits. With a recycler rig, you can always count on a good tasting hit, with little to no smokey flavor, even at very high temperatures. This makes for a great smoking experience.

3. Reclaim 

Some more complex recycler rigs come with what are called reclaimers. These are attachments that suck up all of that excess gunk that builds up in dab rigs after taking hits.

Essentially, this allows for you to do two things: clean your recycler easier, and use your concentrates more efficiently. This reclaim can be smoked, though it is not recommended because of the high toxicity. Instead, you can refine it and use it as butter in edible recipes or for making more wax.

4. Versatility 

The beauty of recycler rigs is that because they have such high levels of percolation and filtration, you can use them for just about anything. You can easily convert them to a bong with some top bong accessories, in order to smoke dry herb. In fact, it will likely be the smoothest bong you ever smoke.

Alternatively, you can smoke dabs in a variety of ways using a recycler, such as using a nail, quartz banger, domed nail, or traditional nail. On top of that, they can be used with quartz, ceramic, and titanium dab rig attachments. Because recyclers cool smoke so well, they can handle large dabs, as well as high temp ones.

types of recycler bongs

3 Different Types of Recycler Bongs

Recyclers come in a few different types. Depending on their shape and design, they each work a bit differently, but all produce the same result: a smooth smoking experience that is really cool to watch in action.

1. External Recycler Bongs

what is an external recycler bong

What is an External Recycler? 

External recyclers are also referred to in the cannabis community as a standard recycler. This recycler bong has the simplest design of the three, and the lowest amount of filtration, though it still works well.

Pros & Cons of Standard Recyclers

Cheapest type of recyclerNot as much filtration 
Similar feel and experience Can be difficult to clean
About the same cost as a high-end bongBreak the easiest

2. Internal Recycler Bongs

what is an internal recycler rig

What is an Internal Recycler? 

Internal recyclers are the opposite of external ones, their intake and draining pipes are within the bong itself. As you can see from the picture, internal recyclers have a much more realistic shape when it comes to traveling and moving them around.

They are much more compact, and do not require as much care when being moved for fear of breaking them. As a result, they are usually more expensive than external recyclers because they are more intricate in design.

Pros & Cons of Internal Recyclers

Smaller, more compact for easy travel and setupMore expensive than external
Harder to breakCan break if not careful
Easier to clean than Klein recyclers 

3. Klein Recycler Bongs

what is a klein recycler rig

What is a Klein Recycler? 

Klein Recyclers are our personal favorite type of recycler bongs, simply because they look so damn cool. They have an out of this world type vibe, as if created by a mad scientist or sent here by aliens. They are designed with what is called a Klein weld.

Essentially, Klein Recyclers are a combination of internal and external recyclers. They have two separate tubes, one for intake and one for drainage. This allows them to not interfere with one another and act totally individually, providing percolation and filtration at the same time, but in different parts of the bong, allowing for maximum efficiency and smoothness.

Naturally, because of the complexity of Klein Recyclers, they are the most expensive type of recycler bongs. However, they are insanely cool, and make a great gift for any stoner who is into creative and one of a kind collector’s pieces that are also great to smoke out of. They are certainly not for everyone, but for the stoners out there who enjoy a high quality bong, this is the best bet on the market.

Pros & Cons of Klein Recyclers

Smoothest on the market More expensive than other types of recyclers 
2 separate tubes; 1 for drainage, 1 for intakeCan be difficult to clean
Super cool looking when smoking 

How Do You Clean A Recycler Bong? 

Cleaning a recycler rig is not much different than cleaning a traditional one, the only difference is that you may want to be a bit more careful when it comes to how you handle it while cleaning. To do this process, you will need: 

  • Resin cleaner
  • Res caps
  • A few hours

To learn more about how to clean your recycler bong, check out this complete guide.

What Are Some of the Best Recycler Bongs?

There are dozens of recyclers out there on the market. This is one of the most highly reviewed and highest quality recyclers that we offer in our online head shop. This recycler offers a great price, amazing quality, and a wide range of accessories.

Sesh Supply “Apollo” Recycler

best recycler bong sesh supply apollo recycler


  • Beaker Base
  • Fumed
  • 9″ Tall
  • Showerhead Percolator
  • 14mm Female Joint
  • 14mm Male Glass Bowl Included
  • Thick Glass
  • Made in USA

Where to Shop for the Best Recycler Bongs

We have a solid selection of recycler bongs right here in our online head shop that make for great gifts for stoners who enjoy the smoothness of smoking from a recycler water pipe.

Feel free to look through and add some items you like to your cart, we will save them for you later! Come back when we have our big 420 Sale to get discount ganja gifts for your stoner friends.

Also, you can find even more dank deals on our gear through our Instagram account. Lastly, our blog is full of in-depth content for Stoners of all kinds. Be sure to check it out!

Thanks for reading, and as always, have a Stoney Baloney Day!



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