The SmokeSmith Gear Guide To Smoking Accessories
In addition to offering the best water pipes, bongs, hand pipes and vaporizers we also specialize in smoke accessories. These items range from rolling papers to grinders to glass attachments that are used to improve your water pipe or dab rig. Below is a helpful guide to understanding all of these smoke gear accessories. It’s designed to help you figure out what items you may need and how best to use these new accessories.
This guide covers the following smoking accessories:
-Medical Grade Grinders
-Concentrate & Dab Rig Accessories
-Bong Accessories & Replacement Parts
How To Choose The Right Herb Grinder
Why Use A Grinder?
Grinders are a must have item for anybody who enjoys consuming dry herbs, whether they are using a bong, rolling a cigarette, loading a spoon pipe or packing a vaporizer. The main function of a grinder is to finely chop dry herb. It is faster, easier and more efficient to use a grinder than it is to use scissors or your hands. A good medical grade herb grinder creates evenly separated herb, and this allows for better and more even combustion and improved airflow in the bowl. Grinders speed up and simplify the process of separating dry herbs, and they make it much easier to conserve your herbs because you will use less after using a grinder.
Types of Grinders
The most common style of grinder is the multi piece grinder, which uses several pieces that connect to create an area for grinding and storing. Many smokers find these grinders to be the most useful because they provide extra storage space. These grinders typically have an upper grinding space with multiple small interlocking teeth that can be twisted to fully grind herbs and small holes that allow for the herbs to drop down to the storing space.
Grinders can be made of many materials, including wood, plastic, or various kinds of metal. At SmokeSmith Gear we are partial to herb grinders made of aerospace-grade aluminum or titanium. Wood grinders have a nice appearance but are not as sturdy as metal grinders and have to be replaced over time. Plastic should be avoided because small particles may break off and wind up in the ground up dry herb.
Grinder Pieces and Pollen Catchers
Grinders with multiple pieces often have a separate chamber with a thin metal net that catches the pollen. Pollen particularly potent, and smokers will usually collect the build-up to sprinkle on top of their usual bowl of dry herbs. Multi-piece grinders can have anywhere from two to five pieces, and the more pieces you have, the more you can cultivate the most potent flecks. One helpful practice is to include a small coin in the main storage section of a grinder to help push pollen down into the catch.
With such a wide variety of grinders available, it all comes down to how you want to grind your herbs and what kind of an investment is best for you. SmokeSmith Gear offers a variety of grinders of all styles and brands to meet your needs.
An Introduction To Concentrate & Dab Rig Accessories
Concentrate accessories are tools that are used with a dab rig, an oil rig or a vapor rig. The tools include nails (which is where the concentrate is placed in order to be heated up), carb cabs (which allow you to dab at a lower temperature) and butane torches. The following is an overview of the tools and accessories used along with dab rigs.
We will start with an examination of nails because there are a variety of types of nails, and nails are one of the most important tools you will use when dabbing.
Quartz nails are one of most common types of nails on the market, and they typically come with a standard dab rig. Quartz nails last longer and are more flavorful than glass nails. Quartz also heats up much more quickly than glass without the potential of breaking due to the heat. The flavor offered by quartz is as good and clean as the flavor gets. Quartz offers a reliable dab nail with delicious flavor.
Recent years have seen the introduction of titanium nails, which can withstand very temperatures and which boast great heat transfer properties. They are also virtually
indestructible (glass, quart and even ceramic nails can break; titanium is pretty much indestructible). Be sure that whatever titanium nail you purchase is medical grade 2. Titanium nails heat up very quickly and they stay hot for longer than ceramic or quartz and they are a great choice for dabbers who a nail that is durable and easy to use.
A newer option on the market are nails made of medical grade ceramic. Many dabbers suggest that ceramic nails offer a superior flavor and taste, and they are attractive (and very easy to clean). Ceramic is also chemically inert, so no off gases are every released. Ceramic nails retain their heat for a much longer time than any other nail material on the market, which can be great when using concentrates in a group setting.
If you’re a dedicated concentrate user and you’re tired of having to buy butane for your torch all the time, then an e-nail might be just what you’re looking for. Though there are many varieties of e-nails, they typically consist of a base that plugs into an outlet and a long cord with the nail attachment at the end of it. However, there are a couple portable e-nails as well, such as the Yocan Thor, which are battery powered and do not need to be attached to an electrical source. E-nails are heated via electricity and typically have a digital or analog display that tells you what temperature the nail is set at. As soon as you turn the nail on, it will continue to heat up until it reaches the temperature that you have set. It also doesn’t take long to heat up, and stays heated for as long as it remains on. This makes it perfect for passing around in a group without having to worry about the pomp and circumstance of heating your nail with a torch.
For a deeper dive into these accessories check out the Headshop Insider's guide to dab nails. Even though nails are the main item that you will need to purchase in order to consume concentrates, there are a few other items that make the experience more convenient and enjoyable. These include:
Carb caps are a relatively new accessory, having first been introduced in the summer of 2013. They make it possible to dab at very low temperatures (which some people find more comfortable, and which some argue preserves the terpenes in the concentrate). This leads to a smoother, tastier, more pleasant experience than can be achieved in standard open system (because of the need for higher temperatures). Carb caps work by creating a chamber with restricted airflow that keep the vapor trapped and they are mostly used during low temperature dabbing. Most carb caps have a hole which helps to create a vacuum within the chamber, and this in turn produces a vortex that helps cool down both the air and vapor trapped inside.
If you’re not using a domeless nail, you’ll need something to keep the vapor from being lost from the top of the nail. That’s where domes come in. Domes are used with glass, quartz, and even titanium nails that don’t have holes for airflow within them. Domes make sure that the vapors produced by your concentrates can be easily inhaled, reducing any sort of waste in the process of dabbing.
Dabbers are essential tools to use when consuming concentrates. Typically made of titanium, these thin tools are used to take concentrates and apply them to the nail, allowing for vaporization on the super-heated surface. Many dabbers look like devices that your dentist uses when cleaning teeth. Others are made of glass and look more like small stirring rods.
Torches are essential tools for dabbing. These butane-powered devices generate flames that reach as high as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for quickly heating up a nail, a banger or any other heating element. Standard lighters do not get hot enough to thoroughly heat a nail. There are several styles of butane torches available, including smaller version perfect for travel and larger items that are built for home use.
Drop down adapters are glass pieces that you add to the downstem of a bong or dab rig. They allow you to move the heating element further away from your rig, reducing the likelihood of stress fractures and cracks in the glass that comes from the extreme heat of a butane torch. They also add an element of safety since they move the flame further from your face. Drop downs are placed into the joint that holds the bowl or the nail.
Reclaimers are glass pieces that catch the heated oil as it drips off the nail and down the downstem. Basically they allow you to capture and reuse the excess concentrates. Reclaimers help to save you money (by conserving your stash) and keep your dab rig clean. In addition they function like a drop down, moving the heating element further away from the glass joint that holds the nail.
Note: Before purchasing a drop down or a reclaimer make sure you know the gender and size of your joint.
Bong Accessories & Replacement Parts
SmokeSmith Gear offers a variety of accessories designed to improve the performance of bongs and water pipes. These include bowls and slides, replacement downstems, glass on glass adapters and ash catchers. Sometimes these items break (thanks to friends with less than able hands). Other times you just want improved performance. Whatever the case we stock a full variety of accessories for bong. These include:
A bowl (also known as a slide) is an essential part of every water pipe. The bowls sits within the joint of a water pipe and serves a crucial purpose: holding the tobacco or dry herb. Bowls come in a variety of different sizes (10mm, 14mm, and 18mm) and can be either male or female. Knowing the joint size and gender of your water pipe is essential when purchasing a new slide to ensure compatibility. Replacement bowls and slides are available in many shapes and sizes. Bigger and deeper bowls are built for group sessions as they hold more herbs and prevent smokers from having to repack multiple times. Smaller bowls are ideal for one person usage.
Adapters are attachments for smoking devices and other glass items. Adapters serve a wide range of purposes and enable smokers to customize their favorite pipes as they please. Want a glass stopper to prevent isopropyl alcohol from leaking when you clean your bong? SmokeSmith Gear has options. Interested in buying a J-hook and constructing your own portable water pipe? We’ve got a few here. Searching for a healthier smoking experience? Check out our carbon filter adapters, which help remove carcinogens and toxins from your smoke.
Ash catchers are useful attachments that offer extra filtration and keep your water pipe clean from ash and other byproducts of smoking. Ash catchers are available in many different shapes, sizes, and styles, and they come with a wide variety of different percolators.
Downstems are one of the most important parts of any bong. Without one, you've got no water filtration. Downstems carry smoke from the bowl into the water chamber of your glass pipe, which is where the filtration and cooling of the smoke occurs. Downstems are available in a variety of sizes and genders, so it is important to know what you need before purchasing a downstem. Downstems are created with many different percolators, providing excellent percolation and allowing smokers to customize their favorite bongs.
Everything You Need To Know About Rolling Papers
What are Rolling Papers?
Rolling papers are ultra-thin papers used for smoking tobacco and other dry herbs. They provide a simple, efficient and highly social smoking experience, and are probably the most popular smoke accessory on the planet. Rolling papers were invented in Spain during the time of Columbus before becoming popular around the world.
Rolling papers are made from a variety of materials, including hemp, rice straw, flax or wood pulp. They are usually between 70mm and 110mm long and come in a variety of widths (more on sizes below). The size, length, thickness and even the type of glue used on the paper all have an impact on how easy the paper is to roll and how well it will burn.
Rolling Paper Sizes
One of the more confusing aspects of rolling papers is the sizing. Rolling papers are available in a wide variety of sizes, and there is a size to accommodate every type of smoker. Rolling papers are measured by length and width, and larger papers enable smokers to roll and consume larger quantities of dry herbs in one sitting.
Single Wide: 68 to 70mm long, 34 to 36mm wide. These are the smallest papers on the market. Because of their small size, many smokers roll these papers without a filter.
1 ¼: 76 t0 78mm long, 45 to 48mm wide. This the standard size of an average rolling paper, and thus this is the most widely used paper among smokers.
1 ½: 76 to 78mm long, 60 to 62mm wide. Can hold fifty percent more herbs than a single wide. This size is perfect for smokers who want a larger joint that is shareable, for group sessions.
Double Wide: 76 to 78mm long, up to 88mm wide. Rolling papers this size can hold twice as much dry herb as a single wide. These are the tallest papers on the market, making them excellent for what we used to call “fatties.”
King Size: 100 to 110mm long, 55 to 60mm wide. This is the biggest standard size paper on the market. You can fit a large amount of herb into a king size paper. There is also a version of this called the King Slim, which is not quite as wide.
Many smokers today favor pre-rolled cones. A pre-rolled cone is a pre-rolled rolling paper with a paper spacer, packaged with a straw inside to help keep its shape. To use you simply fill it with dry herb, twist the end shut, light and enjoy. Pre-rolled cones are great for those uncertain of their joint rolling skills. They are also very helpful for medical marijuana patients who want to be able to control their dosage of their medicine.
Filter And Tips
Another feature that is available from many rolling paper brands, including Raw and OCB, are the addition of tips. Tips are handy because they keep unwanted particles from getting into your mouth. Some rolling papers even come with filters. Like cigarette filters, these filters add some health benefits.
The Best Rolling Paper Brands
Raw has been one of the innovative rolling paper brands over the past 30 years. As their business has grown they have introduced many new types and styles of rolling papers. Our personal favorites are the Raw Organic Connoisseurs, which are made out of hemp. These come with a pack of tips for rolling filters. RAW calls these papers the “beauty and pride of RAW”, and they are certainly one of their best products.
OCB Rolling Papers have a long history dating back to 1822 in France. By 1930 over 86 million packets of OCB were being sold, with the USA being the major consumer. Since then the brand has developed and introduced many new rolling papers. OCB produces several types of rolling papers, however the wood pulp slim version with filters is by far the most common and widely sold. It also has a very recognizable box, which is probably why most of Europe favors them.