Tobacco users are an innovative bunch when it comes to creating better ways to consume their favourite smoke. While water bongs have been around since the 16th century, their designs have improved dramatically over the years. The introduction of percolators completely changed the game. Providing hits smoother than we deserve.
There are many different styles of percolators, or percs, to consider when purchasing your new bong. This list covers some of the percs you’ll encounter on your quest, but first…
What Is a Percolator?
Percolators may differ visually, but they all work the same way. Percolators filter smoke through small holes or slits, which helps break the smoke into smaller pieces. This, combined with the cooling power of water, is the reason why percolator bongs are so popular. If you’ve never tried a bong with a perc, you owe it to your lungs to give it a rip.
Diffused Downstem (Straight Perc)
Let’s start with the basics. Diffused downstems are a simple yet effective way to diffuse your smoke. The straight tube has slits along the bottom, cooling your smoke as it passes through. This straightforward design is found in almost every bong on the market.
Honeycomb percolators sit parallel, or just above the water. While similar in design to a disc perc, honeycomb percs offer superior filtration thanks to the multitude of tiny holes. Most honeycomb’s have roughly 30 small holes for the smoke to pass through. This design helps reduce drag, resulting in effortless pulls.
If you’re looking for a piece to wow your friends with, get one with a turbine percolator. The angeled slits of this solid percolator create a tornado of water and smoke. Not only does this look great, it’s also a fantastic way to cool your smoke.
Tree percs are comprised of 3-13 arms, or branches, each of which have slits on the end. Think of each arm as a small diffused downstem. Having more arms results in more filtration and smoother hits.
Inline percolators sit horizontally with an arm extending outward from the bong. These percolators have slits along the top, producing a sound wave pattern of bubbles as the smoke passes through.
Crystal Ball Percolator
Crystal ball percolators look like a, well, crystal ball. This spherical perc has slits intertwined across its entirety. These slits filter your smoke while reflecting light, enhancing the “crystal” aesthetic.
Swiss percs are essentially vertical disc percolators with large holes, resembling swiss cheese. These holes divide your smokes path, allowing time for it to cool. Neat lookin’ perc that delivers tasty hits.
Dome percolators need little description. Domed glass with slits along the bottom offer an aesthetically pleasing way to filter your smoke or vapour.
Barrel percolators are very similar in design to dome percs. The advantage of a barrel perc is the additional rows of slits. A smaller inner chamber (compared to a dome perc) reduces drag.
Showerhead percolators have a skinny tube which connects to a wide, circular chamber. This chamber has small holes, much like a showerhead. These tiny holes do wonders to your smoke, creating clean ‘n’ refreshing hits.
Proper diffusion does amazing things to your smoke session. If your favourite piece of glass doesn’t have any form of filtration, you can try adding an ashcatcher. Many ashcatchers have percolators within. This is a great way to keep your glass and smoke clean.