What Is The Best Type Of Bong Percolator?
The Weed-Smart Guide to Picking the Right Percolator for Your Bong Needs
Determining what type of bong percolator is the best choice is heavily dependent on the desired result.
Sprinkler percolators are the best for novices as they require the least drag and thus less experience. Fritted disc percolators perform the best as they provide the highest amount of filtration but also require the most maintenance in form of regular cleaning.
What Types of Bong Percolators Are Out There?
Out of all the different kinds of percolators, diffused downstems have been around for the longest time. The filtration of the smoke happens through small slits in the downstems. When the smoke moves through those slits it breaks down and increases its surface.
As the downstem in a bong is submerged, the process happens under water. The smoke gets filtered a lot more in the water after going through the diffused downstem than if it was a plain not-diffused downstem resulting in the desired easy-to-breathe-in smoke.
Diffused downstems are way simpler than most other percolators. Unfortunately, they don’t provide quite as much filtration as other percolators.
But still, they are very popular and work very well in contrast to other percolators. If your current bong has a removable downstem that is not diffused, you should swap it for a diffused one. This won’t cost you an arm and a leg yet improve your rig significantly.
Above, you can see a 14″ / 35cm bong with a removable diffused downstem made in Germany by ROOR.
ROOR has been in business since 1985 and is known to produce the best-diffused downstems in the industry, hence the slightly higher price tag.
If you are curious about the exact price, you can click on the image to see the current pricing.
This percolator breaks down the smoke after it passes through the water by forcing it through small holes in a disk that is fitted into the bong.
Honeycomb percolator’s main advantages is that they are easy to clean and don’t affect the drag of the bong much. It means you won’t have to pull as hard as you have to on other percolators.
Above you can see an example of a dab rig and an ash catcher with a honeycomb. If you would like to see some more examples of honeycomb percolator you should check out my post: “The Best Honeycomb Percolator Bongs.”
Tree percolators work similarly to diffused downstems. Tree percolators are made up of glass rods that are slit at the end to break down the smoke. They can have anything from 3 to 32 arms. Tree percolators cool down the smoke a lot and provide decent filtration. The more arms a tree percolator has, the smoother the smoke.
Check out this tall beauty above. Apart from the tree perc this bong also has an ice catcher above the perc.
Pro Stoner Tip: When using a bong with an ice catcher, make sure to gently slide the ice cubes in whilst the bong is at an angle to slow down the fall of the ice cubes and avoid damage.
This percolator consists of a glass disc made from fritted glass. Fritted discs will give you super smooth and easy to inhale smoke.
The downside of a fritted disc is the drag. You will notice that it feels a lot like smoking a bubbler. If you like to smash a cone in a few seconds you should avoid this percolator. Due to the high level of filtration the disc will get dirty very fast and requires regular cleaning or it will get irreversibly blocked.
Pro Stoner Tip: If you smoke wax or oil in a piece with a fritted disk, make sure the water is warm. This will ensure the dab doesn’t condensate on your fritted disk. Also, always use a dabber tool so that you don’t burn yourself. If you are into the artsy glass pieces you should have a look at the coolest artsy dabber tools.
This percolator is simply described as a horizontal-oriented tube with a lot of diffusing slits for the smoke to pass through. Inline percolators provide excellent filtration and are visually very appealing. Furthermore, they are rather easy to clean. As this perc doesn’t take up much vertical space and doesn’t affect drag much it is usually combined with one or more other percolators.
Turbine percolators provide great filtration of the smoke whilst providing the coolest visual effect you could ask for in a bong. Through angled slits in the main chamber the smoke will be forced to spin creating a tornado of smoke in your bong. There are very few bongs that can compete with such an unique feature!
The bong above from Pulsar is straight-up insane. 14″ / 35cm tall featuring no less than three turbine percolators. The legend says that the radial force from this bong can alter the earth’s orbit when ripping huge bowls. Jokes aside, this bong has a huge fun factor. It will make you want to smoke bowls just to watch it spin.
The only difference between disc percolators and circ percolators is that the latter has the diffusing slit only on the outside of the disc. You could technically call the circ perc a sub-variety of the disc perc.
I only gave it a dedicated spot in the list because they are so rare yet incredibly cool, and I couldn’t help but show you a picture of it so that you have a chance to check it out!
Coil Percolators are incredibly common and if you ever smoked one you know why. Coil Percolators provide a unique, silky-smooth smoke that takes smoking bongs to a gourmet level.
Additionally, it is just absolutely hypnotizing to watch the smoke slowly curl its way through the coil percolator. It is like staring into a bonfire or a kaleidoscope. You just really want to watch every second of it, and see it progress. If you want to take the coil perc to the next level, you should try a Glycerine coil percolator.
So you might think: “What’s the Glycerine for?”
The reason why Glycerine is worked into the coil percolator is because Glycerine stays cold for a surprisingly long time after freezing it. That’s why Glycerine coil percolators are often removable! It is intended that you can take the bong apart and put the Glycerine coil into the freezer.
Once it is cold enough, you simply take it out of the freezer. Trust me you have never had anything like this before! It is like as if a coil percolator and an ice catcher had a child that grew up to get a PHD of Thermal Physics. Smoking an icy coil perc feels like menthol cigarettes without the weird mint flavor. It’s refreshing as you can feel it gently sinking into every bronchial tube of your lungs.
Disclaimer: Smoking this percolator is so much fun you will probably turn your back to any other percolator for a while. Of course, you can smoke a Glycerine spiral perc bong even if you didn’t freeze the coil. But you won’t get any of that cooling effect.
Barrel percolators are usually cylindrical in shape and have a lot of diffusing slits all over them. The name comes from the percolator’s shape. As you can see in the image above it looks slightly like a barrel. They usually have a lot more slits than other percolators, and are thus among the smoothest percolators.
Often times they are connected to the bottom of fixed downstems. You can think of them as a huge upgrade to a diffused downstem if you like.
The showerhead percolator could also be categories as hybrid perc between a disc perc and barrel perc. It delivers smoother hits and is a great example of how beginner-friendly bongs can be. I personally recommended the ash catcher below to a friend that is new to smoking weed out of a bong as its an incredibly affordable way to pimp a cheap bong into a decent piece of kit. Beginners should always look for a bong with a smaller volume and a decent percolator!
Matrix Percolators are one of my personal favorites to smoke! They just look like a piece of art. Every time after I take a hit from a matrix percolator bong and slowly get a bit woozy, I can’t help but look at the percolator itself, wondering how they manage to get all those tiny slits into the glass without breaking it.
A Matrix Percolator could be described as a combination of a barrel percolator and a disc percolator. Matrix percolators are smooth hitters and very friendly on your lungs. What more its bigger cousin, the Stereo Matrix.
A Stereo Matrix, as the name already gives away, consists of to matrix percolators unified into one super percolator.
The bong that I picked for you above is an absolute overkill when it comes to smoothness. This is due to the smoke first going through a barrel percolator and then through a single matrix percolator. It also has an ice catcher for those who enjoy a frosty hit. The occurrence of two matrix percolators in one bong is called a dual matrix. Don’t confuse it with stereo matrix!
I wont dive too deep into ratchet percolators as they are technically honeycomb percolators. The only difference is that the diffusion holes are only on the outside of the disk. Ratchet percolators where invented to build more percolators into smaller bongs.
The lack of wholes in the middle of this percolator allows to run a downstem through the perc saving chamber real estate.
While some of the other percolators in this post (which is actually all percolators that exist) might get you high as a kite, this bad boy perc will shoot you straight into space. Smoking an UFO percolator feels like something in between of a matrix percolator and a tree percolator.
The diffusion isn’t quite as insane as in most stereo matrix percolators, but can easily compete with a single matrix, whilst not reducing drag as much. The biggest selling point on UFO percolators is how easy they are to pull and clean.
Everybody loves UFO percolators which makes them an ideal gift. If you are invited to a birthday, housewarming, or just don’t know what to get your brother for Christmas the one above would probably be a gift that’s out of this world.
14. Cross Percolator
Cross percolators function on the simple diffused downstem principle just as tree percolators do. The main advantage cross percolators have over tree percolators is that they literally don’t affect drag at all.
The downside to this is scalability. Tree percolators can have up to 32 tubes. Meanwhile, cross percolators have pretty much always 4. Tree percolators only use up a tiny amount of chamber real estate, making them tremendously compatible with any other percolator style.
I proudly present you this inline percolator to cross percolator with a splash guard and ice catcher on a beaker chamber. Splash guards are simply made to make sure non of the nasty tasting bong water ends up in your mouth when you take a massive rip.
As all the percolators in this bong don’t really reduce drag, this is well placed in this rig. This stunner is an absolute all rounder. Just keep in mind that on default it is set up as a rig. If you want to smoke bud out of this percolation powerhouse, just get a male to female joint adapter and a bowl and off you go.
15. Ball Percolator
If you combine the principle of an UFO perc and a turbine perc and put it at the end of a fixed downstem or the border of one chamber to another, you get a ball percolator.
Ball percolators produce an insane amount of bubbles that diffuse and leave you with the silky smooth smoke you love.
Sprinkler percolators are very similar to tree percolators as they are pretty much just an upside down version with shorter tubes. Sprinklers cool down the smoke less than a tree perc but produce more diffusion and reduce drag less.
Sprinkler percolators usually come combined with a fixed downstem and a splashguard, just like you can see in the bong above. If you can’t see it I don’t blame you. This piece has like a hundred perc stuffed into a tiny chamber. It’s called “the madmand” and however gave it this name wasn’t wrong. Incredible what is possible these days.
17. Insert Percolator
This percolator is basically a second chamber within the main chamber. Chamberception! I wonder how far bong manufacturers could scale this. If the smoke in this perc never stops spinning, you are in a dream for sure! Both chambers are connected through diffusion slits, usually at the bottom of the inner chamber.
Insert percolators look incredible when you smoke them, and will provide you with some of the nicest hits you can get. Main downside to this build is the drag. It is still a lot easier to pull the smoke up than in a fritted disk, however you will need to be quite experienced to clear one of those in a bong that is taller than 10″. If you are a beginner, a bong with this perc is probably not for you just yet.
18. Swiss Percolator
This is technically not a percolator but is widely referred to as one. If you want to be extra correct you should call this a swiss chamber. The name is inherited from Swiss Cheese, which also has holes in it. What makes this type of chamber special are the holes that run through it. This forces the smoke do go around them producing a ton of bubbles, which we already know soften the smoke. Donut percolators (chambers) are also swiss percolators with the only difference being that they only have one hole.