Tips on How to Use Pipe Screens
Pipes are popular because they’re easy to use, easy to carry, and are perfect for both solo sessions or sharing with friends. The one downside of smoking out of a pipe, however, is pull-through. When you pull too hard on burnt herb and ash, it can be sucked through the pipe and right into your mouth. It happens to the best of us, but thankfully there’s a solution. All you need is a pipe screen, the must-have accessory for wood, glass, and metal pipes. This article teaches you all about how to use pipe screens and how to pick the right screen for your style.
Why Use a Pipe Screen?
The most common pipe screens are made of metal mesh, cut into small circles, which can be bent to fit the inside of your bowl. The idea is that while smoke and fine ash fall through, large chunks are held in place. Using a pipe screen keeps your pipe a cleaner, but more importantly stops large clumps of ash from being pull through to your mouth.
Some people even use screens when smoking from bongs and bubblers to help keep their water clean. Bongs sometimes have large bowls, too, where unsmoked material can be accidentally sucked through. Use pipe screens to prevent this unnecessary waste of unsmoked herb.
Different Types of Pipe Screen
Pipe screens come in two common materials: metal or glass. Metal pipe screens are commonly made from aluminum, brass or stainless steel. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know exactly what metal a screen is made from or to ensure a trustworthy manufacturer.
Additionally, metal screens must be replaced periodically. Over time, metal pipe screens become coated with black resin and develop holes. Despite these downfalls, metal screens are popular because they’re cheap and easy to find.
Glass pipe screens provide a better solution. Unlike metal screens, which must be replaced often and may be made of unsafe metals, glass screens are safe to use and last forever. Although they’re not as cheap as metal screens, glass screens are still affordable on any budget.
Check out our selection of glass pipe screens here at BadassGlass. We provide quality, affordable glass pipe screens that will last a lifetime. Also check out our selection of glass bowl pieces with built-in screens. These useful accessories remove the need to keep track of your screen or clean it separately from the pipe.
Tips on How to Use Pipe Screens
Metal pipe screens come in different sizes, usually ranging from 0.5” to 1”. Bigger bowls need bigger screens. Since metal screens are so malleable, you must simply press the mesh disc into the pipe until it fits flush with the bottom of the bowl. Be sure that the screen covers the hole. Metal and wood pipes typically have holes in the side, while glass bowls have holes on the bottom.
Remember to brush metal screens clean often to avoid clogging and check for holes regularly . Never overheat a metal screen , since this damages the screen and may even release dangerous chemicals depending on the metal. If you smoke regularly, we recommend changing metal pipe screens once every couple weeks or a month.
Glass screens are easy to use. Available in a number of shapes and sizes, simply drop a glass pipe screen over the bowl’s hole and pack tobacco on top. Remember to remove and clean your glass screen often , and don’t let it get covered and stuck with resin. The easiest way to break a glass pipe screen is by digging around for it with a paperclip because it’s disappeared in a pile of resin.
You don’t need to replace glass screens due to wear unless you break them. Since they’re made out of glass, these screens are fragile. Be careful with glass pipe screens and they will last forever. If they become chipped, however, be sure to replace them.
DIY Temporary Pipe Screens
Now you know how to use pipe screens and maintain them for the best performance. You ordered some quality glass pipe screens from BadassGlass, too, but in the meantime you still need a screen! It’s time to get crafty with some DIY pipe screen solutions.
- Contrary to popular belief, it is not inherently dangerous to smoke from aluminum pipes or screens. If you’re stuck at home without a screen, cut out a small piece of aluminum foil to fit in the bowl. Poke holes through the foil with a paperclip or toothpick.
- No foil? No problem. Paperclips are typically made from steel. Bend a paperclip into a flat spiral and place it over the bowl’s hole. You may have to break the paperclip to size.
- If you’re smoking a therapeutic herb, it’s possible to pack the bottom of the bowl with a “throw-away” material like shredded tobacco. Put a small amount of tobacco loosely over the hole to preserve airflow. Pack your herb ontop and stop smoking when you reach the tobacco.
Pipes are popular because they’re easy to use, easy to carry, and are perfect for both solo sessions or sharing with friends. The one downside of smoking out of a pipe, however, is pull-through. When you pull too hard on burnt herb and ash, it can be sucked through the pipe and right into your mouth. It happens to the
The Importance Of Using Screens With Your Pipe, Bong, Or Vaporizer
Why is it important to use screens with your bong, pipe, or vaporizer? Which type of screen should you choose for your device? Read on to find out!
Nothing is worse than taking a nice hit from your bong or pipe only to end up with a mouth full of ash. To prevent this from happening, many smoking devices, including most pipes, bongs, and even vaporizers, are compatible with screens.
Now, screens aren’t exactly complicated to use, but there are some specifics worth knowing that can make a world of difference to your smoking experience. Read on as we take a closer look at the different kinds of screens, why they’re important, and what you need to know when using them with various devices.
What Is A Pipe Screen?
Pipe screens are filters placed in the bowls or chambers of different smoking/vaping devices. They are crafted from a number of materials, including brass, stainless steel, and glass, and usually come in the form of circle-shaped mesh cutouts. They are often somewhat flexible, so you can bend them to fit in your bowl.
Many pipes use these common round mesh screens, but bongs and bubblers often use basket-shaped inserts for an even better experience. Some smoking devices don’t use replaceable screens, but have them built right in.
Purpose Of A Pipe Screen
The main purpose of a screen is to keep your weed and resulting ash in the pipe, instead of in your mouth. All you want to inhale is the smoke/vapor, not the hard material. Without a filter, smoking a pipe can be an awful experience as these nasty chunks can irritate your lungs and make for a gross time overall. Another benefit of screens is that you won’t waste as much unsmoked weed that would otherwise end up in your mouth.
How To Determine The Correct Screen Size
If you’re using a water pipe with a basket-style screen, you need to measure your fitting first. There are two kinds of water pipe fittings: male and female. The males are those that taper toward the base and fit into the female joint. The fittings come in three sizes, 10, 14 (most common), and 18mm.
To determine fitting size, measure the outer diameter of a male fitting or the inner diameter of a female fitting.
Cutting A Pipe Screen To The Correct Size
Common round mesh screens come in various sizes, but you can also bend them to your will (literally) if they’re a bit too big for your device. But, if your screens are popping out or go too deep into the bowl, or are just not doing their job at all, you’re probably using the wrong size screen.
If you have screens that are too large, you can easily cut them to size. Simply use wire cutters or strong scissors and trim around the edges.
How do you know if your screen is the right size? Fit it inside your bowl and try pressing it into a snug fit. If it keeps covering the bottom of the bowl and isn’t bouncing back, you’re golden.
Different Types Of Screens
As mentioned above, screens popularly appear as a wire mesh, but come in numerous forms depending on factors related to both function and style. Here are some of the most common materials used to make pipe screens:
Brass Screens (For Glass / Ceramic Bongs)
Brass screens are the most common screens for all kinds of pipes, and have been used by all types of pipe smokers for a very long time. They’re cheap, and you can get them in any tobacco store, headshop, or online. Brass screens are easy to bend, so they fit most shapes of bowls, and you can rather easily cut them to size should you need to.
Do brass screens have a disadvantage? Compared to other materials, brass won’t last as long. The reason for this is its low melting point. If you smoke heavily and often, this won’t outright melt the brass, but the continuous heat will weaken the screen over time until it eventually breaks.
Steel Screens (For Acrylic / Silicone Bongs)
Aside from their silvery colour compared to the yellowish brass screens, steel screens work just the same. Their advantage is that they’re more durable, and therefore should last longer. A disadvantage is that they are not as easy to bend and shape. Another drawback is that steel screens don’t always go well with glass bowls; you can use them, but be aware that they can leave scratches. Otherwise, there isn’t any difference in taste or function between brass and steel screens.
Glass Screens (Typically Built-In)
Pipe screens made of glass are obviously not flexible at all, which means they must be the exact size to fit your bowl. Glass has the advantage of being very heat resistant. It won’t wear out, and can, in principle, last forever.
Glass pipe screens are not typically made from ordinary glass, but from borosilicate glass (Pyrex), which is particularly heat resistant and won’t crack from rapid temperature changes.
Sometimes, you can also find screens made from quartz. These are even more heat resistant than borosilicate glass, and therefore more expensive.
Many high-quality glass water pipes don’t use replaceable screens, but feature built-in screens instead, often in some type of decorative pattern like a star or a flower.
Vaporizer Screens (Different Screens Per Vaporizer)
Most dry herb vaporizers also use screens. Some vaporizers may use the aforementioned metal mesh screens, or they may use harder metal discs with holes. Unfortunately, many vaporizers don’t use standard screens, but proprietary screens that differ from model to model. This means that if you need replacements, you can only get them from associated manufacturers/retailers, as other screens may not fit. Likewise, if you have a number of different vaporizers, you will likely need individual screens for each.
Diy Bong/pipe Screen Solutions
What do you do if you run out of screens, but really want to get some toking action going? Aside from ordering new ones, you can try to make your own temporary screens to tide you over until the postman rings.
The easiest way to make a DIY pipe screen it to cut a small piece of aluminum foil to fit like a regular screen. Poke a few holes in with a toothpick (not too big), and voilà! Your DIY screen should last a few sessions. No worries, aluminium foil isn’t toxic and won’t melt at these temperatures.
You can also make a temporary screen with a piece of stiff wire or a paperclip. Bend the wire into a spiral and place it over the hole in your pipe. This will keep the largest weed and ash chunks in your pipe.
Lastly, if you’re not feeling like making a temporary pipe screen, you can pack your bowl without one, being sure to place larger chunks on the underside, covering the hole. This works like a natural filter that prevents finer particles from being sucked into the stem. Just make sure to pull softly and slowly.
Of course, the best option is to use proper screens in the first place. They don’t cost much, so you can stock up on tons of them for just a few euros to never be without!
Written by: Georg
Based in Spain, Georg spends a lot of his time not only geeking out at his computer but in his garden as well. With a burning passion for growing cannabis and researching psychedelics, Georg is well versed in all things psychoactive.
Learn all about pipe screens, including why they are important, different materials, and how to make your own in a pinch!