Stemless vs. Stemmed Bongs

Posted by Bradley Wilkerson on

As the legal world of tobacco consumption spreads, the many products that are available to enjoy are also expanding like never before. Out of the various bongs available online and at retail shops, there are two that tend to stand out in the topics of discussion on all online tobacco-related forums. These are the stemmed and the stemless bongs.

What's the Difference?

The one question that pops up in many posts is asking the difference between the two. Let us start by identifying what each of these are so that you have a better understanding. The stemmed bong is the more traditional bong that you are most likely used to seeing. The stem is the part that looks like a tube which attaches the bowl, where the herb goes, and the base, where the water is. The stem basically serves as a passageway to move the smoke from the tobacco into the water of the bong. In some cases, the stem also works as the carb that allows the user to clear the smoke from the chamber of the bong.

On the other hand, the stemless bong doesn't have one of these removable tubes. Rather, a stemless bong has a permanent connection between the bowl and the percolating water in the base. These bongs tend to allow the smoke to enter the base at a 90 degree angle. This allows for better diffusion of the smoke during percolation as compared to most downstems that enter the base at a 45 degree angle.


What Are the Pros of Each?

It's important to realize that both of these bong setups work well. Most people make their purchases based on personal preference and other features. If you are still not sure which one you want, let us go over some of the pros of each type to help you better decide on your next bong purchase.


The stemmed bongs have a few benefits you should know about.

  • They are widely available at local retailers and online.
  • It is cheaper to buy a downstem when it breaks as opposed to a new bong.
  • Allows you to easily switch out your bowl and stem for another one ready with fresh herb.


The stemless bongs come with their own list of benefits as well. These include:

  • They are much easier to clean as they're just one piece.
  • They provide better diffusion due to their 90 degree angle connection to the base.
  • Less moving parts to worry about.


Although stemmed bongs have always been the traditional setup, the popularity of stemless bongs is growing in the market. Each type of bong has its own individual benefits and these should be taken into consideration when you are deciding what type of bong you want to purchase. When it comes to the debate of stemmed versus stemless bongs, there really is no night and day difference between one and the other.

So, the question is, stemmed or stemless? If you need a little extra inspiration in helping you choose, why not take a look at our own stemmed Han Dynasty from The China Glass or the stemless Grav Labs Flare, either of which are sure to give you an experience you’ll never forget.

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