Pipe screens are an essential part of the smoking experience of many. Using a screen can improve your sessions since it can prevent large chunks of ash and debris from entering your water chamber or, even worse, your mouth.
Here's everything you need to know about pipe screens.
What are Pipe Screens?
Pipe screens often refer to small filters and mesh screens for smoking pipes that fit inside a dry herb bowl so they can keep unwanted debris from being inhaled as you smoke. They're used in hand pipes, bongs, bubblers, and other smoking devices to keep the rest of the device as clean of debris as possible.
Although some devices and smoking accessories have built-in screens, having replaceable screens makes it easier to maintain your device once the resin buildup is too much to remove with a toothpick and a quick wash.
Pipe screens come in multiple sizes and shapes to better accommodate different types of pipes and bowls, but they're usually made out of two materials:
- Metal Pipe Screens: Stainless steel and brass pipe screens are the most common. They are made of a metal mesh that makes them durable, reusable, and available in various sizes to fit different-sized bowls.
- Glass Pipe Screens: Made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass, these screens are more delicate than their metal counterparts. Glass screens are great for their clean taste and durability, making them very convenient..
How to Use Pipe Screens
Using pipe screens is a very straightforward process; follow these steps:
Step 1: Choose the Right Size Screen
There are different types of pipe screens, so make sure you choose one that fits the size and shape of your pipe's bowl. A screen that is too small may not cover the entire bowl, while bigger screens will be challenging to insert and may not stay in place as you smoke.
Step 2: Prepare the Pipe Bowl
If you're using a metal screen, gently shape it into a dome or bowl shape that matches the curvature of the pipe's bowl, fitting it inside it. For glass screens, you can use them as they are since they come pre-formed and simply place them at the base of the bowl.
Step 3: Insert the Screen
Carefully place the screen inside the pipe's bowl, ensuring it sits flat at the bottom of the bowl and covers the entire opening. The concave side of the screen should face down, ensuring that it holds the herbs securely in place.
Step 4: Pack the Bowl
Once the screen is in place, fill the bowl with your preferred dry herbs. Prevent clogging by making sure not to over-pack the bowl so you can keep good airflow.
Step 5: Light and Enjoy
After packing the bowl, light your smoking material and enjoy a smooth and debris-free smoking experience. The screen will act as a barrier, preventing ash or loose particles from being pulled into the stem.
Tips for Using Pipe Screens
Make sure to follow these tips when using pipe screens for better smoking sessions:
- Replace as Needed: Metal screens may become bent or clogged over time, affecting their effectiveness. Replace metal screens when they show signs of wear or damage to maintain a smooth smoking experience.
- Don't Overload the Bowl: Avoid over-packing the bowl with smoking material to ensure proper airflow and combustion. Leave enough space for air to pass through, allowing an even burn.
- Keep Extra Screens Handy: Keeping a supply of pipe screens on hand is a good idea. They are affordable and readily available, so you can always have a fresh screen whenever needed.
- Regular Pipe Maintenance: While using pipe screens helps protect the bowl, regular pipe maintenance is still essential to ensure a clean and enjoyable smoke. Clean your pipe regularly to remove any buildup and residue.