Glass Joints, Glass on Glass, Glass Genders and Sizes Explained
When you first venture into the glass world, there are components that may come across as confusing. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. What's the difference between 14mm and 14.5mm? My water pipe has a gender?! These are the questions I had when purchasing my first piece. I’m here to shed some light on these questions for you.
Standard Joint Shapes (Genders)
Let’s start off with genders. Yes, your water pipe has a gender. Yes, your bowl, ash catcher, adapter, drop down, nail, pretty much any accessory, has a gender. Now with this being said, we can figure out if your pipe is a male or female.
In the above picture, the pipe has a female joint. This means all accessories will have to have a male joint in order to be compatible with it. Opposites attract, right? Because this particular water pipe has a female joint, the male bowl will be inserted inside of the joint. To wrap this example up, if your pipe has a wide opening where your bowl/accessory fits inside of the joint it’s a female and will need male accessories!
In this example, the pipe has a male joint. This means all accessories will have to have a female joint in order for it to be compatible. Once again, opposites attract! Because this particular water pipe has male joint, the female bowl will be be inserted onto the joint. The female bowl will rest on top of the joint, rather than being inserted inside of the joint. To wrap this example up, if your pipe has a more narrow joint that does the inserting into your accessories, it’s a male and will need female accessories!
Okay so now we know how to tell the difference between a male and a female. Time to move onto another questionable subject, sizes. Not only does your pipe and accessories have a gender to their joint, those joints also have sizes! Don’t worry, it’s not as tricky as it sounds.
Glass joints have become standardized so you can switch between different bowls, ashcatchers, and other accessories. We'll give an overview on common glass joint sizes and shapes.
Standard Joint Sizes
- 10mm (Often called a micro or nano joint, common on smaller rigs and pipes)
- 14.4mm (Common among many water pipes)
- 18.8mm (Common among many water pipes)
Here's a series of photographs of the same male Quartz nail in three different sizes. These guys display the three most common joint sizes that you will find in the glass world. From left to right you see the smallest to largest: 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm. These are your standard joint sizes. So lets say your brand new water pipe has a 14mm female joint, and you are looking for a bowl to properly fit it. You will need a male 14mm bowl for the pieces to be compatible. All in all, joint sizes will have to match up to be compatible, whereas the gender will have to be opposite.
Another question you may have; what is the difference between 14.5 mm and 14 mm or 18.8mm and 18mm and 19mm?
The answer is: nothing.
14.5mm is the technical term, as that is the actual measurement of the joint size. However, many people simply call the joint size 14mm for convenience.
18.8mm is the technical term, as that is the actual measurement of the joint size. However, many people will either round up, or round down, and call the joint size either 18mm, or 19mm, depending on what part of the world you are from!
So, there you go. Now you know the basic information about water pipes and their joints!