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By Smoke Cartel Crew on Dec 10, 2015

When buying a glass piece, there are lots of important factors to consider. Oddly, one of the most important is the most overlooked; glass thickness and quality. Let’s talk about glass quality first...


Glass Quality

Glass quality is important in terms of clarity and strength. The higher quality of glass, the stronger and more pristine the glass will be. Glass quality is determined by the material of glass, and the skill level of the glass blower.

Most brand name pieces, and those made in the USA, will be made of high quality borosilicate glass (the material to make lab equipment, also called “German schott” or “schott duran); while certain tubes at your local head shop are most likely made of low quality Chinese- glass.

The higher quality glass will be much more durable than the lower. The skill level of the blower can be determined by simply looking at the piece-clean joint welds are signs of talented glass blowers.


Glass Thickness

Glass thickness affects the weight and durability of a piece. Glass thickness is counted in millimeters, usually ranging from 3mm to 9mm, with 9mm being the thicker of the two. Thicker glass means a more durable, heavier piece. The heaviness of the glass is more of a personal preference, but heavier pieces do have a sense of quality to them.

Under 2mm Prone to breaking or shatter, delicate 
2mm Common for accessories such as quartz bangers & carb caps
3mm This is a pretty standard glass thickness for borosilicate bongs and more.  Works for most people.
4mm Considered on the thicker side, and seen more on medium to large sized pieces.
5mm An industry standard for a thick glass bong or pipe.
Over 5mm Above and beyond in thickness, sometimes more common on larger pieces.

Check out our collection of thick glass here!


Things to Consider When Comparing Glass Thickness / Quality

If it comes down to it, it’s better to have higher quality glass than thicker glass. A piece could be 9mm thick, but if the glass is poor quality, it’s more likely to break than a 4mm thick piece with higher quality glass.

Luckily, Smoke Cartel carries a great selection of glass bongs for a great price, so you don’t have to compromise!

Alternatively - if you're worried about breaking your glass piece, we also offer some indestructible pieces, made of other materials like silicone.  To shop for a foldable, shatter-proof piece, check out some silicone bongs and rigs.

About the Author

Smoke Cartel - Online Headshop

Smoke Cartel Crew

Written by the staff here at Smoke Cartel. Our passionate team of headshop professionals are dedicated to educating people on products in the online headshop industry, from glass, to vaporizes, and all the consumption devices and accessories in between.

We believe that knowing how your products are made, what they were originally designed for, and how to properly use them - is essential to keeping our customers happy. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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