There’s simply no other percolator that comes close to what a fritted disc can do. The number of bubbles, and therefore surface area of those bubbles, completely dwarfs all other percolators. Additionally, it has the durability and stackability advantages that all disc percolators have. However, there are two significant downsides that come with fritted disc percs.
First is that the microscopic holes can be difficult to draw through because they create a lot of drag. Additionally, all those little pores can easily get clogged, meaning you’ll have to do maintenance more often than at least once every couple of weeks if you’re using it often. However if you don’t mind the drag, and you regularly clean your glass anyways, then this could be the perc to end all percs. Coil / Spiral percolators are among the least talked about as well as the least understood. They are simply a coiled tube with a hole at the end, so what exactly makes this any different than a simple downstem? First, the obvious difference is that they are more visually interesting. Glassblowing is an art, so many people look for aesthetics as much as function in their glass. The more useful difference is the length of the tube.
Because the tube is coiled, you can coil 10″ / 25cm of tubing into a 2″ / 5cm vertical space. This forces the smoke to travel a longer path, increasing the cooling power of the percolator. However, when compared to other percs in terms of function, they aren’t nearly as effective. They may be better at cooling off a hit than most other percs, so if you value that over other features, you may like spiral percs. Or maybe you have 3 honeycombs and a fritted disc and you just want to add something different for your ashcatcher, then having a spiral could make sense. Although they aren’t our favorite percs on their own, they definitely have their place. Faberge percolators are another commonly misunderstood type of percolator. They are also similar to “Swiss” percs, which are basically flat sections of glass with large holes like swiss cheese. They don’t do anything on their own, but contrary to common beliefs, they do serve a functional purpose. They rely on being close to another percolator to work. In this video, the faberge percolator is coupled with a honeycomb percolator. When the bubbles rise up out of the honeycomb perc, the indentations on the glass split up the bubbles, thereby increasing their surface area and the filtration of the smoke. Besides filtration, they are definitely meant to be decorative. It’s hard to compare to their style and elegance while also maintaining a functional purpose. This makes them an appealing option to anyone who places a real value on the aesthetics of their collection. The percolators listed here are by no means an exhaustive list. We assembled a list of the most common percolators, which share common designs with many percolators that aren’t listed here. For instance, there are probably 20+ variants of showerhead and tree percolators. After reading these, you should have an idea of the pros/cons to various percolator designs, and hopefully the information is general enough that you can make judgements on the designs of similar percolators that aren’t listed here. If you know of any substantially different than these, please share them with us, we’d love to hear about them. More importantly, to any glassblowers out there, keep on trying new things, we love to see new inventive ideas. If you’ve been smoking for a while, then chances are that you’ve heard the word “percolator” or “perc” before. Even if you are a veteran smoker with plenty of experience, the word percolator might still be shrouded in mystery. However, percolators are critical to smoker culture. Though they are not required in a bong, they have become somewhat standard. Here, we’ll discuss the purpose and function of percolators, and the various types that can be included with water pipes. This post has been updated from its original version in 2017. The goal of smoking out of a bong is to make the smoking process feel much smoother.
In contrast, the goal of dabbing is to isolate and enjoy flavor.
A percolator aims to further that goal by cooling down the smoke, and provide premium filtration. There are several different types of percolators, and each has a slightly different effect.