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A Beginner's Guide to Percolator Bongs

September 19, 2019 5 min read

A Beginner's Guide to Percolator Bongs

We’re sharing everything you need to know about one of our favorites—percolator bongs!

Are you sick of sharing your buddy’s bong and looking to finally get one of your own? Or maybe you’re just curious about the different types of bongs that are out there. With a quick online search you will soon discover that there are dozens of styles, materials, features, and designs to choose from. But don’t get discouraged, we’re here to help you navigate the expansive world of bongs and today, we’re sharing everything you need to know about one of our favorite styles—percolator bongs!


A bong is a type of water pipe that has one or more chambers and uses water for filtration and cooling for a more comfortable hit. After packing the bowl with weed, users will light the herb and simultaneously inhale to create bubbles in the water and draw the smoke down into the bong. The smoker will then pull out the bowl or remove their finger from the carb to take a hit. 

Bongs are made out of silicone, ceramic, or borosilicate glass. The latter is the material of choice for percolator bongs since this special type of glass is heat resistant and can easily handle extreme temperatures without cracking. Percolator bongs only come in glass varieties.

What is a percolator bong?

You may have heard one of your friends talk about percolators or ‘percs’ as we like to call them. A percolator is both a type of bong and the name of a specific cooling and filtration feature within water pipes. But to really understand about percolator bongs you first need to understand the important role water plays in any type of water pipe.

Water is an important element of any bong because it’s used to chill and filter the smoke. This is said to be healthier for your body since harmful contaminants are strained out before it’s smoked. You just have to take one look at the filthy bong water after a smoking sesh to see the power of the water and how much junk is actually getting taken out. In addition to filtration, the water also chills down the smoke considerably. That means you can take huge hits that are smooth and less irritating to your throat and lungs. Essentially, the more bubbles that can be generated leads to a more comfortable bong hit.

Types of percs

Percs are a special feature inside bongs, bubblers, and dab rigs that are designed to create extra bubbles and aeration. Oftentimes this features is already included in your piece but if not, you can usually add one on or customize your bong with a second perc for even more filtration power. There are dozens of styles of percs out there, but they all function more or less the same way. Nowadays, many bongs come with multiple pers of different styles for added percolation power. Choose one that you are comfortable taking a toke with and a design that you love. Here’s just a few of the most common percs:

  • TreeThis design is very common and one of the first types of percs to ever be created. The air goes up a central tube that is connected to multiple downward facing branches with slits in them creating lots of rising bubbles.
  • Honeycomb - Though not very interesting aesthetically, honeycomb percs are great at what they do. The holes of the honeycomb-shaped disk easily pulls air through so you won’t be slowed down when taking a huge hit. Since it’s thick and fitted horizontally, honeycombs are one of the most durable percs around–you won’t have to worry about breaking it!
  • Swiss - This style has a super unique look and you can probably already imagine how it got its name–the holes resemble Swiss cheese! It is known for having very low drag when you inhale since the smoke passes through the holes for filtration.  
  • UFO - Also called showerhead percs, the central disk is filled with horizontally-aligned slits for air and smoke to pass through. They work similarly to the tree style.
  • Matrix - Matrix percs function exactly like the UFO style, but have multiple disks with both vertical and horizontal slits. Many people choose this design over the UFO just because they look so much cooler.
  • Inline - Because of its basic look and feel, many inline percs are secondary features to a main perc, which often sit above them. The inline style is just a horizontal tube with slits on the bottom for aeration.
  • Turbine - If you want to look dope when taking a bong rip, opt for a turbine perc. This design creates sweet little whirlpools up the side of the glass every time you take a hit. Just like the honeycomb design, turbines lay horizontally and are one of the coolest and more durable options out there. These are often paired with a primary perc.

How to get started with your percolator bong

As with any bong you’ll need to add water to the bottom chamber. Start by filling the chamber base until all of the slits in the downstem are just barely covered with water. If you have a carb, the water level should be well below the opening so no water can spill out. Next add enough water to submerge each of your percs, making sure that all of the openings are just under water. Double check to make sure that all of the percs are bubbling and that no water is spilling out or touching your lips when you take a hit. If any of these things happen, make some adjustments to the water level—you probably added too much water! Once you get acquainted with your percolator bong, you’ll be able to easily estimate how much water to add each time.

Piping hot or icy cold?

When it comes to the temperature of the water you put into your bong, the smoking community is split into two camps. One group swears by ice cold water and the other prefers hot water. Now you’re probably thinking, well isn’t the point to reduce the temperature of the smoke? Well the hot water advocates believe that the smoke will still be much cooler after moving through the percs, but it will also have the added benefit of steam which moisturizes the throat for easier hits. Conversely, you can add ice to the water if that’s more your style. 

Remember to change your bong water frequently. As soon as you see that the water is getting dirty, dump it out and refill it with fresh, clean water. Dirty bong water diminishes its cooling and filtration power, plus your smoke can start to get a funny taste.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to pick your perc and get to smoking! Head over to EverythingFor420.com. We’ve got lots of  percolator bongs to choose from starting at less than $45.


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