Heady Glass vs Scientific Production Glass: Is There A Difference?

When looking to buy a bong or dab rig, the world of glass can sound confusing. With terms like “heady, wig wags, dewars, percolators and recyclers,” where do you begin? Are you most interested in a bong with a unique shape and colorful design? Or are you looking for a high function, durable, daily use bong? 

Nowadays, most glass pipe styles can be broken down into two categories - heady glass or scientific glass. Depending on what your smoking needs and preferences are, both pipe styles have pros and cons. Find out which is best for you. 

What is Heady Glass?

If you’re shopping for glass and see bold and colorful designs in eye-catching, artistic shapes, chances are you’re looking at a heady glass piece. We can thank early American glass artists like Bob Snodgrass, Banjo, Jerome Baker and the like for fusing art with high quality glass pipemaking, inspiring an entire industry of beautiful, heady, smokeable art. 

Functional Art

Rest assured heady glass functions like a normal bong but the main focus is in the visual appearance of the piece, like a work of art. High quality heady glass is often made in very sculptural, complex, and intricate designs. From architectural pieces to implosion marbles, the sky's the limit. These creative bongs and rigs can even take shape to show off your fandom. Love Rick & Morty? Yoshi or Pokemon anyone? With all the time, skill and specialized knowledge required, it’s no surprise that heady glass bongs sell at such a high price.

Banjo GlassCredit: instagram.com/windhome

We love seeing all the different kinds of heady carb caps, dabbers, pendants, etc available. Heady glass accessories and scientific bongs with heady details, like horns, spikes or heady color accents, are a cost effective alternative for those looking to buy heady glass but for a smaller investment.

All the Colors

Color is a huge draw to heady glass pipes. Heady bongs and rigs are made of the highest quality American made, small batch, and sometimes even rare or experimental glass colors. Processes like vac stacking, crucible pulled color, or gold or silver fuming are used to create other worldly, unique, and custom colors not widely available on the market. Heady glass colors require proficient glassblowing skill and expertise to make these intricate lined, CFL color shifting, dichroic glass colors and more. In addition to the extra skill and time required to create these heady glass colors, different colors must be worked differently and takes an equally high glassblowing skill level to apply and handle when making them into bongs or dab rigs. 

One-of-a-Kind

Because of the nature of glass, time and skill involved to hand blow a heady glass piece, they can take a singular artist multiple days to complete. Oftentimes heady glass is produced by solo artists or artist collaborations, producing one-of-a-kind pieces for collectors or fans. Specific designs are not mass produced, further emphasizing the unique value of a truly head piece of art.

PROS

CONS

  • Unique
  • Eye catching design
  • Large variety
  • Collector’s item
    • Expensive
    • Fragile
    • Limited accessibility
    • Hard to transport

      What is Scientific Glass?

      Go to your local smoke shop and chances are you’re going to see a clear glass bong in a classic beaker bong shape or straight shooter tube for sale. This more streamlined, scientific inspired smokeware is largely made in crystal clear glass, durable and readily accessible.  

      Organized production of scientific glass came as a result of smokers wanting smokeware outside of psychedelic heady glass offerings. We can thank German originated brand Roor for being one of the first companies to mainstream and mass produce big, high quality, scientific glass bongs. The most popular bong shapes include beakers, straight tubes, hammer and sherlock bubblers. Scientific glass allows smokers everywhere to easily access high grade, performance based, American made glass for a high quality smoking experience.

      High Performance

      Focusing on function, scientific bong styles offer a wider variety of percolators for fine-tuning your smoking experience to your own personal needs. This is especially essential if you’re a robust daily smoker. Maybe you’d benefit from a cough reducing perc with lots of small diffusion bubbles like a showerhead or honeycomb diffuser?

      Purr-Ashcatcher

       

      One of the best features of scientific glass is its compatibility with countless smoking accessories. Conveniently, glass joint sizes on bongs and bowls are standard so finding accessories to fit is easy. To further personalize your smoking experience, you can mix and match various accessories. Add a 7-hole bowl to improve airflow and keep your bong cleaner, or a removable showerhead downstem, an ash catcher, or even a different colored bowl to keep you smoking your best whatever your changing needs. 

      Most Used, Most Reliable

      Don’t let the quantity of production fool you about the quality. Ease of use, performance options, reliable design and accessibility make scientific glass popular to both new and daily smokers. A huge benefit of being produced more than once means there’s more time to perfect design and function. Also convenient if needing replacement or even possible customization and repair. Quality, American made, scientific glass can last a lifetime.

      High Quality Production 

      Requiring the same amount of eye for detail as heady glass, scientific bongs often have required specifications to meet to keep production of the pieces consistent. This becomes an even more particularly skillful task when handcrafting with fire and hot, semi-fluid glass. Use of clear glass also provides better durability over colored glass since there are no additives.

      PROS

      CONS

      • Practical design
      • Function focused
      • Stronger durability
      • Accessible price
      • Mostly clear glass
      • Simpler design
      • Similar products
      • Many import knockoffs

      How do I choose?

      Depending on a few factors like budget, personal preference, and frequency of smoking, you’ll be able to find your perfect match in either a heady visual piece or a high performance scientific piece. Another great option is to mix and match scientific and heady glass. There are many scientific bongs for sale that add in heady accents and colors, just like our Swiss Honeycomb. Or you can simply add a heady bowl or accessory to your scientific setup or vice versa. For even more help, see how to pick the right bong for you.  With the combined experience of over 50 years of glassblowing and many more smoking, here at Purr we understand the inner workings of pipemaking as well as the needs of daily smokers. That’s why we always recommend supporting American made glass for the best smoking experience and a lifetime of support.

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