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What Is a Recycler?

by Angel Ferrer 5 min read

What Is a Recycler?

Recycler Bong - What Is It?

You’ve got to hand it over to Hamm Waterworks, the guys who claim to have invented the recycler bong. Regardless of who actually came up with the idea first, the team at Hamm Waterworks were one of the first ones to launch an insanely cool looking glass bong that took the basic design and added a simple twist to it.

Their innovative approach to recycler bongs amplifies its aesthetic and smoke quality by leaps and bounds. At least that’s what recycler-aficionados claim.

First timers, on the other hand, are left wondering whether it’s worth the extra cash. Recyclers certainly aren’t cheap.

Apart from the striking design, what does a recycler offer that a non-recycler bong doesn’t?

Today, we decode the recycler for you, helping you understand all you need to know in order to decide for yourself. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always happy to help a fellow herb lover find the perfect fit for their needs. Chances are we have something in stock that will wow your literal socks off.

What is a Recycler Bong?

For a lot of newbies and wannabe-green thumbs, the term ‘Recycler’ conjures images of old, broken glass bongs being thrown into a recycling machine and sparkling new bongs coming out on a conveyor belt.

Sadly, it’s got nothing to do with the eco-friendly recycling we’re all familiar with.

The term recycler stands for the unique design in which the water passes from the base chamber to a second chamber that’s positioned precariously close to the mouthpiece, before making its way back into the base chamber again to be recycled.

That sounds a lot more complex than it is.

It’s just like an infinite loop that keeps occurring until you inhale the smoke. Water rising, falling back and rising again, all in the span of seconds.


‘Doesn’t a glass bong with a percolator also work the same way?

No, it doesn’t.

In a glass bong with a perc, the water passes from the base chamber into the perc where it bubbles and the smoke is diffused and released. The water doesn’t make its way back into the base chamber.

The recycler has the most unique design among glass bongs.

The only other bong style that it can be compared with is a multi-chamber bong.

Types of Recyclers

Recyclers are a fairly new addition to the world of bongs. But due to the strong demand, manufacturers have been constantly innovating the designs.

There are two distinct styles that are commonly seen.

  • The External Recycler: This one is the most basic design with the two chambers sitting one above the other connected by interlinking arms that the water passes through.
  • The Internal Recycler: Also called ‘The Incycler’, this one has the two chambers inside the main glass tube. Somewhat like a bottle inside a bottle. The internal recycler offers protection to the glass and looks way cooler.

What Gets Recycled in a Recycler?  

Coming to the big question. Is it the vapor or is it the water that gets recycled?

That’s been a matter of debate for a while.

Some people are of the opinion that it’s the water that gets recycled since the vapor only makes its way once into the water chamber and it’s the water that passes through multiple chambers.

Others opine that the vapor gets recycled as many times as it passes through the twin chambers (and percolators in some designs) resulting in a cooler and smoother hits.

But does the extra diffusion make the hits more flavorful?

Because usually, the more diffused the vapor is, the more pronounced the loss of flavor.

That’s subjective really. Most recycler users dab rather than using dry flowers. And swear by the intensely flavorful vapor that the rigs produce.

What are the Advantages of Using a Recycler?

There are many advantages to using a recycler over a more traditional glass bong.

  • It looks incredibly cool when operational. The water and the smoke travelling from one reservoir to the other through separation tubes creates a cyclone-like effect that ups the aesthetics if you have a see-through glass bong. In fact, many users buy recyclers purely for the aesthetics. We can’t blame them. You’ve got to see one to experience it.
  • A lot of people assume that since the whole setup has water passing multiple times through various tubes, there would be a drag or a delay in getting the hit. There isn’t. Recyclers work as fast as normal bongs do. There is no delay or drag at all.
  • Recyclers have a larger water volume as compared to glass bongs. The vapor bubbles are surrounded by water constantly as they move from one chamber to the other. This draws out heat even from the vapor resulting in a cooler hit every time. In other words, it is newbie friendly. Even a rank, inexperienced smoker can take a huge hit without the risk of a coughing fit. This also allows you to use more concentrate with zero throat stress.
  • The vapor bubbles burst in the second chamber at the last second just before they are inhaled. This means very little air contact that can affect the flavor or render it stale.
  • The second chamber also doubles up as a splashguard preventing the user from accidentally inhaling bong water no matter how hard the pull is.

What are the Disadvantages of a Recycler?

Despite the popular design, the recycler may not be the ideal bong for everybody.

  • They are pricey. Some of the best glassware brands offer recycler bongs and most of the models cost upwards of $300. Definitely not ideal for someone shopping on a shoestring budget.
  • Some are bulky. While the functional advantage cannot be denied, there is a conscious attempt on the part of manufacturers to make recyclers aesthetically pleasing. This has resulted in bulkier designs with curving tubes and rounded edges that make them better suited for home use than travel.

Closing Thoughts

What is your take on the recycler bong?

Have you pulled the trigger already and bought one of these? Or are you just sitting on the fringes lusting after one?

If you’re in the market for a new recycler bong, check out our online shop to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget. Our digital shelves are stocked with hand-curated selections of the best smoking pipes, bongs and accessories all at affordable prices that won’t have you running to the bank.

Related:  How Does a Recycler Bong Work?