A downstem is a long piece of glass that extends from a bong’s bowl into the water in the bong’s chamber. It facilitates the movement of smoke from the bong’s bowl into the water. Without a downstem, the smoke would go directly from the bowl into the bong and sometimes won’t even reach the water.
In other words, a downstem ensures the smoke is filtered through the water before you inhale it. Otherwise, your smoke would taste like it’s from a dry hand pipe. To use a downstem, insert it into your bong through the base’s opening and then place your flower bowl inside.
Downstems come in various sizes and lengths, so it’s important to know what you need before purchasing a downstem online.
There are several things to consider if you’re looking to purchase a new downstem for your bong. Keep the following questions in mind when shopping for downstems online.
What’s the Right Size of Downstem to Buy?
Bong downstems are usually available in joint sizes of 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm. The joint size must fit snugly to ensure an air-tight seal while smoking.
However, it’s essential also to consider the downstem’s length. The downstem needs to be long enough to reach the chamber’s water and produce bubbles once you inhale your concentrate. But, if the downstem touches the bong’s base, it’s too long and may not deliver the same experience as using the right-sized piece.
What’s the Best Material for a Downstem?
Another important consideration when shopping for a downstem is the material. The most common materials for making downstems are aluminum, titanium, and glass.
You can choose any material based on your preference. However, it’s essential to understand how to use and maintain the downstem you purchase.
Is a Downstem Diffuser Necessary?
A diffuser attaches to your downstem to produce smaller bubbles, creating smoother draws and making you enjoy every puff with less harsh effects. However, a diffuser is optional.
Can I Use a Downstem With My Water Pipe?
You can’t add a downstem to a pipe that has a male joint. Downstems only work with bongs that have female joints.
What are the Different Styles of Downstems?
There are several different styles of downstems with varying ways of filtering smokes. The classic downstem design uses slits and is one of the simplest ways to get robust and reliable diffusion with every puff.
While tree perc downstems deliver some of the cleanest filtrations, they require a stronger pull. They also need more frequent cleaning.
If you want to preserve your concentrate’s flavor, then firecut downstems may be the best option. While these downstems don’t require a strong pull, they get clogged quickly, so be vigilant.
You may also want to consider the aesthetic of the downstem, as they come in a variety of colors, shapes, and designs. With these factors in mind, you’ll have an easy time finding the right downstem for your needs.