Price: $48 Manufacturer: Grav Labs
Made in: USA Material: Borosilicate Glass
Available in different colors: Yes
Can add accessories: No
Following our look at the pocket sized Sherlock Pipe from Grav Labs, we are continuing with our theme of bong portability, but with a little more user comfort in mind. We thought the Sherlock was great, perfect for those true “off road” smoking moments, and for when stealth is a crucial factor. Thankfully, most of the time we operate under less hostile toking conditions, and we can take a little more time to enjoy our medicine. Logically, the next step up from the Sherlock would be a bong with an added degree of cooling or filtration to the basic ‘burn – inhale’ set up of a pipe, so when we received The Clear Hammer Style Bubbler from Grav Labs, we were very happy. I have never heard a bad word said about anything that comes out of the Grav workshops in Austin, so let’s see what the addition of a drop or two of water can do for the toker in transit.
The Clear Hammer Style Bubbler sits nicely on your table, and oh my goodness does it look so incredibly pretty! It’s very neat, compact, and so marvelously sleek, it’s like a petite lady doing the downward-facing dog in the most beautiful yoga pants you have ever seen. The piece is lightweight, but sturdy, although care would be required when transporting it, particularly as the point at which the neck attaches to the main body is a bit weak. With its small size you can carry it carefully in a large jacket pocket or handbag, and so long as you have a bottle of water with you, the world is your oyster for where you can smoke. It might be a small piece, but it shines under the bright office lights and it looks ready to go, the bowl is begging us to be filled with some serious stickiness and get put to work. So yes, its….. Hammertime!
The Clear Hammer Style Bubbler is, as its name would suggest, a simple water based pipe in the shape of a small hammer or gavel. The tube for the mouth piece forms the handle of the hammer, and the main chamber of the bubbler makes up the head. Formed from a single seamless piece of borosilicate, the bowl sits at the top of the main body and an X-cut diffuser stem runs down from the bowl to just short of the bottom of the chamber. As the main body is cylindrical, two small ‘ears’ have been added to the base of the main chamber allowing the bubbler to stand upright with the two ears and the mouth piece creating a tripod like base. Touches like this are what set Grav aside from lesser manufacturers, it is apparent when you use their products that they have been designed by people who think like you do. Like a good coat or a comfortable pair of shoes, you don’t think about Grav kit when you use it, it just works. The main body and chamber of the Hammer Style Bubbler is emblazoned with the trademark Grav Labs laser cut decal, ours came with a red and white decal but the colors vary from batch to batch. The best you can do in terms of choosing a color is to send Grav a list of your color preferences with your order and hope you get your first choice. The neck runs at right angles to the body of the pipe and terminates in a sort of flattened bulb type mouthpiece. Overall the small size means that you can have a fully fledged bubbler at hand, without it taking up too much desk or work space.
First rate materials, legendary workmanship and rigorous quality control are just a few of the reasons why Grav Labs are considered one of the finest smoking apparatus manufacturers in the world. Since their first creation way back in 2004, they have never stopped pushing the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to turning glass into smoking perfection. The safety glass used in all their pieces is the exact same stuff those big beakers in the science lab at school were made of, and if it’s good enough for kids and hydrochloric acid, then its surely gonna be fine for a chunk of herb and a splash of water. The decal is crisp and sharp and the colors bright, looks like it will last too. In the hand it feels balanced and solid, whether held ready to smoke or just held flat.
Using the Clear Hammer Style Bubbler is a breeze. We tried differing amounts of H2o and were pleasantly surprised at just how high you can have that water level and not have water passing up the neck into the mouthpiece. As I mentioned earlier, the small size makes it very convenient to have around the house because it’s a cute bubbler that isn’t too big, clumsy and too ‘knockoverable’. It’s also great for when you’re out and about too.
The bowl size is adequate for a satisfying single hit. The herb burns evenly and finishes quickly due to the conical nature of the bowl. The X-cut diffuser stem swirls and filters the smoke, cooling it as it passes up through the water and out via the neck to the user. The hits were consistent and very smooth for this size of bubbler, the amount of cooling seems to be perfectly balanced with the quantity of material that can be packed into the bowl. All of our testers enjoyed using this bong and we all felt that it was very well thought through.
Ease to clean
Possibly a little fiddly due to the fairly inaccessible nature of the main chamber, but a soak in isopropyl alcohol, over night if necessary, should loosen everything up and make it easier to get it back to how it was when brand new.
- Great quality
- Good filtration
- Huge range of colors
- Smooth, clean hits
- The joint between the neck and main chamber is a weak point in a truly portable piece
- Fiddly to clean
Should you buy it?
Well… I have. It’s sitting here now. It is a very handy and beautiful little bubbler, whose size belies its abilities. The design is very effective in ensuring that the water stays where it should be and doesn’t end up where it shouldn’t – in your mouth. The increased volume of water you are able to add to the pipe increases the cooling effect and your enjoyment of the experience. You can therefore hit it almost as you would a much larger water pipe and not suffer any of the harshness or heat you might expect. So yes, highly recommended!