Focusing on Filtration

Last time, we looked a little more closely at how different shaped bong bases give stoners a different choice of bong rip. We also discovered that bongs which have chambers offer a much smoother and cooler hit, but if you created an epic water pipe comprised of nine additional segments, you’d need lungs the size of small hot air balloon to clear them, and that’s not good. So with moderation, a multi-chambered water pipe with a funky base, is the perfect piece of pot-smoking apparatus.  Now that we’ve had the chance to gander at bases and chambers, it’s now time to focus our attention on filtration.

Therefore, in today’s lesson, we’re going to look at water pipe percolators, a.k.a percs.

What is a perc and why should a bong have one?

A perc is a device used in water pipes to diffuse marijuana smoke through some sort of liquid (we say liquid because we learnt in Lesson Four that stoner’s can actually fill their bongs with stuff that isn’t water, things such as Gatorade, Fruit Punch and even beer).

The reason why every bong should have some sort of perc is because it helps to cool down the smoke, which leads to a smoother hit, and they also help filter out any nasties from getting into your lungs, which in turn leads to a tastier rip.

How do percs work?

A perc is basically a chamber (you remember those from last time, right?), and they usually live in the tube of a bong. After you’ve placed your mouth around the mouthpiece, lit the cherry, and began to inhale, the smoke gets pulled down from the flower bowl and gets diffused as it passes through the down stem, into the water. Once in the base (or first chamber), the smoke gets filtered and cooled as it passes through whatever liquid you’ve chosen to put in your bong. The smoke is then pulled up for a second time into the percolator. As the smoke forces its way through the myriad of tubes, slits or holes in the perc, its surface area increases, making the wonderful marijuana mist even cooler, smoother, cleaner and tastier than before.

What types of percs are there?

There are so many, they’re too numerous to count! But here are our Top Three most popular and effective ones.


A 24-arm tree perc

The Tree Perc is aptly named, this filtration device looks uncannily like a tree. A weeping willow perhaps. A robotic weeping willow, but a tree none the less. Stoner’s can buy bongs with tree percs that range from having four arms, all the way up to 64! The arms of a tree perc will either be classed as open bottomed or closed and if they’re closed they usually have slits all down the sides of them.

So what are the perks of having this type of perc? More arms equal better filtration because the smoke is forced to separate and disperse. The smaller the slits down the arms, the smaller the bubbles you’ll create, which means there’s more diffusion, which in turn means that the marijuana smoke cools down more effectively. You’d be right in thinking that a 64, closed-arm tree perc, is perfect.


A Triple Honeycomb Disc Perc

The Honeycomb Perc is another aptly named piece as it looks just like a honeycomb. This is an off-shoot of the standard disc perc.

So what are the perks of having this type of perc? The more holes there are in the honeycomb, the more your smoke will disperse, which, as we learnt above, means better filtration and better cooling.

What to watch out for: It’s important to note that if the holes are too small within the honeycomb, you’ll find that drag increases. Our suggestion, check user reviews before buying a bong with a honeycomb perc, see what other stoner’s make of it first.

The Cyclone Perc is awesome. There’s no other word for it. Check out the video to see it in action, it’s amazing! It is a disc-shaped perc with slits all along the side, which are angled to force the bubbling water and smoke to spin up into the bong, like a cyclone.

So what are the perks of having this type of perc? Every time you toke, you cause a tornado in your bong! As well as that, it’s great for cooling down your smoke, and this type of disc perc works well as a splash guard too.

Other types of perc include

  • Dome
  • Sprinkler
  • Gridded Inline
  • Showerhead
  • Matrix
  • Swiss
  • Reti Perc
  • Circ
  • Helix

Do percs really make that much of a difference?


We’ve mentioned time and time again throughout this post at how much of a difference a perc can make to the type of hit you get. If you’re looking for an ultra cool, smooth as silk bong rip, then you need some sort of percolator in your water pipe.

In our next and final lesson, we’ll be “Adding Accessories,” which includes a look-see at flower bowls, nails and ash catchers. Class dismissed!