The durability of glass is something that is frequently called into question when people buy a new glass piece. When you buy a glass piece, you want to make sure that it is going to last as long as possible. The first thing to understand is that higher quality glass is going to be more expensive for many reasons. First, it is harder glass takes longer to blow and is more difficult to work with. The second reason is that when glassblowers use higher quality, more expensive glass, they take their time to ensure quality craftsmanship without mistakes. The third reason is that since it requires a more talented blower, they typically charge more for their expertise and skill. So, if you want quality you are going to have to pay for it. But when you are selecting a glass piece that you plan to use frequently for the long-term, it is almost always worth the additional expense for higher quality.
First let's discuss soft glass, some of the most unique looking glass but unfortunately one of the least durable. Soft glass pieces are usually retro and feature cool heady designs which are sure to impress your friends as far as aesthetics go. Not everyone digs the old school look, but there is nothing wrong with paying homage to the past with one of these pieces. They can also be found at a very low price and are a great way to start a collection. The name does kind of give away the weak point and that is if you drop it once you might as well say goodbye, because as the name suggests this glass is extremely soft and easily breakable. Nonetheless, it remains a classic.
Another common type of glass that is used for many pipes, is often referred to as standard glass. Companies like diamond glass use it to provide a more affordable piece that still has some cool function which will definitely provide for a smoother smoking experience than most low-end pipes. The price of these pipes puts them in the medium range category as you will still be spending a decent amount of money, but in terms of function it is a big upgrade. This glass also has more durability and may survive mild traumas that soft glass wouldn't, but it is also not the most durable option on the market.
The type of glass that most higher end companies use is called borosilicate. This is a very durable glass that can be found in companies like Medicali and many others. This is the glass of choice for those who strive to provide a high-end product which can potentially survive a lot of rough trauma. This doesn't mean they are indestructible, but it does mean that not every trauma will be fatal. I personally have experience dropping borosilicate glass pipes on the concrete and seeing it survive the fall fully intact. In fact, it is not uncommon for companies to show off by doing things like hammering a nail into place with one of their water pipes or purposefully hitting it on a hard surface.
Another high-end glass frequently used is German schott glass, which is used by companies like Roor and other top tier pipe companies. These companies often boast that German schott glass is the most durable on the market. In fact, many go to great lengths on social media in order to prove that there is a reason for the above average price tag.
There is one other type of glass that is worth a mention, however, it is not normally found in water pipes themselves as much as it is some accessories for them. This is quartz and it is most commonly used to make high-end bangers. Quartz is used for the reason that it retains heat very well and is also quite durable due to many of its properties.
Finally, be careful of Chinese glass being marketed as made by US companies like Sesh Supply and Borotech that are misrepresented as high-quality domestic glass. They are low-quality Chinese glass, but cost as much or more than many good quality glass pipes. It is absolutely acceptable to buy Chinese glass to save money, but you should know what you are buying. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being tricked into paying high prices for low quality.
This article should serve as a good guide to help you select the right quality pipe for you and to understand what you are really paying for when purchasing a high-end glass pipe. If you would like any more help selecting a glass pipe or learning anything about glass pieces, you can live chat with us online at waterbedsnstuff.com or come into any one of our 13 Waterbeds ‘n’ Stuff retail locations. We can help you find the perfect pipe for your needs at any budget.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
**The beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are not those of Waterbeds ‘n’ Stuff.