Percolators – What they are and How Do They Help?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    You might be wondering what percolators are and if they can actually benefit you. A percolator is a device used to cool down the smoke in a bong or water pipe. By cooling the smoke, smokers are able to achieve a smoother hit with less coughing. Percolators come in all different shapes and sizes, and there are different designs for different bongs. Some common designs include tree percolators, dome percolators, and disc percolators. Each type of percolator has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the right one for your bong. A well-designed percolator can make a big difference in the quality of your smoking experience.

    How does a Percolator work?

    The percolator is a water chamber that helps to filter and cool smoke as it travels up the tube of a bong. Percolators can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to provide an additional layer of filtration and cooling for the smoke.

    When the smoke from the bowl of a bong reaches the percolator, it is cooled by coming into contact with the water. This also allows for a greater surface area of smoke to reach the water, making it cooler again. As a result, the percolator can help to make the smoking experience more smooth and enjoyable.

    The percolator also breaks down the bubbles into smaller size which makes the water smoother and this also means you get stronger hits.

    Does Percolator affect my high?

    There’s no doubt that a percolator is successful at cooling your smoke down. The main purpose of the contraption is to make the smoke easier to inhale. So if you have trouble hitting a bong, try one with a percolator and we are sure you will have a smoother experience.

    But the more pertinent question is whether or not it affects your high. Some people think that the percolator increases THC absorption, but this is, in fact, wrong. The percolator doesn’t make you any higher than a regular bong.

    In fact, slightly more THC is lost in bongs with percolators than in bongs without. Although the added water makes no difference (THC is not soluble in water), slightly more is lost to the glass of the extra chamber.

    Worry Not. The difference is so slight that it won’t impact your high at all. Most people claim its worth it for the smoother hit anyway. So if you’re looking for a cooler, smoother smoking experience, go ahead and give a bong with a percolator a try. Just don’t expect it to get you any higher.

    How to choose the right percolator for you

    There are probably a lot more types of bongs with percolators than you knew, so to help you make your choice let us break down the different options and provide a summary on each so you can make an informed decision.

    Disc Percolator

    Disc Percolator

    A disc percolator is a type of water pipe that uses a series of small holes to create bubbles. The bubbles diffuses the smoke and makes it smoother. Disc percolators are popular for their power and making a lot of bubbles. However, the tiny holes can get clogged, which might make this option more difficult for beginners. It requires a long, deep pull for the filtration to be worth the effort. If you are looking for a powerful hit, then a disc percolator might be the right choice for you. But if you are just starting out, you might want to try a different type of bong.

    Circ Percolator

    Circ Percolator

    Circ percolators are a type of disc percolator that feature slits around the edges rather than tiny holes. Circ percs come in a variety of shapes and combinations, and can be equipped with a domed top or a stacked design. Mostly circ percolators are located at the bottom of a downstem percolator.

    Barrel Percolator

    Barrel Percolator

    The barrel percolator is a type of percolator that is cylindrical in shape and has gridded slots. It is often used in rigs, as it is able to diffuse the smoke more thoroughly than other types of percolators. This is due to the increased number of bubbles that are produced by the holes in the percolator. They are connected to the downstem and can be can positioned upright or sideways within the rig. This type of bong is ideal for those who are looking for a thorough filter in an all-in-one device.

    Showerhead Perc

    Showerhead Percolator

    Showerhead percolators get their name from their similarity to a showerhead, and they are among the most popular types of percolators today. This design features a small tube that is connected to a larger chamber. The smoke is then pulled through a series of holes and down into the base. This allows for maximum diffusion to take place while minimizing drag. Showerhead percs are known for their exceptional performance, and they are a great choice for those who are looking for smooth, flavorful hits.

    Swiss Perc

    Swiss Percolator

    The Swiss perc is a type of bong that is characterized by its holes that resemble Swiss cheese. These holes help to force the air to move around the bong, which in turn decreases the drag on the pull while also helping to cool the smoke. This type of bong is also often made in a Faberge Egg design, which is recognized by its unique style. Those who are familiar with this type of bong will know that it is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a smooth, cool smoking experience.

    Honeycomb Percolator 

    Honeycomb Percolator 

    The honeycomb percolator is a type of percolator that features flat discs studded with holes. The discs are usually arranged in pairs within a stacked design to create multiple chambers. In line and parallel to the base of the bong, the bubbles have a direct path through the chambers. This design allows for cooler and more highly filtered smoke. Honeycomb percolators are available in a variety of colors and sizes. Choose a percolator with more discs to create additional chambers for the smoke to pass through for a cooler hit without slowing down the process of smoking.

    UFO Perc 

    UFO Percolator

    UFO percolators get their name from their unique shape- they resemble a UFO. They are made with a flared base and a downstem that is placed within a bubble-like glass body. The downstem faces upwards, and the UFO perc pulls the smoke through slits at the base. The larger space allows for greater diffusion and cooling to take place. This type of percolator is known for its efficiency and the ability to easily clean them. When cleaning a UFO perc, it is important to be gentle so as not to damage the glass. First, remove the downstem and soak it in rubbing alcohol. Then, use a pipe cleaner or cotton swab to clean the inside of the percolator body. Rinse everything well with warm water before reassembling your pipe. UFO percs are a great choice for those who want a high-quality smoking experience.

    Donut Perc

    Donut Percolator 

    A donut perc is simply a Swiss percolator with a single hole instead of many. Glassmakers can place the hole anywhere along the base. The main purpose is to pull the smoke through the space around the hole, which allows it to cool before it is inhaled. Donut percs are often used in bongs and dab rigs. They can provide excellent filtration and smooth hits. When choosing a donut perc, be sure to select one that is made of high-quality borosilicate glass.

    Diffused Downstem Percolator

    Diffused Downstem Percolator

    A diffused downstem percolator can be a great addition to your bong, especially if you are new to using percolators. These percolators are often used with water pipes and can be purchased as an addition to your bong or already fixed within the construction of the bong. With slits at the base, the perc extends from the bowl, looking like a vertical pipe. The perc rests under the water, cooling the smoke before it travels up the bowl. This can provide a more smooth and enjoyable experience when smoking. Additionally, if you mix your weed with tobacco diffused percolators can help to reduce the amount of tar and nicotine that is inhaled, making it a healthier option for smokers. If you are looking for a percolator that is easy to use and maintain, a diffused downstem percolator may be the perfect choice for you.

    Ratchet Perc 

    Ratchet Percolator 

    The ratchet perc is a type of percolator that features a more intricate design of discs. The holes are deliberately placed along the edge of the discs near the wall of the body, rather than being scattered across the entire disc like honeycomb or disc percs. This allows for a downstem to run through the center of the discs, crossing through the filtration layers. This design is ideal for use with small pipes or bubblers. Ratchet percs offer excellent filtration and are very efficient at cooling smoke or vapor. Most commonly you will find triple stacked ratchet perc bongs, as per usual more layers means smoother hit.

    Coil Percolator

    Coil Percolator

    Coil percolators are a type of water pipe that diffuse smoke by passing it through one or more coils. They can have either physical glass coils with two openings that wind around the center of the chamber, or glycerin coils. Glycerin coils can provide a cooler hit than physical glass coils by being frozen before use. Coil percolators have a striking aesthetic and usually provide a longer and smoother drag than many other types of percolators. They also posses that wow factor that is bound to turn heads when brought out at a party.

    Coil Percolator with glycerin coils for freezing

    Matrix Perc

    Matrix Percolator 

    Matrix percs are a type of percolator that combines the style of a disc percolator with the slashes and holes of a barrel perc. They are cylindrical in shape, and the number, location, size and direction of the holes within the chamber can vary. The holes toward the top do not provide much resistance, so lower holes may have trouble bring in enough smoke to inhale. Matrix percs can be made from glass, metal or plastic, and they are typically used in bongs or dab rigs. Some matrix percs have diffuser discs attached to the bottom to help distribute the smoke evenly. Matrix percs come in a variety of sizes and designs, so you can find one that fits your needs.

    Stereo Matrix Perc

    Stereo Matrix Percolator Bong

    The stereo matrix perc is a variation on the standard matrix percolator that includes a second chamber. This can be created by stacking two matrix percolators on top of each other, or by separating them with a downstem or glass disc. The additional chamber provides extra filtering and cooling time for the smoke, which results in a smoother, cooler hit.

    Inline Perc 

    Inline Percolator 

    Inline percs are a popular type of percolator for bongs and water pipes. They are located at the base of the body, and feature a horizontal tube with slashes all along its walls. The more holes there are for the smoke to move through, the smoother the pull will be. This style of percolator is particularly recognizable and looks similar to an oil lamp. Inline percs are often paired with other types that can be added above them, such as a showerhead percs or tree percs. When used in conjunction with other percolators, inline percs can provide an exceptionally smooth smoking experience.

    Tree Percolator 

    Tree Percolator 

    Tree percolators, also known as pillar percs, are a type of diffused downstem percolator. With a similar design, these percs simply add more vertical columns or tubes. Just as any other percolator, the more space there is for the smoke to pass through, the more filtration occurs. Following that logic, the higher the number of glass columns present, the large the increase in filtration. Tree percolators are available in a variety of designs, sizes, and colors. When choosing a tree percolator, it is important to choose a strong material as this type of perc can easily break.

    Turbine Perc

    Turbine Percolator 

    Turbine percolators are an excellent option for those who want high-quality filtration and a well-designed, visually pleasing percolator (especially when taking a hit). A single disc with angled slits allows water to pass through and create a whirlpool within the next chamber. As the water moves and impresses, it also works to cool and diffuse smoke. This type of percolator offers many benefits, including the ability to cool smoke quickly and efficiently.

    Fritted Disc Percolator 

    Fritted Disc Percolator 

    A fritted disc percolator is a type of percolator that features a large number of small holes. These holes help to increase the surface area of the percolator, which in turn allows for more smoke to be produced. Because of this, fritted disc percolators are often considered to be the most powerful type of percolator available. However, the large number of holes can also make them very difficult to clean. For many users, the increased power is worth the extra effort required to keep the percolator clean.

    Cleaning and maintaining your percolator

    We have a more detailed coverage in our info on cleaning your bong, but in short, ethyl alcohol (70%+) and/or salt are typically used to clean percolators. First rinse with hot water, then add your chosen cleaning solution (we leave it soaking in ethyl overnight), give it a good shake, then rinse thoroughly again. Some people also like to use a small brush to scrub the inside of their bong, especially the percolator. This will help to remove any build-up that has accumulated over time. Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse the bong thoroughly with hot water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution. For best results, repeat this process on a regular basis. By taking the time to clean your bong regularly, you can enjoy a cleaner smoking experience and extend the life of your beloved smoking accessory.