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GRAV is proud to be part of the scientific glass community and a tradition of glassblowing that is centuries old and still evolving. We encourage everyone to be curious and eager to learn. Our glossary helps to clarify some of the terms we use most often to talk about our products. If you'd like to better understand an aspect of glass blowing that isn't featured here, support@grav.com is ready to help.
  • WigWag

    WigWag glass is a style of glasswork that blends layers of colored glass, creating a striped, marble-like effect. WigWag pipes are so colorful they almost appear painted, and each pipe ends up looking slightly different from every other, even within pipes using the same colors. Many WigWag pipes use colors that are in dramatic contrast, such as orange, black, and bright purple. Because WigWag tubing requires multiple layers of glass, WigWag pipes are usually thicker and more durable than the average pipe.



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  • Water Pipe

    A water pipe is any pipe that requires water and separate components or accessories to function properly. Most water pipes feature a base, a tube, and a mouthpiece, with a removable bowl that fits a joint set into the base. Smoke from the bowl enters the pipe through its base and is filtered through the pipe's water. The pipe's tube often features a splashguard to prevent the water from exiting the mouthpiece during use, or a perc to filter the smoke even further. From there, the smoke exits the mouthpiece cleaner than it entered the pipe, making the hits smoother and healthier to inhale.



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  • Venturi Chamber

    A Venturi chamber is a glass structure that spins, cools, and aerates smoke. The chamber is shaped like a broad funnel with three evenly spaced holes pushed into the widest point of the curve. Smoke enters from the wide end of the chamber and travels toward the opening at the tip of the funnel. As smoke is pulled into the chamber, air is also pulled through the three holes. Because the air-intake holes are pushed into the wall of the chamber at an angle, they direct the smoke and air into a spinning column resembling a helix. Venturi chambers are the signature feature of all Helix products. As air is added to the smoke stream in a Helix pipe, it cools the smoke, making a smoother hit. Because hits from a Helix have a higher ratio of air to smoke compared to other pipes, they're easier for our lungs to absorb, meaning less plant matter is used per smoking session.



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  • Vaporization

    Vaporization is a method of consuming organic compounds without burning anything. When plant extract is applied directly to a hot enough surface, the liquid in the extract will vaporize on contact. The steam or vapor that's generated allows the extract's organic compounds and flavors to be inhaled and absorbed through the lungs. While vaporization requires higher temperatures than combustion, it's a superior way to consume plant products in the sense that it doesn't create any ash or tar the way traditional smoking does.



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  • Taster

    A taster is a small GRAV® glass hand pipe, consisting of a short piece of tubing with a restriction near one end. The space above the restriction serves as a bowl, while the rest of the tube is a simple mouthpiece. Other companies call similar products one-hitters, bats, or even chillums. GRAV® features tasters in several of our collections. Some of our higher end collections, such as Jane West and Upline, feature tasters with additional design features, but all tasters are fundamentally a straight tube with a low-capacity bowl at one end.



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  • Straight Base

    A straight base is a classic water pipe silhouette composed of a glass tube fixed to a broad glass foot. A smaller, L-shaped piece of tubing is welded to the main tube just above the foot, and bends upward at a right angle. The smaller tube is capped with a ground joint, and usually features a glass bridge connecting the joint to the main tube. The main tube extends all the way to the mouthpiece, usually with some kind of restriction, perc, or ice catcher halfway up the pipe. Straight based water pipes hold less water than beakers or round bases, but they don't require a downstem, making them easier to clean and use and simpler to pair with accessories.



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  • Showerhead

    A showerhead is a very simple type of perc consisting of a hollow glass sphere with evenly spaced openings. The perc resembles a typical showerhead, much like what you'd see on a watering can. The openings in a showerhead perc can be either slits cut into the glass while it's cold or holes pushed into the glass while it's hot. Showerhead percs break up the smoke stream and prevent large pieces of plant debris from getting further into the pipe. Because they're relatively simple, showerhead percs can scale across a range of sizes and are often used to cap downstems or in conjunction with other percs (such as in the coil showerhead water pipe).



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  • Scientific Glass

    Scientific glass is a genre of glass pipes. Most pipes can be labeled either scientific or heady, with a spectrum running between them (the more scientific, the less heady). Heady glass focuses on embellishments, using diverse and vibrant glass colors, eye-catching marbles, and glass structures on the outside of a pipe that don't contribute to the pipe's function. Heady pipes often take on recognizable forms, like an animal, a face, a robot, etc. Scientific glass focuses much more on function, largely through the use of percs. Scientific glass encompasses a large variety of percs applicable to a wide array of pipe formats. Scientific glass is usually clear, in part to reveal the inner mechanics of the pipe. This genre of pipes gets its name from the tradition of glasswork used in chemistry sets and medical devices. Most GRAV® products can be characterized as scientific.



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  • Sandblasted

    Sandblasting is a style of glasswork characterized by a matte, opaque finish, and a rougher texture than most glass. The finish is made by literally blasting the glass with sand using a blowing tool after the glass is shaped and cooled. The texture gives sandblasted pipes a pleasant handfeel, while the interior of the pipe is still smooth to avoid clogging with tar.



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  • Round Base

    A round base is a classic water pipe silhouette composed of a dome of glass sitting on a flat bottom with a cylindrical mouthpiece extending from its top. The joint on a round base is set into the side of the dome, usually at a 45° angle to the pipe's bottom. Round bases can hold a large amount of water and are relatively sturdy, making them a reliable design for new and veteran smokers alike.



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  • Roll Stop

    A roll stop is a small marble of glass on the outside of an otherwise cylindrical tube of glass that prevents the tube from rolling off a flat surface between uses. Roll stops are common features on small hand pipes, such as tasters and chillums.



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  • Plant Matter

    Plant matter refers to raw organic material that's either taken fresh from a plant or dried before use. Ground plant matter is the most common material used with GRAV products, and our bowls are designed to carry a typical serving. Plant matter is consumed by lighting its open surface area with a flame. As it combusts, the plant matter releases organic compounds that can be absorbed through the smoker's lungs.



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  • Plant Extract

    Plant extract refers to any product that's created from treating and extracting organic compounds from raw plant matter. Plant extract typically takes the form of an oil or resin, ranging from a soft and waxy consistency to a hard, toffee-like material. Plant extract is consumed by vaporization at a high heat and requires special components to be used with a water pipe or bubbler.



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  • Perc

    Perc is an abbreviation of the word percolator. Percolators use water to filter smoke by breaking up the smoke stream, removing tar from the smoke, and forcing the water and smoke into close quarters. Percs come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some percs are better for screening tar and ash. Some percs are better for cooling the smoke before it reaches the mouthpiece, but the fundamental mechanics of all percs are largely the same.



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  • Octobowl

    The octobowl is a style of GRAV® component bowl that features a glass screen across its restriction. Contrary to its name, the glass screen has six (not eight) arms branching out from a central axis. The glass screen is inserted after the rest of the bowl is finished, and then gently heated to weld it in place. The screen prevents ash and plant debris from entering the pipe. Octobowls have a glass handle extending from one side so they can be lifted safely even while hot. Octobowls are available with both male and female joints in 14mm and 19mm. They're considered an upgrade to the traditional cup and funnel bowls, and so they're paired with some of GRAV® higher-end pieces, such as Turbine and Upline water pipes.



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  • Nail

    A nail is a glass accessory used for vaporizing plant extract. All nails feature a long, thin stem capped with a flat dish. Vapor is produced by superheating the nail with a torch and applying plant extract to the top of the dish. First generation nail designs fit inside standardized female joints and require a glass dome to prevent the vapor from escaping. GRAV® nails are domeless and feature a hollow center and a raised lip around the dish. GRAV® nails are made from quartz, the purest silicate type of glass and one of the few types more heat-tolerant than borosilicate. Quartz allows the nails to be heated to the extreme temperatures needed to vaporize plant extract on contact.



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  • Mouthpiece

    A mouthpiece is the end of a pipe from which the smoker inhales. Most mouthpieces involve a hollow tube with an opening at one end, much like a straw. GRAV® mouthpieces come in a variety of forms - from the Helix Venturi chamber mouthpiece that spins and cools smoke as it exits the pipe, to the ergonomic Upline mouthpieces that are pinched to fit between a smoker's lips for greater comfort and a better seal.



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  • Modular

    Modularity is the ability of different components (modules) to fit together in a variety of ways and combinations. Modularity in glasswork depends on standardized joint sizes. The best example of modularity in GRAV® products is the STAX® line. Every design feature and major component of a water pipe - bases, percs, and mouthpieces - are built separately in the STAX® collection and interlock via 34mm joints, allowing smokers to build their own water pipe using STAX® modules.



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  • Lip Wrap

    A lip wrap is the outer rim of a mouthpiece and forms a seal with the smoker's mouth as they inhale. Many GRAV® lip wraps are tooled, creating a more comfortable seal and a stronger silhouette for the pipe.



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  • Ladder Perc

    The ladder perc was created by Micah Evans, a senior designer on GRAV® product development team, and is one of the signature features of the Upline collection. The perc consists of a series of stacked bubbler chambers, separated by extra-thick restrictions. Water from the lowermost chamber is pulled up with the smoke stream when the pipe is smoked, literally climbing the pipe like a ladder. Each chamber can only hold so much water, referring any excess farther up the pipe. This turns each chamber into a small bubbler, powerfully washing the smoke as it ascends. Due to its small size, relative simplicity, and the ability to incorporate it into most pipe formats, the ladder perc is one of the most efficient glass percs available.



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  • Joint

    A joint connects two separate pieces of glass. Every joint has a male and a female component that fit together, one inside the other. Joints are measured by their diameter, and the standard for the pipe industry is 14mm. 10mm and 19mm joints are also common alternatives. Standardized joints allow accessories like bowls, nails, and ash catchers to be purchased, customized, replaced, and cleaned separately. Most joints are ground, giving them a texture that creates friction between the two joint components so that they can't pull apart accidentally. Because of this texture, most ground joints have a matte, almost opaque appearance. GRAV® has begun flame polishing our joints. After they're ground, our glass artists use a torch to polish down the rough edges, keeping the useful texture but eliminating the cloudy finish. Ground joints are usually secure enough to prevent components from slipping, but joint clamps (available from GRAV® in all three standard sizes in either plastic or stainless steel) can be used for additional stability and peace of mind. Joint clamps fit around the two sides of a joint like a belt, locking them in place.



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  • Ice Catcher

    An ice catcher is a structure that holds ice in place at a critical point in a pipe, usually near the mouthpiece, where the smoke stream is about to be inhaled. GRAV® has developed an entirely new form of ice catcher: the geometric ice pinch. The pinch is made by pressing a trapezoidal tool into the outer wall of a water pipe between the base and the mouthpiece while the glass is still hot. The pinch creates a shelf that's big enough to hold ice cubes but small enough not to obstruct the smoke stream. Its sloped edges allow water to flow back into the base of the pipe, doubling as a splash guard.



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  • Honeycomb Disc

    A honeycomb disc is a very simple style of perc, found exclusively in water pipes. The disc is a round, flat piece of glass with several holes pushed through it using a tungsten rod. Because the holes are made while the glass is hot, their edges are smooth and unlikely to accumulate tar or clog easily. Honeycomb discs break the smoke stream into several smaller streams and force each of them into close quarters with the pipe's water, filtering the smoke and removing plant debris.



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  • Hand Pipe

    A hand pipe is any pipe that requires no water or accessories to function. They're the most simple, classic, and iconic pipes and can be found most places pipes are sold. Despite their simplicity, hand pipes can feature a wide array of design elements that enhance their functionality. For instance, the Helix hand pipe's Venturi chamber mouthpiece spins and cools the smoke stream as it travels through the pipe.



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  • Grinder

    A grinder is a tool for breaking large pieces of plant matter into a fine, malleable, powder-like consistency. Grinding plant matter makes it easier to load into a bowl, allows the material to burn more easily, and exposes more of its surface area to the airflow. Grinders can have anywhere between one and three chambers. The most essential chamber is the upper chamber, where the grinding actually occurs. Metal or plastic teeth lock together with a magnet, and the topmost piece of the assembly is twisted repeatedly to crush the plant matter inside. The middle chamber of a grinder is typically used for storage. Holes in the bottom of the upper chamber allow ground plant matter to fall into the storage chamber, where it can be retrieved more easily. The lowermost chamber is covered by a fine mesh screen, which filters out all but the tiniest plant particulate, known as kief. The bottom of a three chamber grinder can be unscrewed to access pure kief that has accumulated there. GRAV® grinders have three chambers made from CNC aluminum, and the middle storage chamber features polycarbonate windows that allow a snapshot of the grinder's contents.



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  • Frit

    Frit glass is a style of glasswork that sandwiches coarse pieces of broken, colored glass ("frit") between layers of clear glass, creating an almost marble-like effect. Frit glass gives the appearance of having texture, while really being smooth to the touch. Because frit tubing requires multiple layers of glass, pipes made from frit are usually thicker and more durable than the average pipe.



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  • Foot

    A foot is a glass structure welded to the bottom of a pipe to stabilize the piece between uses. While every pipe has a bottom, not every pipe has a foot. For instance, the GRAV® beaker water pipes have a flattened base, but no additional glass that would qualify as a foot. Some pipes have a single foot, usually in the form of a thick glass disc that's been flared out using a paddle tool. Other, smaller pipes have two feet, usually in the form of small glass marbles welded to the base of the pipe. This style of feet has the added function of preventing the pipe from rolling on a flat surface.



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  • Fission

    Fission is the process of splitting something into smaller parts. In the context of pipes, it usually means splitting the main smoke stream into several smaller smoke streams. The smaller a smoke stream, the cooler it becomes. Smaller smoke streams also expose a greater percentage of their volume to the internal surface area of the pipe, leaving behind more tar and ash. In pipes, fission is accomplished using percs that force a single smoke stream through multiple openings.



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  • Downstem

    A downstem is a tube that carries smoke or vapor from the bowl of a water pipe or bubbler into the water itself. Some downstems are fixed inside the pipe to prevent damage. Others are made with standardized joints and can be removed for easy cleaning. Most downstems feature some kind of cut or perc at their water end, designed to enhance diffusion of the smoke or vapor through water.



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  • Diffusion

    Diffusion is simply the spreading of smoke or vapor, usually through water. When smoke or vapor is diffused in water, a great deal of its solid matter (ash, cinders, tar etc.) is removed and deposited in the water or on the internal surface area of the pipe. This extraction leaves the remaining smoke or vapor cleaner and more pleasant to inhale.



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  • Dewar Seal

    A Dewar seal is a kind of weld that positions a ground joint flush with the surface of glass to which it's connected. This positioning allows components to sit half in and half out of a pipe, increasing their stability and creating iconic silhouettes, such as the GRAV® Cup Bubbler.



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  • Carb

    A carb is a hole in a hand pipe or bubbler that regulates airflow inside the pipe. Typically, a smoker covers the carb with a finger while lighting the plant matter. Then the carb is uncovered as the smoker inhales to pull fresh air into the pipe and clear it of smoke. Larger bubblers and water pipes don't require traditional carbs. Instead of covering and uncovering a carb, the component bowl in these pipes can be removed after lighting the plant matter in order to introduce fresh air.



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  • Bubbler

    A bubbler is any pipe smaller than a water pipe that uses water to filter smoke and vapor. Most bubblers have no removable components, though some larger upright bubblers come with component bowls. There are two major styles of bubbler: hammer bubblers and upright bubblers. Hammer bubblers feature a bubbler chamber connected at a 90° angle to a straight mouthpiece. Two glass feet on the base of the bubbler chamber form a tripod with the mouthpiece to stabilize the bubbler between uses. Upright bubblers feature a bubbler chamber with a single, broad glass foot and a mouthpiece that extends from the side of the chamber at a 45° angle.



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  • Bubble Trap

    Bubble Trap glass is a style of glasswork that traps air bubbles between layers of clear and colored glass, creating geometric patterns and giving the impression of depth and three-dimensionality. The bubbles are an intentional design feature and in no way diminish the integrity of the glass.



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  • Bowl

    A bowl is the structure that holds plant matter. Smoke is produced by lighting a bowl's contents with a flame. Some bowls are built into a pipe, like the push bowl on a GRAV® Steamroller. Push bowls are indentations in a pipe formed by pushing a tool into the glass while it's soft. Other bowls are separate components with standardized joint sizes intended to fit a variety of water pipes. Component bowls can be removed while smoking in order to clear the water pipe with fresh air. They can also be more easily cleaned and replaced when broken. Component bowls are known elsewhere as "slides", due to the fact that they're slid in and out of a water pipe during use. A bowl is also a unit of measurement, referring to one bowl's capacity for plant matter (as in "hand pipes should be cleaned after every tenth bowl smoked").



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  • Borosilicate

    Borosilicate is a type of glass that can tolerate shifts in temperature, making it perfect for building pipes. Because borosilicate doesn't expand as much as other glass types when heated, there's a very low risk of joints or accessories cracking when a flame is applied. All GRAV® glass is borosilicate with the exception of quartz nails and bangers.



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  • Beaker Base

    A beaker base is a classic water pipe silhouette composed of a cone of glass leading from a flat bottom to a cylindrical mouthpiece. The joint on a beaker base is set into the side of the cone, usually at a 45° angle to the pipe's bottom. Beakers can hold a large amount of water and are relatively sturdy, making them a reliable design for new and veteran smokers alike.



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  • Banger

    Bangers are glass dishes attached to a small arm with a standardized male joint. They're designed for vaporizing plant extract. After a banger is heated with a torch, plant extract is applied to the dish where it instantly vaporizes. GRAV® bangers are made from quartz, which has one of the highest melting points of all glass types and can withstand very high temperatures without breaking.



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  • Ash Catcher

    An ash catcher is a structure that removes ash from the smoke stream before it reaches the mouthpiece. Some ash catchers are built into a piece, like the inverted ash catcher mouthpiece on many GRAV® hand pipes. Most ash catchers are separate accessories, like the GRAV® phoenix ash catcher, which can be paired with water pipes. Accessory ash catchers screen out ash and tar before they enter the water pipe, and have the added benefit of being easily cleaned.



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