Shisha / Hookah Warning! Before you buy!
So you want to buy a brand new Shisha / Hookah pipe, but where to begin? Sure you can log on to your favourite online Shisha / Hookah store and order away! But be aware, all Hookahs are not equal. Some can cost as little as 20$, then others can easily hit the 200$ mark. What is the difference? The difference is HUGE. The buyer might tell themselves, "Well, I just want to be the occasional or casual smoker"
Well the expression, you get what you pay for strongly applies here.
If you purchase a Hookah made of the sub standard materials then you will surely be disappointed.
Let's start at the beginning...
1) The vase: If the vase is made from a glass that is not tempered then if you choose to put ice in it, the glass can actually break from the temperature changes. Also, because you have to wash and refill the base after each use, the base has to be made of a glass that is thick and robust so it can handle being removed and washed over and over again.
2) The stem: This is the most important element, If the stem is made of a sub standard metal, it will rust, sometimes even after a few sessions. The stem must be made of a metal that is not prone to rust, like Brass, Copper, aluminum or even stainless steel. Also, the size of the air holes must be large in size, otherwise it will require more effort when sucking in, and this greatly diminishes the experience.
3) The hose: This is very important. When the hose is too short the smoker can actually tip the hookah over when passing to another smoker. Also when sub standard materials are used, the hose usually dries out and breaks down and the smoker will inhale dust particles of plastic. The width of the hose also plays a large role, if the hose is too narrow then the smoker will have to suck harder making the session less enjoyable, the hose diameter must match the stem spout size. Washable hoses are the best way to ensure a better and cleaner smoking session.
4) The ashtray: Yes even this counts. Often on sub standard Hookahs / Shishas the ashtray is much too small, this is a problem because as the smoker draws in the smoke the water base is bubbles, while it's bubbling, the hookah will vibrate, it is these vibrations that cause the hot coals and ashes to fall. If the ashtray is too small it cannot catch the falling coals and could cause burnt furniture, floors or simply fall onto the smoker.
5) The bowl: This is essential to a successful Shisha / Hookah session. If the bowl is made of metal or any other sub standard material then tiny particles are released during the session and you will actually find them at the bottom of the vase. These particles will also stay in the stem eventually partially blocking it. The best materials for bowls are ceramic or glass. Even the bowl design can have a huge impact on the session, the best are the Funnel or Vortex bowls. These bowls have a reservoir that holds the tobacco or Steam Stone juices so they do not drip down the stem and into the water which will drastically change the taste.
In conclusion, you might be tempted to purchase a cheaper Shisha / Hookah pipe, but trust me, it's really not worth it. If you have the chance to try a good quality Shisha / Hookah you will see and feel the difference. We have tried pipes from all over the world, some very expensive and some cheaper, the best we have found to date are the Egyptian hand crafted ones. These handmade pipes are not only beautiful to look at, but they perform beautifully. They last for years, they never rust, and they are well designed and will provide you with years of great smoking/steaming sessions. We strongly recommend the brand Khalil Mamoon.
I hope this article has been helpful to you somehow and also to make you aware of some of the dangers that can be associated with smoking from a sub standard hookah. This article was written for the sole purpose of making Shisha smokers aware of the possible dangers associated with cheap sub standard pipes. We also do not condone the use of marijuana or any illegal substances.