When it comes to glass smoking pipes, there are almost infinite options available for everyone. Among those options there are handmade glass smoking pipes and pieces. Although handmade glass pipes range higher on the price spectrum, the age-old adage of “cheap is expensive” applies here in all its glory. There are certain advantages in choosing a handmade glass smoking pipe over a massed produced, cheap, machine-made piece.
Some of these advantages may seem obvious, for example, the uniqueness of anything handmade. When you choose a handmade glass pipe you know you’re purchasing a one-of-a-kind unrepeated item. There may be similar looking pieces, but never exactly the same. None else will have a pipe like yours. It’s part of the allure of handmade things.
Another advantage to handmade smoking glass pipes is safety. Glass is generally one of the safest materials to use for smoking, but depending on how that glass was produced, it may not be that safe at all. As handmade glass pipes are made by artisans, each piece comes with a certain specific process that ensures a better product. Handmade glass smoking pipes are made from more expensive colored borosilicate that is not toxic to humans, but machine-made pieces sometimes use toxic dyes to color their glass, adding dangerous chemicals to your smoking experience that in the long run can have adverse effects on your health.
The safety of handmade glass pipes is also evident in the construction of the bowl. A handmade pipe will have a pushed bowl. That means that the glassmaker used a tool to push a hole into the glass while it was still hot, ensuring a safe, residual-free smoking pathway. This is not always the case with a machine-made glass piece. Sometimes these pieces get their holes drilled at a later moment in the production. Drilling a hole in the glass will inevitably leave tiny glass residue that you may end up inhaling into your body. Nobody wants that! This one is reason alone to choose handmade glass smoking pipes over mass-made.
Handmade glass has plenty of other advantages other than safety, including durability. If you’ve owned a handmade piece you probably noticed how they are usually thicker and stronger than those purchased in some random gas station. The reason for that is annealing. Annealing is a process in which glass is heated to a specific temperature and then allowed to cool slowly in order to eliminate weaknesses. The slower the cool, the stronger the piece. Mass-produced glass pieces are usually not annealed properly, if at all. It’s why they break so easily. One drop on the floor and you can say goodbye. You end up purchasing several pieces that don’t last very long, spending more money in the long run, when your handmade glass smoking piece outlasted 3… 5… 7… of the cheap ones.
If these reasons are not enough, here’s another one: When you purchase a handmade piece, you’re directly supporting an artisan with their craft. The chain of distribution is shorter and the profits go to the people doing the actual work. It’s a no-brainer, really.