Article at a Glance:

  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of utilising ash catchers with bongs.
  • Gain an understanding of the perks of using ash catchers in relation to filtration and cooling your bong smoke.
  • Receive guidance on the aspects to take into account when making the decision to purchase an ash catcher for bongs.

Are ash catchers worth it? This is a common question that arises among bong smoking enthusiasts seeking ways to improve their bong smoking experience. Ash catchers have become increasingly popular in the smoking community due to their ability to offer additional filtration and cooling, resulting in smoother hits and cleaner bongs.

In this article, we will explore the advantages of using an ash catcher and assist you in determining whether investing in one will truly enhance your next bong session. By examining the different types of ash catchers and discussing their benefits and potential drawbacks, our aim is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision and maximise your bong smoking sessions.

What Does An Ash Catcher Do?

Woman smoking bong with showerhead ash catcher

Ash catchers are clever bong accessories that can be affixed to the joint of your bong, serving as an extra filtration chamber. These devices are usually crafted from glass and comprise a primary chamber, a downstem, and a bowl.

The primary function of an ash catcher is to capture and retain ash and other debris before they make their way into the main chamber of your bong, thereby guaranteeing a more pristine and seamless smoking session.

How Do Ash Catchers Work?

Woman holding bong with showerhead ash catcher

When you inhale from your bong, the smoke travels through the downstem and enters the primary chamber of the ash catcher. As the smoke enters the ash catcher, it passes through various percolators, diffusers, or filtration mechanisms, depending on the ash catcher's design.

These elements work to break down the smoke into smaller bubbles, which enhances the surface area for filtration and cooling. Simultaneously, the ash catcher captures any ash or particles present in the smoke, preventing them from entering the main chamber of the bong. The ash catcher serves as a protective barrier, prolonging the cleanliness of your bong.

It is important to regularly clean the ash catcher to maintain its effectiveness and ensure proper filtration. In summary, ash catchers offer an extra level of filtration and safeguarding, resulting in a cleaner, smoother, and more enjoyable smoking experience.

Benefits Of Using An Ash Catcher

Man smoking bong with percolator ash catcher

Ash catchers are often disregarded by bong enthusiasts, but they can truly revolutionise your smoking experience by providing a smoother and cleaner session.

These clever bong accessories not only stop ash and debris from entering the bong, but they also offer a multitude of advantages that can greatly improve your overall enjoyment of smoking, including:

1. Improved Filtration & Smoother Hits

One of the key advantages of utilising an ash catcher is its capacity to enhance filtration. By incorporating an extra compartment into your bong, these gadgets effectively capture ash, debris, and other contaminants before they enter the main chamber.

Consequently, the smoke that reaches your lungs becomes cleaner and smoother, resulting in a more pleasant and less harsh smoking session. The enhanced filtration also aids in preserving the flavour of your preferred herb, enabling you to enjoy every subtle nuance.

2. Easy Maintenance & Cleaner Bongs

Ash catchers serve as a safeguard for your bong, extending its cleanliness over extended periods. By intercepting ash and debris, the ash catcher prevents them from accumulating in the main chamber, reducing the frequency of cleaning. This not only saves time but also maintains your bong's optimal condition, preventing clogs and build-up that could hinder its performance.

3. Versatility & Customisation

Ash catchers offer a range of benefits, including their ability to work with various bong configurations and adapt to different preferences. They come in different sizes, shapes, and designs, making it easy to find one that matches your preferred bong.

Additionally, many ash catchers have extra features like percolators or diffusers, which improve the filtration and cooling capabilities of your bong. This allows you to personalise your smoking experience based on whether you prefer larger or smaller hits or a specific type of percolation.

4. Cost-Effective

Investing in an ash catcher is a smart decision for any bong lover. Ash catchers effectively prevent ash and debris from entering the main chamber, thus prolonging the life of your bong. This results in fewer blockages, less frequent cleaning, and less damage to your bong.

Overall, it can save you money in the future by minimising the need for expensive repairs or buying a new bong.

Drawbacks Of Using An Ash Catcher

Holding showerhead ash catcher

Before deciding to invest in ash catchers, it is crucial to take into account their potential disadvantages. Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

1. Airflow Obstruction

The inclusion of an ash catcher can result in an amplified airflow obstruction or resistance during the bong inhalation process. This occurs as the smoke needs to navigate through an extra chamber and percolator, potentially necessitating more exertion to draw in the smoke.

It is crucial to take personal preferences into account when deciding whether this trade-off is acceptable, as some smokers prefer a smoother and easier draw.

2. Extra cleaning and upkeep

When you have an ash catcher, it means incorporating another element into your smoking arrangement that needs frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Over time, ash catchers can gather residue and debris, and fully cleaning them may take more time compared to just cleaning the bong itself. If you're not a fan of the added cleaning responsibilities, this could be a downside worth considering.

3. Bong compatibility problems

When it comes to ash catchers, they come in different sizes and joint types. Finding the right fit for your particular bong might involve some trial and error. If you have a unique or custom-made bong, it could be difficult to find an ash catcher that fits perfectly.

Moreover, certain ash catchers may not be compatible with specific bongs due to variations in joint sizes or angles. It's important to ensure compatibility before purchasing an ash catcher.

Are Ash Catchers Expensive?

Inserting showerhead ash catcher into bong

Ash catchers for bongs come in a wide range of prices, starting from as low as $14.95 and going up to $100 or even higher.

The price variation can be attributed to several factors such as:

  • Material

The cost of ash catchers is largely influenced by the type of material used. Ash catchers crafted from top-notch borosilicate glass often come with a higher price tag because of their exceptional durability and heat-resistant properties.

  • Intricate Designs

Ash catchers made of handblown glass that feature intricate designs and intricate details often have higher prices. A plain and simple ash catcher design will be more affordable, while one with elaborate details and unique characteristics will be more costly.

  • Brand

The price of an ash catcher can be influenced by its reputation and brand. Established and respected brands, such as GRAV and Higher Concepts, often command higher prices for their products because of their proven quality and expert craftsmanship.

  • Added Percolators

Furthermore, incorporating extra percolators or diffusers within the ash catcher can also increase the cost. These additional elements improve the filtration and diffusion abilities, leading to a more seamless smoking encounter.

Types Of Ash Catchers

Inserting showerhead ash catcher into glass bong

Selecting the appropriate ash catcher primarily relies on personal choice and the smoking encounter one seeks. When making your decision, take into account various factors such as the level of filtration, how easy it is to clean, its portability, and its aesthetic appeal.

Every type of ash catcher comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to invest time in exploring and experimenting in order to discover the ideal match for your bong.

  • Water Ash Catchers

Water ash catchers, as their name implies, make use of water as a means of filtration. These devices contain a chamber that holds water, enabling the smoke to pass through it before reaching the bong. The water plays a crucial role in cooling down the smoke and eliminating impurities, resulting in smoother hits.

The advantages of using water ash catchers, such as the Bulb Ash Catcher, include enhanced filtration, improved cooling, and the option to incorporate different types of percolators for additional diffusion.

However, it is important to note that these catchers require regular maintenance, such as changing the water and cleaning, in order to prevent residue build-up and ensure optimal filtration.

  • Waterless Ash Cachers

Waterless ash catchers, alternatively referred to as dry ash catchers, operate without the need for water. Instead, they utilise extra chambers and diffusers to effectively filter smoke.

The key benefit of waterless ash catchers, such as the 45° Waterless Ash Catcher, lies in their simplicity. They are easier to clean and maintain in comparison to ash catchers that require water. Moreover, they offer a more convenient setup and are suitable for travel.

Nonetheless, it's important to note that they may provide slightly less filtration than their water-filled counterparts.

  • Showerhead Ash Catchers

These ash catchers are equipped with a showerhead percolator that disperses the smoke into numerous smaller bubbles, enhancing the filtration process and providing a cooling effect. The slits or openings in the percolator create a pleasant shower-like sensation, resulting in smoother inhalations.

Showerhead percolator ash catchers, such as the Showerhead Ash Catcher, offer several advantages, including exceptional filtration, an enhanced smoking experience, and an aesthetically pleasing design.

However, their intricate structure may make them slightly more challenging to clean compared to other types of ash catchers.

  • Tree Perc Ash Catchers

Tree percolator ash catchers come with multiple arms or "trees" that have several slits or holes. These percolators disperse the smoke into various pathways, enhancing filtration and providing a visually engaging experience.

Tree percolator ash catchers, such as the Higher Concepts 90° Ash Catcher, deliver exceptional filtration and a seamless smoking experience. However, their complex design might make cleaning them a bit more demanding.

  • Honeycomb Percolator Ash Catchers

Honeycomb percolator ash catchers are equipped with a honeycomb-shaped disc percolator that contains numerous small holes. This unique design ensures optimal diffusion and filtration, resulting in incredibly smooth and enjoyable inhalations.

These ash catchers are renowned for their highly effective filtration capabilities. However, it is important to note that due to the small size of the holes, they can become easily clogged and may require more frequent cleaning.

What Size Ash Catcher Do I Need?

Woman holding showerhead ash catcher in bong

When selecting the appropriate ash catcher for your bong, it is important to take into account the size of the joint. Ash catchers are typically available in standard joint sizes such as 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm. It is crucial to ensure that the joint size of the ash catcher matches the joint opening of your bong in order to achieve a proper fit.

In order to determine the size of the joint for your bong, you will need to measure the diameter of the opening where the ash catcher will be connected. To obtain an accurate measurement, you can use either a ruler or a measuring tape. Once you have determined the joint size, you can then choose an ash catcher that matches the corresponding joint size.

Selecting the appropriate ash catcher size is crucial when it comes to securely and tightly attaching it to your bong, effectively preventing any leaks or instability. This not only guarantees a seamless integration but also enhances your smoking experience by delivering the desired filtration and protection. Therefore, it is essential to invest some time in measuring your bong's joint size and finding the perfect fit for your ash catcher.

Should I Get A 45- or 90-Degree Ash Catcher?

Man lighting bong with percolator ash catcher

When deciding between a 45-degree or 90-degree angled ash catcher, it is crucial to take into account the design, type, dimensions, and form of your bong. The term "angle" pertains to the inclination at which the ash catcher connects to the bong's joint.

  • 45-Degree Ash Catcher

A commonly chosen option for bongs with a straight or slightly angled neck is the 45-degree angled ash catcher. The benefit of using a 45-degree ash catcher, such as the Higher Concepts 45° Slim Ash Catcher is that it enhances the smoking experience by providing a more natural and ergonomic feel. It allows the ash catcher to be positioned at a comfortable angle, minimising the chances of accidental tipping or harm. Furthermore, when attached to a bong with a matching joint angle, a 45-degree ash catcher creates a smooth and streamlined appearance.

  • 90-Degree Ash Catcher

When it comes to bongs with a curved or bent neck, many people opt for a 90 degree angled ash catcher. This particular type of ash catcher, such as the GRAV 90° Phoenix Ash Catcher, allows for a perpendicular connection to the bong, which not only enhances the overall aesthetic but also maintains the balance of the setup. The 90 degree angle is particularly advantageous for larger or taller bongs, as it ensures that the ash catcher remains stable and upright.

In the end, deciding between a 45-degree or 90-degree angled ash catcher hinges on the unique qualities of your bong. Take into account the style, type, size, and shape of your bong, and select the angle that best complements its design and functionality. Whether you go with a 45-degree or 90-degree ash catcher, both choices have the potential to enhance your smoking experience by offering added filtration and safeguarding for your bong.

Are You Supposed To Put Water In An Ash Catcher?

Close up of showerhead as catcher

The choice to add water to an ash catcher is influenced by the specific type of ash catcher and individual preference. Ash catchers can be categorised into two primary types: dry ash catchers and those that are filled with water.

  • Dry Ash Catchers

Dry ash catchers, alternatively referred to as waterless ash catchers, do not necessitate the usage of water. These ash catchers are specifically engineered to ensnare ash and debris without relying on water filtration.

Typically, they possess a chamber or compartments that amass the ash, thereby facilitating effortless removal and cleaning. Dry ash catchers are an advantageous choice for individuals seeking a more straightforward setup and wishing to avoid the additional task of filling the ash catcher with water.

  • Water Ash Catchers

In contrast, ash catchers that are filled with water are specifically created to enhance filtration and cooling by integrating water into the filtration system. These types of ash catchers commonly feature percolators or diffusers that rely on water for optimal performance.

By filling the ash catcher with water, the smoke flows through it, effectively eliminating impurities and reducing the temperature of the smoke before it enters the primary chamber of the bong. Water-filled ash catchers provide improved filtration and result in a more enjoyable smoking session.

How Much Water To Put In An Ash Catcher?

Woman lighting showerhead ash catcher

The ideal water level for a water ash catcher can vary depending on individual preferences and the desired smoking experience. In general, it is suggested to fill the water ash catcher with an amount that adequately covers the percolator or diffuser, while being cautious not to add too much water that it spills into the bong's main chamber.

Finding the perfect amount of water for your bong is crucial to ensure optimal filtration and a smooth smoking experience. Adding too little water can lead to inadequate filtration and a harsher hit, whereas adding too much water may cause splashing or disrupt the airflow. Striking the right balance is key, as it allows for effective filtration and cooling without compromising the bong's functionality.

Discovering the ideal water level that suits your preferences involves some experimentation. Begin by filling the percolator or diffuser with enough water to cover it, then take a few test draws. If the smoke feels overly harsh, consider adding a touch more water. Conversely, if the smoke feels restricted or the bong produces gurgling sounds, remove some water until you find the perfect balance. It's important to regularly empty and refill the water ash catcher to ensure a fresh and pleasurable smoking experience.

Do You Need To Empty and Refill The Water in the Ash Catcher After Each Use?

Bong with showerhead ash catcher

While it is not obligatory to empty and refill the water in the ash catcher after every use, it is advisable to do so on a regular basis. With time, the water in the ash catcher can become contaminated, stagnant, and may even emit an unpleasant smell. By consistently emptying and refilling the water, you guarantee a fresh and hygienic smoking session.

A recommended approach is to empty and replace the water in the ash catcher whenever you clean your bong. This ensures that the ash catcher remains clean and functions properly, preventing any accumulation or residue that could impact your smoking session. Moreover, having fresh water in the ash catcher allows for optimal filtration and cooling, resulting in improved hits overall.

Conclusion: Are Ash Catchers Worth It?

In summary, ash catchers can prove to be a worthwhile investment for individuals who enjoy using bongs and want to enhance their smoking experience. When deciding whether or not to purchase an ash catcher, there are several important factors to take into consideration.

Firstly, the type of ash catcher, such as waterless or percolator ash catchers, can provide different smoking results. It is also crucial to thoroughly assess the brand's reputation and the quality of the product to ensure its durability and reliability.

Moreover, the cost of the ash catcher should be carefully weighed against the benefits it offers. Additionally, the ease of cleaning and maintenance should not be ignored, as a well-maintained ash catcher can extend the lifespan of both the catcher itself and the accompanying bong.

By thoughtfully evaluating these aspects, users can make an informed decision and enjoy the advantages of a top-notch ash catcher for their bong.

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Vincent James

About Vincent James

Vincent James isn't just your everyday marijuana enthusiast. He's a true connoisseur who's all about exploring the boundless benefits of medicinal cannabis for thousands of fellow Australians. In his articles, he dives into every facet of smoking, from the coolest bongs and vapes to the essential accessories like grinders and cleaners.