Bongs are ideal when it comes to smoking your favourite bud, but they're not going to do much without a downstem. The downstem is an integral piece of the bong and it's what transports the smoke from the chamber to your lips, giving your toke a smooth and filtered feel. So, let's take a look at the different kinds of downstems, how they can make your smoke session even better and how to find the downstem that's perfect for your bong setup.

What Is A Downstem?

Downstems are totally essential for any bong, since they link the bowl to the whole rig. Without a downstem, bong-smoking would be totally impossible. Basically, a downstem is a stem with an opening at the bottom and a joint at the top. You stick the stem into your bong and the cone piece (bowl) into the joint. The hole at the bottom lets the smoke travel into the bong and it filters and diffuses the smoke as it passes through the water. Downstems come in all shapes and sizes, usually made from glass or metal. The size usually ranges between 10cm and 30cm, depending on the size requirements of your bong.

Different Types Of Downstems

There's a bunch of different downstems, but they all essentially do the same thing. 

  • Standard Downstem: Standard downstems are the most basic style of downstem. They feature a classic design with a hole at the bottom and a joint at the top.
  • Diffusor Downstem: A diffusor downstem is very similar to a standard downstem however it has several slits at the bottom of the stem. These small slits create a diffusor effect which breaks up he smoke into smaller bubbles helping to cool it down for a smoother and more enjoyable smoke.
  • Glass Downstem: Glass downstems are one of the most popular types of downstems available because they provide a smooth, flavourful and more pure smoke. They're most commonly made from thick heat-resistant borosilicate glass which doesn't contain any impurities for the cleanest smoke possible.
  • Metal Downstem: Metal downstems are made from anodised high-quality aluminum and are popular because they're heat resistant and extremely durable so they don't break as easily compared to glass downstems.

What Are The Benefits Of Downstems?

Downstems are an essential component of any bong because of the many benefits they bring to the entire bong smoking experience including:

  • Improved Filtration: The most important benefit of using a downstem is that it helps to filter the smoke as it passes through the water. This helps remove any impurities and unwanted particles for a smoother and cleaner hit.
  • Better Flavour: Downstems help improve the overall flavour of your smoke so you can enjoy the wonderful taste of your herb. The downstem filters out the tainted and undesirable particles that can cause harsh or unpleasant flavours so you can taste the full flavour profile of your strain.
  • Smoother Hits: Downstems help the smoke passes through the water chamber and up to the mouthpiece, so it's filtered and cooled before you take a hit. The biggest advantage of the downstem is that it breaks up the smoke into small bubbles, which makes it way smoother and easier on your throat and lungs.

How Do I Measure A Downstem?

When you're looking to buy a downstem, it's essential that you understand how we measure ours at Glass Bongs Australia. All of our downstems are measured from the top, where your cone slides in, to the bottom, which is the part that fits into the chamber of your bong. This way, you can make sure your downstem fits perfectly for the ideal rip. Before you purchase a downstem, there are four things you need to confirm in order to choose the correct downstem for your bong:

  1. Confirm Your Bong's Gender: Before you start, it's important to make sure you know if your bong is male or female. Most of our bongs are female and they require downstems to be inserted.
  2. Confirm Your Bong's Joint Size: The majority of our bongs come with three joint sizes: 10mm, 14mm and 18mm. This is where the downstem is inserted into the bong. Gauge your bong joint's width using a measuring tape. Make sure to match the width of the bong's joint with the broadest part of your downstem, which is the top of the frosted glass that fits snugly into the bong's joint.
  3. Confirm Your Downstem Length: If you already own a downstem for your bong, you'll want to measure from the top where your cone piece is inserted to the bottom of the stem, where it rests in the bong's chamber. Doing this will make sure your downstem fits securely with your bong joint, creating the ideal smoking experience. If you don't have a downstem yet, check out the How To Measure Your Downstem guide to make sure you pick the right length for your bong.
  4. Confirm Your Cone Piece Size: Before you make a purchase, double-check that the downstem you're looking at is compatible with the size of the male cone piece you'll be using. We offer three sizes - 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm - so be sure to measure your bowl size before shopping. Not sure how? Visit our guide on How To Measure Joint Sizes for help.

How To Use A Downstem

It's real easy to use a downstem. Just make sure it fits your bong good. Then fill it with water, so it covers the end of the stem, but not higher than the joint. After that, chuck your herb of choice in the bowl and spark it up. When you take a hit, the smoke will be filtered through the water, which helps remove some of the bad stuff, making it a real mellow hit.

How To Clean Your Downstem

It's important to give your downstem some TLC every now and again if you want it to last. Start by taking it out of the bong and dunking it in some hot H2O and cleaning solution such as Formula 420. Soak it for a few, then give it a good scrubbing with a pipe cleaner or brush. Rinse with hot water to get all the gunk off, then let it air dry before you put it back in the bong.

Tags: Bong Parts