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Many people have the misconception that ash catchers are novelty items with not much utility. Others simply haven’t ever used or heard of an ash catcher. If you belong to either of these categories, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll break down all there is to know about ash catchers. We’ll even add a few handy recommended products at the end.
What is an Ash Catcher?
Bongs can accumulate debris over time, and cleaning it can be tough work. If your bong comes with several chambers, the maintenance becomes all that harder. What if there was a trick to prevent the need for cleaning in the first place? Maybe you’d call that a miracle. Well, that’s precisely what you get with the ash catcher. It prevents resin from your strain from accumulating. In fact, the percolator starts to clog before the resins even begin to form.
To put it simply, the ash catcher is a tiny pipe that fits onto a regular bong. It sits on the same joint where you would place the bowl. So, the bowl fits on the ash catcher after it sits on the bong. Most ash catchers come with a chamber attached. It serves as an extra chamber that cools the smoke further before it hits the pipe. This is why you may hear people refer to ash catchers as ‘pre-coolers.’ The chamber also contains a percolator inside. The percolators inside ash catchers can come in as many options as they do for bongs (Spores, trees, bullets, honeycombs, etc.).
How does an Ash Catcher work?
Ash catchers can effectively add an additional layer of percolation to your smoke. We say additional because your bong probably has at least one percolator already. Some of the higher-end ash catchers also come with recyclers. These designs keep your smoke and water cooler and cleaner. The recycler also prevents the smoke from going stale. The hits are smoother, bigger and have more flavor when you have a recycler.
Ash catchers can also serve as an easy way to upgrade your existing pipe considerably. That’s right! We’re talking about that old pipe that’s been with you for ages. The pipe that all your smoking buddies possibly laugh at or can’t get enough of (Could be either). The one that looks like it can’t get any better (or worse). That pipe doesn’t have to retire right away. Just add an ash catcher, and it turns your simple pipe into a smooth percolator bong. It’s like an accessory that changes the whole structure of the pipe. Try using an ash catcher with a recycler as well as a matrix percolator. It will essentially revamp your old pipe into a modern smoking contraption.
So, why use an Ash Catcher?
The ash catcher’s most obvious but incredibly useful function is that it catches ash (Duh!). Smoking any strain invariably leaves some residue or debris in the pipe. And cleaning a pipe or bong isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do. No more cracking or breaking glass pipes when you’re cleaning the bits. The ash catcher covers the cleaning part and does it well!
Among the debris, the dark, gunk-resin inside your pipe is easily one of the worst to have. With an ash catcher, none of this makes it to your pipe. Cleaning the ash catcher is a hundred times more convenient and easier than cleaning the whole pipe. Also, even if you damage the ash catcher, your pipe or bong is still intact. It’s especially useful if you use an expensive pipe with recyclers, percolators, and multiple chambers. It’s like you’re indirectly ensuring that the pipe stays safe. The costlier your pipe, the harder it hits when you have to replace it.
Remember that the water will eventually change colors even with an ash catcher. But it will last much longer than with a regular bong. Plus, the residue on the glass will be almost non-existent. Use the ash catcher every session and change the water regularly. This way, you won’t have to clean the whole pipe very frequently.
One of the most evident long-term benefits is that your pipe’s percolators always stay clean. If you have more percolation in your pipe, the ash catcher will benefit you even more. Percolators can come with intricate and detailed diffusers. It’s best to keep these parts away from the residue.
Which pipe should you Use with Ash Catchers?
We know that using an ash catcher reduces the need for cleaning your pipe frequently. Then we can agree that we don’t want the ash catcher to cause any breakage or cracks in the pipe. The first thing to consider here is the additional weight of the ash catcher. Ensure that it doesn’t tip your pipe over when fitted. The ash catcher gains some extra weight when you add the water. Also, they angle away from the bong’s center of gravity. So, they can pull away at the pipe if it doesn’t have a sturdy base.
So, you can use any pipe as long as it has a stable base and the weight to hold the ash catcher up.
How to buy an Ash Catcher?
Remember that most pipes in the market have a downstem that’s upright or diagonally set. So, you’re looking at a tube that’s either 90° or 45° in its inclination. For upright 90° stems, buy an ash catcher that has a downward-facing arm. For a 45° tube, choose an ash catcher which has an angled or outward arm. This way, the pipe and ash catcher will balance each other instead of pulling in different directions.
Another thing to remember is that ash catchers can add some weight to your pull. If your pipe already has multiple percolators, it will be better to go for a smaller ash catcher. Sometimes, pipes with longer lengths can require more pull with an added ash catcher. Make your purchase depending on whether you prefer easy pulls or higher filtration.
The ash catcher is a must-have for any user who wants to enhance his/her existing smoking setup. It adds filtration, smoothness, quality, and flavor of your smoke in multiple ways. With this guide, you should be able to narrow down on an ash catcher that suits your pipe and your style. If you still can’t decide, the 45° Ashcatcher with Downstem and the 8-Arm Tree Perc Ash Catcher are excellent choices available today!