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Finding the Perfect Downstem for Your Bong

May 23,2024 | E-DabPuff

Understanding Downstems

A bong without a downstem is just a bottle with a hole. The downstem is a crucial component that connects the bowl piece to the water chamber, allowing the smoke to filter through water, which cools and purifies it for a smoother hit. They come in various sizes and types, making it essential to know what you need before purchasing.

Types of Downstems

  1. Open-Ended Downstems: These are the simplest type, with an open end that allows smoke to pass directly through. They are easy to clean but provide the least filtration.
  2. Slit Downstems: These have slits at the end, creating bubbles that enhance filtration and cooling as the smoke passes through the water.
  3. Diffuser Downstems: Feature multiple small holes or slits to break up the smoke into finer bubbles, increasing contact with water for superior filtration.
  4. Percolator Downstems: Integrate additional percolation features like tree arms or showerheads, providing advanced smoke diffusion and filtration.

How to Measure Your Downstem

  1. Measure the Joint Size: Use a ruler or the "penny trick" to measure the diameter of your bong's joint. The most common sizes are 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm.
  2. A penny fits halfway into an 18mm joint, about a quarter way into a 14mm joint, and not at all into a 10mm joint.
  3. Measure the Length: Insert a pencil into the joint until it hovers about 1/2 inch above the bong's base. Mark where the pencil exits the joint, then measure this length. This ensures the downstem is long enough to reach the water but not touch the bottom.
  4. Check for Compatibility: Ensure the downstem length and joint size match your bong to maintain an airtight seal and optimal performance.

Choosing the Right Material

  • Glass Downstems: Provide a pure taste and are easy to clean but fragile.
  • Metal Downstems: Extremely durable and practically unbreakable, ideal for those prone to accidents.
  • Silicone Downstems: Durable, flexible, and nearly impossible to break, perfect for on-the-go use.

Why You Should Buy

  • Customization: Downstems come in various designs and materials, allowing you to customize your bong for the best smoking experience.
  • Enhanced Filtration: Different types of downstems, especially those with diffusers or percolators, can significantly improve smoke filtration and cooling.
  • Durability: Options like metal or silicone downstems offer enhanced durability, ensuring longevity and reducing the need for replacements.


Choosing the right downstem involves understanding the various types, accurately measuring your bong's dimensions, and selecting a material that suits your lifestyle. Whether you're looking for basic functionality or advanced filtration, there’s a downstem that fits your needs.