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Are ash catchers worth it

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What is an Ash Catcher and the Benefits of Using Them

Posted by Jack Daniel (Edited by Jay Dreadhead) on 18th Apr 2017

You may be thinking, “what is an ash catcher? isn’t it obvious?” Well, yes. Aptly named, ash catchers are a separate double-jointed chamber of glass – usually with its own unique perc and diffusion – that is meant to trap any ashes and burnt plant material that gets pulled through your bowl or slide while you take a huge rip off of a bong. Thanks to a new Ash Catcher, your bong will stay much cleaner for much longer.

Yes, a ash catcher does what it’s name implies. It catches the ash keeping your glass cleaner, a large benefit, but that’s not all it does!

Many of these new ash catchers feature percolator just like the ones in a bong or water pipe. So not only can it keep your bong cleaner, but it will upgrade it with more percolation too!

Different types of percolators create different size, stack, and patterns of bubbles full of smoke. You might love your current bong, but with its built-in perc, you always get the same kind of hit. With a new Ash Catcher, you can add a 2nd level of diffusion which further cools the smoke before it reaches your mouth for an even smoother toke. With Honeycomb, Shower Cap, Double Honeycomb, Double Shower Cap, and Shower Cap x Honeycomb combo percs available, you can make your favorite piece feel brand new again.

Each Ash Catcher has two joints – one male, one female. The sizes of those joints vary between 14mm and 18mm, and the male joint might be set at a 45 degree angle, or a vertical 90 degree angle. It’s great to have those options to make sure you get exactly what you need.

Basically, if the bowl on your bong point away from you when you rip it, you might want to consider a 45 degree joint on your Ash Catcher, so that the bowl stays somewhat level as you light it and roast it. If the bowl on your bong points towards the ceiling, the 90 degree ash catchers for sale online in our store are probably your best bet. Generally, straight tubes need 90 degree and beaker or bubble bongs need 45 degree.

Another added benefit of adding an Ash Catcher to your bong is that now no heat from a lighter or torch should ever go near your bong or its joint. While heat damage on a bong’s joint might be rare, a new Ash Catcher eliminates the possibility.

When you do add that new Ash Catcher to your cart at The Dab Lab , be sure to take a look at the Grav Labs Mouthpiece Bubbler Converter for Ash Catchers. For just $15, these boro J-shaped mouthpieces can be connected with your Ash Catcher and a slide to make a Sherlock-style bubbler. This is a great option if you are taking your glass on the go, with limited room.

It is easier than ever to get the perfect Ash Catcher to enhance your smoking experience:

1. Determine the size of the female joint on your bong (14mm or 18mm)

2. Determine the angle you will need (90* angle or 45* angle)

3. Make sure you have a bowl or slide that will fit the female joint of your new Ash Catcher – or find yourself a killer new bowl or slide here at The Dab Lab. Some ash catcher options include a bowl!

4. Find your preferred perc/diffusor type from our line-up and match that with the joint size from Step 1

5. A few clicks later and you will be all checked out from our online store and your new Ash Catcher will arrive at your doorstep shortly thereafter – easy

As always, if you have questions about Ash Catchers, or anything else you see on our site, feel free to hit us up and we’ll get back to you asap with more info. Keep it clean with a new Ash Catcher from The Dab Lab!

There are many benefits reason why you should use an ash catcher for your glass bong. As its name implies, this additional chamber will trap ash and plant matter that gets pulled through the bowl on each hit, and prevents that stinky messy stuff from reaching your bong’s chamber. Simply put, ash catchers will help you take your next sesh to the next level!

Ash Catchers and Percolators: What’s the Difference?

Now that you’ve had a chance to get comfortable with your water pipe or dab rig, you most likely understand why it’s the method of choice for many smokers. But did you know that by adding accessories like percolators and ash catchers you can create an even more mind-blowing smoking experience? Let us explain.

What Is A Percolator?

Understand that percolators aren’t necessary when using water pipes or dab rigs (a type of water pipe), though they have become pretty standard in the smoking community. Those who use a water pipe are often looking for a smoother smoking experience. A percolator works by cooling down the smoke even more—making this process even better.

Types Of Percolators

A dab rig is all about isolating and enjoying the flavor. A water pipe makes the smoking process smoother. Both devices can be made even better with a percolator.

When shopping for a percolator, you should consider the level of diffusion you’re looking to get out of your smoking experience. The following are some of the most popular models on the market:

  • Tree Percolator. This is the most classic, and one of the oldest percolator designs. A tree percolator has multiple tubes (referred to as arms) and each one has diffusion slits. TAG’s tree percolators feature fixed tree arms which are welded to the bottom of the can. This reinforces the arms so they are more durable than traditional hanging trees. It also helps to reduce the drag.
  • Honeycomb Percolator. Essentially, this is just a glass disc with many holes. Water sits on top of the disc and smoke diffuses through the water. This style of percolator is possibly one of the most sought after and popular diffusers available due to its low drag and high diffusion. Honeycomb percolators are also typically priced very well for the amount of functionality they provide.
  • Fritted Disc Percolator. Originally designed as lab equipment, then later brought into the counter culture industry through David Goldstein, the fritted disc is literally crushed glass melted together in a disc. This provides possibly hundreds of holes for diffusion. The only drawback to this design is that it requires frequent cleaning. TAG’s fritted discs are made with larger frit (pieces of crushed glass) to help encourage a longer lifespan before cleaning is required. Older versions of TAG’s fritted disc were made with smaller frit which we learned very quickly would result in faster clogging. This would have highly impacted the function. Due to this, users would find their once dragless pieces had a heavy drag until the unit was fully cleaned. Current TAG versions of fritted discs are able to last much longer without cleaning, but we still recommend cleaning your fritted disc at least once a week.
  • Inline Percolator. One of the simplest, typically cheapest percolators, the inline percolator actually offers a lot of value for the price. TAG has taken the standard bottom slit inline percolator and spiced it up ever so slightly to maximize function while adding joiner rods to the slits. We also call these “multiplying rods” due to the multiplying effect they have on slit count. Essentially, you take one slit, add a multiplying rod and now you have two holes of diffusion. Some of our best-functioning pieces have many slits cut plus multiplying rods, which allows for phenomenal diffusion. These multiplying rods certainly increase the purchase price but are well worth it for the achieved gains in function. Our typical philosophy is to build it the right way—quality first.
  • Showerhead Percolator. Practically all diffusers on the market are variations of a showerhead. To make my point, the following percolators are considered showerheads in TAG’s view (from a philosophical perspective): tree percs, matrix percs, super slit pucks, interior showerheads, inverted interior showerheads, super slit donut percs, fixed froth diffusers and fixed showerhead froth diffusers. We use blanket terms for any type of diffuser aside from disc percs and inlines as showerheads, whether there is an inner tube or not. Essentially, all new percolators on the market are variations of a showerhead. With that said, it is a great diffuser. Your iconic showerhead will have an inner tube in the center which flows out to slits on the bottom, allowing the chamber to hold water without losing the water level. Also because of this, it allows an even percolation given that the slits are sized correctly.
  • Matrix Percolator. As stated above, the matrix percolator is another variation of the showerhead, which is differentiated by the inner rings of the matrix creating a lattice-like structure. These almost act as multiplying rods, turning one big slit into two, three or even four holes. The matrix perc is an excellent percolator due to its low drag and high diffusion efficiency.
  • Turbine Percolator. TAG generally does not use the turbine percolator as a diffusion device. Another term for this would be “spinning splash guard.” We view the spinning splash guard as the optimal way to stop water from reaching your lips on honeycomb and fritted disc devices. The angled cut slits direct the water toward the wall of the chamber in a cyclone motion. This directs all the momentum of the water toward the wall while the smoke is permitted to travel upward out of the pipe. Our personal opinion on a turbine percolator is that it is inadequate as it causes an undesirable mouthfeel and inconsistent draw due to the slit size and lost momentum from pushing water against the walls. The turbine perc is mostly a sales tactic due to the visual attractiveness when purchasing online or seeing it in person. In terms of function, the turbine perc is sub-par when used as the main method of diffusion.
  • Faberge Egg Percolator. The Faberge egg design is a Mothership original design, based on the Swiss perc made by Nate Dizzle. In my opinion, the main purpose of this design is not to encourage diffusion but rather to create a draw that is unique and desirable. Faberge eggs hit like nothing else and provide a great chug due to the pathways the water takes as it travels upward.
  • Spiral Percolator. This is another type of showerhead in TAG’s opinion and is essentially an interesting way of diffusing smoke through water. In my opinion, unless this is being used with a Glycerin coil, its design is not worthwhile. Once again, this percolator seems to be more of a sales tactic—something that looks cool but functionality-wise is really no better than your standard showerhead.

Then What Is An Ash Catcher?

An ash catcher sits in the downstem of the water pipe and can be used in addition to a percolator. This attachment is specially designed to capture debris and it keeps both ash and resin from entering your water pipe or dab rig. Ash catchers use water to filter the ash out of the water pipe prior to smoking through the device. This helps clean and maintain the water pipe, so you’ll be able to use it for a long time. Many ash catchers are also designed to percolate the smoke.

Types Of Ash Catchers

Did you know that Thick Ass Glass ash catchers can actually be converted into standalone mini water pipes! The following are a few of our most popular models:

  • Showerhead Ash Catcher. Currently, TAG offers an interior showerhead ash catcher which works by holding the water above the slits. This actually forces diffusion to occur on a higher percentage of slits while in use due to the water always being on top. Traditional showerheads can fall victim to water being dislocated and taken away from the slits which, as you know, if there is no water over the slits diffusion can’t occur. Interior showerheads are great low-drag, high-diffusion percolators.
  • TreeAsh Catcher. TAG offers fixed tree ash catchers which provide durability along with efficient diffusion. With cheaper style tree perc ash catchers, the tree arms are not fixed or welded to the bottom of the chamber. Without fixing the trees to the bottom, the tree perc can be very fragile and will certainly be the first thing to break if you ever drop your glass.
  • HoneycombAsh Catcher. TAG’s honeycomb ash catchers feature a recycle style chamber to combat the stacking of a honeycomb. As you may be aware, honeycombs stack water too efficiently which causes the water to rise and leave the glass. In an ash catcher, this is a huge problem. If the water leaves the ash catcher then enters the water pipe, it can affect your water level and therefore degrade the function.
  • Non-DiffusingAsh Catcher. The functionality of this design was inspired by Sovereignty Glass. By simply allowing a chamber full of water to sit beneath the slide, any falling ash will hit the water and remain captured in the water. A non-diffusing ash catcher keeps the ash contained, so your pipe can stay cleaner longer. The TAG non-diffusing ash catcher is shaped like a drop down. The reasoning behind this was to keep the ash catcher’s joint at the same level as your water pipe’s joint so it wouldn’t disturb the intended use of your water pipe. Many users prefer this style because it does not provide additional unnecessary diffusion and has less of an impact on the overall drag.

Shop Percolators and Ash Catchers from Thick Ass Glass

Browse our massive selection of water pipes, accessories and more. Have a question or need more information about our ash catchers or percolators? Reach out today.

By utilizing accessories like percolators and ash catchers, you can create a truly mind-blowing smoking experience.