Local Glass Pipes vs. Imported Pieces

January 19, 2021

Let’s Talk Glass

There are substantial differences between glass that is made in small batches by local artists and glass that is mass-produced and imported from overseas. When it comes to purchasing new bongs, rigs and pipes, it’s nice to have an idea of the quality you’re looking for and the price you’re willing to pay before going into a Denver glass pipe shop or ordering online. Oftentimes, you’re able to determine the quality and source of your glass just by the price alone– but we’re going to highlight some of the major differences between local glass pipes and imported pieces for you to reference when you’re shopping for your next bong or rig!

Locally Blown Glass

There are countless glass blowing artists noted for their intricate designs and unique methods. So many of these artists own small local businesses and practice individualistic processes with high quality, reliable materials. These glass artists often invest a huge amount of time and money into making one-of-a-kind pieces.

Oftentimes glass blown by local artists, compared to imported pieces, is made with a thicker, higher quality glass that can last longer and will be less likely to break. These pieces tend to be more stable and durable, which is important considering the time and effort that goes into making them. The creativity and craftsmanship that goes into locally blown glass constitute true art. There are many people who collect American glass from local artists and view their collection as masterful art.

These artists are also usually entrepreneurs who are blowing glass out of passion and love for the process. They foster local economies and keep money close to home by buying materials in the community and promoting the community lifestyle.

Imported Glass

There is nothing wrong with making the decision to purchase imported glass– many of us have a pipe or bong made in China, which we love and use all the time! & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The purpose of this article is to simply inform and highlight the differences that may arise, so we can all make knowledgeable purchases in the future.

Imported glass, as opposed to locally blown glass, is frequently mass produced in large quantities. Mass producing glass is a quick and efficient method to create thousands of pieces for a profit. This type of pipe is usually made with thinner glass and lower quality materials to keep costs to a minimum and increase profits. More affordable glass may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to smart glass shopping, but it’s important to be aware that low prices may also signify deeper problems.

So, while these pieces may be affordable, they are usually made with less consideration to structure and durability. The internal chamber and percolators will be significantly more fragile due to the thin glass used in their production. Additionally, imported pipes may not have completely flat bottoms, which allows them to lean or tip over, making them easier to break.

Unexpected issues may also arise when it comes to using lower quality materials and thin glass. The material you’re smoking from can affect the flavors and aromas of your flower or concentrate, possibly allowing harmful chemicals to enter your lungs. Sometimes glass blown in factories is coated with paint or other harmful chemicals, which can be extremely hazardous to inhale. There are numerous chemicals that can leach out once the material is heated, so it’s critical for you to know what kind of glass, plastic, or ceramic you are inhaling from.

The material your pipe or bong is made from is important to consider for cleaning purposes, as well. Glass pipes and bongs are considered the cleanest and safest material to smoke from for a smooth and flavorful hit, as most high-quality glasses are absent of additives. Glass usually provides the best-quality smoke due to our ability to clean them the most thoroughly.

Key Takeaways in the Comparison Between Local Glass Pipes & Imported Pieces

Locally Blown Glass

  • Typically made with higher quality material
  • Thicker Glass = More durable and structurally sound
  • Glass is generally safer with fewer chemical additives
  • Glass can be cleaned thoroughly and thus has a smoother, more flavorful smoke
  • Unique– a true art form
  • Artisan-made, Support local artists!!

Imported Glass

  • Oftentimes made with thinner glass
  • Produced in mass quantities with little time and attention
  • Lack of knowledge on its source = lack of knowledge on what materials & chemicals it may contain
  • Less consideration to structure and durability
  • More readily available and affordable

There are always exceptions, and these tips aren’t foolproof but are great signs to look for to help you decipher between high quality glass and something cheaper. The experts at our Denver dispensary and glass pipe shop agree that these are good guidelines to reference as a buyer recommendation before picking out that new bong or rig.

Of course the decision between American made glass and imported pieces is yours to make, it’s important to keep in mind the quality of glass you want, as well as the individuals and business-practices you want to support with your dollar. A large majority of the glass bongs, rigs and pipes we sell at Life Flower Dispensary in Denver are made right here in Colorado. We support several local glass blowing artists such as 603 Glass, Colorado Color Company, Niche Glass and so many others! We love meeting the artists and exploring the unique pieces they have to offer.