A person holding a small glass hand pipe filled with herb filtered by a pipe screen

Do Glass Pipes Need Screens?

Does every smoke session with a glass pipe need a pipe screen? The short answer is no since people go through hundreds of smoke sessions without ever using one. That being said, there are plenty of reasons why using a pipe screen can change your next smoking experience so much that you decide to use one from now on.

In this piece, we'll talk about this small accessory, how it works, what types you can find out there, and how it can benefit glass pipe smokers. We'll also add some other ways to enhance the pleasure of your next batch of flowers.

What are Pipe Screens?

Simply put, pipe screens are small filters that slip right into dry herb bowls of hand pipes, bongs, bubblers, and other devices. They're used to keep burnt-up bits of flower and other debris from getting into the stem as you heat up the bowl, keeping you from inhaling it as you draw in your smoke.

Some glass pipes and other paraphernalia have built-in screens, making things a bit easier for you. Also, for those who aren't looking to take out serious cash for dry herb vaporizers, simply using a pipe screen is a decent and simple alternative.

How Do Pipe Screens Work?

Using a pipe screen is a fairly simple thing to do. Here's a brief list of steps to take when using one during your next smoking experience:

  1. Use A Screen That Fits: Whether online or at your local headshop, make sure you get a screen that fits in your bowl. A good screen conforms to the precise size of the bowl, fitting snugly in it so that you can easily pack those Scooby snacks inside.
  2. Slip the Screen Into The Bowl: With the right size screen, simply insert it into the bowl. For metal screens, make sure to softly shape it into a bowl or dome shape so that it follows the curves of the bowl itself. As for glass screens, simply place them at the base of the bowl.
  3. Pack Up Your Dry Herbs: Now, grind up your desired herbs and use them to fill up the bowl. Of course, make sure not to overpack the bowl so there's a decent amount of airflow from it to the mouthpiece.
  4. Spark Up & Enjoy: Get your torch or lighting device and heat the bowl. Smoke up and enjoy a smooth, hot, ash-free draw every time.

So, Seriously, Do Glass Pipes Need Screens Or Not?

As we said earlier, a pipe screen isn't something you need, but it's definitely an accessory you should try out. Small differences can make a huge impact. With just a few holes filtering out all that excess residue and ashes upon burning your flower, a good pipe screen can transform how you typically enjoy a good smoke. Not only does it add to the quality of your smoke experience, but it also provides a number of benefits as well.

5 Benefits of Using Pipe Screens

The main purpose of a pipe screen is to improve the overall experience of smoking glass or other hand pipes. However, it does this through a number of key perks you get when using screens in your pipe. Here are five of the most relevant benefits when using a screen in your glass pipe:

  • High-Quality Airflow: When properly packed in, your flower can be cushioned nicely against a pipe screen and, when burned, provide optimal airflow from the bowl to the mouthpiece.
  • Fewer Clogs: Dry herbs tend to produce more ash and other particles that could end up falling into the bowl or downstem, making draws rougher and less enjoyable. However, using a screen and switching it out every few sessions will ensure less residue in the pipe and bowl later on.
  • Simpler Cleaning: As it does prevent debris and other particles from building up in the stem and bowl, a pipe screen can help make it easier to clean down the line, too. This is because it filters out ashes, resin, and other residue, saving you time and hassle.
  • Better Taste: A screen also acts as a buffer between your herb and your bowl, allowing it to burn cleanly and producing an ash and residue-free draw. This allows you to enjoy the full flavor of your flowery treat.
  • Reduced Waste: Pipe screens also hold the herbs in your bowl in place, keeping a good chunk from falling deeper into the pipe only to be burned away improperly. Instead, the screen will hold your herbs up from the bottom, making sure they don't fall out.

Are There Different Types of Pipe Screens?

Pipe screens have a pretty long history of being used by tobacco and herbal enthusiasts alike. While the few different types of pipe screens available today all largely perform the same function, some may serve better than others, though it would largely depend on the user and their pipe of choice. Let's break down the different types of pipe screens that are out there:

Metal Pipe Screen

Metal screens were among the first to be used in tobacco pipes and are a versatile screen material to choose from. In most cases, these will come in brass or stainless steel, which are decent enough to provide filtration for glass hand pipes. However, brass tends to wear down after a few sessions, as it's less durable than stainless steel. These types of screens can also conform their shape to your bowls.

Glass Pipe Screen

A glass screen provides the same filtration as a metal screen but lasts much longer as it can withstand regular temperature changes more often. They're usually made with borosilicate glass, which is highly durable and heat resistant, making them ideal for hand pipes and bongs that you may use over the long run. In fact, many glass pipes today include built-in pipe screens, making the experience they give you that much more enjoyable.

Quartz Pipe Screen

Quartz screens aren't much different than glass screens, but they are exceptional in their heat resistance. The big difference with quartz screens is that they're made out of pure silica, meaning no additives go into producing them. For those looking to enjoy a high-grade pipe screen, this may be the way to go — we at MJ Arsenal even entrust quartz as the primary material for our dab rig bangers.

Overall, the different varieties of hang pipe screens all offer the same advantage but with slight differences in material that may benefit in longer lifespans and easier use. Try and experiment with each to find the right one for you.

Other Ways of Improving Your Smoking Experience

In addition to using a screen to filter your dry buds as you burn them up, there are a bunch of other ways to enhance your experience when smoking with a glass pipe. Here are a few quick ways you can do just that:

Use Borosilicate Glass Hand Pipes

There are a ton of different materials you can get for hand pipes, but few have the lasting quality and style that borosilicate glass pipes do. While most other glass types available tend to be fragile, borosilicate glass is way more durable — that's why we at MJ Arsenal produce almost all of our smoking devices using this type of glass.

From the glass chillum to intricate dab rigs, we've found that this type of glass is perfect for shaping nearly every piece we produce, as they provide an excellent smoking experience when used and can last for years with proper maintenance and care.

Try Different Strains of Herbs

Another tactic in the goal of elevating your future smoke sessions: experiment. Try strains of flowers that you've never used before. Of course, make sure they're fresh, properly cured, and well preserved so you get the best taste and after-effects. It may be a simple difference, but some of the best sessions come from enjoying the slight difference in feeling from one strain to another.

Regularly Clean Your Devices

Another critical way to ensure your smoking sessions go well every time is by regularly cleaning your device, be it bongs, dab rigs, or glass hand pipes. Whatever you use, make sure you clear out and scrub the bowl, stem, and mouthpiece, as well as the water chamber. Better yet, soak your device in weak alcohol or cleaning fluid to help dissolve those tough resin spots stuck to your steam and bowl. Wiping all that gunk away will ensure your draws are smooth and clean the next time you spark up.

Grind Your Flower Well

Just like coffee, a good grind to your herb can make your smoke experience more enjoyable. The more you grind, the finer or smaller the particles of your herb get. This makes it so that you might need to use more herbs to pack the bowl, but for those who enjoy a bigger kick to their pulls, this could be a desirable thing. If anything, take how well you grind your herbs into account as part of your smoking experience, as it's another part of the process you can adjust to make it all the more enjoyable.

Get Incredible Glass Hand Pipes & Other Smoke Accessories at MJ Arsenal

Glass pipes may not require a screen, but if you want a better smoking experience, you could certainly use one. Simply put, a pipe screen is used in bongs and glass screens to filter out all that extra ash and residue from getting into the stem and ending up in your mouth. They improve airflow, keep your pipe clean, and help you pack your herbs better so they burn up more evenly. There are many different types of screens to choose from, as there are ways to improve your smoking experience.

But the best way to burn up is with premium quality pieces from MJ Arsenal. Browse our selection of borosilicate glass pipes today!