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Different Types of Percs: A Guide

| Madison Gillespie
Smokers favoring papers and pipes might fear a massive bong rip leading to a lengthy coughing fit. Try one with a quality percolator for a smoother experience!

Smokers favoring papers and pipes might fear a massive bong rip leading to a lengthy coughing fit. Try one with a quality percolator for a smoother experience!

A perc, whether built-in or added, pulls smoke through an extra water layer, diffusing and cooling for a smoother hit. Seasoned users know the significant difference a PC can make.

"Let's delve into various types of percolators and how they enhance your smoking experience. Let's get started!"


For frequent water pipe users, whether with a dab rig or bong, a percolator is crucial for the best smoking experience. Percolators offer several benefits, including cooling down the smoke, reducing drag, preventing water splashing, and diffusing the smoke.

All these contribute to an exceptionally smooth hit, with less harsh taste and smoke and fewer harmful byproducts. While not essential for a thick bong hit, a percolator undoubtedly enhances the enjoyment of each one.

It's essential to prioritize American-made glass over cheap imports when selecting a percolator. Percolators can be fragile, and pieces made with low-quality materials are likely to break before providing long-lasting enjoyment."


This represents the most basic type of percolator, known as the diffused downstem. Bongs equipped with stock downstems commonly feature this perc, characterized by a long, tube-shaped slide that extends into the water. It possesses a hole at the bottom face and slits around the bottom edges, creating bubbles when you pull air through both the tube and the slits.


A tree percolator has a hanging array of diffused downstems built into the neck of the bong. As smoke runs through the main chamber, it is pulled up into a dome, which then brings it back down through the hanging downstems.


A sprinkler perc resembles an inverted tree perc, taking on the same shape but with the tree tubes facing upward from a flat surface that separates the perc chamber from the main chamber and down-stem. You can repeat this design multiple times around the bong's neck.


A disc percolator, as the name implies, consists of stacked disc-shaped percs with slits around their circumference. These run into the main chamber, typically with holes between each disc in the stack.

While this perch is robust, its small, easily clogged holes make it challenging to clean, particularly for beginners. Despite the frequent cleaning requirements, its effectiveness makes it worthwhile.


Barrel percolators are essentially two disc percolators connected horizontally. Normally, the down-stem ends in a cylindrical "barrel" with slits on either face. This allows for smoke to collect and condense in the barrel chamber to be diffused heavily before filtering out into the water of the main one.


A classic design, the honeycomb percolator enhances the disc perc. It sits completely flat at the waterline of the main chamber, featuring many small, evenly spaced vertical holes. As water is pulled through the main chamber, the honeycomb diffuses and filters it once again.


A ratchet perch is akin to the honeycomb perch but differs by having holes only around the disc's circumference. Leaving the disc solid creates space for the downstem to drop through into the main chamber before rising back up through the ratchet.


Now, we delve into more elaborately shaped percolators. Spiral-shaped tubes, known as coil percs, fix inside the base of the neck, which closes off from the chamber. Smoke travels through the main chamber, then ascends through an inner tube. As it rises through the tube, it spirals before releasing through the top into the neck.

A coil percolator can also be a glycerin coil, which involves separated coils that you freeze and drop into the neck. The glycerin within ensures each hit is super-cooled, providing one of the smoothest hits you can achieve.


Swiss percs have a more sophisticated appearance. The tubes of this percolator are not separately chambered inside the bong but rather integrated into the chamber from the walls of the bong itself. This design gives the piece a look, with holes all around the main chamber and tubes descending inwards.

Air moves around all these tubes, filtering smoke and reducing drag on your pull.

Another variety of this type of bong is another ornate-looking variety, the Faberge Egg Bong, shaped after its namesake. This, like a Swiss cheese perch, has tubes descending inward from the walls but a globe-shaped chamber in the middle. This globe has a wall separating the closed-in interior, through which smoke flows around a hollow inner chamber.


A donut percolator, akin to a faberge egg percolator, has a globe-shaped chamber at the base of the neck. Unlike multiple tubes descending into the center, it has a single hole opening into the hollow globe, separated from the bong's interior.

This design acts as a nearly fool-proof splash guard. Water usually won't reach the globe, let alone make its way through.


Named after the mathematical term describing intersecting rows and columns, a matrix perc takes the shape of a barrel. Unlike an open chamber, it features cross-hatched tubes inside the layered walls, diffusing the smoke.

A stereo matrix perc essentially consists of two stacked matrix percs. This type presents tight spaces and can pose a challenge when it comes to cleaning.


An inline percolator includes a downstem that guides smoke to a horizontally stretched tube across the main chamber, which also has a tube-shaped orientation. The slits along the top of the tube filter smoke out into the main chamber.


Turbine percolators are similar to a combination of a disc and honeycomb chamber in structure; it is a flat disc that separates the main chamber from the neck at the joint between the two.

Instead of holes or slits on the side, there are three or more angled slits across the top face, which creates a cyclone effect on the water and smoke that filters up through the perc.


Inset percs resemble honeycomb percs but stack inside each other sequentially within the main chamber, like Russian dolls. This design allows your hit to filter through a honeycomb percolator multiple times.


A cross percolator is one of the most effective percolators for avoiding water splashing back up into the neck of your bong. This pipe is shaped like an X sitting flat on top of a tube coming up from the main chamber.

Due to the slits facing outward horizontally, bubbles come out sideways. As a result, there isn't much turbulence inside the water, and hence a lower likelihood of water splashing up into your mouth during a hit.


The UFO Percolator includes a tube that starts at the base of the neck and extends into a closed bubble. Smoke travels up through the tube into the bubble, where it flows downward and exits through slits at the base of the bubble.

Because UFOs lack tight corners and holes, users widely recognize them for their ease of cleaning.


Although you now know nearly all of the percolator styles that are available on the market, this is hardly an exhaustive list. Creative glass artists are always coming up with innovative new ideas to improve the technology.

Tempted to take your water pipe experience to the next level? Take a look at Giggle Glass' wide selection of American-made glass, featuring all kinds of different pieces to elevate your sessions.