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    Learning Center

    Measuring your Downstem

    Measuring your Downstem

    Downstems are that fragile part of your bong that reaches into the pipe and creates the all-too-important airflow into water needed for a water pipe to do its thing. Unfortunately, downstems can break. No need to fear though. When your daily driver takes a spill and needs a new part, we're here to help you find the size and length of the downstem with a few simple steps.

    Here is how downstems work. First, you need to understand the ground joint sizing. Ground joints are used in a set, consisting of the male inner piece (with a conical end, ground on the outside) and the female outer piece (ground on the inside to the corresponding dimensions). Their measurements are in millimeters.

    Ideally, you will want to find a ruler. If you don't have one, then a new pencil is about 7 inches or 200mm. A dime is about 19mm wide. You'll need a pencil and a dime. Look in your couch cushions for either. Take the old downstem of your water pipe and set is aside for now.

    If you can place a dime over the female ground joint of your bong and it doesn't slide inside, then it is a 14mm ground joint. If it can slide inside the hole, then it is an 18mm or 19mm joint. Also if you can't slide a pencil into the hole, then it is a 10mm joint.

    Once you have the downstem size you need the length. Slide a pencil into the female ground joint of your pipe and make a mark on the pencil the depth of the downstem. This is the entire length of the downstem, but downstems lengths are given without the length of the joint. The ground joint is usually about one inch long, so subtract that from the pencil mark length. What remains is your downstem length. It may sound complicated, but we promise it's not!

    The STAX Primer

    The STAX Primer
     Want a Bubbler? Done. Want a bong designed to cool down your hit with every perc? No problem. How about a small Dab rig with minimal percolation? Easy. Want to hit a 6-foot tall, straight tube with an ice catch? STAX has you covered. 

    Read more

    Choosing a Recycler Dab Rig

    Choosing a Recycler Dab Rig
    Recycler rigs can seem complicated but the purpose they serve ultimately is pretty straightforward; cool down the hit while providing an endless smooth draw. 

    Read more

    The Perfect Bong Rip

    Not to brag, but we have our Pro-Card here. Hell, we have an R&D department, so we better. With lots of research comes knowledge, and we love imparting it on our friends. We test a ton of water pipes and oil rigs here. We're always looking for cool new pieces, and when we think we find one we put it through testing before we pick it up for sale in our online smoke shop. While water testing pieces we've learned a few tricks of the trade. Let's talk about the types of water to use, water level, and water temperature for the perfect bong rip.

    The perfect bong hitGetting the perfect hit out of your water pipe is easier than you think, you just need a balanced temperature and percolation for the hit. Depending on what kind of water pipe you have, you'll want to go with on of two strategies. Either way, you'll want to use distilled water. Why? A few reasons. Distilled water is free of minerals, and won't leave deposits against your piece. It's also resistant to becoming cloudy at different temps, and that keeps your piece looking nicer too.

    If you have a piece with an ice catch. Use less ice, most people put too much, you only need a couple pieces. Fill your Ice catch water pipe up with water until the end of the downstem is submerged an inch. The water should be at room temperature, 65-75°F. When you take a rip, the room temp water will percolate the water as it should but not cool it down by much. That's good because you want your hit to be neutral temp, not cold. Cold air is worse on your lungs than hot air. Once the still warm hot passes over the ice, it will be chilled down to a pleasant neutral temp, and you will only get a rich, flavorful, smooth hit. If you don't have an ice catch or a perc in your pipe, then you should treat yourself to a Chiller.

    If you have a perc in your Water Pipe, then you can fill the bottom chamber with cold water, and the top chamber with the minimum amount of warm water. When you take a rip from your pipe, you will get a balanced, flavorful hit that isn't harsh or dry. When the cooled smoke passes back through the warm water, it has humidity added back into it which is easier on your throat. If you don't have a pipe with a perc in it, then check out our store, we have a few to choose from. So rip hard, rip often, and enjoy!

    The Essential Smoker's Tool Kit

    1. A GRINDER

    If your herb is cured properly, then you can often break it by hand. This can take time, while precious oils and crystals from your herb can stick to your hands and are lost. It is not long before most smokers upgrade to a grinder to break up their buds.

    In ancient times, (50 years ago) people would use small scissors to break up their dried herb. These days, hands down the most efficient way of breaking up your herb is to use a grinder. Just like any good kitchen tool, the materials used to make grinders range from cheap plastics to medical grade titanium. A serious smoker uses a metal grinder with a chamber large enough to accommodate enough nugs to be ground for one session. You don't want to grind too much herb ahead of time, the more surface area your plant matter has, the quicker it can dry out.

    A grinder is a simple but valuable device. The central chamber is lined with teeth on top and bottom to grind your herb. The bottom section of the grinding chamber has holes of some shape and pattern that allows ground material to fall into the storage chamber. The storage chamber is the largest section of the grinder, but is often optional and can be removed in favor of just a pollen collector or even simpler a bottom plate. The bottom chamber is usually covered by a screen so that fine pollen or "kief" from the ground herb can collect there over time.

    2. A 420 JAR

    Baggies are for schwag, and you are better than that. You've upgraded, leveled up, and otherwise gained enough smoking wisdom to know that your finest herbs deserve the best storage possible, with the best style possible as well. There is no other cannabis storage choice to make but a 420 Jar from 420 Science. We have been doing this for over ten years, and we kick ass at it. We offer tons of designs on a mind-blowing assortment of storage solutions that feature cool stuff like Swiss UV glass, gasket seal mason jars with latch tops, affordable screw top jars, silicone inserts and much more.

    You can get a jar almost anywhere. You probably have a mayonnaise jar you can rinse out right now and throw your nugs in, but do you want to? Our jars have designs made by professional artists that are updated all the time. All our 420 Jars are also covered with our lifetime guarantee. If it breaks, we'll send another one to you, forever. You just pay the shipping. A jar from 420 Science is a jar for life.


    There are many names for a "reefer cigarette". Whether you call it a joint, blunt, spliff, jay rod, condor feather, doobie, dizzy stick, devil's eggroll or some other dumb name you are going to smoke one at some point. Be prepared with a pack of papers that are made out of the same thing you are smoking. Natural hemp papers are the best choice for hand rolled sessions.


    Know your dosage, this is medication, right? Every good chef knows to measure out their ingredients. Make sure your “friends” are not "eyeballing" it when they give you your herb and use it to learn what your average session takes so you can track your usage. Be responsible and knowledgeable about your favorite hobby.


    Oh man, don't even get us started on picking the right pipe; that's a whole different article. But, needless to say, get something that truly makes you happy to look at and smoke out of every time you use it. If it does not mean that to you, then you didn't get the right piece.

    It is important to test out a few styles first. Your friends will be the best at helping you navigate the complicated and arduous task of sitting around and hitting every piece they can bring over for you to try one day. You will survive and recover with the knowledge of what kind of thing you like to smoke out of.

    Most people still favor the classic dry pipe in the shape of a spoon. They are often referred to as Spoon Pipes or Bowls and have endured the centuries as mankind's oldest and most commonly used method of ingesting the sweet smoke and vapors from burning plant material. There are more shapes and styles to count, we recommend a hand pipe that has features to prevent ash from pulling through and is made from durable Borosilicate glass. Pipes can have water filtration as well, and these are referred to as Bubble pipes or Bubblers. If you want more of a rip than that, you want a water pipe. Most commonly known as a bong or tube, glass water pipes offer maximum filtration and chamber size to deliver the largest volume of smoke at a comfortable temperature.


    A shoebox under your bed just is not good enough anymore. Respect yourself first, and then others will. If you are around nothing but chill bros all the time, we recommend you build yourself a nice shelf and proudly display your stash jar, smoking apparatus, and other prized accessories for all to see. You made some good purchasing decisions, why not be proud of it?

    If discretion is still needed, then get a nice vintage suitcase with a lock. One with mysterious travel stamps from unpronounceable lands posted all over, and scratch marks that look vaguely like a monkey's claw. The point is, make sure it is secure, but still expresses your personality.