Besides size, joint gender is another crucial trait buyers must pay attention to. If your water pipe has a “male” joint, you will need to pair it with a “female” ash catcher and vice versa. Again, you can always use a joint adapter to fit together two pieces with the same joint, but you will conserve weight if you can find one that matches already.
Ash catchers will come with joints attached at two different angles—45 and 90 degrees. If the joint on your water pipe is 45 degrees, you will want an ash catcher with a joint also at 45 degrees. If your water pipe joint is straight up and down, or 90 degrees, only a 90 degree ash catcher will fit into it properly. If you try mixing the two, not only will the percolators cease to function properly, but the parts may rub against each other creating scratches on the glass.
As stated above, you will want to make sure any joint adapters don’t add too much weight to the piece. Furthermore, the ash catcher itself could be too heavy for your pipe. If you have a smaller water pipe, you don’t want to add a gigantic ash catcher to the side or it will be lopsided and be prone to accidents and breakage. Consider the proportions of your water pipe and choose a complementary ash catcher for it.
Any water pipe attachment must match your pipe’s joint size in order to fit properly onto your pipe. Most joints come in 10mm, 14mm, or 18mm sizes, and you will want to be certain of your water pipe’s joint size before purchasing an ash catcher. Most of the time it’s easiest to pair an ash catcher made by the same company that your water pipe is from, as you’ll find uniformity in how the joints are made. If you find an ash catcher you really like but it’s the wrong size, you can always try a joint adapter to fit the two together. Just be warned that this will add weight and may make your water pipe top heavy depending on how big or small the pipe is.
After a few rounds of completely cleaning your water pipe, or smoking out of a dirty one just once, you may find yourself more curious about ash catchers than you ever thought you’d be. Ash catchers not only help keep your water pipe cleaner by catching the ash before it falls into the base, but some even include an added percolation function if you currently just own a basic pipe. Many smokers enjoy the smooth hits that percolators provide, and they are quickly becoming a must-have for any water pipe.
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