For seasoned and new smokers alike, it can be tough deciding on the right tobacco pipe. When taking into consideration just how many options, brands, and functions that out there now, it can be even more difficult. Luckily, it’s just gotten easier.

There are a number of things to take into account when selecting a new tobacco pipe, and we’ve compiled them all here, just for you. Check out these tips the next time you decide to head to your local tobacco shop.

Visual Appeal

Since it’s your personal pipe, you’ll want to make sure that it has a look that appeals to you. No matter how good the pipe works or how cost-effective it may be, if you don’t like the way it looks and feels in your hands, you’re going to enjoy smoking that much less. Smoking is supposed to be an enjoyable, relaxing experience, so try to be cognizant of your personal taste whenever you head to the store.


Don’t make a rushed decision when it’s time to buy a new tobacco pipe. Instead of picking the first one that the sales associate at a store offers you, take the time to review all of the available options in the store. Often times, there’s a pipe that’s tucked away or hidden somewhere that you may not immediately notice. Ask to see all of the pipe’s available before making a decision.


When it’s time to select a new tobacco pipe, its functionality is just as important—if not more—as its look. If your pipe looks good but frequently gets clogged, is hard to pull, or flat out breaks, it has very little value. All that glitters isn’t gold, and the same applies to pipes. Don’t just pick the first pipe that looks good, make sure it works for your needs.

Most pipes can be distinguished by the design of their percolators, small sub chambers within their shaft that rotate and cool the smoke for a smoother smoking experience. Some of the most common percolators are:

Straight (Diffused Downstem)

Straight percs, or diffused downstems, are the most common percolators found in pipes. Typically, they’re in straight pipes, and are a simple tube with narrow slits that filters the smoke through water.

Honeycomb Perc

This perc resembles a disc, containing dozens of small holes that give it a “honeycomb” appearance. Found at the top of the bong, honeycomb percs use the small holes to diffuse the smoke and reduce its harshness. Newer smokers tend to prefer this design.

Tree Perc

Tree percs have smaller, rod-like structures that resemble tree limbs with slits. They can have dozens of arms, increasing diffusion with each arm added.

Turbine Perc

Also known as cyclone percs, turbine percs pull smoke up through a disc with small holes, creating a cyclone rotating effect. More expensive water pipes can have multiple turbine percs, creating dazzling smoke effects.

Swiss Perc

Swiss percs look similar to Swiss cheese, as they have dozens of holes made for diffusing smoke. With so many holes, there’s a high level of diffusion, cooling the smoke more rapidly and efficiently than other designs.

Stereo Matrix or Barrel Perc

Matrix, or “barrel” percs are found at the center of a pipe; they filter through holes at the bottom and release them through the top holes. This gives the smoke multiple layers of diffusion at different heights, creating a very efficient diffusing effect.

Inline Perc

An inline perc has a horizontal tube containing several slits. It’s a fairly simple design, as smoke flows through the slits and loses heat for easier inhalation and minimal drag.


Before you buy a specific brand or design, do some research online to see what other smokers are saying about it. If there’s an overwhelmingly negative response about the pipe, it’s more than likely not worth purchasing. If you want a second opinion, you should never be afraid to ask the people working in the store; they are professionals and will have a great perspective about which pipes work best. Decide if you want a pipe that hits hard or smoothly, facilitates water filtration, or whatever other features you feel are important, then find a pipe that matches.


Money is the deciding factor for many of the products we purchase, so why would your pipe be any different? The cost of your pipe should be at the front of your mind whenever you’re reviewing options for purchase; typically, the higher the cost of the pipe, the higher its quality, so it’s important to keep that in mind when browsing. Cheap pipes will probably perform poorly when smoking or be more likely to break.


When you visit your local smoke shop pay attention to the cost of the pipe, in relation to its functionality, features, and design. More expensive pipes are likely to be higher quality, so be sure to compare its cost to its online reviews. However, you shouldn’t spend more than you personally afford on your pipe. If you don’t feel comfortable spending that much cash, you probably shouldn’t.

Purchase a Pipe at Your Charlotte Smoke Shop

Picking the right tobacco pipe can seem tricky at first, but hopefully now you’ll feel a bit more equipped before making a decision. If you’re looking for the highest quality pipes in Charlotte at great prices, be sure to visit Vapor Smoke Shop today.

Locations and Store Hours:


1627 Sardis Rd N #4b

Charlotte NC 28270


Mon -Thurs 9am-8:30pm

Fri – Sat 9am-9pm

Sunday 11-7pm



16646 Hawfield Way Dr #105

Charlotte NC 28277


Mon – Sat 9am-9pm

Sunday 11-7pm