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Why Do Glass and Silicone Hand Pipes Have a Carb?

Why Do Glass and Silicone Hand Pipes Have a Carb?

You may be familiar with or might have seen hand pipes with a carb hole and wondered what its purpose is. Many hand pipes have a prominent hole, but the carb may be less evident or subtle if a hand pipe is designed that way. Both glass and silicone hand pipes can have this feature.

The term carb is short for carburetor. You are probably aware of the conventional carburetors in internal combustion engines. While a carb in a glass or silicone hand pipe isn’t exactly the kind of carburetor typically used in cars, the concept remains the same, which is why the name.

What Is a Carb on a Hand Pipe?

A carb is a small hole in a hand pipe. This hole is usually somewhere between the bowl and the mouthpiece. Most glass or silicone hand pipes have this carb hole at the side of the bowl, but it is intended to create an inlet for airflow into the smoking chamber. The carb hole is a bypass.

Even if a carb hole appears to be on or at the side of a bowl, the airflow isn’t meant for the herb chamber. The air inlet bypasses the bowl and allows airflow into the smoking chamber or pipe. Thus, a carb is essentially an airflow regulating feature in glass or silicone pipes.

The Main Benefits of a Carb Hole

The main benefits of a carb hole rest on its sole purpose and the simple mechanism you use to regulate the airflow. You can use your thumb or a finger to block the carb or keep it open. Also, you can keep the carb partially covered to regulate how much air you want to flow into the pipe.

This simple purpose delivers two significant benefits when you smoke with a hand pipe.

The first benefit is the carb’s effect on how much of the smoke inside the pipe you can draw and inhale. If you open the carb while drawing a puff, you will allow air to flow into the pipe or smoke chamber through the hole. This air pressure pushes all the smoke out of the pipe.

Hence, you will be able to draw all the smoke out without having to take more than one puff. If there is no air flow from the outside, the smoke may linger inside the pipe without a great pull by your draw and inhale. Still, some smoke may remain due to the pressure differential.

You obviously cannot create a vacuum inside a hand pipe or smoke chamber of any smoking device, including bongs and dab rigs. The dry herb in the bowl of a hand pipe does not serve as a free or unobstructed air inlet, so its impact on pushing the smoke out is nominal.

Besides, you need the smoke filled with flavors of the herbs to flow into and through the pipe, not outward and away from the bowl. Enabling you to draw all the smoke out and clearing the pipe, while also creating suction with the carb blocked, form the main purpose of the hole.

The second benefit is a bit of an indirect influence, but airflow is still essential to make that often desired difference. Lighting and burning herbs in a hand pipe may lead to a rather strong hit if it is overwhelmingly heavy and voluminous. You may need some air to lighten everything up.

When you factor in the carb hole and its resulting airflow into the pipe, you might visualize how it dilutes the strong smoke from the bowl. As a result, you can draw a bit smoother and somewhat cleaner hits. You can, of course, allow more air to flow in if your hits are too strong for you.

How To Use a Hand Pipe’s Carb

The purpose and also the benefits of a carb on a hand pipe won’t matter if you don’t use it in a proper manner. You must cover, open, and regulate the airflow through the carb hole with your thumb or finger to enhance your smoking experience. 

Here is how you can use a hand pipe carb for a delightful smoking experience:

  • Cover the carb hole as you light dry herbs placed inside the bowl.
  • Take a few short puffs to facilitate the burn and generate smoke.
  • Now, take your finger or thumb off the carb hole, partially or fully.
  • Draw a large puff to inhale all the smoke through the hand pipe.
  • You can cover the carb hole or let air flow in as and when needed.
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