Talking Downstems

by Thick Ass Glass LLC September 12, 2016

Downstems are a smoking accessory that you attach to certain water pipes using a joint. Basic diffused downstemNot all glass pipes have them, of course, but if yours is broken, you probably need one fast.

For most pieces, typically the old skool "beaker style", detachable downstems are going to provide you with an extra layer of filtration and percolation.  In most cases, when you have a pipe with an attached or removable downstem, you can usually customize it with a different downstem based on either design or diffusion level.

 Downstems work by filtering smoke through a nail or flower bowl and diffusing the smoke into the water in the main chamber of your pipe.  The added layer of diffusion is going to make for a cooler, smoother and better filtered smoke time and time again. It's a mild diffusion, but it does work. Check out our collection here:


Benefits of Downstems

A downstem can even add a lot to a simple straight tube or beaker base.  With the use of an additional layer of diffusion, you are going to get a completely different chug and taste out of your next smoke. 

The key to downstems is for you to experiment with them. While they certainly can't replace an ash catcher (like these), they do add a diffusion level that can smooth things out. The different styles and different lengths in downstem styles are going to lead to quite different smoking experiences.

Downstems are not going to just add layers of filtration and percolation to your rips.  Some of your diffused downstems are also going to work as adapters or drop downs. 

The diffused downstem will simply fit as one gender or size but will extend into a second joint of a different size and/or gender.  This is going to be perfect for smokers who want that added filtration and a new fit for a different slide all rolled into one simple accessory: a downstem.

Sizes and Styles

Downstems are going to come in all standard glass joint sizes:

  • 10mm
  • 14mm
  • 18mm

Your diffused downstems are going to be traditionally used only on your female joints because your male joints are external only.  However, an adapter can easily turn any of your female joints into male ones. 

Downstems also come in a variety of length sizes from two to seven inches. The size of the main chamber in your glass piece is going to help to determine how long or short of a downstem you are going to need to go with.

Downstems also come in a variety of diffusion styles.  Many of the styles are going to be based off of your classic percolator designs which are going to include:

  • Slitted style
  • Matrix

Finding the precise amount of filtration and percolation is something that is very easy to do.


You can find a wide variety of unbranded downstems which are going to be very affordable and of high-quality.  Many high-end vendors of diffusers are going to provide their own twists on diffused downstems. In the end, remember that the more holes in the end, the smoother the smoke.

It's hard to go wrong with a good downstem, believe us.

Thick Ass Glass LLC
Thick Ass Glass LLC