The Perks of Percs: All about Perculators

If you are familiar with glass, whether it be rigs, ash catchers or bongs, you have definitely heard the term “percolator” or “perc” before.  In this post, the purpose and function of percolators will be covered as well as, and main types that can be included with rigs, water pipes or ash catchers.


Water pipes or bongs use water and a glass chamber to cool and filter the smoke from burning dry herb. An ash catcher is used to save a water pipe from ash and particulates by adding another chamber to the bong. A percolator aims to further that effect by adding another layer of filtration and cooling to the  smoke. There are several different types of percolators, and each has a slightly different effect.


1. DownStrems

Downstems are far more basic than percolators, in both appearance and function. A downstem is a simple  tube that sits in the main water chamber, allowing air to enter the chamber. This creates an improved airflow. Downstems are a very common feature for water pipes. They can be easily removed and cleaned, and replaced by different downstems when needed.

This Cheech and Chong Bong has a standard downstrem that delivers the smoke from the bowl to the chamber.



2. Honey Comb Percs

The round disc of the honey comb perc  fit perfectly in the tube of the bong, and the small holes excel in diffusing the smoke. This shape give them the functionality they need to filter smoke with such efficiency. Primarily, they accomplish this without slowing down the smoking process.

This Oil Can Tube Bong from Red Eye Tek has 2 honeycomb percolators, providing ample filtration and guaranteed cool hits.


 This ash catcher from GEAR Premium also has 2 Honey Comb Percs, but connects to a bong to keep it clean from ash and resin.


3. Turbine Percs

Turbine Percs are exceptionally effective and may be the most entertaining to watch function. The shape of the percolator causes water to travel up the sides of the glass, providing effective filtration in addition to incredible visuals.

This GEAR Premium ash catcher has 2 turbine percs.

4. Showerhead Percs

Showerhead percs look like... well a showerhead... they use a tube that connects to the main chamber to bring smoke back through a larger tube, directing the smoke down and into another percolator with varying quantities of slits.

The extremely popular Pakalolo water pipe from Ross Gold Glass has a shower head perc (and a downstream).

 5. Inline Percs

Inline percolators are horizontal tubes with several slits in them-- the more slits there are, the more percolation takes place.

This Cheech and Chong Pope Concentrate bubbler demonstrates an inline barrel perc.

6. Tree Percs

Tree percolators use a collection of rods that resemble tree limbs. Each “limb” then has several slits generating plenty of diffusion.

This GEAR Premium Ashcatcher has a 6 Limb Tree Perc.


There are many more perc styles, with brands designing new ones every season. This water pipe from Red Eye Tek has 4 percs, in a unique design called a Lace Perc. These Percs resemble a tree perc limb but have a laced ending instead of simple slits.


Do you have any questions about percs and how to choose them? Hit us up! Because we love weed, do you?

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