What is an Ash Catcher?
What is an Ash Catcher?
Primarily targeted at bong users, this nifty little attachment is meant for your bong water to stay clean and free from probable contaminants and residues. This attachable vessel (in a sense) serves as a catch basin for your bong, with ash and resin falling inside the ash catcher’s water rather than the bong water that you directly inhale the smoke from. Basically, the device serves as an extra layer of filtration that makes sure you’re inhaling the cleanest of smokes possible while also letting you keep your bong cleaner for a longer period of use.
Why use an Ash Catcher?
On a normal bong, you’d tend to notice how the water gets darker and murkier as you keep using it. This is due to the fact that the screen or the bowl would never be sufficient in keeping out contaminants (which are mainly resin and ash from the product you have burnt). The resin and ash falling into the bong water tend to stain the glass bong, not to mention the fact that it also exudes quite an unpleasant odour. What happens from here usually is that the next hit you’re going to make would taste a little different and feel a bit impure, and changing the bong water doesn’t usually cut it for cases like this.
Since resin can get quite sticky and tough to clean, regular disassembly and general clean-up of the bong would be necessary to make every hit feel and taste fresh and pure. This is where the ash catcher comes in — allowing for easier, cleaner, and better bong use. This means that you will be spending more time smoking than bothering yourself with all the cleaning.
How does it work?
If you’re wondering how the ash catcher works, all you need to do is attach the male end of it to where your glass bowl once sat and transfer said glass bowl to the ash catcher’s female end. Once attached, fill the ash catcher with enough water and you’re good to go. So from here on out, the ash and resin would not go straight into your bong water but instead into this easy-to-clean ash catcher attachment which makes smoking a whole lot easier. Also, if you feel like you may get a bit clumsy while you take the glass bowl out as you smoke, you may want to purchase a Keck-clip to secure the joint connecting the bong to the ash catcher.
Some caveats you may face here include knowing the right joint size of your bong vis-a-vis the ash catcher, determining if the bong’s end joint is male or female (so you can also buy an adapter in case you need one), and figuring out what kind of percolators and filters you want inside of it.
If you need help choosing the correct size, please view our “Glass Grinding Sizes Guide” here.
What’s the perfect ash catcher for me?
If you have decided on getting yourself an ash catcher, you may be intimidated by the number of options you have to choose from along with several things you have to consider. That’s why we have compiled a quick list you can run through as you go on and choose the perfect ash catcher for you.
1. Joint Size
Even if joint sizes are standardized, they still come in an array of options, varying from 10mm to 14mm and even 18mm. You can always buy any other joint size if you prefer it that way (or if you’ve made a wrong purchase) as long as you have the accompanying adapter to go along with it. The only problem with these adapters is that they add weight and complicate the set-up, posing problems that may happen in the future.
2. Joint Gender
Opposites attract, and the saying trickles down even to the joints in ash catchers and bongs. Knowing if your bong has a male or female joint would lead you to the correct type of ash catcher to buy (and if you buy the wrong one, there are always adapters and the caveats that come with it).
3. Joint Angle
With only 90-degree and 45-degree variants, you’d easily be able to figure out which one you need. The only thing you need to remember here is that the joint angle of the ash catcher has the same joint angle attached to the bong. This makes sure no dirty water gets spilled back into the bong for a hassle-free clean-up.
Ash catchers come in different sizes, and there’s definitely no point buying an ash catcher that’s almost the same height as your bong. Doing so would risk the sturdiness of the joint while also risking the capability of the bong to stand up once you put it down after a hit.
There are different types of percolators fixed on the insides of the ash catcher, ranging from a showerhead, honeycomb, inline, or tree perch. If your pipe already has several percs installed, you don’t need the extra diffusion as it would mess with the drag. Otherwise, you are free to choose any perc that you may want to try and add to the mechanism.
Ash catchers come in many different sizes and you must be aware that not all ash catchers fit all bongs. Some beakers with reducer down stems require a shorter ash-catcher as the bulging base of the beaker can get in the way of some ash catchers, the joint angle of the ash catcher can also cause the same problem.
Dry Ash Catchers
Dry Ash Catchers simply traps the majority of the burnt ash/material and this is achieved by falling directly into a small amount of water in the bottom of the dry ash catcher. Dry Ash Catchers are a very popular option as they do not add any drag to the dray of your smoke and in turn will not affect the function of your percolated bong.
Dry ash Catchers are not actually dry, they contain a small amount of water in the bottom of their chamber. They get their dry name because no smoke passes through the water.
We hope this quick article has helped you find the perfect ash catcher for your next session. As long as you have $20-$60 dollars to spare, your bong sessions would never be the same again thanks to this clever little contraption.