Chillums and one-hitters have been associated with spirituality and meditation throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, but the chillum reached western popularity during the 20th century. Chillums grew in popularity for their strong and direct rips, usually more powerful than the average dry handpipe. Now, chillums are considered a trendy and portable hand pipe style and can be found in abundance at any local headshop.
The heavier hit characteristic of a chillum is due to the absence of a carb. As a result, there is less control over the airflow in a chillum. This means the bowl in a chillum will burn as long as the flame can sustain itself. Due to their size, chillums are best lit at a 45 degree angle to prevent dry herb from falling to the floor.
Traditionally, clay chillums are smoked using a closed fist and positioned between the middle finger and ring finger. This makes chillums a sweet choice if you’re under the weather and smoking with your friends!
Chillums are fairly straight-forward pipes, and thus make great starter pipes for beginners. They are also an easy transition to and from vaporizers. Since they don’t include a carb, beginners can just focus on loading, lighting, and inhaling. Although these pipes are basic in design and function, there are a few features buyers will want to consider before choosing the perfect piece for them.
What is a chillum (one-hitter)?
Chillums are small pipes that were first used by Hindu monks and holy men in India. It is believed that these monks have been using chillums for thousands of years, before tobacco was even introduced in India. Chillums have been associated with spirituality and meditation throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, but the chillum reached western popularity during the 20th century.
Chillums grew in popularity for their strong and direct rips, usually more powerful than the average dry handpipe. These days chillums are considered a trendy and portable.
Chillums vs. Hand Pipes
Also known as “bats” or “one-hitters”, chillums are generally much smaller than other styles of handpipes, including spoons and sherlocks. Chillums also do not use a carburetor, or the small hole on the side of the bowl. The carburetor is meant to be covered with a thumb or finger to direct the airflow from the bowl to the mouth. When the thumb or finger is removed from the carb, the bowl can be cleared and all of the smoke inhaled.
Chillums do not have a carb, meaning there is less control over airflow in the pipe. This is usually what makes them “one-hitters”; the bowl will continue to burn for as long as it can sustain itself, since there is no direct way to control the airflow.
Due to their size, chillums are best lit at a 45 degree angle to prevent dry herb from falling to the floor. Some smokers will use something small or round to hold the herb in the bowl, such as a small nut. Traditional clay chillums are smoked using a closed fist or a piece of cloth as a filter.
Size and Design
For on-the-go users, a smaller and more basic design may prove superior in portability and durability. Smaller chillums are more discrete and easily concealed. Some users prefer smaller chillums they can fit in their pocket, while others have plenty of storage space for their glass pipes and don’t mind a larger design.
Heady pieces look stunning, but they are more prone to accidental breakage around larger crowds or when subject to constant transportation. Users planning on keeping their chillums at home may prefer the more intricately designed chillums for the added aesthetic appeal.
Fortunately, chillums are fairly inexpensive to replace if an accident does occur. Users of all budget levels are likely to find a chillum they love at a price they can afford.
Glass is a great material for smoking product as it doesn’t interfere with the taste of the smoke and it is relatively easy to clean afterward. It is recommended that users clean their glass pieces after every use, or at least once a week depending on the frequency of sessions. Glass, however, is fragile and prone to cracks, chips, and breakage when dropped.
Some users will need thicker glass than others, but even the thickest glass isn’t damage-proof. For extra cautious pipers, some designs may even include an aluminum casing to prevent the glass from shattering inside.
Each user will have a different preference for how large they want the loading end. A larger loading end will allow for more product to be loaded at once, which can produce a larger hit. However, since there is no carb on the chillum, users have little control over the airflow. A screen can help with this problem somewhat.
Some chillums can only hold enough for one hit, while others can support three to four hits. Stealthy users may prefer one-hitters, while users in group settings may wish to have a three or four hitter available that they can share with friends.
The size of the mouthpiece and the size of the opening where the user inhales the smoke are two important features pipers should carefully consider before purchasing. Mouthpieces come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s crucial to find one that is comfortable for you.
A small opening will slow down the smoke, but it may take some extra work to pull it through the device. Larger openings will cause the smoke to travel more quickly through the device, but screens inserted into the mouthpiece can help slow down the smoke. Screens can also prevent burned product from falling into the mouthpiece and ruining a user’s experience.