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Everything you need to know about ash catchers and if they are worth it


Everything you need to know about ash catchers and if they are worth it 

Everything you need to know about the Ash Catcher    

A common question among bong enthusiasts is, "Are ash catchers worth it?".

Ash catchers have become increasingly popular among bong smokers due to their ability to provide additional filtration and cooling functions, resulting in smoother hits and cleaner bongs. However, many users new to using bongs may question their value. 

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using an ash catcher and help you determine if investing in one will enhance your next bong session. By examining the different types of ash catchers and discussing their advantages and conceivable disadvantages, we aim to provide you with the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision and maximize your bong smoking experience.


What does an ash catcher do?

What does an ash catcher do?

An ash catcher is an innovative accessory that attaches to the bong joint as an additional filtration chamber. These units are usually made of glass and include the main chamber, downstem, and bowl.

As the name suggests, the primary function of the ash catcher is to capture and retain ash and other debris before they enter the bong's main chamber, thus guaranteeing a smoother, cleaner smoking experience.


Benefits of using ash catcher

Bong enthusiasts often overlook ash catchers, but they can truly revolutionize your smoking experience.

If you hate having to clean your bong, then you'll be a fan of ash catchers as they mean less ash, resin, and weed particles make it to your water pipe, so you won't have to clean them as often. 

These ingenious bong accessories not only keep ash and plant matter out of the bong but also have several benefits that can significantly enhance your overall pleasure of smoking.

Maximize filtration and cooling

If your bong delivers harsh or hot hits that leave you in coughing fits, then the likely problem is a lack of filtration. Hot, harsh hits can result if the percolator isn't very efficient or the bong is small, reducing the space for the smoke to cool down. 

Ash catchers will have their own percolators. So, by adding an ash catcher to your bong, you can effectively increase the filtration. An ash catcher will also increase the distance the smoke travels from the bowl to the mouthpiece. This will help cool the smoke, which results in smoother hits that are not as harsh on your throat. 

Cleaner bongs

The ash catchers prevent debris from the burning flower from streaming into the main chamber and blocking the percolator. Some bongs with complex percs, such as matrix percs, can be hard to clean. 

With an ash catcher, most, if not all, of that ash and debris is intercepted and held in the ash catcher, meaning your expensive bong remains pristine for longer. It also means that when it comes to cleaning the bong, the task will be much easier and less time-consuming. Of course, you will have to clean the ash catcher occasionally, but these are relatively small devices with simpler percolators, which are easy to clean. 

Cleaner hits

Cleaner bongs and more filtration naturally mean cleaner hits. The ash catcher ensures your hits are healthier by removing more impurities from the smoke. The cooler hits will also help you taste more of your bud. If you're buying top-shelf cannabis, you want to taste as much of it as possible. Extra filtration means cooler smoke and cooler smoke will help bring out more of the flavors.

Customization & versatility

Ash catchers have a range of benefits; they can work with various bong configurations and adapt to your needs. 

Many ash catchers have extra features like percolators or diffusers, which improve your bong's filtration and cooling capabilities. This allows you to personalize your smoking experience based on whether you prefer larger or smaller hits or a specific type of percolation.


Investing in an ash catcher is a wise decision for any bong lover. Ash catchers effectively prevent ash and debris from entering the main chamber, thus prolonging the life of your bong. This results in fewer blockages, less frequent cleaning, and less damage to your bong.

Overall, it can save you money in the future by minimizing the need for expensive repairs or buying a new bong.

Easy maintenance

Ash catchers are easy to clean. With isopropyl alcohol and rock salt, you can get a clean ash catcher quickly. In addition, it is easy to remove residual debris after use, which makes the cleaning process more manageable.

To get a clean ash catcher, all you have to do is add isopropyl alcohol and salt and shake vigorously. After cleaning, pour out the alcohol and allow it to dry. 


Disadvantages of using ash catchers

Before buying an ash catcher, it is crucial to consider its potential downsides. Here are some downsides to consider:

Reduced airflow

Using an ash catcher may impede the airflow or increase the resistance when inhaling from a bong. 

This occurs when smoke needs to pass through additional chambers and percs, and inhaling the smoke may take more effort. It means you must draw a deeper inhale to pull the smoke through the water pipe, which some people may find challenging. Compare, for example, the draw required to inhale from a 20-inch scientific bong to an 8-inch simple beaker bong. 

It is crucial to consider personal preference when deciding whether this trade-off is acceptable, as some smokers prefer a more manageable, smoother draw.

Additional cleaning and maintenance

Additional cleaning and maintenance

Having an ash catcher means incorporating another element into your smoking equipment that requires frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Over time, ash catchers collect residue and debris, requiring time to clean them. If you prefer to avoid the added cleaning responsibility, it is a drawback worth considering. However, it's worth remembering that the ash catchers will be easier to clean than a bong and prevent your bong from needing to be cleaned as often, so this is the trade-off. 

Compatibility problem

Ash catchers come in different sizes and with joint types. Each ash catcher has two joints: the one that fits on your water pipe and the one where the bowl attaches to the ash catcher. 

The sizes of the joints are usually between 14 mm to 18mm. You also need to get the right gender joint and angle. 

If the bowl on your bong is pointed away from you when smoking it, then you have a 45-degree joint. If the bowl is pointed up, then it is a 90-degree joint. It is important to ensure compatibility before purchasing an ash catcher. If you have multiple bongs, you may find they have different connections and require separate ash catchers.  


Are Ash Catcher Expensive

Ash catchers come in a wide range of designs and prices. Simple ash catchers start from under $20, and prices can go to $100 or higher for larger, more artistic ash catchers with heady glass designs. 

Four main factors determine the price. 


The quality of materials will impact the price of an ash catcher. Ash catchers made from top-grade borosilicate glass will command a higher price due to the glass's heat resistance properties and durability. Ash catchers made from thinner, inferior glass will be cheaper but likely won't last as long. 


Handblown ash catchers with detailed, intricate designs require greater skill and more time to make than a simple tube design with a basic joint and percolator. A plain ash catcher will be cheaper than one with an elaborate, unique design. You will pay more for higher craftsmanship and uniqueness. 


The reputation of the brand will influence the price of an ash catcher. If you buy a branded ash catcher from an established brand, they can demand a higher price for the quality and craftsmanship of their work.  


The more complex the percolators, the higher the price of the device. A simple diffused downstem ash catcher will be cheaper than a similar quality device with a tree or barrel perc.


Types of Ash Catchers

Choosing the right ash catcher is primarily down to personal preference and desired smoking experience. When deciding, consider various factors, such as filtration level, ease of cleaning, portability, and aesthetics.

Each type of ash catcher has advantages and disadvantages, so you must invest time in exploring and experimenting to find the ideal fit for your bong.

Water ash catcher

As the name suggests, water ash catchers use water as a means of filtration. These devices contain a chamber containing water that allows smoke to pass through it before reaching the bong. Water plays a vital role in cooling smoke and removing impurities, thus making the smoke smoother.

Advantages of using a water ash catcher include enhanced filtration, improved cooling, and combining different types of percolators for additional diffusion.

However, it is essential to note that these ash catchers require regular maintenance, such as water changes and cleaning, to prevent residue buildup and ensure optimal filtration.

Dry ash catcher

Dry ash catchers, also known as waterless ash catchers, operate without water. Instead, they utilize additional chambers and diffusers to filter the smoke effectively.

The main advantage of dry ash catchers is their simplicity. They are easier to clean and maintain than ash catchers that require water. In addition, they offer a more convenient setup.

Shower head perc ash catcher

These ash catchers have a showerhead percolator that disperses the smoke into smaller bubbles, enhancing filtration and cooling. Slits or openings in the percolator create a shower-like result, which allows for smoother inhalation.

Shower head perc ash catchers offer several advantages, including superior filtration, an enhanced smoking experience, and an aesthetically pleasing design.

However, compared to other types of ash catcher, their complex construction can make cleaning more challenging.

Tree perc ash catcher

Tree percolators catchers have multiple arms or "trees," each with several slits or holes. These percolators disperse smoke even more than with shower head pers and offer enhanced filtration while providing a visually engaging experience. Like the shower head percolator catchers, tree perc ash catchers will take longer to clean.  

Honeycomb perc ash catcher

Honeycomb disc perc ash catchers are perhaps the most effective when it comes to filtration capabilities. These large number of slits in the percolator create a vast amount of bubbles and filtration. 

These are particularly good for smaller water pipes with simple percolators, offering incredibly smooth and pleasant hits.

These ash catchers are known for their efficient filtration capabilities. However, it is worth noting that due to the smaller size of the holes, they are easily blocked and may require more frequent cleaning.


What size of the ash catcher do I need?

When selecting the right ash catcher for your water pipe, it is crucial to consider the size of the joint. Ash catchers are usually available in standard joint sizes, such as 10 mm, 14 mm, and 18 mm. It is essential to ensure that the ash catcher's joint size matches the bong's size to achieve a correct fit.

To determine the size of the bong joint, you need to measure the diameter of the opening at the ash catcher joint. You can use a ruler or tape measure to get accurate measurements. Once the joint size is determined, you can select an ash catcher matching the corresponding size.

Choosing the right ash catcher size is essential to attach it firmly and tightly to the bong, effectively preventing any leakage or instability. This guarantees seamless integration and enhances your smoking experience by providing the desired filtration. 


Do I need a 45-degree or 90-degree ash catcher?

The term angle refers to the joint angle between the ash catcher and the joint that attached it to the water pipe. These are typically in two sizes: 45 degrees or 90 degrees. It is essential to consider the bong's design, type, size, and shape. Otherwise, your bowl may be at an unusable angle, or the ash catcher may not have room to fit on your bong. 

45-degree ash catcher

different ash catchers

The option usually chosen for straight neck or micro bongs is a 45-degree angle ash catcher. The benefit of using a 45-degree ash catcher, such as the Higher Concepts 45° Ultra-thin ash catcher, is that it provides a more natural and ergonomic feel that enhances the smoking experience. It allows the ash catcher to be placed at a comfortable angle, minimizing the possibility of accidental tipping. In addition, when connected to a bong with a matching joint angle, the 45-degree ash catcher gives a smooth, streamlined appearance.

90-degree ash catcher

90-degree ash catcher

When it comes to bongs with curved or curved necks, many people choose an ash catcher with 90-degree angles. This type of ash catcher allows for a vertical connection to the bong, which not only enhances the overall aesthetic but also maintains the balance of the setup. A 90-degree angle is especially advantageous for larger or taller bongs, ensuring that the ash catcher remains stable and upright.

Ultimately, choosing a 45-degree or 90-degree angle ash catcher depends on the unique qualities of your bong. Consider the bong's style, type, size, and shape and choose the angle that best suits its design and function. Whether you use a 45-degree or 90-degree ash catcher, both options enhance your smoking experience by providing additional filtration and protection for the bong.


How much water should I put in the ash catcher?

The ideal water level for the ash catcher will vary according to preference and the desired smoking experience. In general, it is recommended to add enough water to cover the holes of the percolator or downstream while being careful not to add too much water so as not to overflow into the main chamber of the bong.

To determine the correct water level for your ash catcher, follow our guide on finding the correct water level for your bong


Do I need to empty and refill the water in the ash catcher after each use?

To keep your ash catcher clean, remove the water after every use. When you smoke, tiny particles of burnt herb and resins from the combusted bud will get suspended in the water. If the water is left in the ash catcher, this residue can get stuck inside the ash catcher. The water will also start to go stale and can even turn moldy. For improved flavor and a cleaner smoking experience, we advise emptying the water from your ash catcher (and your bong) after each use and using fresh, clean water every time. 

Looking for alternatives to water in your bong for a taste of something different? Check out these alternatives to bong water


Conclusion: Are ash catchers worth it?

All in all, an ash catcher can be a worthwhile investment for individuals who enjoy using bongs and want to enhance the smoking experience. We have covered several important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy an ash catcher. By carefully evaluating these aspects, users can make informed decisions and enjoy the benefits of a best-in-class soot ash catcher.