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Male, Female...What's the deal? All you need to know about bong parts.

Male, Female...What's the deal? All you need to know about bong parts.

Selling Glass bongs online and offline, one of the most common issues we come across is repairing. A lot of customers have had their bongs for many years and when a bowl, or downstem breaks they aren’t sure what part and what size is needed. This article will guide you to understand better about the different sizes and genders of these parts.


First, there are two main styles of bowls for bongs.

This one below is often called a “Slide” Bowl or “Pull-Out” and has a tube that goes into the Downstem, and a O-Ring on the bowl that seals it when it is in place.  These slides come in two different sizes 9mm and 12mm, and therefore the downstems are either 12mm (to go with 9mm bowl) or 16mm (to go with the 12mm bowl).

Glass bowl slide for 9 mm female joint

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The second style of bowls are Glass on Glass, which have a sandblasted end to fit into a glass on glass downstem. This style is becoming more common these days because they are easier to clean, and require no rubber grommets.  These bowls come in 14mm, 19mm  10mm and can even be male or female.  We will get into the Male vs Female a bit later in this blog.

American Color thick honey bowl for 14 mm female Joint

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The downstems are the glass piece that your bowl goes into.  Depending on the style of your bong (Glass on Glass or Slide) you may have a downstem that is secured by a grommet (slide) or one that pulls out(glass on glass).  Downstems also come in different lengths as well diameters. To figure out what length you need when replacing your downstem do the pencil test.

Stick the pencil down, mark, and then measure. This will be the approximate length of your replacement downstem. When finding a replacement downstem, most of the time there will be two numbers in its name.  One to note the diameter (10mm-19mm) and one to represent the length, normally in inches.

Now’s where things get interesting. When referring to Glass on Glass, devices have either male or female parts, and therefor the bowls/domes will be the opposite gender. While there is no set rule, most glass on glass bongs will be female with male bowls.


Here is an example of a male piece.

Two tone Color Thick bowl with horn handle

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Here is an example of a female piece.

Glass round bowl for Female joint

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Hopefully this has been helpful.  If ever you are still unsure, you are more than welcome to bring your piece down to the shop and we can help you find the perfect fit or give us an email.  Open 9AM - 5PM  Eastern Standard Time from Monday to Friday!

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