What makes a great glass pipe? I sometimes wonder that myself as I relax, enjoying my smoke out of one of my various glass pieces. Is it the brand? The artist? Or simply the way the piece looks to the average person and chosen without discerning opinion? It’s easy to admit the last choice, because it’s the most available and the easiest choice for many people. After thoroughly testing and reviewing Hitman’s new E -Perc mini vapor tube, I believe that there are changing ideals and facets in the way people choose their pipes. With an element of functionality, brute strength, and class, leaving no room for the opinion-less individual , there is a market to support those choices, with smaller bore, higher quality glass now at their disposal. Enter: Hitman Glassworks.
As somewhat of a connoisseur, I have been following Hitman Glassworks for a little over 2 years. From their original 3 hole disk percs, to their most current line of E-perc tubes, side car bubblers, brilliance perc and torch tubes it is clear they have made leaps and bounds from their humble beginnings in Massachusetts. Now based out of California, Hitman has been killing the competition. With their recent win for Best Glass at the Medical Cup in LA this February and at the Medical Cup in Amsterdam last year, and through having one of the best social marketing campaigns online, it’s clear to see why this company is a winner. More and more they’ve shown and proven to the industry that a little bit goes a long way, as most production Hitman pipes (aside from logos) are simple, to-the-point, functional pipes that provide great filtration and thorough American craftsmanship. But as with any brand/Glass blower, the more customization you throw in, the crazier the design gets as demonstrated by their various torch tubes.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to be sent a mini E –Perc vapor tube from Doug at Hitman for my participation and subsequent winning of a collage contest on their Facebook page. Since then, I have been blown away by its minimalist design and great attention to detail. Upon unveiling the mini vapor tube, the first thing you instantly notice in your hands is the beefiness or thickness of the glass. Not only does it feel solid, but upon closer investigation, you can tell the work itself is solid. Welds are formed perfectly, the foot and mouthpiece were correctly shaped without any flaws (i.e. not bent or misshapen; no bubbles) and to top it off, the stem is reinforced and the foot is about 10mm thick, which is a plus as some companies will avoid these steps in an attempt to save time and cash. This was the first tapered mouthpiece pipe I’ve owned (i.e. skinny neck) as most of my collection is comprised of bigger bore (45-50mm) tubes. However, I have owned similar size pipes that are under 12 inches (Zob showerhead bub, Name Brand inline bubbler, JBD mini tube etc), yet none seem to match the smoothness or diffusion of the E-Perc, as it provides minimal drag, with all perc holes being used efficiently. As a side note, the E-Perc’s efficiency on the Hitman was also a plus for me, as I have owned many percolated pipes where the perc in theory was supposed to be fully functional, but upon usage, I would find that maybe half of the perc holes (or whatever amount) would be used, effectively rendering the perc semi-useless; not the case with a Hitman.
The other important point to note regarding construction of the pipe is the disc perc itself. Many pipe companies use a combination of circ percs and trees, or just trees and circs individually, amongst other types of percs. I find that standup percs, (i.e. showerheads, trees, etc) have a much lower tolerance for vibration, even when reinforced, and are therefore much more susceptible to cracks if accidentally bumped on a table, or an object around you (how many times have u seen a friend or friend of a friend with a broken tree in the perc chamber? I know I have before……what a drag). The disc perc, since it has been welded in and stabilized, offers no room for vibration, as the rest of the pipe simply absorbs any shock it receives, in turn leaving the pipe fully functional and intact.
As far as how you intend to use it, at its heart, the mini-e vapor tube was meant for concentrates. After giving it a test run with extracts, it is clear as to why most, if not all concentrate- specific pipes are less than 14” tall, or have small bore mouthpieces. Not only are they less cumbersome, as there is multiple steps in the concentrating process and things can get cramped, but they also give you the “flavor saver” element in that the small bore/size of the tube allows the user to experience the full flavors and notes of their chosen concentrate. Hitman has essentially nailed down the correct size for concentrate pipes, and the mini vapor tube line they have released is a prime example. As far as herbal blends, the vapor tube works just as well, however with herbal blends, a pipe that filters slightly more might be a better choice as sometimes the mix can get caught under the perc and potentially clog a perc hole etc. However, overall, herbal blends work great and the size compliments them perfectly as coughing fits are drastically reduced as opposed to ripping, let’s say, a 20 inch tube.
Hitman has truly put forth some serious effort in pleasing the glass community and you really have to look no further than the mini vapor tube, one of their simplest designs, to see it. The E -Perc filters concentrates great, the size is highly portable and user friendly, and the construction is bar-none, some of the strongest if not THE strongest construction I have seen in some time, especially on a mini. Do yourself a favor when u get a chance and pick up a Hitman mini vapor tube, you will never regret it; and you’ll add an element of class and exclusivity to your collection the likes of which you’ve never seen or experienced. Be sure to check out www.aqualabtech.com for the mini vapor tubes which retail US $400 and at head shops nationwide.
The pipe game is changing……Hitman is simply bringing you to the forefront of this change, and is succeeding with flying colors. Concentrate Accordingly.