Stemless bongs have taken over the bong market and quite frankly have now become the preferred choice. To be clear, a stemmed bong is your classic beaker bong. The stem holds your bowl and runs into the base of the piece. A stemless glass bong has a 90 degree joint and smoke travels through a hollow glass tube and then enters the base. In the case of a stemless bong, there is no removable rod that can be taken out of the joint / base. You simply put the bowl on the joint and away you go.
The Case For Stems
Stemmed bongs are probably what you're more used to, so that's a plus. If you happen to break the stem you can easily buy another one and the whole piece isn't ruined. While this may sound obsolete, it happens more than you think. Stemmed bongs are usually smaller and easy to share with friends.
Downstems by nature are limited in their percolation. Typically they feature a cross-looking slit at the bottom, which does create filtration, but pales in comparison to more advanced percolators, such tree-arm or showerhead percs. Now you can have a middle perc on top of a stemmed bong but this style is more rare. When buying a stemmed bong you're usually buying a beaker bong about 12" tall. It's going to be easy to use and pass around, but the smoothness and purifying nature of the piece will have a low ceiling.
The Case For Stemless Bongs
Stemless bongs have become the preferred choice and quite frankly our pick as well. From a percolator design perspective you have so much more creative freedom and room to use a better functioning system. In fact, many stemless pieces have two percolators in the base itself, let alone anything that uses a middle perc which sits on top of the base and can add even more. Stemless bongs have better air flow than stemmed versions and overall are easier to clean. In theory, because there's less moving parts there's less a chance of something breaking.
Other than nostalgia or creature comforts, there aren't any. A stemless piece will outperform a stemmed piece almost every time.
No matter what kinda piece your into, Freeze Pipe has the best selection of bongs for sale online. Most our pieces are of the stemless variety but we do offer a classic beaker style. The glycerin coil on our beaker will drastically add a level of smoothness that makes up for the lack of percolation most stemmed-base pieces suffer from. Overall you can't go wrong with either choice, but the stemless is our recommendation. The improved air flow, better perc design and less moving parts is all just too advantageous to go in a different direction.