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How to Buy a Hookah: Important things to consider before making your purchase!

Hello, dear Reader and Knowledge Seeker! Thank you so much for stopping by, you are welcome to our next informative blog post.

Buying a hookah can be a confusing process sometimes. What brand should I buy ? Russian Stainless Steel or Aluminium, Glass or Acrylic, Traditional Egyptian or Modern ? On a budget ? How tall should the hookah be? What about brass hookahs? There are so many questions to be asked and so many things to consider. We understand your confusion and would like to help you to find nearly all of the information you need to make a good hookah buying decision.

1. Hookah Price Range.

Price is one of the main criteria for choosing a hookah. Below listed the most important factors which are affecting it:

  • Manufacturing material. Hookahs made of stainless steel are much more expensive than hookahs made of aluminum, brass, plastic, silicone or glass. Hookahs with a wooden, carbon or even gold decor, with accessories made of expensive materials are the most expensive.
  • The complexity of manufacturing. Models with non-standard design solutions require more labour hours, which directly affects the final price.
  • Equipment. Hookahs of the same material may vastly differ in standard package content. Shaft, glass base, hose, mouthpiece, bowl – all of these can be included in the package or not. Check it carefully before purchasing.
  • Brand. The hype or well-knownness of the brand (company) directly affects the cost of it’s products, brands with wider advertising and more massive distribution usually are more expensive.

2. Brand.

We think that brand reputation is something that you should consider while you’re choosing which hookah to buy. Don’t know what it is? It’s not the only thing that you should think about, but it is an important aspect. It’s really easy to research brands online, particularly if they are well-known, so be sure to look into the history, reputation, reviews and customer service before you buy.

Please feel free to browse through our online store and check out more information about our range of hookah brands, carefully selected and brought to you from all over the world. WE DELIVER THE BEST!

  • The world’s most popular hookah brands are Khalil Mamoon, Starbuzz, Alpha Hookah, Dream Smoke Hookah, Hoob, CWP.
  • The most popular Russian hookah brands – Hoob Hookahs, CWP, Mamay Customs, Dream Smoke Hookah.

3. Hookah Weight.

The weight of the hookah depends on the material of manufacture, stainless steel models are much heavier than the others. Weight does not affect the quality and features of smoking process.
When specifying the “Weight” parameter, we mean the weight of standard package from the manufacturer.

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4. Hookah Height.

Choosing the right height for a hookah is for the most part a matter of preference. Experienced hookah lovers prefer toward hookahs between 45 cm and 70 cm. This range of height is the happy medium of performance and ease of handling. However, someone that intends to camp or travel a lot might prefer a smaller hookah. Conversely, someone who intends to smoke on his outdoor patio, may want a really tall hookah that can be placed on the floor next to a high table.

Height does play some role in performance. A larger glass base and stem will hold more smoke and produce more smoke upon inhaling. This doesn’t mean that small hookahs don’t smoke well. There are plenty of small hookahs that smoke extremely well.

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5. Hookah Diffuser.

At the beginning of 2016, the main trend of hookah industry became at diffuser. This tiny hookah’s feature is designed to make your hookah noiseless and make your draw easier, effortless almost. Diffusers are may built-in into the down-stem, and, they are not removable, or may be adjustable, which can be easily removed if needed.
By this parameter, we divide hookahs as: without diffuser, with built-in diffuser, with adjustable diffuser.

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6. Number of Hose Ports (Hookah Hose Options).

Four-hose hookah might have a great appearance. They look like they would be perfect for a party. BUT! Despite the looks, multiple hose hookahs are not all they’re cracked up to be. The more hoses, the more the performance goes down actually. The reason they are so unmanageable is because every person that has a hose in hand has to plug (block) their tip when they’re not smoking. If one hose tip isn’t plugged, the person who is smoking can’t get enough suction to pull out the smoke.

However, there are several hookah Chinese, German, Egyptian hookah brands that create their models with 3 additional valves for ports – to add another 2-3 hoses. You won’t find a modern Russian hookah for 2-3 hoses, because everything is made for the comfort of smoking of one person, in order to get a real hookah experience. For any additional smoker we suggest to set up separate hookah – it is safer, it is more comfortable.

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7. Hookah Equipment included into Standard Package (upon purchase).

What is it – a complete hookah set? Glass Base, shaft, hose, mouthpiece, ash-plate. Some manufacturers include clay bowl and tongs into complete set as well.

  • Complete set – Includes all of the above hookah elements.
  • Full set – Glass Base, shaft, hose, mouthpiece, ash-plate.
  • Shaft only – This kit includes either only the shaft itself with an ash-plate, or a shaft with an ash-plate + mouthpiece without a silicone hose.
  • Semi-complete or Partial set (without glass base and bowl) – The set includes a shaft with ash-plate, silicone hose with branded mouthpiece from the manufacturer.

Always read information about hookah package carefully. On our website you can see detailed info about any hookah, dimensions are also here.

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8. Hose Adapter Connection. Hose-to-hookah attachment system.

Hose Adapter (or hose connector) is the part of the hookah to which the hose is attached. There are some different types of adapters around:

  • Fixed (unmountable) – can be found in traditional hookahs such as Khalil Mamoon, Amy hookahs and 50% of the market. For tight connection, you may need a special silicone grommet, paper tissue etc.
  • Magnetic – the active impulse of which was set by the Russian Mattpear. Thanks to this system, you will not drop your hookah, the magnet will pop out faster. In addition to some security you get a kind of hi-tech of the hookah industry, something unusual.
  • Ground joint – most modern method of connection. It is very aesthetically pleasing and convenient, but you should be very careful not to lose the required part of the connector.
  • O-Ring (toric joint). A simple and very reliable method of tightening the connection. You can also use O-rings for protecting your’s hookah threads to insure an air tight seal. Over time the O-rings on the stem, hose port and hose connection do wear out and will need to be replaced with new ones.
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9. Hookah Decoration Materials.

The visible part by which the hookah is judged, usually mounts on top of the hookah’s upper stem and easily changes the style of the water-pipe. Along with them there are hookahs without decor – a hookah sticks – budget models made of stainless steel. Hookahs decorative overlays are usually made of:

  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Wood (Oak, paduk, birch, wenge)
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Plastic
  • Polyacetal

10. Hookah Main Base material. The heart of Hookah.

The base is the centre of hookah, connects to the glass vase, has a hose connector and a purge valve, it can be of different shapes and usually made of the following materials:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Stainless steel
  • Plastic
  • Polyacetal

Material definitely affects the final cost of the product, thus, stainless steel pieces are much more expensive than the others.

11. Shaft Material.

One of the most important parameters when it comes to choosing hookah. The lifetime of the hookah depends on the material of the shaft. They are made of stainless steel, brass, glass and aluminium.

  • Stainless steel hookahs are the indisputable leaders here, having bought such a hookah, you do not need to change it due to corrosion or rust. The cost of such products starts from 75 euros per shaft and above. The most popular steel grade is AISI 304. Every respective hookah lounge now exclusively uses stainless steel hookahs.
  • Alloy of metals includes stainless steel, aluminum and brass. This material is used to reduce the cost of the final product.
  • Aviation aluminum is a very lightweight material which is also commonly used in aircraft construction. Aluminium grades D16T and D18T are wery well-known as quite reliable, but there are plenty of corrosion cases of aluminium made shafts. Surf for anodized aluminum since it is more corrosion-proof but need a proper and constant care otherwise your hookah won’t last more than 2-3 months.
  • Brass is one of the first materials used in the hookah’s manufacturing. Syrian and Egyptian hookahs are made of brass. This material is very reliable, everyone knows that Khalil Mamoon hookahs last forever ? 😉
  • Glass is an aesthetics and light draw. Glass hookahs were always in trendz, they smoke well, and you will find them in every decent lounge. The only disadvantage of this material is it’s fragility! In terms of smoking features, glass hookahs are absolutely similar to stainless steel models. All have light draw, and all of their parts except the hose are made of glass.
  • Plexiglass is as beautiful as glass, but reliable as metal. Hoob Atom is a vivid example of Plexiglass product. Well build, very good draw, lightweight and compact in size. Perfecr as your “hookah to go” device.

12. Hose Material.

Within the past 5 years or so, silicone hookah hoses have taken the market like a tidal wave. The silicone hoses we feature here at HolySmoke ShishaBar are all comprised of high-quality, medical grade silicone material the likes of which is used in science labs. A major advantage to using silicone hoses is that they are much more resistant to flavour “ghosting” which means you get fresh taste from each hookah session. They are also a lot more flexible and lighter than traditional hoses, making for easy storage and even easier to wash!

Traditional hoses often have a more exotic appearance. Though you can run water through them to clean the hose, the water can degrade the hose lining and will eventually lead to an early death of your hookah hose. These hookah hoses are known for large handles, traditional materials, and wide open air-flow.

13. Country of Manufacturing.

Hookahs come to the Cyprus market from many countries, but the production of hookahs is developing most of all in Russia, Germany, Ukraine, China and USA, while Russia is the undoubted leader in terms of innovations, quality and variety.

14. Disassembling Hookahs and Portable Hookahs.

Disassembling is a useful feature as well as a great advantage for those who like frequent travel. The convenience of carrying, transportation, small dimensions, all that is achieved thanks to disassembling hookahs. How to disassemble a hookah? The base, downstem, shaft, ashplate, adapters, and diffuser – all parts can be disassembled and placed in a box. Or simply consider purchasing compact, portable hookah 25-37 cm in height – there many great examples can be found on our website. Never risk taking your expensive home hookah setup with you for camping.

15. Ashplate Types.

Designed for storing and shaking off ash from charcoals while smoking (as well as for protection of your tiles and carpets). There are two types:

  • Air circulation is not provided. A flat or relatively flat surface.
  • Air circulation is provided (waves are located along the perimeter, allowing the passage of air flow and keeping the cube lit).

16. Hookah + Glass Base Connection Types.

The shaft and the glass base of the hookah must be hermetically connected in order to prevent the hookah from falling, as well as to stop the air leakage, which will “steal” the draw power during smoking. The type of connection does not affect the smoking process, taste, smokiness and other properties of the hookah in any way. For the moment, the following types of connection are used: plug-in (with a silicone grommet), thread, click-system, magnets, ground joint.

  • The “oldschool” plug-in type of connection with grommets is the most popular due to its versatility. This type of connection is also convenient for manufacturers. It is also convenient for the end consumer, especially for broken glass base replacement.
  • Thread connection has become popular thanks to european manufacturers. This type of connection will increase the safety when you decide to move the hookah holding by the shaft, but may temporarily stun you if you suddenly break your glass base. It might be difficult to find new glass base, and also not very cheap.
  • The Click System is very similar to threaded connection that will allow you to secure the shaft in just a short movement (0,5-1 of a turn).
  • The Magnetic type of connection is unusual and is presented on the elite Hoob hookahs (e.g. Atom/Subatom). In terms of magnet’s quality, you should not worry, the manufacturer has already taken care of this, and now neither moisture nor tobacco syrup will spoil the reliable connection.
  • Ground Joint – the type of connection mostly used in glass hookahs. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to separate the parts, in that case just lubricate surfaces with water.

17. Tight/Easy, Noisy/Silent Draw.

Hookah draw can be light (easy), “classical” (tight), semi-classic, and multi-mode adjustable. The wider your downstem’s diameter is, the easier the draw. And then, diffuser which makes your hookah even quieter.

  1. “Classical” draw, in the hookah world it is based on the draw of the classic Khalil Mamoon hookahs. These hookahs do not have a diffuser, and the diameter of the downstem is 12-13 mm. Nowadays, you can experience this kind of draw on Wookah and Starbuzz hookahs.
  2. The semi-classic draw can be achieved by a downstem’s wider diameter.
  3. Multi-mode adjustable draw thrust is achieved by using a removable/switchable diffuser. If you wish, you can ease the draw by turning on the diffuser, or you can make it heavier using a hookah without a diffuser.

18. Packaging.

What we have all been waiting for is a cool-looking package from hookah manufacturers. Now it has even become fashionable to supply hookah with a beautiful package. A very small number of manufacturers still offer their products without branded packaging, including the legendary Khalil Mamoon.

19. Mouthpiece Set (+Hose).

These two accessories are usually included in the standard package, but without them, you will not be able to use the hookah. Not all the manufacturers supply their hookahs with hoses or/and mouthpieces. So read the description carefully.

20. Vase Material.

Hookah vases (bases, flasks) are mainly made of glass, borosilicate glass, bohemian glass, plexiglass, and plastic. The material directly affects the price of the hookah, but not all hookahs come with vases included in a package.

  • Bohemian Glass (chiefly referred to as Bohemia crystal, is glass produced in the regions of Bohemia and Silesia, now parts of the Czech Republic. Thank you Wikipedia!) is one of the most expensive types of vases. The weight of these bases starts from 1,5 kg. They are not cheap at a price, and you will have to pay at least 100 euros for such a beautiful piece of craftmanship.
  • Borosilicate Glass is a type of glass with the addition of silicates to increase the durability of the product. We will be able to see such flasks in a complete set with the majority of german hookahs. A distinctive feature is the walls about 1 cm thick and a fairly large volume. Prices for such flasks start at 50-65 euros. Borosilicate glass is also used in the manufacturing of glass hookahs.
  • Plexiglass is a durable and inexpensive material that significantly reduces the final cost of the hookah. Such vases are not sold separately, they are just a part of a package e.g. Hoob Atom, Nanosmoke.
  • Standard Glass – The standard thick-walled glass is most commonly used in the manufacture of vases. There are vases made of glass in every lounge, in every store and it is easy to buy to replace a broken one. The price varies from 15 to 45 euros.

Hope You have found this article useful. If You are looking for a new glass base/vase for your set-up, please feel free to browse our base collection.

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