This guide will tell you everything you need to take into consideration when Purchasing a Hookah. For a novice hookah smoker, it may be unclear how to choose the right hookah.
Some hookah connoisseurs argue that solid brass pipes are the best. They are the heaviest, most solid pipes, and last forever. While they do oxidize, they never corrode. The problem with brass pipes is that they require polishing on a regular basis to maintain their luster and shine. Other people prefer combinations of stainless steel with brass or copper. There are issues with stainless steel though.
Choosing the right height for a hookah is for the most part a matter of preference. Experienced hookah smokers gravitate toward hookahs between 28 inches and 32 inches. 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 vase 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.
Hookah Hose Options
The Four Hoses hookahs look amazing don't they? They look like they would be perfect for a party!! Despite the looks, multiple hose hookahs are not all they're cracked up to be. The more hoses, the more the performance goes down and the more cumbersome the hookah is to smoke.
The reason they are so unmanageable is because every person that has a hose in hand has to plug 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.
Luckily, the multiple hose woes can be overcome. Most traditional multiple hose hookahs do come with rubber stoppers, which make it easy to convert back down to a one hose. You can also opt for a modern hookah with a built in check valve system, which is much more manageable.
Furthermore, there is no denying the appeal of pulling out a two, three, or four hose hookah when entertaining big groups. They do bring excitement to the party.
Buying a Hookah in Person
It is extremely important that you know how to check a hookah before you purchase it,Start with the hookah bowl on top. Inspect for chips and an ovular opening where it connects to your hookah. If the the opening of the bowl is ovular, it might not seal tightly when sitting on top of the hookah. Next, look for obstructions in the holes of the bowl. Sometimes, during the glazing process, the holes are covered up or clogged. You will also want to make sure that the bowl fits snugly. You should be able to jerk the hookah a little bit and not have any movement on the bowl. If it does seems to wobble a bit, try to turn it in a clockwise fashion as you push it down over the gasket
To remove the hookah hose. Plug one end with your thumb as you blow through the other end. Listen carefully for any air leaks. If there are any air leaks, the hose has a hole in it. Now, unplug one end and point it at a bare patch of skin that is not on your face (you may get a chunk of rust right into your eye). You should feel a good amount of air coming out. If the amount of air coming out feels weak, the hose has obstructions.
Check the stem for breaks or damage by holding the stem up like a looking glass and pointing the opposite end toward the light.
Unscrew the check release valve to make sure it has a ball bearing.
To check the air flow of the rest of the hookah, make sure it is assembled with the stem,vase,vase gasket,hose, and hose gasket. You will need to remove the bowl and bowl gasket if it is on top of the stem. Use your hand or a piece of cloth to clog the top of the hookah stem. Suck through the hose and listen carefully for air leaks. You should not be able to take any air in. Common air leaks occur near the hose port around the weld lines. With the top of the hookah stem still clogged, blow into the hose. Air should be expelled out of the check release valve.
Make sure the vase is not wobbly and that the top opening is not ovular. Also, look for cracks and chips in the glass.
The old adage, "You get what you pay for", is even true for the hookah industry.
If you are buying a hookah in the U.S. that is under $30 chances are it's going to be pretty messy. If you spend over $100 on a hookah. Chances are you're going to get something descent that will last you. That being said, many traditional style hookahs can be pretty pricey and fall short of expectations, which is mostly due to the visible weld lines and imperfect finishing work.
Popular name brand hookahs will always be 10 - 15% more than equally good hookahs that have no name recognition. Generally, this price hike is worth it to get a hookah you can be sure you'll be happy with.