Downstems and Adapters
A Downstem is the glass tube or pipe, which inserts into a bong via a frosted or ground-glass female joint. The downstem extends into the bong well below the water line, and at the other end, connects your bowl or ash catcher or adaptor. And just like them, downstems come in the standard 6 glass joint sizes of: 10mm Male, 14mm Male, 19mm Male, 10mm Female, 14mm Female, & 19mm Female.
The sizing of Downstems tends to be the trickiest out of all of them, because, just like nails and bangers for dabbing, they can have two different connection sizes.
The two sizes you need to keep in mind with downstems are the bong’s female joint and your bowl, adaptor or ash catcher’s male joint. The Bong’s female joint will most likely be one of three sizes: 10mm, 14mm, or 19mm. So, make sure you know the size of your bong’s female joint before deciding to buy a new downstem for your piece. If the female joint on your bong is 19mm, then you need to make sure the male joint on the downstem, the one, which will slide into the female joint snugly, is also 19mm.
The size of your bowl, adaptor or ash catcher’s male joint will dictate the second size of your downstem, the female joint at the top where you connect them together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same size as the first joint, because you can have a 19mm glass joint where your downstem connects to your bong, and a 14mm female opening at the top where you insert your bowl, adaptor or ash catcher.
We suggest being extra mindful when selecting a new or replacement downstem. It should be clarified that all new bongs come with their own perfectly fitting downstem and bowl, so this process should only be necessary for you if you are looking to replace a broken downstem or if you are in the market for a new one.
Glass adaptors are useful tools for connecting different sized male and female glass joints. Using the frosted glass, or “ground-joint” style, you can mix-and-match pretty much whichever pieces of glass you wish, as long as you have the right adaptor.
Adaptors come in many different sizes, but are almost always confined to the standard 6 glass joint sizes of: 10mm Male, 14mm Male, 19mm Male, 10mm Female, 14mm Female, & 19mm Female. They are a cheap and effective way of allowing you to put various sizes of bowls, nails, bangers, ash catchers, downstems and domes on just one bong or oil rig.