The one hitter, the bat, the taster, the chillum, the Tiny Dancer, all names referring to one of the most popular and simplest smoking devices out there. Ok, not the last name… regardless, these portable and hardy little pipes are a fan favorite for smoking a small amount of herb/tobacco. Whether you’re on-the-go, want to conserve what herb you’ve got, or just want a better idea of how much you’re imbibing, any seasoned flower/tobacco enthusiasts has one of these in their toolkit.
Having said that, they definitely have their upsides and downsides, but that’s why we’re here to throw some tips and tricks your way to make sure your one hitter is a trusty companion for years to come.
1. Load It Up!
If you’re just starting out with one hitters, have no fear, these pipes are really simple when you get the hang of them.
To pack the bowl (FYI fill the end with what you want to smoke), the easiest way is to place your herb on a flat surface, turn your pipe vertical with the bowl end down, and push the bowl against your herb (you can twist the pipe while pushing down to pack the bowl better). You can do this a couple times to pack the bowl more tightly, but make sure you don't pack it so well that it restricts airflow.
Side Note: The Daily Grind
What's all the hype about grinding, you ask? Some personal preference comes into play here, but generally people say the flower burns more evenly when it's ground, you can pack more into a bowl compared to raw herb, and the smoke also tends to be a different density. Raw flower and ground herb both have their own upsides, so just try out both and see what feels right. Caveat, don't grind your herb into a fine powder because when you light it, it incinerates like it got zapped with a death ray, leaving you with a lot of ash and disappointment.
2. The End Is In Sight
Or not in this case. Some people have some problems knowing when the bowl is lit, and they can’t see the end of the bat where the magic is happening, but there’s an easy fix. If you have a lighter with a shiny top like a Bic or Clipper, you can use the shiny piece as a mirror to see when the bowl is lit. Check out the video below to see a quick rundown. Remember to draw slowly and steadily as you're holding the flame just in front of the bowl. If you inhale strongly and quickly, you run the risk of pulling some of the herb through into the mouthpiece.
3. Amateur Firebreather
The shorter the distance smoke travels, the hotter it is when it reaches your mouth, and a one hitter is pretty short. Also, remember you’re lighting something on fire, so you’re bound to get some embers and ash making their merry way to the back of your throat. There’s a few ways to make your experience smoother though.
The SilverStick bat has a replaceable natural filter that diffuses the heat, traps tar, and stops these burning particulates so everything is smoother, but your standard unfiltered pipe is going to be a little harsh. If you’re working with a regular taster, there are metal screens you can grab at some smoking stores that will catch the biggest embers, but they don’t catch tar and finer particulates, or diffuse any heat. This intense heat can actually scorch your throat, so some pipes have dimples that some claim swirls the heat and diffuses things a bit, but once again, you’re not stopping embers or tar with these setups.
4. I Would Walk 500 Miles (Da Da Da)
One hitters are nothing if not portable. They’re so small and discrete, they’re most people’s go-to travel companion for smoking on the move. "But why doesn’t everything just fall out of the bowl and coat everything I love in herb" you ask? It doesn’t do that because you read this handy guide!
One hitters come with various tricks to get over this, like the SilverStick coming with an odor resistant end cap so you can pack and go with a couple hits. You can also pick up a wooden or leather dugout/one hitter box, to carry your herb, pipe, and other accessories if you need a little more flower during your adventure.
5. Keep It Clean
Your pipe starting to get caked in a gnarly layer of char and leftovers from your past smoke sessions? No worries! These little bats are extremely tough and super easy to clean!
We’ve got a video below of how to clean pipes with isopropyl alcohol, but the steps are pretty easy. You place the body of the pipe in isopropyl alcohol, gently swish the alcohol around to make sure it gets in all the nooks and crannies, then let it sit. This will disintegrate all the leftovers in the pipe, and a quick wiping down with a cotton swab and paper towel will finish up the job.
This isn’t to say you can use alcohol on all pipes, so make sure you double check beforehand.
That's All Folks
Hopefully reading this converted you into a true one hitter believer! Check out the video below for a final quick run through of how to use these pipes from start to finish. If you follow these tips and tricks, you'll be a hitting it out of the park in no time.