Ash Catcher Sizes: 14mm or 18mm?
What if we told you that investing in an ash catcher for your smoking experience puts you at an advantage of having a cleaner, smoother smoke sesh?
Sounds pretty sweet, right? … You’re exactly right!
When choosing the right ash catcher for your water pipe, there are a few things you’ll have to consider. One important asset is the joint size of your water pipe! If you aren’t sure of which size of ash catcher you’ll need for your water pipe, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Ash catcher sizes: 14mm or 18mm? Is there a difference?
Let’s boogie into it!
What’s the Difference Between 14mm and 18mm Joint Sizes?
To know what size your water pipe’s joint is, you’re going to need your hands to help you throughout the process! If you’re a small-handed homie, you’re going to use your middle and ring fingers to test out the joint size. If you consider yourself to have a “normal” hand size, go ahead and fashion your hand into the “hang-loose” sign, because you’re going to use your pinky and your thumb for this test!
Take your middle finger, or your thumb, and insert it into the joint of your water pipe. If either fingers fit snugly, then you know that your joint size is 18mm.
If your pinky, or ring finger, fits snugly inside the joint of your water pipe, then your water pipe’s joint size is 14mm.
Using a dime is also beneficial in determining the joint size of your water pipe. Dimes are slightly bigger than 14mm joints, so if the dime doesn’t fit into the joint completely, then the joint size of your water pipe is 14mm. Larger joint sizes, such as 18mm joints, will allow the dime to fit through it.
We don’t recommend using a dime every time you check the size of your water pipe’s joint, only because if the joint is too big… you could drop a dime into the downstem or base of your water pipe. Which is a huge mess to deal with!
The major difference between the joint sizes 14mm and 18mm is the versatility of the joint size and their accessories. On average, you’ll have more options when it comes to choosing an ash catcher, attachment, or replacement slide if your joint size is 14mm. Other than that, there aren’t any “real advantages” over one joint size versus another.
Should I Choose an Ash Catcher That’s 14mm or 18mm?
Whenever you’re choosing an ash catcher for your water pipe, you always want to match the joint size of your ash catcher to the joint size of your water pipe. Though 14mm ash catchers are smaller than 18mm ash catchers, inserting a 14mm ash catcher into an 18mm joint will result in a loose fitting. You also can’t manipulate the joint size of your water pipe to accommodate other joint sizes without a glass adapter at your disposal.
Always remember that 14mm ash catchers fit with 14mm water pipe joints, and 18mm ash catchers fit with 18mm water pipe joints.
What Other Factors Should I Consider When Choosing an Ash Catcher?
Beyond joint sizes, you’re also going to need to know the joint angle and joint gender of your water pipe. Water pipe joints typically sit at an angle of 90-degrees or 45-degrees, and you’ll need an ash catcher with the same joint degree to pair with your water pipe. On the other hand, water pipes typically offer male joints or female joints, which you’ll need an ash catcher that’s opposite in gender to the joint of your water pipe. Think about the birds and the bees! We’ll touch on that more in just a sec.
Ash Catcher Joint Angles
Looking at the image above, you’ll see that 90-degree ash catchers have an L-shaped joint, which (you guessed it) is at a 90-degree angle! The joint of your water pipe will match this too. The same concept applies to 45-degree angles.
So, to refresh your memory! If your water pipe has a 14mm | 90-degree joint, you’ll need a 14mm ash catcher with a 90-degree angle as well. As you would for an 18mm | 45-degree jointed water pipe, you'll need an 18mm ash catcher with a 45-degree angle.
Makes sense, right? Sweet!
Ash Catcher Gender
Remember the birds and the bees mentioned earlier? It’s time to apply what you’ve learned from life so far!
When looking at the joint of your water pipe, you’ll be able to tell if its joint is female or male. If the joint of your water pipe is narrow, sticks out, and tapers off at the end, then the joint is male. You’ll need a female jointed ash catcher to pair with it, because the female joint will fit onto the male joint of your water pipe for snug fitting.
If the joint of your water pipe is wide and circular, then the joint of your water pipe is female. You’ll need a male jointed ash catcher to pair with it, because the male joint will fit into the female joint of your water pipe securely.
See what we meant by the birds and the bees? Did you think that concept would stretch into your smoking experience? It’s pretty cool!
To help you find the best ash catcher for your smoking experience, check out our 2021 Ash Catcher Buying Guide for the entire scoop.
Ash Catcher Sizes: 14mm or 18mm? Now You Know!
Now that you have an idea of how to determine the joint size, degree, and gender of your water pipe, you’re set to find the right ash catcher for your smoking experience. Remember, besides versatility in options, there are no “real advantages” of having a 14mm joint or an 18mm joint.
Also keep in mind that you have to keep the joint size of your ash catcher inline with the joint size of your water pipe. So if your water pipe’s joint is 14mm in size, then the size of your ash catcher will also have to be 14mm. You also need to make sure that the joint angle of the ash catcher matches the joint angle of your water pipe.
The only “opposites” that you’ll have to consider is the joint gender of your water pipe. If your water pipe’s joint is female, then the joint of the ash catcher has to be female, and vice versa.
Now you’re an ash catcher legend! Happy toking!