If you’re just tuning in to Romancing The Smoke, this is a blog following my journey to becoming a hookah know-it-all. If you’re also a beginner, or a pro who wants to offer some advice, then I hope you’ll follow along!
This guide will tell you everything you need to take into consideration when buying a hookah in addition to our previous posts about this subject. For a novice hookah smoker, it may be unclear how to choose the right hookah. There are many factors to take into consideration including the origin of the hookah, materials, height, multiple hose options, and price. The shop you are going to purchase your hookah from. This guide will also tell you what to look for when you’re inspecting a hookah in person. All of this information is combined to help you make the most informed decision when you make your purchase.
|Persian Original wooden stem Hookah|
Origin of the Hookah
Modern hookahs are typically manufactured in China by companies based in the United States and elsewhere. Traditional hookahs come from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and other countries in the Middle East and along the Mediterranean. Modern hookahs are made on assembly lines with modern manufacturing techniques while most traditional hookahs are made by hand. Distinguishing a modern hookah from a traditional hookah is fairly easy to do. The distinguishable factors include construction, styling, and performance.
In general, modern hookahs are constructed with lighter weight material and no visible weld lines. They are commonly composed of threaded components that are screwed together, which can also be easily unscrewed to fit into carrying cases. Some of the higher end modern hookahs have better finish work than traditional hookahs, because they mix chromium into the final plating stage.
Traditional hookahs are generally larger and constructed with heavier metals. They also tend to use combinations of metals, such as stainless steel with copper and brass. Modern hookahs typically use mostly stainless steel and may mix in other elements for the finish. The best traditional hookahs use brass around critical points, such as the hose port and check valve. The major advantages of using brass in these points comes from the brazing process in which the brass combines with the steel. The brazing process adds a lot of strength to these weld points. The weld points are usually highly visible on traditional hookahs and some hookah buyers are surprised or disappointed to see a new hookah that appears so unfinished. However, other hookah buyers love this aspect to traditional hookahs; they feel like they own a unique hand-made antiquity.
|Egyptian Traditional Hookah|
Some modern hookahs have come out with improved designs. One of the innovations is an improved check valve system on multiple hose models. These check release valves are designed with ball bearings inside them. The result is a multiple hose hookah that can be smoked without the need to plug every hose that is not in use, a cumbersome issue with traditional hookahs and some modern hookahs still today. Many modern hookahs are screwed on at the vase. This makes it easy to pop your stem off to refill the vase with water and back on with an air-tight seal. The only drawback is that the metal threaded fittings can come off easily if they were applied to the glass with an inexpensive glue. However, this is not usually a problem with higher end modern hookahs.
The head or bowl on modern hookahs is generally made with ceramic rather than the clay that is used for traditional hookah bowls. The difference is that ceramic doesn’t conduct heat as well, resulting in a lower quality smoking experience. Even distribution of heat means less burning of tobacco and less rearranging of coals. It also lengthens the duration of the smoking session, since the flavor doesn’t get diminished by harsh smoke.
|All Kinds of Hookah Bowls|
Modern hookahs encompass a range of products including animal hookahs, hookahs that have ceramic sculptures on them, inlaid cloisonne designs, and plain stainless steel models. Whatever the style might be, modern hookahs tend to have more current or futuristic designs on the stem and vase.
|Multiple Hose Modern Hookah at Pars Market|
As the name implies, traditional hookahs appear more traditional. They have lines that suggest hundreds of years of history. Traditional hookahs do differ a bit from region to region and it is difficult to make all-inclusive remarks about their makeup. Whatever the region may be, there will most likely be patterns or designs unique to the history of that region incorporated into the design of the hookah.
Traditional hookah manufacturers have been honing their designs for many generations. In terms of performance, traditional hookahs tend to smoke better than modern hookahs. There are many exceptions, but traditional hookahs typically use one central tube that runs the full length of the stem. The hose and purge valve line are typically one tube as well. The tubing used in traditional hookahs tend to be wider gauge than what is used on modern hookahs. The result of this manufacturing means less restriction and easier smoke draw.
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. For one, there are few manufacturers out there that use good quality stainless steel such as Aladdin and Mya Hookah, Usually, a low quality stainless steel is used then electroplated only on the exterior with nickel. The inside remains vulnerable to corrosion and rusting. Even highly regarded manufacturers produce hookahs in this way. Modern hookah manufacturers tend to be more thorough; most electroplate the interior and exterior.
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.
|Small 10″ height single hose Hookah|
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 which found at Pars Market and our Hookah prices start at only $16.99
Multiple Hose Options
Don’t those four hose hookahs look amazing? 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.
|Large Egyptian 4 hose Hookah at Pars Market
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 which available and sold at Pars Market for any size Hookah you may have. You can also opt for a modern hookah with a built in check valve system which comes as standard option in Hookahs at Pars Market, 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, Family and Friends.
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 junky. 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.
Buying a Hookah in Person at Pars Market in Columbia, MD 21045
It is extremely important that you purchase your hookah in person and store only and we highly recommend to purchase your new hookah at Pars Market in Columbia Maryland we at Pars Market very knowledgeable and expert about hookahs we carry very high quality hookahs at the lowest prices in the market and you don’t have have the hassle purchasing it online which you won’t be able to touch and feel the quality and looks of the hookah We fully inspect our hookahs before we display it on our shelves, we explain you about the quality of the hookah and origin of the country and we are at Pars Market proudly carry full line of accessories for your hookah and everything you want for your hookah such as: Hose, Brush, Trays, Valve, converter Adapters and many many more parts for your hookahs as well as Charcoals, Tobacco, Charcoal Burner… Hope this article was helpful and we are looking forward to shopping with us soon!
PARS MARKET LLC
9400 SNOWDEN RIVER PARKWAY Suite 109
COLUMBIA, MD, 21045