How to Measure a Water Pipe Joint

Glass Pipes, How to? -

How to Measure a Water Pipe Joint

Trying to determine the joint size of your water pipe?  Worst case scenario, is a broken water pipe.  Tears might even fall on that one, depending on the situation.  We feel you.

Slightly less traumatic, is a broken bowl.  Equally as incapacitating if you’re trying to smoke, but much, much easier on the pocketbook.  In that case, probably no tears, unless you’re just an emotional wreck.

No judgment…(whistle and avoid eye contact…)

Anywho, in that second scenario, we’re going to have to find a replacement bowl, so we need to know two bits of information.

Is it male, or female? - and - What size is it?

Standard sizes are 10 millimeter, 14 millimeter, and 18 millimeter.

So, how do we figure this little riddle out?

Water Pipe & Bowl Gender

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit.  To determine the gender of your water pipe, dab rig, bowl or nail, think about anatomy.

If it goes outward, it’s male.  If it opens inward, it’s female.

So if the pipe or rig itself is male, it will need a corresponding female bowl.  And if the pipe itself is female, it’ll need a male bowl.

Is my bowl or slide male or female

Water Pipe & Bowl Joint Sizing

Sizing is a little more tricky.  We have 10mm (a rarity), 14mm (most common), and 18mm.

If you have a ruler or a measuring tape, you can just measure it. 

  • 10mm = 1cm = just over 3/8”
  • 14mm = 1.4cm = almost 9/16"
  • 18mm = 1.8cm = just over 11/16"

Buuut, if you don’t have something to measure with, we’ll have to find another way.

Got a dime?

A dime is exactly 17.91mm.  

Why the hell would they make it 17.91mm?  No idea. But I’m glad they did, because that makes it easy for us to tell the difference between a 14mm water pipe and an 18mm one.


how to tell joint size on pipe or bong

If it’s female, and the dime will actually fit inside the joint, it’s an 18mm.

how to tell joint size in a pipe water pipe or bong up-n-smoke online smoke shop

If it’s female, and it just sits on top, it’s a 14mm.

If it’s female, and closer to the size of a pencil than a dime, it’s a 10mm.


Now if it’s male, it gets a little bit trickier. We have to line up the widest portion of the dime, the diameter, with the narrowest part of the joint.

how to measure joint size of water pipe or bong online smoke shop

An 18mm will appear to be almost the same size as the coin.

how to measure joint size of water pipe or bong online smoke shop

If the coin is definitely wider than the narrowest portion of the joint, it’s either a 14mm or a 10mm.

A 10mm will be about half the width of the dime, and a 14mm will be about two-thirds.

Clear as mud?

Now that you know what size you have, head on over to see our full selection of glass pipe accessories!  You can also stop into one of our five retail locations in Louisville, KY.