Hello once again and welcome back to the Masonshishaware blog! Today’s entry is all about making your life easier when it comes down to hookah. A wise man once said, “Hookah isn’t complicated” and with these products I can wholeheartedly attest to just how true that can be. For this guide I’ve opted to go more along the lines of products that tend to be overlooked when it comes down to purchasing from either your favorite online retailer or local establishment. So, for those of you who may be just a few dollars away from that oh so sweet “Free shipping” code but can’t quite seem to find the right thing to add to your cart, rejoice.
- Charcoal Holder/Carrier
As simple of a product that this may be, having an actual charcoal carrier at the ready can be your best friend when it comes to a hookah session.
Transporting new charcoal and switching out used charcoal is easily the dangerous part of session maintenance. One false move and that once pristine carpet or table will forever be branded with your mistake. No pressure, right?
Now this phobia can hardly ever be fully eliminated but with a charcoal carrier on standby you can relax just a little bit more knowing that if a coal drops you have something capable of withstanding the heat without warping or making matters worse. This alone makes having one all but necessary however most are sizeable enough to carry a quarter kilo or more of ready to use charcoal making that painstaking process of going to burner multiple times a thing of the past.
It should be noted that not every carrier will be created equal, so don’t sweat spending the extra couple dollars on something that will suit your needs and taste.
- Sturdy Tongs
While surely any pair of tongs will suffice for a session, having a reliable pair are a godsend.
Now full disclosure, I myself used the most basic pair included with your run of the mill Chinese hookah for the better part of five years. You undoubtedly know the ones I’m talking about. Nearly as flimsy as a bendy straw, cheaply made attached poker that is as dull as your session with quicklights, and the aesthetic luster of a doornail. It was blissful ignorance in its purest form to say the least. I was finally gifted a pair of Hammer tongs and saw the light and haven’t since looked back.
With something like a pair of Hammer Tongs or Sahara Smoke Gladiator Tongs you have much more control of manipulating your charcoal and HMD. Tongs like these are far more responsive to the touch and are made with much more care as the malleable qualities you see with cheaper tongs are remedied.
As previously mentioned, tongs like these are far more suited to placing and removing your favorite HMD from your bowl as the prongs are extremely slim. This gives you the capability to slide into the vents while still being sturdy enough to grab the wall with ease. As our industry continues to grow and higher quality materials are being utilized that call for full-fledged preheating, having a set of these types of tongs are going to be a necessity, so ditch that old pair and make Hank Hill proud!
(Though referencing him may be a bit sacrilegious given the subject matter.)
My vote goes to the Sahara Smoke Gladiator Tongs but Hammer Tongs, Bird Tongs, and Werkbund Tongs are all awesome choices to go with as well.
- Hole Poker
Personally, I feel like this is the most skipped over product out there bar none.
Now, I certainly underestimated just how important having one of these in your arsenal really is for an embarrassingly long time. Much like many others out there I was content with using a dedicated thumbtack or toothpick for all my foil needs but nearing that free shipping code I decided to throw one in for the hell of it, all I can say is life changing.
Yes, I’m being 100% serious here. Having a hole poker at the ready (or even a grip of them for the more spacey hookah smoker) will make your life so much easier when it comes down to hookah preparation. These pokers are all created equal and give you the ability to poke with ease without the worry of the toothpick breaking, uneven holes, or ripping your foil. Most are great for travel and will serve you for your entire hookah lifecycle. It’s just one of those products that you only need to buy once and never have to worry about again.
The Fumari poker has served me for too many years to count but if you want something a little flashier check out Peace Pokers for something that will be unique to your taste!
- Kaloud Lotus I+
When referencing the ease of a hookah session a HMD certainly needs to come into play. For this guide I want to showcase the most user-friendly device currently on the market; The Kaloud Lotus I+ or Kaloud Plus as it is known around the online communities.
The original Kaloud Lotus was game changing and served us all for many years without fail. It single handedly changed the way of modern hookah practices forever and having one in your hookah stash proved that you prided yourself on being as up to date as possible with modern hookah technology.
Flash forward to 2018 and we finally saw the improvements we all longingly aspired for. The matte yet almost sandblasted finish gave us even more of an aesthetic for our premium setups, nodules were added to prevent charcoal from blacking out, and lastly the interior was widened to give us even more room for our favorite brands of hookah charcoal. While the construction material has remained the same this device is extremely easy to use for virtually anyone as it doesn’t require as many coals as other devices do nor any preheating. All of these variables have led me to recommend it as the go-to device for everyone to own when it comes down to being not only user-friendly but functional.
As the famous infomercial says, “Just set it and forget it!”
- Apple on Top Provost
Known far and wide as the essential product to own for all manners of hookah, the AOT Provost continues to reign over all others when it comes down making your life that much easier.
While the Kaloud Lotus I+ seeks to eliminate foil altogether and ultimately defines the category, the Provost is used directly as a barrier between charcoal and foil while simultaneously super-heating your bowl with minimal charcoal usage. This device flourishes with just two cube charcoal and generally will last anywhere from an hour to nearly two hours on a single round of coals.
Its design is simple much like the Kaloud in the sense that it is merely a concave screen with an optional wind cover, but the beauty is in the material used which soaks up the heat of your charcoal while evenly distributing it amongst all sides of the bowl. While I and an astounding amount of others go with the full setup, many like to smoke cooler and ditch the top of the device for a third or even forth coal in some instances. This is just another great feature that comes about with owning one; it’s all up to the end user to figure out.
I will say however that you need to have your packing methods down to use it correctly as it does get quite hot so if at first you don’t succeed, try again. The likelihood of you coming around to the device and it becoming your go to are stronger than not.
- JB Weld
Some of you may already know about the goodness that is JB Weld and what it can do for your setups, but for those out of the loop this two-part epoxy can be the saving grace for salvaging your air pocket ridden setup.
I and many others still swear by traditional setups and if you read my last blog you will know that these types of hookahs can be prone to broken welds due to their handmade nature. Most of us don’t possess the tools needed to create new welds and salvage the stem so this epoxy IS the next best thing.
With JB Weld all you must do is clean and dry the affected weld, apply the mixture, and let it harden over the next 24 hours. It should be noted that this is non-toxic, water resistant, and heat resistant up to 500 degrees or so making application to nearly any surface of the hookah completely safe. You can also use this on many accessories with ease but don’t get any funny ideas of grafting your bowl back together, some things are better off dead.
- Rubber Band Grommets
Moving right along down to hookah basics, maintaining an air-tight base connection is everything. Some swear by athletic tape, others by electrical tape, but my vote will Always be Rubber Band Grommets.
Most grommets that are included or bought aftermarket will wear down, it’s inescapable. The fins or ribs just don’t last making your base connection deteriorate to the point of the hookah session being left in shambles. You can buy more grommets of course or go the route of using tape but when you finally remove it, you’ll have to chip away at the leftover adhesive, plus it adds a cheap look to your setup.
This leads me to Rubber Band Grommets. These grommets are nearly paper thin yet never lose their elasticity and act as a riser for your original grommet to strengthen your connection. What makes them a necessity is the fact that some base openings run small due to being handmade. For example, you finally have the bohemian vase of your dreams, but the opening is too small for any grommet to fit, heartbreaking. Simply add one of two of these grommets and you now have the setup you’ve been longing for.
At the low price of a dollar or two these should always be included in your cart when buying a new hookah. In my experience you can never have enough and have saved virtually every one of my traditional style hookahs when the grommet has begun to break down.
- Oxiclean (versatile)
Nearly five years ago I would have laughed at you if you told me Oxiclean is the best cleaning product when it comes down to hookah maintenance. Obviously, this product wasn’t designed to be used hookahs, but it’s made me a believer and then some as the results more than speak for themselves.
Originally, I came across Oxiclean on a prevalent online hookah retailer’s website and wanted to try it for myself as seeing it there relieved the woes I had with using a laundry detergent as a glass and hookah cleaner. I went down to the store that day and got to work on trying to rid my base of those disgusting looking waterlines. An hour later, Oxiclean had confirmed its place among my stem brushes and vase brushes.
The application is beyond simple as well. Just take a scoop and add it to your empty vase then fill it to the top with hot water. I usually swish it around every 15 minutes or so to ensure it’s doing its job. After an hour or so empty the contents of your vase and wash it thoroughly, and now your vase is showroom new once again. Personally, I like to fill it to the top with hot water once more and let it sit for another 30 minutes to ensure any residuals have been washed away though.
Its application doesn’t stop there however as you can use this with aluminum and stainless-steel hookahs that are fully collapsible. If you are doing this, I would say to dilute the solution a little more with water as most of these pipes don’t need nearly as extensive as a cleaning as glass does. It should also be noted that you can rid all of your glass bowls and accessories of that gross look by doing the same thing and some have even used it with silicone hoses to eliminate strong odors of flavors like paan, two apples, or spice blends such as cinnamon or Kashmir. Oxiclean truly is a cure-all but of course whatever application you are using it for, make sure to wash away all the solution to be safe.
- Eclipse Tips
In 2018 we saw a large boom of these types of reusable aftermarket mouth tips, especially with hookah expos becoming more of a full-scale event in countries who are considered the leaders of the hookah lifestyle. It’s commonplace to sample a plethora or different products at these expos and carrying around a cheap disposable tip from booth to booth or trying to scavenge a tip from a busy vendor in the middle of a demo can prove to be tiresome. This coupled with the social setting that hookah is has called for something to be made to accompany and encapsulate all involved. Queue Eclipse Tips.
Now this anything but a commercial. There are several great lanyard style tips out there but for me I’ve found the Eclipse Tip to be not only the most aesthetic but functional. These tips are all meticulously handcrafted and surely make your hose pop even more on your premium setup. The construction is simple, they’re merely a segment of soft touch silicone pliable enough to fit snuggly over most hoses, a small piece of copper tubing due to its rust-proof capabilities, and finally diamondwood. The newer models feature a more universal fit for your favorite lanyard whereas older models come with an attached lanyard meaning you will always have it within reach.
Lastly, I can wholeheartedly say that having one of these has made my journey through HookahExpoWorldwide and lounge visits that much easier and I would certainly recommend grabbing one for even simple use at home as they make your favorite activity be it gaming or reading almost hands free.
As with any product released on here on Masonshisaware they are small batches so join our mailing list and follow the dedicated Facebook and Instagram page for updates on when the next batch will be coming about.
- Fumari Galivant Hookah Bag
The last entry on this list falls into the category of travel and since hookah is a social event, having something to make your travels to your friend’s place or favorite lounge safe and easier needs to come into play. Who else but Fumari can answer the call for such a product?
We have seen plenty of various cases and bags come about in the last decade but most of these are cheaply made and won’t hold up over time. This has led many to creating their own means of a travel bag or case to ensure their precious setup comes out of the journey unscathed. In 2018 Fumari set forth to end the need for such things by producing their high quality Gallivant Bag.
This bag can easily accompany all things needed for a proper session. There are pockets for your tobacco, charcoal, poker, HMD, and then some. Plus, with this bag there is added protection for your vase to travel safely and due to its size most medium to large sized traditional style stems will fit with ease or just slightly poke out of the top.
As with everything Fumari produces there is the quality to back it up too. The zippers and pockets all are woven to perfection and you’ll be hard-pressed to break any of the connections making this the quintessential product for all things related to traveling your hookah goods safely.
While this may be something a little costlier than others on the guide (roughly $40) the price outweighs the cost of possibly breaking your vase and of course the peace of mind that comes with it.
Thank you for stopping by today’s blog! I hope to have provided you all with some insight into some products you may have looked over or initially dismissed like I once did. By having any or even all these goods you will be that much closer to having the perfect session and peace of mind when it comes hookah. Drop us a comment below on some of your favorite products that make your life easier and we’ll see you next time!