Sherlock pipes are an incredible throwback design inspired by antique pipes. The roots of this design can be traced back to antiquity, with some of the first smoking implements adopting this shape. However, Sherlock pipes became truly iconic and earned their names, in the late 19th century. Named after the iconic Sherlock Holmes, this kind of pipe is a true feast for the eyes.
However, the Sherlock pipe is so much more than just another pretty face, its design has several features that directly impact the quality of your dry herb smoking experience. The deep bowl allows for a generous helping of herb, while the long neck gives each hit plenty of time to cool before it reaches the mouthpiece.
Its unusual and distinctive shape is also perfectly ergonomic to handle.
It's no wonder that despite being one of the oldest pipe styles, and its anachronistic design Sherlock pipes remain one of the most in-demand smoking implements on the market today!
Affordable options for Sherlock Pipe
GRAV UHPF 4" Sherlock
This mini sherlock from Grav Labs lets users enjoy all the style and power of a Sherlock pipe in an ultra-small package. This is the perfect pipe for throwing in a bag or jacket pocket when you're on your way to a party or festival. Measuring in at four inches long, it won't weigh you down at all. It comes in a wide variety of colors which, combined with its fantastic design means it earns plenty of style points.
One of the main advantages of the Sherlock pipe design is how it can offer great cooling and consistency even at this small scale. The design also incorporates an ash catcher, so you don't have to worry about any particles of burnt herb getting into the mouthpiece. Finally, an often overlooked design feature is its flat bottom, which gives it a huge amount of extra stability when you set it down!
6" Classic Sherlock | Grav Labs
Measuring in at a more respectable size, this Sherlock from Grav labs allows users to enjoy the classic pipe experience. Available in three colors, black, green, rose, and blue; this pipe would be an eye-catching addition to any collection. It is made out of high-quality borosilicate glass which has been blown to an incredibly dense thickness of 25mm. This is a sturdy piece, there are no two ways about it. This glass is also resistant to thermal shock and stress fractures, making it perfect for smoking dry herbs.
Maintenance is a breeze, needing little more than some isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners, and some patience to keep it in tip-top condition.
Cali Crusher - 5.5" Sherlock
Though they have an incredibly distinct design, there is a lot of variation found inside Sherlock pipes. This 5.5" pipe from Cali Crusher is a testament to just how wildly different Sherlock Pipes can diverge from one another. It has a wild bend in its design that puts the mouthpiece far higher than the bowl. However, it is still a well designed piece of glass and is perfectly balanced to the point of being able to free stand on its base. A carb located on its left hand side makes it easy to control the power of your hits, while the tapered mouthpiece ensures that no burnt herb particles make it into your mouth!
Top picks of Sherlock Pipes
Maria Ring Sherlock Pipe
This stunning pipe is made out of intricately worked and tinted glass. It is available in five colors: black, teal, purple, and pink; along with three accent colors: green, pink, and purple. Its design gives it a beautiful, almost coral reef aesthetic while still delivering all of the advantages of a Sherlock Pipe. Its mouthpiece is mounted high and at an angle for easy, ergonomic use.
Mushroom Milli Thick Glass Sherlock Pipe
Another unique and beautiful Sherlock. This amazing pipe is made out of colorful worked glass and has a fluid, nearly botanical design to it. The angled mouthpiece and wide belly means that this bong is ergonomic and comfortable to take hits from and hold. A true collector's piece!
GRAV UHPF 6" Tankard Sherlock
If you thought the standard Sherlock was retro, wait till you get a load of this!
This incredible little pipe has a deep bowl and a small vortex chamber that swirls your hits around before they reach the airpath. After the airpath, the pipe narrows to a point where it forms into the mouthpiece. This means that your draw resistance is consistent and that no ash will make its way past the airpath. The carb cap on the side of the big bowl allows you to easily adjust the strength and potency of your hits.
What to look for in a Sherlock Pipe
You should always pick up a Sherlock made out of borosilicate glass. This material is created by adding silica to glass as it is created. This results in a high quality material that is super clear, high quality, stain resistant, and thermal shock resistant. This means that you won't have to worry about any sudden stress fractures ruining your precious pipe mid session!
Differences between all Sherlock Pipes
The main differences between all the different types of Sherlock pipes are generally found in how kinked the airpath is. For longer pipes, the airpath stem will be relatively unkinked. This means that your mouthpiece will be more or less parallel to the bowl. This is often seen in larger pipes that put more of an emphasis on a light draw resistance.
Some pipes have an extreme bend in their stem, putting the mouthpiece far above the bowl. These are often more compact, and slightly more comfortable to hold, but run the rust of allowing ash to make its way into the mouthpiece.
There are other differences, but these are mainly aesthetic choices like glass colors and the addition of external notches.
Q1. How Do I Use A Sherlock Pipe?
The first thing you need to do when prepping your Sherlock pipe is to finely grind down your dry herb. Carefully decant this into the bowl and tamp it down. Then, when you are ready to take a hit, cover the carb with a finger, put a flame to the bowl, and draw from the mouthpiece. Allow the airpath to fill up with smoke then uncover the carb and inhale the smoke.
Q2. How Do I Clean A Sherlock Pipe?
Cleaning a Sherlock Pipe is a simple as cleaning any other piece of glassware. Make sure you empty the bowl after each session to prevent the build-up of stubborn grime. For a deeper clean use isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush to gently clean out the bowl. Use some alcohol and pipe cleaners to wipe out the airpath and the mouthpiece too. Then, leave the entire pipe to dry before you use it again.
Q3. What Can I Smoke In Sherlock Pipes?
Sherlock pipes are designed to only work with ground dry herb. They are incompatible with any form of concentrate.
Sherlock pipes are so much more than a design for retro fans, they offer a lot to herb fans of all kinds. A deep bowl, comfortable shape, and cooling airpath means that they offer truly stunning dry herb experiences. Best of all, they're available in a massive range of shapes and sizes, which means there's a design out there for everyone!