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Joint Size and Genders Explained on Water Pipes

Joint Size and Genders Explained on Water Pipes

Many people who just got into the glass world are prone to buying pipes that can’t serve them well simply because they’re not familiar with the components. Aside from the quality of a dab rig or bong, the next big thing to figure out is the size and gender of the joint. It probably sounded strange the first time you heard that glass pipes can be male or female.

Well, here’s a simple explanation to help you understand the sizes and genders of joints.

The Different Sizes and Genders?

There are many reasons why it’s important to know about the sizes and genders of your smoking piece. It will determine the accessories that can work on it and how much you can smoke at a time. Although some glass pipes come with a bowl, nail, or both accessories, you may need to purchase new accessories at some point. Your bowl could get damaged after continuous use. You may also want to personalize your glass piece with an adapter.

joint size and gender on glass water pipes

Joint Genders

Smoking accessories such as bowls, nails, bongs, adapters, etc., have genders, which makes it possible to identify a male and female component.

But what exactly are glass joints? Joint is the part of your glass pipe that holds the bowl, nail and other accessories. So how do you tell the difference since it can be male or female?


Although there’s honestly no clear-cut way of determining whether your joint is a male or female, there's a trick you can use. Just take a look at your glass piece and check if the bowl is placed onto the joint. If it is, then you have a pipe with a male joint.

A male glass pipe needs an accessory of the opposite gender to work well so make sure all the accessories you buy for your male joint are female. Male joints are mostly found in oil rigs, but can also be seen on a few water pipes too.


Female pipes, require you to insert the accessories into the joint and not over it. A female joint works best with male accessories so make sure you don’t buy female add-ons when you have a female water pipe. Standard water pipes for dry herbs are mostly female.

The most important thing to note that the female joint goes with the opposite gender accessories and vice versa.

male and female joint genders on water pipes

Joint Sizes

Since you now understand the difference between a male and a female pipe, the next important thing to know is joint sizes. Glass joints come with different sizes so that you can easily use different bowls, nails, and other add-ons.

There are three categories of joint sizes, and they are all measured in metric, regardless of the measurement system in your country.


10mm joint sizes are usually referred to as mini or nano joints as they are mostly found on smaller rigs and bongs. Although they are quite rare to find, you can quickly identify them due to their tiny size.


14mm joints are commonly found on small to medium water pipes. How do you know a 14mm size joint? You can use a dime experiment to determine the size. A dime is slightly bigger than a 14mm joint, so try to place the dime on the joint, if doesn’t accommodate the dime, it’s likely a 14mm size joint.


The 18mm size joints are also common like the 14mm. They offer more airflow and are meant for bigger glasses like beakers or straight tubes. The best way to know an 18mm size joint is through the use of a dime. If the dime fits in, then you’re holding a glass pipe with an 18mm joint size.

Unlike the joint gender that goes the opposite way, the joint size requires the same accessory size. That is, if you have a glass pipe with a 14mm size joint, you’ll need to buy an add-on accessory with a 14mm size.

joint sizes on water pipes



In the end, there is no wrong water pipe. Choosing a dab rig won't be difficult when you use this guide.

You just need to consider different factors before buying your glass pipes and their accessories. These factors include the joint size and gender, glass thickness, filters, and price but understanding the sizes and genders must always come first.

You can now comfortably buy a water pipe or smoking accessories that can fit your glass piece. Check out our store for different quality glass pipes and accessories.

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