The most valuable (literally and figuratively) part of the hookah is the shaft. It would seem – what’s so big about it? Coals do not burn here, tobacco does not evaporate, water does not gurgle – just a vertical pipe – and that’s it. However, it is not just a pipe. It is in the shaft where the main process of cooling and purifying of smoke occurs (for which, in fact, the hookah has been invented). The better the hookah shaft is, the more qualitative and tasty smoke we will inhale.
Height and diameter of the hookah shaft
The first thing to evaluate when buying a hookah is the height and diameter of the shaft. Just say that the height less than 50 cm – is not a proper choice. Such a shaft will fail to cool and purify smoke properly.
However, a too high shaft has also its drawbacks – smoke going a very long way can lose some of the aroma.
Therefore, the ideal height for the shaft is from 50 to 70 cm.
The diameter is also important indicator, as well as the height. If the width of the shaft pipe is too small, it will be extremely difficult to inhale. For those who like a light smoke, the shafts with a diameter of 15 mm or more are recommended. Those who prefer a heavy taste (there are some) fix upon a diameter of 12-14 mm. But no less – smoking a hookah with a red face from tension is a weird pleasure …
Shaft for a hookah – Material
Once upon a time, shafts were made of wood. But since the tree is quickly spoiled by moisture and is easily saturated with smells, it has long been forgotten.
Today, the ideal material for a shaft is stainless steel. The stainless steel shaft is durable, it does not absorb odors, is not subject to corrosion and can last up to ten years. If you have extra money, then you can buy a shaft made of noble metals – for example, silver. But this is more a show off or a statement of the high status …
If, on the contrary, there is no money, then you can try shafts made of copper and brass. They are totally cool, except the fact that over time, these metals will oxidize. Therefore, their service life usually does not exceed two years.
There are even cheaper aluminum shafts, but they also serve less – no more than a year. Aluminum quickly rusts, which immediately affects the taste of tobacco smoke.
So in the case of the shaft, you can recall the well-known proverb – “penny wise and pound foolish.”
Thread or seal?
The hookah shaft is connected to the flask in two ways. Some are simply inserted into the opening of the vase, and tightness and stability are provided by a rubber seal at the junction. Others are screwed onto the flask using thread.
Of course, threaded connections are much more convenient. However, if you break the flask, then picking up a new one – ideally suited for this connection – will be extremely difficult. Also, you can easily damage the thread, and the shaft will simply become unusable. But rubber pads are inexpensive, and you can replace them at any time.
Solid or prefabricated?
In addition to solid shafts, made by a single monolith, there are prefabricated. They consist of several parts that are connected using thread.
Of course, a solid shaft is both more reliable and airtight. However, the prefabricated one allows you to manually adjust the height. For instance, if you want to take a hookah with you on a trip, then for convenience you can build a smaller shaft.
Keep it clean!
No matter how high-quality your shaft is, it will become dirty with time – and stronger than other parts of the hookah. Which is not surprising – smoke filtering is one of its main functions. Therefore, please remember to wash and clean the shaft on a regular basis (there are special long and narrow brushes for sale).