The Difference Between A Chillum, Steamroller, Dugout And A One Hitter

by Kyle Gantzer

It’s true, different handheld pipes offer different smoking experiences. So here we’ll talk about the difference between a chillum, steamroller, dugout, and a one hitter. At first glance, these pipes seem similar but there are significant differences between them all.

The Size

Chillums and steamrollers come in a variety of sizes. However, chillums offer greater portability and discretion. Chillums can be as small as 2.25” long or about the size of a hockey puck. Also highly portable, steamrollers can be as small as 4.5” long, a little larger than a cigarette. The dugout box is typically 3-5” in height with space for a small one-hitter pipe, a cleaning tool, and your cannabis flower. Ceramic one hitters at 2-3” look and feel like a cigarette.

The Design

Another thing that differentiates chillums is where to put your cannabis. A chillum is loaded at the tip of the tube. To differentiate the tip from the mouthpiece, the end is designed in a conical shape. The cone helps prevent the cannabis flower from falling into the pipe. Glass chillums are typically pipes with no carb, which means you’ll get a bit of draw resistance.

Steamrollers look like locomotives, of course. The bowl can extend from the top, or be positioned on the upper side of the pipe. Some have discreet bowls that are positioned in the middle of the tube instead of near the end. There’s an air hole at the tip of the steamroller that serves as a large carb hole, which helps you draw in the smoke deeper and faster.

Dugouts have three chambers, one is narrow and fits a one hitter, while another is a wider space known as the “dugout” and holds your cannabis.  Most dugouts come with a cleaning tool in the third chamber.  The tool is fixed with a magnet to keep the top closed. Most dugouts have a spring in the bottom of the one-hitter chamber so the pipe easily pops out.

So, one hitters are small pipes with a narrow bowl designed to hold about 25 mg of dry bud for one hit or a single inhalation. There are different styles of one hitters although you’re probably most familiar with the one hitter that looks like a cigarette.

How to Use

With a chillum, you can use it as a pipe and draw from the mouthpiece, but there’s a risk of getting ash in each draw. You can clip a chillum between your fingers, cupping your hands to draw smoke from the pipe. Or you can smoke it traditionally, if someone lights it for you.

Using a steamroller has been described like using a bong, but without water filtration. You can use it without needing anyone else to light up the bowl for you.

To use a dugout, pack your one hitter by inserting it top down. Simultaneously press and twist to completely fill the chamber to ensure at least one full draw as you smoke.

How Many Hits

Chillums are convenient, perfect for instant gratification with a hit or two.

Because they can produce and gather more smoke, steamrollers have bigger hits for sharing a deeper experience.

Dugouts are perfect for taking a couple of quick hits while you’re out and about. They’re easier than pre-rolling and simpler than carrying your equipment around with you. 

One hitters, just as the name implies, hold enough for one hit of cannabis. 

Well, now that you understand the difference between hand pipe size, design, use, and hits, we hope we helped you decide which device is right for you!


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