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Hookah stem material. Which stem to choose, what are their differences?

The stem is the most important part of a hookah, without it, it is impossible to organize the smoking process itself. This part of the device is the key element, as the quality of the smoke and the comfort of use depend on it. Smoke passes through the stem during ignition. There it cools and cleanses, delivering maximum pleasure to the smoker.
The stem also connects the bowl, base, tobacco, hose, and other elements. In essence, the hookah is the stem, it is the foundation of the hookah. However, due to the peculiarities of using this element, not all materials are suitable for its production. For example, plastics, flammable materials, or materials that absorb odors cannot be used.

The material for a hookah stem must meet a number of requirements:

  • Rust and corrosion resistance. This is necessary because if such defects appear, further hookah smoking becomes impossible;
  • Ability to retain moisture. It should not absorb or allow moisture to pass through, otherwise the hookah will be unfit for use;
  • Stability to very high temperatures. This is important because when smoke enters the stem, the temperatures reach critical levels;
  • Resistance to deformations or other damage under any negative influences;
  • Non-susceptibility to minor mechanical impacts. It is important that the seal of the stem is not affected by such factors.

Different materials can be used, but it is crucial that they do not emit any odor when heated. The material should remain completely neutral, without any scent, while cooling down.

Any stem must meet these requirements; otherwise, it cannot be used with a hookah. Modern manufacturers combine different types of materials to produce inexpensive but high-quality alloys. Let’s consider which materials are most commonly used.

Stainless Steel Hookah Stem.

Hookahs with a stainless steel stem are considered an optimal option. Very often, hookah manufacturers prefer it.
All thanks to its exceptional advantages:

– Resistance to aggressive influences;
– Ability to interact with moisture without spoilage or saturation;
– Resistance to oxidation.

Stainless steel hookah stems are very easy to care for. They can be soaked in water for a long time. If there is any buildup on the surface, it is not a problem as it can be removed quickly. Stainless steel quickly becomes cold and does not absorb the scents of syrups.

This material combines all the best qualities of raw materials for a hookah stem. However, it has one significant drawback. Stainless steel models are more expensive compared to other materials. However, this downside is relative, as budget-friendly stainless steel options are also available.

Due to its optimal acidity levels and combination of excellent characteristics, stainless steel is considered the best material for a hookah stem, especially if the product will be used frequently.

Anodized Aluminum Hookah Stem Benefits.

After stainless steel, this is also a common material used in the production of hookahs. It is regular aluminum that has undergone anodizing. This process involves applying a special protective layer to the material’s surface, which includes metal ions.
As a result, aluminum becomes resistant to moisture, interacts well with acids and other ingredients that may negatively affect its structure. Aluminum is known for its high strength and light weight. It is not afraid of moisture and attracts customers with its affordable cost.

Hookah stems made of anodized aluminum are cheaper than stainless steel. However, one should not rush to buy them right away, as this material also has its drawbacks. For instance, if anodized aluminum is immersed in water for a long time, it starts to oxidize. Some other factors can also trigger this unwanted process for hookah stems.

Anodized aluminum requires careful maintenance. Immediately after smoking, it needs to be thoroughly rinsed to remove any traces of smoke or syrup, and then wiped dry. Such a construction should only be stored disassembled, or else the base will deteriorate due to the accumulation of moisture and the greenhouse effect.

This material is combined with other components – for example, manganese, copper, magnesium. This mixture is also called duralumin. It is widely used in the construction of rockets and aircraft. A hookah stem made of aluminum alloy:

– has a lightweight;
– provides pleasant tactile sensations;
– cools well.

However, such a construction is not durable and is sensitive to damage. Some manufacturers using alloys add cheap components to aluminum. Such a hookah lasts even less than a regular one.


Polymers have become particularly popular among hookah manufacturers lately. However, when heated, polymers emit a smell and lose their characteristics. Smoke in such a shaft cools poorly, which is why polymers are more often used to make mouthpieces and bases. This material is attractive due to its aesthetic component. With its help, any ideas can be easily implemented. The material can be painted in any color.

Some manufacturers combine polymers with metal. For example, the outer part of the shaft is made from polymers, while the metal is inserted inside. The main tasks are performed by metal, while polymers can give any design to the structure. The visual design can be very original. However, such a hookah is more expensive than standard models.


This material is easy to maintain and does not absorb foreign odors. During production, it acquires various shapes and excellently cools smoke. For example, glass shafts are made in the form of spirals and can be large, around a meter in height. Externally, such a product seems small, compact, and creates a pleasant impression.

The low popularity of glass is due to the following factors:
– Fragility. This material is easily damaged;
– Complexity in use;
– Quick dirtiness;
– High maintenance requirements;
– The need to use special cleaning solutions without abrasive particles.

Glass hookahs are always handmade, therefore they are expensive and cannot be repaired if damaged.


A very stylish material that gives the hookah a unique vintage touch. However, it cannot be considered suitable for a hookah as it absorbs odors and moisture. Nevertheless, manufacturers have found solutions. Completely giving up on wood was not an option, as it attracts attention with its naturalness and unique beauty.

There is a special ritual for using wooden hookahs in Eastern countries. There, only one flavor is smoked in it, not mixed with others, and after that, it is disassembled immediately so that the individual parts do not remain in water for long. In some European companies, designer wooden hookahs are made with an internal metal tube. However, the cost of such models is always high.

Brass and Copper.

These materials are rarely used in hookah shafts, making it difficult to find models with them in stores. This is mainly due to their high cost. Some manufacturers have resorted to using alloys, adding other materials to copper and brass. However, in the end, such solutions turned out to be even more expensive than pure stainless steel.

Brass and copper products are popular among fans of traditional, classic smoking. In the past, these materials were considered the best for making hookahs. This is because they offer many advantages. Smoke cools well in a brass or copper shaft. These materials can withstand prolonged contact with water and do not rust.

However, they also have disadvantages. For example, copper loses its attractive appearance over time and acquires a greenish hue. Brass is not very malleable, so it is used to make only solid structures. A copper or brass hookah should be tall – the longer the model, the better it cools the smoke.

Some companies use these materials in small quantities as they are quite expensive. Copper and brass hookahs have an attractive and unique appearance.

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