A bong or rig with a flat, flared bottom, resembling a beaker used in scientific labs. Pieces with a beaker base are very stable and unlikely to tip over, compared to round-based bongs, which can get knocked over and break more easily if accidentally bumped.
“Some people like heady glass but I love scientific glass, especially pieces with a beaker base.”
What is a beaker base?
In the world of cannabis glass, there are two primary schools of design: heady and scientific glass. Heady glass is more artistic and complex—imagine an abstract Picasso painting that doubles as a dab rig—whereas scientific glass is more function over form.
Scientific glass is generally made of borosilicate, like actual laboratory glassware, and is usually shaped like objects you would see in a lab, such as beakers, Erlenmeyer flasks, and Volumetric flasks. Scientific glass is almost exclusively clear, like real labware, enabling you to see smoke as it is drawn in, and also showing you when it’s time to clean your piece.
You’ll mainly see beaker bases in scientific glass pieces, which fit in with the function over form concept. Beaker bases have a flat, flared bottom, and taper as they get closer to the mouthpiece. The main benefit of a beaker base is that they are very stable and unlikely to tip over, even if bumped. Bongs or rigs with a round base are much more likely to get knocked over and break if accidentally bumped or put down awkwardly. Even though heady and scientific are two very different styles, many pieces combine shapes from both schools of thought.