What is a steamroller pipe?

What is a steamroller pipe?
Steven Voser

With an incredibly simple design, a steamroller pipe can deliver some seriously heavy hits and get you very high. So should you get one?

Pipes have become commonplace throughout the cannabis history, and their use is simple, effective, and for the most part, they can be enjoyed anywhere. The design of a steamroller pipe (something we will cover in more detail shortly) allows smoke to travel undisturbed through the body of the pipe.

Designed with the experienced smoker in mind, steamroller pipes offer a substantial, unadulterated hit of weed. Although this is exactly what they are meant to do, steamrollers have become infamous for providing a somewhat harsh hit straight to the back of your throat.


Thought to be an offshoot of chillum pipes, there is not much detail surrounding their popularity. It is entirely possible to fashion a steamroller pipe out of everyday items, so it's likely that the first steamrollers were created out of a desire for big hits, rather than because of cultural or spiritual origins.

These days, hundreds of steamroller pipes can be found online and are made from a variety of materials. Due to their simple design, many companies choose to increase their appeal by making them look like everyday items. Novelty steamrollers come in all shapes and sizes.



Steamrollers feature a long cylindrical tube that can vary in length and diameter. Both the ends are open, with a small bowl on the top side of the pipe. Some steamrollers require a screen in the bowl, while some don’t.

The carb at the opposite end to where you place your mouth will always be after the bowl. This allows the smoke to travel directly into your lungs when inhaled. Bowls also vary in size, and there are no right or wrong dimensions for a steam roller pipe.

The construction of a steamroller pipe is incredibly simple, and as such, they can be made out of plastic, glass, wood, or clay.


Users pack the bowl with herb before placing their mouth over one end. As you light the herb, cover the other end of the pipe with your hand and inhale gently to fill the pipe with smoke. When you are ready to take a hit, remove your hand and inhale sharply.

Depending on the diameter of the pipes, the amount of smoke being inhaled will vary. As there are no other elements involved (water, ice, or parts to disturb airflow), the hits are usually hot and harsh, directly hitting the back of your throat.


We have covered the majority of both the advantages and disadvantages of a steamroller pipe throughout this article. However, to recap, steamrollers are incredibly simple in their design. They can be small, discrete and light so they can be taken virtually anywhere. There are no moving parts, so maintenance is also minimal. As long as you have a lighter and some ground up cannabis flower, a steamroller pipe is always good to go.

The biggest downside to a steamroller pipe is how harsh the hits can be for some. If you are a beginner, it is highly recommended that you avoid steamroller pipes until you have developed a feel for smoking cannabis. Even the most experienced pipe users can be caught off guard by the sheer volume of smoke being inhaled on some steamroller pipes.

All in all, they represent a cheap and simple way to enjoy cannabis and will do the job.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.