You gotta admire stoner ingenuity. Some of the homemade designs for sploofs I’ve found are pretty incredible. PVC pipes, water bottles, cotton balls, HVAC pieces – It’s amazing some of the stuff we’ve come up with.
Let’s be honest though, sometimes a water bottle with drier sheets stuffed inside leaves a bit to be desired. This is an important device, after all. Having a sploof that works can be the difference between a great smoke sesh and one that goes down the shitter. Sometimes it’s worth it to get something that gives you a bit more security.
Que the Smoke Buddy. It’s been around for several years and has had a lot of buzz around it, particularly in the cannabis community. While its initial price was a turnoff for many, it’s come down a bit over the years. That makes it a much more affordable purchase for a lot of folks out there, so I decided to take a look and do a full Smoke Buddy review.
In this article I’ll walk through what this nifty little device is, how it works, my thoughts on how effective it is and then toss in a few pro-tips I’ve found around cyberspace.
Let’s get to it.
What Is The Smoke Buddy?
For those who aren’t in the know (c’mon, get with it!) the Smoke Buddy is a commercially available sploof. A sploof is a tiny devices that’s designed to filter out smoke. It’s generally used when exhaling after smoking from a cigarette, joint, bong, bowl, cigar or whatever else.
If you’re in a spot where you’re worried about stinking up the place, spewing second hand smoke everywhere or getting your furniture/walls covered with particles it can come in handy.
Up until recently most sploofs were odd (but effective) amalgamations of commonly found household items. As the cannabis industry has evolved, however, we’ve seen the introduction of many commercially developed accessories, the sploof included. These are a bit more sophisticated and generally include carbon air filters to filter out the particulate that’s emitted after smoking.
How Well Does The Smoke Buddy Work?
Commercial advancement can be a good thing, but only if it works and only if it’s worth the price. Otherwise we’re still in the spot we were in. So the big questions is how well does the Smoke Buddy work?
Short answer: Pretty damned well.
Long answer: See below.
In general, if used properly the Smoke Buddy will get rid of about 90% of the smoke you exhale. There’ll still be a tiny bit left, but not much. The smell is almost non-existent as well, but you’ll still smell a tiny odor after you’re done exhaling. My opinion is that it works better than any homemade device I’ve ever worked with, but that might also be because I’m awful at making sploofs.
The carbon air filter is actually really great at picking up the tiny particles that you exhale, but that’s a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because that reduces the smoke/smell. It’s bad because the more the filter picks up, the shorter it’ll last.
A Difference With Devices
The device you’re smoking from will have a big impact in how long the Smoke Buddy will last. It works really well for vaping because there are way fewer actual particles you’re inhaling/exhaling. It doesn’t work as well with bowls/pipes though because you’re inhaling and exhaling tiny bits of ash and bud – these will clog up the filter a lot faster and shorten its lifespan.
Is it worth it to grab a Smoke Buddy if you plan on smoking from a bowl, bong or joint? I still think so. I’ll cover a few neat little hacks you can use that’ll help you extend the lifespan of your Smoke Buddy later on in this article. And it still works extremely well with these devices – they just tend to shorten its lifespan a bit.
The second big factor comes in how you use the device. If it’s used properly it works pretty well, but if not it’s total crap. In order for the Smoke Buddy to catch everything, you need to have a good seal between the input to the filter and your mouth.
You don’t need to press crazy hard or anything – the word ‘snug’ sums it up pretty well. Exhaling a bit slower than normal can also help. It’ll give the filter more opportunity to pick out the particles from your breath.
Overall I think this little device works really well. It’ll get rid of 90-95% of the smoke/smell. The lifespan will vary depending on how often you smoke but I feel 300 hits is about right, although maybe a tiny bit over-estimated.
How To Use A Smoke Buddy
Sploofs in general are extremely simple devices that are a piece of cake to use. The Smoke Buddy is no different. Simply inhale from your smoking device, hold as long as you normally would and then place the smoke buddy around your lips.
Press firmly so there’s a strong seal between your lips and the input to the filter. After that, just exhale at about a medium pace. The particles and vapor from your lungs will get caught in the filter, removing the majority of the smoke/smell. That’s it! Rinse and repeat until you’re done smoking.
How Do You Clean A Smoke Buddy?
The main way to clean your Smoke Buddy utilizes the microwave but I’ll be honest, it doesn’t work super well. It’s also a bit dangerous. Before we get into this it’s important to note that microwaving plastic produces toxic fumes. Use this at your own risk and make sure you take precautions ahead of time. Also realize that no matter how much you clean this filter, you’ll need to replace it at some point. There’s no way around that.
Anyways, you’ll want to cover the filter with an old t-shirt or rag of some sort. Stick it in the microwave and set it to about 10 seconds. After you’re done open the microwave door and let it sit for a few minutes. This will let all the fumes escape. Don’t let it sit too long though because you don’t want the filter to cool down too much.
Next, take your Smoke buddy out and remove the old t-shirt/rag. Place the cloth at the end of the filter. Turn your head to the side, inhale deeply and then blow into the Smoke Buddy. You should be able to blow a bit of the particle matter out. Heating the carbon filter up in the microwave will help to loosen some of the particles, allowing you to dislodge them by blowing into the device.
If you’re not getting the results you want you can try leaving the Smoke Buddy in the microwave just a bit longer. Just make sure you’re watching closely – if you heat it up too much you could risk melting some of the plastic. And again, make sure you’re being careful around the fumes the plastic will produce.
What Is The Smoke Buddy Junior?
With the change in size comes a change in the lifespan. The Junior will only get about 200 hits and the Mega is listed to get up to 600. While I don’t think you’ll get quite that many uses out of either, you should get close.
Concerning the use, there isn’t much of a difference. The actual size of the device is smaller/larger but you’ll operate it just the same.
There is a difference in price though. The Junior is a few dollars cheaper than the Original, but not enough that I think it’s a great value. The Mega is a bit more expensive and will probably give you the most hits per your dollar. It also requires a bit more cash up-front though and will still need to be replaced when the filter is done.
Pro-Tips for Using the Smoke Buddy Filter
There are a few cool ideas I’ve read about for getting the most out of your filter. First is to make sure you’re regularly cleaning your device. After you’re done exhaling, take a small rag and clean the sides of the input to the filter. This will remove any particles that got caught on the sides and keep them from going inside the filter on the next exhale. The more you do this the more effective it will be.
The second is to stuff a few cotton balls in the input. It’ll make it harder to breathe through but can make a big difference in the lifespan of the filter, especially if you’re using a bowl or a joint.
The idea behind the cotton balls is that they’ll pick up some of the larger particles. This keeps them from getting into the filter and clogging it up, which is what degrades the carbon filter in the first place. You might even notice the cotton balls discolor after a few uses – that’s all the crap they’re catching.
Of course you’ll need to have a readily available supply of cotton balls, but they’re super cheap and you can buy them at any convenience store. Just make sure you replace them every so often because they’ll get clogged up too.
The last one is to make sure you’ve got some sort of scent to mask the rest of the smell. Like I said, this thing will get rid of about 90% of the smoke and odor, but there’s still some left. Having a candle or air freshener nearby can mask the rest of the smell pretty easily. Usually the smell will dissipate after around 5-10 minutes but additional scents can reduce that time by quite a bit. This can also mask the smell of your smoking device since the Smoke Buddy can’t do anything to affect that. You can also use a smokless ashtray to catch some of the smoke from your joint, bong or bowl.
All in all I think this is a great little device. The initial price ($20) was perhaps a bit expensive considering how many uses you get and the fact that it needs to be replaced, but the current price is a lot more reasonable.
It makes this a worthwhile purchase that gives you a lot of value for your dollar. And it works way better than any homemade device I’ve found.
If you’re looking to grab a cheap sploof that’ll help to mask the smell of your activities, the Smoke Buddy is a great pick-up.