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Hitoki Trident hands-on: I'm in love with a $500 laser-blasting water pipe

·Senior Editor
·5-min read
Andrew Tarantola / Engadget

There is no better, brighter, more shining example of humanity’s immeasurable resourcefulness and engineering imagination than in the myriad ways we’ve come up with to get stoned, whether we’re smoking it, eating it, drinking it, pressing it between two really hot plates and then smoking the gooey runoff or gently heating it in a ceramic crucible to hoover off the atomized happy crystals. But never before in human history — even though you gotta assume those CERN folks know how to party — have we smoked weed with lasers. The Hitoki Trident is the desktop flower water pipe that goes pew pew pew to get you high high high, and I am in love love love.

pew pew pew laser bong
pew pew pew laser bong

The Trident oozes futuristic sophistication, like if the Death Star were a bong. I am really impressed with its precise design and quality machined aluminum construction. You can hear it as the water chamber seal securely hisses closed, feel it in the clunk-click as the upper laser housing seats onto the heating chamber — it’s the same self-assured thunk you get in the closing doors of a Rolls-Royce — even the silicon hose feels of superior-quality material, not that cheap-as-shit PVC tubing some brands use. Nothing leaks, nothing rattles, nothing sloshes, nothing gets weirdly hot for no reason. I am genuinely impressed.

I feel like using the Trident should be more complicated than it is given how many bits and pieces go into it. The machine is composed of three sections: the lower water chamber, the center water filter base, and the upper battery/laser assembly. Unscrew the acrylic water cylinder, fill it a quarter full, twist it back onto the water filter base holding the ceramic loading chamber, which you should have filled with shredded plant material. Insert the draw hose (or optional $30 silicone mouthpiece) into its port on the side of the unit. Slot and twist the upper stage onto the two lower sections and double-tap the power button on top to unleash a 9-second blast from its 445nm laser, vaporizing the vegetation. Now, when I say vaporizing in this context, I don’t mean like what a Volcano does, leaving desiccated but still-intact plant matter behind. I mean vaporized, like Terminator 2 vaporized.

pew pew pew laser bong
pew pew pew laser bong

The smoke will filter through the lower water chamber as you draw and an integrated carb on the back of the unit allows for easy chamber clearance. The Trident can handle both flower and concentrate, though just plunking a glob of budder in the heating chamber is a surefire method of clogging everything up — you’ll need to pad the bottom of the bowl with a bit of flower and top the concentrate instead.

The unit can even pull double duty as an aroma therapy machine but if you’re paying this much just to incinerate some dried lavender and make the room smell pretty, we’re going to need to talk about your spending priorities. There are candles for that.

pew pew pew laser bong
pew pew pew laser bong

You will need to remove the upper section between draws and poke at the heating chamber to clear the airflow ports, though you’ll only need to do it once per bowl because there’s generally nothing left but a bit of carbon ash after two rounds with the laser. Cleaning is straightforward as well — give the lower chamber a wipedown whenever you change the water, sweep out the heating chamber between sessions, and occasionally rub the crucible out with a bit of isopropyl. Just don’t drop the laser assembly, that’s the only piece that the company doesn’t sell individual replacements of.

The 1400 mAh capacity battery charges via a USB-C port and an included 5A wall plug. It’ll take about 90 minutes after unboxing to fully charge the unit for the first time but after that, requires only occasional powerups. The company claims that each full battery is good for nearly 300 sessions and I have yet to recharge it, 6 grams and a couple dozen bowls into testing.

pew pew pew laser bong
pew pew pew laser bong

I appreciate the immediateness of the process as well. You’re not sitting there waiting for a bag to fill or a chamber to electronically heat, or even for leaves to catch fire and burn. You activate the laser, and by the time you think to begin inhaling, there are clouds of dense smoke — cool, filtered and ready to say hello to your alveoli.

My only two bugaboos are with the length of the hose and its power button color scheme. Given the Trident’s tall, narrow and generally top-heavy cylinder shape, I do worry about misjudging the length of hose available and tipping the unit over to potentially disastrous consequences. And if I’m going to use the Trident as a conversion piece — a central focal point for my smoking room — I don’t want something that will be passed around like a common light bulb. A longer hose could accommodate a more sophisticated social smoking experience — give me something gaudy, shiny and metallic, that I can poke guests with while making a point.

pew pew pew laser bong
pew pew pew laser bong

Also, and I know this is dumb but the fact that the heat level indication at the top of the unit starts at red as the coolest setting, then green for medium and blue for the highest heat drives me nuts. That’s the inverse of what the rest of the industry uses — blue or green is always the coolest with red and white at the top. It kinda makes sense to have blue be hottest here since the laser’s wavelength is in the blue part of the spectrum but it still throws me. With an MSRP of $500, the Trident is expensive — PS5-level pricey. Available in either black or rose gold, it’s $30 more than a Volcano Classic (though still $200 less than the newer Hybrid version) and $100 more than the Puffco Peak Pro.

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