Khalil Mamoon makes hand-crafted Egyptian hookahs that have been highly regarded in the hookah biz for over 50 years. It’s hard to watch a review video, read a forum, or scroll through /r/hookah (reddit) without seeing countless proclamations of KM love. The name Khalil Mamoon comes from the creator of these distinct hookahs – originally a specialist antiques restorer, he turned his interest in hookah into a family business. Now in its third generation, and going strong, these models are still made in Cairo and shipped over to the USA.
One of the trademark features of a KM hookah is the wide gauge tubing, effortless purge valve, and the bell-shape design on the tip of the down stem – all designed to give you the best out of your smoke.
Don’t be fooled when you see a variation on the spelling of the name, it’s not uncommon to see it written as Khalil Maamoon or Khalil Mamoun. These aren’t knock offs trying to trick you, this is simply a symptom of Western society trying to commercialize an item that does not have a definitive translation from Arabic to English. When dealing in international markets, different distributors, importers, and vendors will often come up with slightly different latinate representations of Arabic words. Just as we refer to the juice in your shisha tobacco as molasses, the spellings can range from ma’assel, moassel to mo’assel.
There are, however, knock-offs on the market to be wary of. How can you tell if it’s the real deal? Look for the original stamp of KM initials. This stamp is located on the top of the stem(where the tray sits) and also on the tray. Another good indicator: if it says Made in China…then it’s not a Khalil Mamoon hookah. The originals are handmade in a traditional manner and are not produced by mass assembly. Since the Khalil Mamoon hookah pipes are handmade, they usually have slight variations from model to model. Weld marks, minor scuffs, scratches on the stem, or other marks are normal. Some hookahs contain visible weld lines or unpolished metal at the welds; vases are hand painted and may have slight variations from glass to glass. Make sure you’re purchasing your KM from a reputable source!
That is not to say that all Chinese made water pipes are inferior, there are some really decent MYA hookahs on the market. These types of hookahs are generally easy to clean, have a wide variety of mod options, slightly lower quality materials, but are small enough (and come with a carrying case) to travel with. If you’re looking for a portable party hookah that you won’t be heartbroken over when a drunk friend breaks it while attempting to dub step , then maybe a KM isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a long lasting, mainstay hookah for your home, then a Khalil Mamoun is an extremely reliable choice.
Also check out our Wiki page on Khalil Mamoon.