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 In praise of cheap pipes

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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: In praise of cheap pipes   Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:43 pm

There's another thread I didn't want to hijack asking why Dunnies cost so much. I'd welcome your particular and collective wisdom on the practical and oft-encountered question -- Here's a new pipe for a price that The Missus will never miss. (Let's say $100-$150) What might an experienced piper look for to tilt the odds in his favor, enjoy many happy hours of smokey solitude, and avoid bargain-hunter's remorse?
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eklektos44

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Age : 61
Location : Virginia
Registration date : 2015-04-10

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:50 pm

KevinM wrote:
There's another thread I didn't want to hijack asking why Dunnies cost so much. I'd welcome your particular and collective wisdom on the practical and oft-encountered question -- Here's a new pipe for a price that The Missus will never miss. (Let's say $100-$150) What might an experienced piper look for to tilt the odds in his favor, enjoy many happy hours of smokey solitude, and avoid bargain-hunter's remorse?

Good estate pipe from a good higher end midgrade pipe maker. You can pick up Stanwell's, Radice's, Savinelli's, Mastro De Paja's, and a host of others in that price range.
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fsu92john

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Age : 47
Location : Orlando, FL
Registration date : 2014-01-24

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:05 pm

In that price range, I'll always recommend a Savinelli. You can get an excellent new pipe for that price, or one of their fancier lines if you go with an estate.
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eklektos44

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Age : 61
Location : Virginia
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PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:08 pm

For that matter you can get a Mark Tinsky BoB Coral made for a bit more. (Had to shamelessly pimp the club pipe.) Smile
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:25 am

Briarworks Classics & Sebastian Beo are worth checking out. Also check out the Buckeye pipes on the Smoker's Haven site. Aside from that, Estates all the way.
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:29 am

eklektos44 wrote:
Good estate pipe from a good higher end midgrade pipe maker.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:23 am

Not sure what you're asking. You already have 50+ pipes. If you want more in the price range mentioned, my suggestion would be Peterson--but I'm very biased toward plain, standard shapes.
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:12 am

The Rossi Vittorias are a good deal at smokingpipes.

https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/rossi/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=193881
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:35 am

fsu92john wrote:
In that price range, I'll always recommend a Savinelli. You can get an excellent new pipe for that price, or one of their fancier lines if you go with an estate.

Yes, yes, YES !!!

SAVINELLI make superb pipes, from the very cheapest to the most expensive, they all smoke like dreams.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:50 am

Richard Burley wrote:
Not sure what you're asking. You already have 50+ pipes. If you want more in the price range mentioned, my suggestion would be Peterson--but I'm very biased toward plain, standard shapes.
I think the title of my thread got us off to a bad start. My fault.

I wasn't looking for personal advice. I was looking to make a helpful resource for the "sophomore" piper trying to add to his rotation. If he's in a B+M or has just gotten a package from an e-retailer, he has to make a buy or give back choice. So what should the pipe buyer look for?

Examp: In my experience a pipe that has thick walls and seems light for its size is usually a good bet.

Some would affirm that the only way to find a good smoker is to smoke it. Hard to argue with that, but what clues would you look for BEFORE forking over your dough as a predictor for making a good choice?

I agree with the "trusted brand" advice for new and estate pipes. But what if an unfamiliar brand is in the mix? I've seen pipers aplenty disassembling pipes and sifting through the pile to tilt the odds in their favor. Those guys must be looking for something.

Again, sorry for the puzzling start. My bad.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:45 pm

KevinM wrote:
Richard Burley wrote:
Not sure what you're asking. You already have 50+ pipes. If you want more in the price range mentioned, my suggestion would be Peterson--but I'm very biased toward plain, standard shapes.
I think the title of my thread got us off to a bad start. My fault.

I wasn't looking for personal advice. I was looking to make a helpful resource for the "sophomore" piper trying to add to his rotation...Examp: In my experience a pipe that has thick walls and seems light for its size is usually a good bet.


That's a good one. Except the best pipe I ever had for smoking latakia blends was an Ascorti that felt like it was made of lead. But I still think it's a good indicator. Other than looking for obscene fills, especially on the shank, and making sure you can actually suck air through the pipe, I got nothin'. The last cheap pipe I bought smoked fairly well until the bowl coating burned off. Then came the distinct flavor of green wood. I lit it one last time then drove with it sticking out the window of the car, trying to see if I could get it to "burn out." I failed, losing interest rather quickly, and chucked it.
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:31 pm

To me, the biggest indicator in how a pipe will smoke is how the airway is contructed - how does smoke get from the bowl to the button? Are there snaggly edges on the tenon? Are the holes aligned well? Is the stem pinched from heat, or full of debris from drilling or casting?

Generally, if the air gets from the bowl to the button without being tortured, the pipe will smoke okay.

Now, you add in cheapo vulcanite that soon tastes of sulfur, cheapo briar with a cheapo finish, and maybe the airway isn't going to be able to compensate. But show my a pipe with a bad airway setup and I'll show you a wet smoker.
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:04 pm

I'll second what Todd mentioned about stem work. Some folks only consider stem cosmetics externally, but it is the inside that will have a lot of bearing on turbulence and condensation. This is one reason I would much prefer an estate Barling's in good condition, over a brand new pipe in the same price range.

As for wall thickness, I prefer a pipe with somewhat thin walls. These will force you to barely keep your pipe lit, to prevent overheating. In turn, you will have the best chance to experience the complexity of the blend you are smoking, while at the same time preventing jaw fatigue.

Some folks focus on the task of keeping the pipe lit, when they should instead understand there is no shame in performing as many relights as needed. In fact, some of the best flavor you will experience, comes from the beginning lights when smoking a fresh bowl.

When I can barely see a wisp of smoke, I am usually in the zone. That is one reason I don't like to multi task while smoking, because it is harder to stay in that sweet spot with the perfect burn.

It doesn't take an expensive pipe to have a great smoking experience, but in some cases, an expensive pipe can provide more personal satisfaction for some people.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: In praise of cheap pipes   Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:03 pm

Dutch wrote:
I'll second what Todd mentioned about stem work. Some folks only consider stem cosmetics externally, but it is the inside that will have a lot of bearing on turbulence and condensation. This is one reason I would much prefer an estate Barling's in good condition, over a brand new pipe in the same price range.

As for wall thickness, I prefer a pipe with somewhat thin walls. These will force you to barely keep your pipe lit, to prevent overheating. In turn, you will have the best chance to experience the complexity of the blend you are smoking, while at the same time preventing jaw fatigue.

Some folks focus on the task of keeping the pipe lit, when they should instead understand there is no shame in performing as many relights as needed. In fact, some of the best flavor you will experience, comes from the beginning lights when smoking a fresh bowl.

When I can barely see a wisp of smoke, I am usually in the zone. That is one reason I don't like to multi task while smoking, because it is harder to stay in that sweet spot with the perfect burn.

It doesn't take an expensive pipe to have a great smoking experience, but in some cases, an expensive pipe can provide more personal satisfaction for some people.

Part of the appeal of pipes is learning the why behind the preferences of smokers whose preferences and styles may differ from one's own habits. I think my own preference for stout walls is due to my enjoyment of outdoor smokes in a slight breeze. I just hold the pipe in my mouth, do shallow breathing through my nose and allow the breeze to keep a nice flow of tasty smoke on my palette. All I have to do is exhale occasionally. It's a lazy man's approach, possibly.
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