Good versus bad smoking pipe
Number of posts: 89
Location: foothills of the Sierras
Tobacco: Penzance, Squadron Leader, Westminster, Captain Cool, Bob's Chocolate, Georgia Cream
Pipe: Several GBDs and S.M. Vottis, and a Dunhill, Comoy's, Ben Wade, Falcon, Kriswell.
Registration date: 2009-06-03
|Subject: Good versus bad smoking pipe Tue May 11, 2010 8:13 pm|| |
Okay gang, I have a novice question for you all, and boy do I mean n-o-v-i-c-e. When people refer to a pipe as a “good smoke” or a “bad smoke” what are people referring too? I have several pipes that I have inherited from my father and I have just begun collecting estate pipes. However, I am not sure I have discovered what it means to have a “good” or “bad” smoking pipe. I have only been smoking/collecting for about two years now so I am still learning the in's and out's.
Number of posts: 430
Tobacco: Lakeland Flakes, McConnell Scottish Cake, Esoterica Dunbar, GLP Cumberland
Registration date: 2009-08-27
|Subject: Re: Good versus bad smoking pipe Wed May 12, 2010 6:53 am|| |
Generally if you find a pipe with a nice open draw that doesn't tend towards gurgling, you're halfway there. If the drilling is centered on the bowl and has a smooth transition into the bottom of the bowl, you're mostly there.
Then there's the intangibles, somehow some pipes just seem to do very well with certain types of or specific blends of tobacco, almost like they were made for each other. For instance I have two pipes that I smoke dark fired tobacco out of, one is a Stanwell, the other is a Nording. The Nording really brings out the deep, sweet notes in tobaccos like GH Dark Flake or SG 1792 Flake, whereas the Stan seems to have been made for Peterson Irish flake and GH Rope...I have no idea why. Maybe it is that the Nording has a slightly wider bowl.
Also some of my pipes just seem to "puff better" than others. I have a Johs that is well drilled and has a very deep bowl. For some reason it is just not as pleasurable to puff as my other pipes. It tends to need more puffing to keep going too. Maybe it's something psychological about filling the pipe, where I pack it differently because it is so different from the rest of my pipes (huge freehand).
Then there's my no-name meer with the plastic tenon...it is horrible. Draw is super restrictive, the bowl wasn't made deep enough so the draught hole is lower than the bowl and collects bits of tobacco which clog it, the drilling is so terrible you can barely get a pipe cleaner through it. It is borderline worthless. But it looks pretty nice.
Number of posts: 2354
Location: @ The Gym
Tobacco: Arturo Fuente "Hemingway"
Pipe: Former Collector of High End Briar
Registration date: 2007-12-15
|Subject: Re: Good versus bad smoking pipe Wed May 12, 2010 2:06 pm|| |
I have the perfect experiment that will give you some insight into what seperates the cream from the crop. Go to your local drugstore and purchase a Dr.Grabow for about twenty bucks. Smoke a dozen bowls of a single tobacco in it. Then, smoke a dozen bowls of the same blend in your newly acquired GBD or Comoy. Notice the taste of each. Notice the draw (how easily or not smoke reaches your mouth). Notice how the stem on the Grabow tastes like the cheap plastic that it is compared to the vulcanite on one of your other briars. This isn't a knock on all Grawbows, just the new ones. You can actaully find old ones that smoke decently enough. If you DO do this please share your experience with the experiment....
Number of posts: 143
Location: New Mexico
Pipe: Anything Pesaro.
Registration date: 2009-09-07
|Subject: Re: Good versus bad smoking pipe Wed May 12, 2010 4:17 pm|| |
I agree with everything everyone has already said. However, I cannot help but think that the cart has been put before the horse. I also think learning how to pack a pipe, as well as smoke it makes a huge difference. There certainly are a lot of good websites that demonstrate this, but I suppose if you've got someone who can show you these things, it makes it easier.
I'm not one who likes as open a draw as a lot of people. After learning how to pack and smoke a pipe, the pipes I had no longer gurgled, and it appears that having a smoke for 60 to 90 minutes (or longer) is easy and comfortable now without effort. But I think until one knows 'how', it reduces the quality of the smoke regardless of the quality of the briar and the craftsmanship.
My two cents.
Number of posts: 1086
Location: The Garage
Pipe: Sasquatch make best pipe
Registration date: 2008-12-14
|Subject: Re: Good versus bad smoking pipe Wed May 12, 2010 4:45 pm|| |
Pearls before swine.... I agree.... my second pipe was a relatively expensive Italian pipe, and it's good, but I still didn't know how to smoke it.
Number of posts: 4142
Location: Mexico City
Registration date: 2009-08-24
|Subject: Re: Good versus bad smoking pipe Fri May 14, 2010 2:42 pm|| |
I tend to agree that "good smokers" have similar characteristics, which have been mentioned previously. Another thing is that each pipe smokes differently. You have to get the hang of how each tends to react in different stages of the smoke. An example would be a couple of Petersons I have are small bore and terribly drilled (I mean atrotiously).
As with Petes in general, they took a long time to break in. But after a year I have learned thier characteristics and actually like them for cretain tobaccos. I now can reliably get a good smoke out of both! It´s a little like playing an instrument. Not all name guitars (for example) have the same playing characteristics, but with a little practice (and adjustment) a good player can make them sound awesome.
Just my $.02.
Good versus bad smoking pipe