Peterson quality?

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Ranger107

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Hi all, as I posted on smoking pages earlier I tried some sutliff xmas spice in my new jekyll & hyde peterson. Having some reservations about this pipe. Ironically, I had read an older post from 2014 this am on peterson addiction/aversion. Seems a lot of folks like petes even while admitting they have some flaws. I just acquired my first pete a few months ago. A Darry rusticated, on sale at tobaccopipes.com. Really liked it. Great smoker, comfortable, nice looking, checked all the boxes. Based on that and reviews on here bought a system pete. Also a good pipe, good smoker, very happy with it. So, when I saw the j& h on iwan reiss for $88 figured it would also be a good buy. Plus so many on here have praised their petes didn't think I could go wrong. Now, my issues with this latest acquisition. First, pipe was listed as a dunhill size 4. I find the pipe rather small and question that classification? While admiring the pipe noticed some light streaks inside the bowl which is coated. Noted on other threads some folks suggested sanding this out. Rubbing the inside of the bowl with just my finger more of the coating came off. Thought wth, but not going to worry about it at this point as my other two were coated and no problems with them. So loaded up the bowl with xmas spice and headed outside to enjoy. First attempt at lighting and I can't draw any air through the pipe? Just figured I got a baccy plug caught in the draft hole so tried to remove the stem to put a cleaner through. Dang, stem would not budge. Finally, with some pretty forceful twisting was able to remove stem. It was clear so tried a cleaner in the draft hole. Took some finagling but finally got it through. Put some beeswax on the stem for now but will likely sand and polish it a bit later. Lit up and seemed to be smoking okay. I did notice that the smooth side felt warmer than the rusticated side. So, based on this experience, I am now a bit leery about acquiring other petes? What say you guys? Just an anomaly? Bad QC? Thoughts from you folks with more experience please. Thanks,
 

Tennessee Dave

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I have a lot of Petes and I enjoy the ones I have. I find the best ones, unfortunately are in the higher grades. Not to say that I have not run into a problem Pete in these grades but it is less likely.
 

Mikem

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IMHO like any brand or pipe maker it might be a bad piece of briar or the air hole was miss drilled. As far as the stain inside the bowl I've never figured out why Peterson does that other than maybe they dip stain their pipes for ease of manufacture. I remember purchasing a new Jirsa pipe that when I started to break in tasted terrible and didn't seem to smoke right. It took awhile but finally it became a nice smoker. Other than the stain issue I enjoy my Petes (I have eight of them).

I remember commissioning a $200+ pipe to be made. Was a nice looking pipe but on the third bowl it blew a hole in the side of the bowl (I don't hot box my pipes especially when breaking in a new pipe). When I asked the maker about it alls I got was an oh well must of been a bad piece of briar and thats the risk you run with a new pipe. Needless to say I never commissioned another pipe from him.
 

D.L.Ruth

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I have about 13 or 14 Petersons, mostly their mid range pipe (none of their really high end ones. I may have just gotten lucky with all of them but have never had any issues, well except one seems to be a wet smoke no matter what tobacco i use.
 

Ranger107

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Thanks guys, not saying this one is bad necessarily, just not up to the standards of the first two. Will probably try another but will be more attentive about the particulars, and shoot for a higher level of quality.
 

Blackhorse

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In fifty years of buying, owning and smoking Peterson pipes I’ve never had a problem with any of them. We’re talking 3,421 pipes. Well...maybe a FEW less than that. Okay, maybe twenty or thirty.
 

Ranger107

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In fifty years of buying, owning and smoking Peterson pipes I’ve never had a problem with any of them. We’re talking 3,421 pipes. Well...maybe a FEW less than that. Okay, maybe twenty or thirty.
Blackhorse, thanks for the input. Glad you clarified your claim. 30 pipes with no problem I can believe, 3400 with no problem, as statistically unlikely... Guess I will take a shot on another. Wish I had gotten the 2020 xmas pipe. That's a good looking pipe.
 
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Ranger107

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To whomever edited my post. I did not think of my statement as being political and was not intended to offend anyone. Just my dry sense of wit and what I believed to be a humorous way of getting my point across. In the future I will confine any witty remarks to the rubber room.
 

ftrplt

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Good thread!! My "problem" with Pete's are their seeming lack of quality control! Especially concerning "nasty little fills" they poorly try to cover up with stained putty! Not every Pete I own has them; but enough do that I hesitate to recommend them without due warning! Which is unfortunate as Peterson has many superb shapes (bulldog, various bents, apples, dublins, etc.) that are timeless.
Regarding the Dunhill size comparisons...The DH shape charts have "evolved" over the years, especially since the late 1960's when DH changed its entire briar-curing and carving processes (not to mention its apprentice program!). I own 15/16 Dunhill's, one a 1969 (made from oil-cured briar); all the rest from the the late 19 "teens" to 1968. FWIW...FTRPLT
 

Ranger107

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Mike, can't say a lot based on only 3 pipes. I just know I was completely satisfied and thrilled with the first two I bought. This 3rd one leaves me pretty disappointed. It's a nice looking pipe albeit somewhat different. But the fact that it is much smaller than the first two, the fact that the stem did not fit properly, and the airway being slightly off seemed like quite a lack of QC on several fronts. Now I have also smoked 4 different blends of tobacco and discovered it smokes somewhat "wet" with all. Today, had some Hobbitt's Weed which was pretty dry and it still gurgled. I fixed the stem, sandpaper and polish, and sanded out the bowl to get rid of the coating, hoping this would help the wet problem once it cakes back up. I do like many of their styles and shapes, but may stick to getting "estate" Petes on Ebay. Or, be very picky about anything new, i.e. check size and photos before buying.
 

Ranger107

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Good thread!! My "problem" with Pete's are their seeming lack of quality control! Especially concerning "nasty little fills" they poorly try to cover up with stained putty! Not every Pete I own has them; but enough do that I hesitate to recommend them without due warning! Which is unfortunate as Peterson has many superb shapes (bulldog, various bents, apples, dublins, etc.) that are timeless.
Regarding the Dunhill size comparisons...The DH shape charts have "evolved" over the years, especially since the late 1960's when DH changed its entire briar-curing and carving processes (not to mention its apprentice program!). I own 15/16 Dunhill's, one a 1969 (made from oil-cured briar); all the rest from the the late 19 "teens" to 1968. FWIW...FTRPLT
Mike, sincere question? Are Dunhills really worth the price? I have never owned one because 1) I'm cheap, and 2) I put them in the category of $i00 a bottle wine. I never smoked a dunhill but I have drank a lot of expensive wine. Didn't buy it, but my previous job position entailed entertaining clients and came with a very high limit expense account. And I can say this for a fact. While very good, I never had a $100+ wine that was 5 times better than a $20 bottle. Back when I could afford them, say $250/300, good savinellis were $40/80. So, I figured the same comparison. Did not see how a $250 pipe could be 5 times better than a $50 pipe?? I see new ones now over a grand. Please enlighten me.
 

ftrplt

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Ranger 107, is the above question for me, or Mikem? It's my response so I guess I'll just butt in here!! No, I do not think current Dunhill's are worth their asking price! Haven't been for decades. Prices have gone up as quality has gone down. When I worked in a large tobacco B&M back in the '60's, Dunhill's were priced about the same as Sasienis, Comoy's, GBDs, and BBBs. The DH's were perhaps a bit higher for a larger pipe or one of the Tanshells/Shellbriars. Bruyeres' were at a lower price point.
Years later (nor today), I could not believe the prices Dunhill put on their work!!! The most expensive DH I own cost about $200. The rest I picked up from various sources (including yard sales!) for considerably less. Three are birth year briars; 1946!! Dang hard to find!! All are excellent smokers made from prime old, oil-cured Algerian, Sardinian, and Calabrian briar!! FWIW, FTRPLT
 

Ranger107

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Ranger 107, is the above question for me, or Mikem? It's my response so I guess I'll just butt in here!! No, I do not think current Dunhill's are worth their asking price! Haven't been for decades. Prices have gone up as quality has gone down. When I worked in a large tobacco B&M back in the '60's, Dunhill's were priced about the same as Sasienis, Comoy's, GBDs, and BBBs. The DH's were perhaps a bit higher for a larger pipe or one of the Tanshells/Shellbriars. Bruyeres' were at a lower price point.
Years later (nor today), I could not believe the prices Dunhill put on their work!!! The most expensive DH I own cost about $200. The rest I picked up from various sources (including yard sales!) for considerably less. Three are birth year briars; 1946!! Dang hard to find!! All are excellent smokers made from prime old, oil-cured Algerian, Sardinian, and Calabrian briar!! FWIW, FTRPLT
Sorry, guess I got mixed up on comments. Mikem also said he had several Dunhills. Either way, glad for your reply. I am guessing you are a bit older than me as I graduated HS in 66. Started college in 70. As I remember, could be wrong, heck that was 50 years ago, but Dunhills were definitely out of my price range and have only gotten worse. $1000 for a piece of wood is ridiculous.
 

Mikem

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Very good thread and comments. IMHO a lot of the lower end pipes (price range) such as Jirsa, Vauens, Stanwells and Peterson's to name just a few (of which all have higher end/priced pipes) produce some very good smoking pipes. I am not knocking the higher priced pipes but feel price has a lot to do with the aesthetics of how the pipe looks (grain/shape etc.) along with the pipe makers following. Some of my best smoking pipes were made by an old member here and the old Knox board (now deceased) Mike Brissett who only charged $100/150 price range for his creations. I always gave him a hard time (LOL) for not charging more. This subject is similar to discussions I've had when it comes to the cost of bourbon or Scotch. Does a $200+ bottle taste better than a $50 bottle? Especially after the second or third glass.
 

Ranger107

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Agreed. Used to frequent Anthony's cigar shop in Tucson. If you brought in a bottle they would put it under the counter with your name on it and you could have it with your gav cigar. A lot of the guys were scotch snobs, i.e. $150+ single malts. Was often offered a sample. Were they good? Obviously yes. Were they 5x better than the blended scotch I get from Costco for $30? Not IMHO. To each his own I guess.
 

ftrplt

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Sorry, guess I got mixed up on comments. Mikem also said he had several Dunhills. Either way, glad for your reply. I am guessing you are a bit older than me as I graduated HS in 66. Started college in 70. As I remember, could be wrong, heck that was 50 years ago, but Dunhills were definitely out of my price range and have only gotten worse. $1000 for a piece of wood is ridiculous.
Yeah, a bit older by two years!!!!!!!! FTRPLT
 

Ranger107

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Yeah, a bit older by two years!!!!!!!! FTRPLT
So, guess that makes us both old codgers,,lol. If you are only 2 years older, how were you working in a pipe shop in the 60s? Oh, that's right, we didn't have child labor laws back then. Guess it could have happened. I worked on a bridge construction crew my first summer out of high school in 66. Too bad we didn't have a crystal ball, would have bought up all the Dunhills we could afford.
 

Fr_Tom

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I have a small fleet (a dozen or so) of Petersons, and I have been pleased with the quality. I know it is fashionable to bash them, but I can't really criticize anything but a tendency to a smaller bowl size, and that is really a matter of preference and not an "issue."
 

Ranger107

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Not really "bashing" them, and God knows I've never been accused of being fashionable, lol. As I said the first two I got were fine, both good smokers. Like them a lot. The last one, the jekyll & hyde, not so much. Not bashing, just stating truthfully the issues I encountered with it. Will probably try another based on comments here, just hope my next is as good as the first two.
 
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