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Rating your pipes

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Well-known member
Jan 1, 2020
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I've always known that a handful of my favorite pipes were somehow 'better' simply because I gravitate toward them most often. But recently something happened to make me assess how I would rate my pipes, and more importantly, how I would place a monetary value on performance relative to any new purchases. Since one of my favorites is a pre-transition Comoy Blue Riband (that didn't cost me that much back then) I decided to look on eBay to see about adding another to my collection. When I saw one offered I thought I would go "all in" with a max bid of $150. But in the last minutes that bugger ended up selling for $550.  Jeez!!

That got me to making comparisons on cost versus performance and basically rating all my best pipes. Unlike Tobacco Reviews which is a helpful resource for finding out about new tobacco blends, there hasn't been any real systematic method for evaluating and comparing quality of pipes (that I know of), so I developed six criteria and awarded points for each: draw, moisture, bowl heat, neutrality, bit comfort, and balance/ergonomics. I didn't rate bowl capacity or aesthetics, though those may be important considerations for somebody else. Would it be helpful to have a survey on this topic? Something like TR with ratings in the agreed categories and in the end it spits out an averaged score? That is probably beyond the scope of what we could do in this forum.

Four pipes in my collection got a "10" rating, but only the 'collectible' Comoy would command any kind of elevated resale price. None of my new "9" pipes cost more than $160, while one estate pipe that I picked up for only $35 managed an "8." With so much available in this less stratospheric price range I've never been able to justify saving my pennies for a true artisan pipe. The one that nearly tempted me was an Il Duca Morta for $350, and that's considered entry level in some circles. Who knows if it would have proven to be a perfect "10" but I imagine a sense of style comes into play with these kind of pipes.

Anyhow, what factors do you consider when you talk abut your best or worst pipes?