Stem Protectors

Brothers of Briar

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bearwolf56

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I'm mainly a clencher and I've been using stem protectors on my pipes since I started smoking a pipe 13yrs ago. Yesterday I took the protector off one of my pipes and it was a whole different experience for me, much more enjoyable. I'm not sure if it was psychological or not, but the smoke seemed more flavorful and overall much better. That is besides the fact it felt strange and I couldn't seem to get a comfortable grip on the pipe. I believe part of my problem is I feel I'm going to bite down too hard and damage the stem. I was curious how those of you who clench and don't use stem protectors how do you position and grip the pipe so it stays steady and avoid ruining your stem? I have an estate pipe with a hole in the bottom of the stem and want to avoid doing that to my other pipes. Any and all insight and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

D.L.Ruth

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I just have to conscious to not bite down to hard. I used the bits before but enjoy much more without them
 

ftrplt

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Sometimes an individual's "tooth alignment" just wreaks havoc on a pipe stem!! I hate those rubber things, but do have a few, much older pipes that need them!! Oh well!! FTRPLT
 

AlphaWarrior

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I use light pipes for clenching and roll my bottom lip over my bottom teeth then use my upper teeth to hold the button. I don't bite the stem at all and try to only clench pipes under around 40 grams.
 

Zeno Marx

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I smoked with very seldom clenching and no protector bits for 95% of my piping life. A purist and obsessive approach. Started smoking on walks and realized I wanted to clench. Minimal markings, as I guess I have a soft bite (maybe I was a hunting dog in a previous life?). But then my OCD tendencies got the best of me. Picked up some food safe tubing for water supply at the hardware store, as I wanted something flavorless and something cheap, as I was experimenting and still not convinced I'd like it. *see the hack thread. Most of my pipes have the tubing hack on them now, and I have to say I haven't noticed much in sacrificing satisfaction or whatever. And just this morning, I smoked a pipe that I haven't equipped with said hack. Re-affirmed that I'm not hindering my smoking experience with the tube bits. I didn't even notice until a few minutes into the smoke that this particular pipe is bitless. I can certainly understand why someone wouldn't want a bit on their pipe though. They're a little funny looking.
 

Timbo

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Would agree with Zeno here to go with the food grade bits as the rubber protectors taste like rubber and add that to the flavour. Not really something most pipe smokers are after.

Also to add, Peterson system pipes tend to make great clenchers, straight pipes, not so much.
 

bearwolf56

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Would agree with Zeno here to go with the food grade bits as the rubber protectors taste like rubber and add that to the flavour. Not really something most pipe smokers are after.

Also to add, Peterson system pipes tend to make great clenchers, straight pipes, not so much.
Thank you for your input. I have noticed that bent pipes definitely are better clenchers than straight pipes.
 

Zeno Marx

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here's the hack thread. since posting that, I've learned to warm up the tubing with a lighter before stretching it over the button. a very quick couple of waves of a lighter flame is all it takes to warm the tubing. and I do mean QUICKLY with the flame back and forth a couple times. it'll surprise you how little flame exposure it takes to make it several times more pliable.

 
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