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.