I absolutely like them while doing something and can clench without any repercussions on the stem, but when I am relaxing and just enjoying the smoke and flavors it feels like my jaw is unnecessarily stressed because of the thickness. Hope it makes sense.
Use bondage tape from KinkLab. Seriously. I found some at Spencer Gifts in the mall, but Amazon has it too. I get made fun of, but the stuff is brilliant. It molds to your stem in one layer, no bulk, comfortable, easy to remove. I sometimes use this wrap when fishing with a pipe or outside. Paragon wax works too, but looks like crap. I hate softie bits, too unnatural.
I cant smoke due to the thickness of softies either. The best solution i tried was electrical heat shrink from a hardware store. You gently burn the wrapper onto the stem for a perfect fit. It comes off real easy too, with a slice of a razor then peel off. The thickness of this was perfect, but i got paranoid of thinking there would be some chemical in the wrap that makes the shrinkage, and took it off. Anybody else try this?
@npod yeah, i figured there would of been a con with it. The one wrapper i bought was super thin, but from what i saw on youtube, there was supposed to be zero damage to stems. I just don't use anything any more, as long as the pipe smokes good, i couldn't care less about aesthetics. My pipes are not for sale.
The way I look at it is that I don’t have any expectation of selling any of my pipes. They will go to my funeral pyre with me. So, any minor chatter is mine for the long haul. I clench at all times, and never have I made an indention in the soft vulcanite of any significance, or any marks at all on my horn or acrylic stems. Why worry?
I use my truck as a truck and haul things in it, without worry. I don’t cover my furniture in plastic, and the dog and cat set next to me. I don’t put my suit jackets in plastic when not wearing them, nor do I worry much about the wear and tear on anything I own. Why would I worry about a little chatter on my pipes?
Besides, the softies make me feel like I have a ball gag in my mouth. It makes for a horrible smoking experience for me. Besides, smoking a pipe with the intentions that one day I will sell or trade it is like leasing a car, and worrying about getting ash on the seats. No fun at all.
I keep my pipes in the best condition possible by cleaning them with water till they look new each evening. They are clean and provide amazing smokes, time after time. That’s all that matters to me.
I can understand if people use the softies for comfort, but never understood for protection. I guess its not in my nature to live life like that. All it does for myself is cause anxiety.
@Cosimic I lease the same car every 3 years. My Honda Civic goes back to the "certified pre owned Honda Lot" with zero oil changes. All i do is pay the 200$ a month, and the car never sees the dealer or jiffy lube for the next 3 years. It literally goes back with 40K on original oil, same tires, same brakes. Its the reason i lease, not to have stress.
Don't know what it is about softies. I think they tempt me to pump up my jaw muscle and it ends up aching more than just clenching the hard bit. They feel nice, but then my jaw muscle doesn't. I still have one on a cob, but don't use it much.