Best of the best

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Junior Member
Mar 2, 2015
Hidd, Bahrain.
Hello there,
I was hoping that you guys would be so kind as to share your opinion about whom you think is or are the best pipe makers by country. I know this is a somewhat delicate subject that may spark a heated debate but let us remember that we are all brought together by our common love of pipes and not our differences that eventually will only add some more colour to the hobby. The reason I am starting this thread is my wish to expand my humbled collection of English pipes to include other makers. And as is the case with all the pipes I collect, I look for the best. So I was wondering who are the best pipe makers in each country and what are your experiences with the quality of their products?
Kindest regards.




Jan 28, 2015
Here's a few more...
Canada: Michael Parks

Russia: Mikhail Revyagin, and Viktor Yashtylov

China: Xu Hai

Japan: Gotoh, and Ray Kurusu



New member
Jun 27, 2018
Larry Roush and Trever Talbert (USA and France/USA) are two I have admired and commissioned from. In the past...guys no longer available...Peter Heeschen (Denmark) and Will Purdy (USA). Top shelf handmade pipes. Very good men all of them, true gentleman and artisans. There are others for sure, but those are the ones I collected.



New member
Jun 27, 2018
Tried to edit my last post but was too late to change it: Rolando Negoita (Transylvania/USA) is also on my list. Te largest parts of my collection are from Negoita and Heeschen. All are, and were, master artisans and very good people.



Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
Best is a very subjective term. Some think Dunhills are the best, some grow bonsai trees in them.
There is much to pipe smoking that is personal and individual, I'm not sure anything is 'best'.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
I'm not going to say best, but I will say carvers whose pipes I consistently find provide a most enjoyable smoke.
Denmark (since it was requested): Teddy Knudsen, Preben Holm

USA: Trever Talbert, Lee Von Erck, Scottie Piersel, Ryan Alden, Paul Tatum, Tony Fillenwarth, Walt Cannoy

Italy: Tom Spanu



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
US: Scottie Piersel, and Ryan Alden

Brazil: Gustavo Cunha, aka marTelo

England: Ken Barnes

Canada: Blatter and Blatter
Above superb makers, from whom I have a pipe or two.



Preferred Member
May 23, 2018
C'mon guys, how can we leave out Matt a.k.a. "carolinachurchwarden".



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
England: Ken Barnes
How could I forget Ken.
Geez what a week. The show I was on at Warners hit an iceberg after being torpedoed and sank. I got my notice of termination a week ago, and got a call from another show about five hours later to ask me about coming aboard their show to supervise color, crammed through the weekend to finish a painting before we mothball the show I've been on, go in for an exploratory meeting on Tuesday and before I know what's happening, am pulled off my sinking show, tossed onto a huge show and am trying to cram a completely different aesthetic and pipeline into my tired brain...
It's not a bad problem to have, but I am beat to shit.
Time to go to bed. Sorry Ken. When it comes to the great tradition of British straight grain pipes, there's Ken, and then there's everyone else.



Sep 10, 2018
I enjoy smoking my Randy Wiley pipes. I believe these are the best smokers I own. I do not know the man but I enjoy smoking his pipes!



Feb 28, 2018
What is the best? The best out of a technical perspective or the best aesthetics? Both can and are highly personal and in todays age, where high end pipe making has mainly moved away from the big factories to small artisans, there are options for everyone.

If you are looking for factory pipes, like most English pipes were, I believe the options in todays world are a bit more limited. The following list are just my opinions, and I do not own pipes from all of these brands so I cannot always comment on their smoking abilities but I can on their shaping, fit, finish etc..
Italy factory:

-The high end lines of savinelli (e.g. giubileo d'oro) though I have seen some fit issues with stem gaps. I believe their sandblasted lines are good value, especially from UK vendors.

- Castello: Excellent briar but in my honest opinion they also have some minor fit&finish issue like chambers not drilled in the middle, stem gaps and even quite apparent sand pits in high end lines (which Italians in general do not seem to mind that much). Their shaping also seems to have been changing and I do not like e.g. the new shaping of #10.
Italy artisan(this list is basically endless and many are high quality):

- Le Nuvole seems to be highly praised and their finish and attention to details looks amazing.

- Becker pipes, although there was some controversy now that his son has taken over (although it always has been a family run business) the quality seems to be the same.

- Musico foundation: Beautiful English style Italian pipes, with vulcanite stems. I highly recommend them if you like English pipes. Most of them are very light and comfortable.

- Don Carlos: one of

-Jacono: His family used to own a briar mill so he has first pick. He is family of Cavicchi I believe as well.


-Fiamma di re (great grain for the price)

- Regina Scarlatta (love their shaping of billiards and dublins)


Pierre Morel: His father invented the flower pipe shape and has been in the pipe making business for more than a hundred years.

Nuttens: Fellow Belgian living in France, excellent price/quality pipes.

Where to begin? If you have money, this is a candy store. I do not have any sadly but I could only dream to own a Tao.

Doc pipes is really pushing the limits of pipe making in my opinion. His style is not for everyone and is absolutely mad and eccentric in a good way.

Ken Barnes!! If you collect British pipes, this is a must.
I did not any American pipe maker because I do not want to get sucked into a complete new world of pipe making, staying within Europe is already expensive enough! Haha!

To conclude: the list is basically endless and it comes down to personal preferences. There are just so many good pipe makers out there.



Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
Robinson, TX.
I go to a lot of pipe shows each year and get to see a lot of pipes from makers around the world. My eBay business also allows me to personally handle a lot of pipes each year. Individually and collectively, I personally believe that the American pipe makers are making some of the world's finest pipes that rival makers from anywhere else in the world. Best of the best? I am not able to come up with such a list. That would be an impossible task for me.