Best stem to use?

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steve76

New member
May 27, 2016
1
0
Hello, I am new to this site, and relatively new to pipe smoking. I smoked cigs for many years and had to quit, and now I casually smoke a pipe a few times a week. A problem I am running into is I clench down and bite on the stem really hard and have broken several stems. I try my best not to do it, but it is just done subconsciously I guess. Am I better off with a vulcanite or acrylic stem? Or are there other options? And what is the typical cost for a descent, durable replacement? The last replacement I got was a cheap plastic one that broke after I used it a couple times, and at $13 I think I got ripped off...it was much flimsier than the stem that came with the pipe. My best pipe may not be great by veteran pipe smokers standards, but it was $40, and I would like a good stem for it that doesn't cost as much as the pipe itself, but also isn't a flimsy piece of junk.
Thanks, I look forward to your advice.

 

jefff

Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
1,917
0
Chicago
I think you want vulcanite. I pay 20.00 to put a vulcanite stem on a pipe but it takes 4-6 weeks. I am sure others have different solutions.

 

prairiedruid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2015
1,676
3
Could look at using a softie to protect the stem. The added diameter may help keep you from crunching the bit.

 
Feb 10, 2014
127
0
Mobile, AL
Acrylic is harder but also more brittle than vulcanite, so I think you should stick with the vulcanite. I'm sure that if you described your problem to a good repair guy, he could fit your pipes with a stem with a thicker button than usual.
But really, I think altering your clenching habits would be your best bet. That, or switch to corncob pipes that are cheap enough to toss when you break them.

 

music4cash

Junior Member
Jan 5, 2016
92
0
I've heard of pipe smokers putting a piece of surgical tubing over the bit, to stop teeth chatter from forming, but maybe that extra bit of padding would help you...

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
2
Use a Twin-Bore stem. They were designed for people who unconsciously bite hard and regularly break the normal kind.


 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,888
67
I didn't know twin-bore helped, but it might. Vulcanite is definitely more flexible and is a better choice for you. Softies are another added cushion. Your teeth are taking some punishment as much as the stems.