Best stem to use?

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New member
May 27, 2016
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 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.



Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
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.



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

Feb 10, 2014
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.



Junior Member
Jan 5, 2016
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...



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



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
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.