Buying Pipes Online

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jbales

New member
Nov 4, 2015
23
0
Hello, I'm new to the forum and to pipe smoking.
Due to health issues, I don't get out of the house much. So I'm wondering if it's a good idea to buy online without holding products first. Specifically a Peterson Standard System 314 Smooth.
My shopping list consists of this, a tin of Connoisseur's Choice, a pipe tool and a box of matches.
Have I made good choices?
Cheers

J

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,493
107
Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you're off to a good start! As for online buying, I tend to stick to smokingpipes.com, and other sites like it, because the pipe shown, is the one you get.

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,186
27
Most of my pipes were purchased online and I had no problems, with the exception of a Peterson Dracula 03 (high shank drilling). Most reputable online dealers are good about after the sale service. If you have concerns about a particular pipe before you purchase it, talk it over with the seller and let them know what your concerns are. Welcome to the forum.

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,933
0
NY
You can't go wrong with smokingpipes.com. Like embers said you get pictures of the actual pipe and their customer service is top notch.
I saw a pipe I wanted but saw something in the picture that looked maybe like a fill. They said it was dust or something and they sent me a new picture to confirm it.
Also I would recommend maybe an ounce of a couple bulk tobacco's to sample in addition to the connoisseur's choice.

 

jbales

New member
Nov 4, 2015
23
0
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Ahh yes, pipe cleaners. That's on the list too.

I forgot to mention that I'm in the UK.

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,442
11
+1 on Smoking pipes, good people, Smokers Haven too. When you purchase a pipe ask for a sampler, Smokers Haven sent me quite a few small smokes, don't hurt to ask.

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
1
Mytown
In addition, if you're comfortable with estate pipes, then vendors like the following are also good examples of sites who show you pictures and details of the actual pipe you're buying:
http://www.briarblues.com/

http://www.pulversbriar.com/

http://mkelaw-pipes.com/
-- Pat

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,186
27
I forgot to mention that I'm in the UK.
Doesn't matter regarding after the sale service.

 

jbales

New member
Nov 4, 2015
23
0
I have another question. I'm thinking about sample packs but I'm thinking it's not the best idea in a new, un-broken in pipe.
Do you recommend sticking with one blend to break in?

Also I've seen mixed views on breaking in. Some say just smoke it and let it naturally break it in. Others say start with half bowls and work your way up, bowl by bowl.

I'm quite confused and afraid of burning out my new pipe.

 

rfernand

Preferred Member
Oct 2, 2015
679
0
Smoke slowly and your pipe will be fine.
If you want to practice on speed before you use your briars, get a corncob pipe. The goal is for you to not let the pipe reach intolerable heat on the outside, and also not get tongue bite. Once you reach that comfortable slow and steady pace, you can move on to your briars.
You will also hear about "cake". Obsessing over its formation is left as an optional exercise.

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,861
0
Massachusetts
The argument about break-in has been going on forever and probably won't be resolved anytime soon. Either way has is proponents. As for the tobacco choice, the least flavorings the better during break-in. Strongly flavored tobaccos tend to ghost (imbed the taste in the pipe). There are ways to get it out but better not to need to in the first place. If you have a tobacco you like and think you'll be smoking for a long while to come use that but keep in mind your tastes may change in the future. It happen to most of us.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,345
21
My neighborhood tobacconist is 2800 miles away (6+ hours by jet and another hour in a rental car.) If I was just taking up the pipe I would purchase from reputable on-line vendors with liberal return policies and be damned glad I could.
With regard to cake, breaking in, pipes for blends, etc, you can make the pipe as easy or as complicated as you wish. Your mental state pretty much determines how you do it. Briars and cobs are, in reality, pretty tough. Unless you do something really stupid or get a flawed pipe, you have to work at it to damage one.
There is a bit of a learning curve, enjoy it and keep your expectations at a reasonable level. Too much in your mind, high expectations and you will have a tough time. Keep it simple from the start, learn the basics, learn what you enjoy smoking and you'll soon find yourself with a profile you can use to make informed decisions.
I think the hardest part of learning the pipe will be resolving the conflicts in the advice you will get on the forum. We are all providing advice based only on our experiences and palates.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,899
76
Welcome aboard jbales. Any of the sponsor sites (to the left of the Forums threads in red) are trustworthy. I happen to have done a lot of my business with smokingpipes.com, iwanries.com, cupojoes.com, tobaccopipes.com, and 4noggins.com. Any of these retailers will be happy to discuss a possible purchase with you, and answer any questions you may have over the phone. smokingpipes.com has individual photos of each pipe removed as soon as the pipe is sold, and specifications including weight, filter or non-filter status, chamber diameter and depth, and so on. I'd buy various blends in small quantities, even when you find blends you really like, because your tastes will change and develop quickly. Save blends you like less well, in a canning jar, and try them again later. Both your changing tastes and a bit of aging may change your opinions from time to time. I'd say, don't get hung up on breaking in a pipe. Only a few blends cause residual flavor problems (ghosting), mostly aromatic Lakeland blends from England. I'd go ahead and smoke what you want and don't worry. If you find you are particularly sensitive, you can designate pipes for particular kinds of blends, but I don't think most Forums members do that, or only for a few select blends.

 

smokinfireman

Member
Aug 17, 2015
176
0
Be veeerrryyyy careful buying used pipes from ebay. Some are listed as "gently smoked" and have hairline cracks that will soon rear thier ugly heads. Sneaky dealers make sure to take pics of thier pipes from angles which don't show thier imperfections. Loose stems are also a common problem. Just be careful. I would go with amazon first. New and you can send them back if they're dammaged. Just this EMT's .02 cents.

 

jbales

New member
Nov 4, 2015
23
0
Cheers for the warm welcome, suggestions and advice everyone. I've chosen MySmokingShop UK and sent Santa (the missus) my list. Now I wait.

 

markthelad

Preferred Member
Mar 18, 2014
585
0
If you are buying on Ebay, Pipestud is highly a recommended dealer. Just read the descriptions and that's pretty much, exactly what you get.