Chinese Briars

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gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
422
36
South Florida

Road Town pipes, made in China, standard shapes with a little creativity. All three smoked well for me. I would have been disappointed in the plastic mouth pieces, except that I automatically use the “Softy” bits (preferably the American made ones) and the mouthpiece material ultimately made very little difference to me. My favorite of the three is the Churchwarden, although they call it by another name.

Their other line, H S Studio, they reserve for their more creative pipes. Of these two, I prefer the free hand standing pipe, because I Iike the deeper bowl and the one I call “Starship Enterprise” has a relatively shallow bowl, only holding about half of the tobacco that the other one does, although I do like the design and the fact that there is a small smoke reservoir in the second piece of briar, rather like a hookah.

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,064
173
How do you find the fitment quality of them?
We all know about the junk pipes on Amazon, but there is some really interesting stuff coming from Chinese carvers lately.

 

bouwser

Member
Jul 8, 2018
271
10
I agree. I have several of these pipes and find the quality is there for the price. They look pretty good and fulfill the PAD in a moments notice. These and estate pipes helped me gain a rotation of pipes.

 

gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
422
36
South Florida
Of the five pipes the churchwarden (they called it Church reader) was the only one that my “Softy” bits would not fit, due to the attenuated design of the elongated mouthpiece. I enjoyed it nonetheless! It was also the only one of the five to have a fancy Christian cross stamped on the shank! (???)

Even though it’s part of their Road Town line, it looks and feels more like a free hand pipe than the ones that we’re more familiar with.

All three of the Road Town pipes hove an anchor, a scripted capital R and a single digit number stamped on the shank, along with the words ROAD TOWN and HAND MADE.

 

verporchting

Member
Dec 30, 2018
296
0
I agree with the fitment and quality. Stems fit perfectly, drilling is perfect and the briar is good quality. The finish is a bit unimaginative (good term, that) but otherwise fine. The blast on mine is nice. Really, these are at least as good as any basket pipe I've encountered and in most cases far better.
My only (slightly) negative comments would be: the finish is rather meh; and the pipes are a little bit on the petite side, including the chamber walls. Hasn't been a problem but I do notice the heat more than say on a Peterson which could have molten lava in the bowl and you wouldn't notice it. It doesn't get hot and I have no concerns about burnout or anything of the sort, just mentally noted that I can feel the heat more than with other pipes with really stout chamber walls.
All things considered I give these pipes a lot of credit for being good looking, good quality briar pipes with above average average fitment and drilling. Good smokers and mine have broken in and smoke quite well. And did anybody mention the price???? I literally paid less for mine than I did for most of my cobs - except my first Legend which cost a whopping $4.50 or something of the sort.
Honestly, I was quite surprised and more than a little impressed with these pipes. Hard to beat the bang for the buck. ** With the caveat that you don't go insane with bidding and spend a stupid amount on an auction; if you do that, well, can't help you there.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,237
435
I admit, I don't know what to expect or anticipate with Chinese tobacco pipes. Are there actual brands or just companies that contract out production? I know there are some distinguished artisans, but that is a distinct and limited market. Is the wood correctly identified? Is briar briar? Or what is it? The Chinese pipes might establish themselves, but so far, I look at them with a lot of uncertainty.

 

elasmo

Junior Member
Mar 23, 2019
67
14
I have a few of them, and they work very well for me. That being said...I don't seem to use them as much now that I have alot of more expensive pipes.

 

gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
422
36
South Florida
I know, I’m a little leery of all things Chinese, especially what they create to market overseas. Especially since we had the Chinese drywall scandal and whole houses had to have their drywall torn out and replaced as well as pipes and tubing etc. that fumes from the drywall had caused to deteriorate!
That said, I am enjoying these pipes on their own merits. I understand that this is still a relatively small company, especially in Chinese terms. (I heard 20 plus employees...) and they seem to be taking a positive attitude towards craftsmanship, creativity and quality. Affordability doesn’t hurt, either!

 

5star

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2017
406
1
It’s great that you’re happy with them. One of my doctors is from China. (He’s a US citizen now.) This physician said he personally would never put something in his mouth that came from China. I follow that advice.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,237
435
5star, I'd have questions about the volatility of plastics in the stems, stains, and coatings. If all you want to do is make a pipe that looks good to sell, and you presume you will never have any accountability later, and future sales are not a consideration, all you need to do is use whatever comes to hand and is cheap. That's probably not the best situation from a customer's point of view. Compare that with the craftspeople in St. Claude where your reputation with your colleagues, neighbors, and competitors count for how you're treated when you go shopping or to church. Infinite difference. The opinion of the Chinese-American doctor is a warning light.

 

gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
422
36
South Florida
Sadly, these days, in this oligarchy, that’s a fair warning no matter where your merchandise comes from.

The rapacity of our society will take... but that’s political and has no place here

 

gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
422
36
South Florida
Suffice to say that a huge proportion of our consumption comes from countries other than our own and one reason we gather here is to examine the products that are available to us and judge them on their merits.

That said, I haven’t heard of too many companies or countries that are genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of the American people.

However, if we’re going to be smoking tobacco, we’re going to be risk takers anyway, so I, for one, am going to enjoy it as much as I can for as long as I can.

 

oldbaccy

Junior Member
Mar 31, 2019
65
0
Good pipes coming out of china dirt cheap with free shipping on ebay. Other than needing pipe mud to raise the floor in the bowl they are fine smokers. Pear wood is common among these pipes. I'm not worried about the chemicals in their plastics any more than the arsenic municipal water I shower with. The united states is toxic but that's another story for another time.

 

5star

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2017
406
1
Out of curiosity, I recently bought a clay ‘English Tavern Pipe’ with varnished tip from an online dealer located in the U.S. (I’m a fan of clay pipes & smoke them often.) - - The clay pipe I received had poor, rough workmanshipand , a tight draw, & the varnished tip smelled bad - strongly chemical. While the dealer proudly listed other pipes he offers from Germany, there was no indication of where this pipe was made on his website or on/with the pipe. I used their online inquiry form and asked where the pipe was made. I received no reply. Nor did I receive a reply to the two additional inquiries I sent over the next couple of weeks. When this type of thing happened in the past, the product often came from China. (Though I am not certain in this case due to the lack of response.) Given the high pollution levels in that country and regulation which is much less stringent than in the industrial West, I choose to follow my Chinese doctor’s advice & avoid putting those products in my mouth. I do buy many other types of Chinese products. Nowadays it’s almost impossible not to do so. YMMV

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,237
435
in some categories, Chinese goods have priced others out of the market altogether. You can't get stainless steel kitchen ware and utensils from anywhere else at three times the price, for example. My old-fashioned stove-top percolator pot (which I dearly love as members may know...) is of course Made In China. Another favorite example is my coffee mug that says, "Buy U.S. Saving Bonds" on the side, but turn it over and it's "Made In China."

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,113
459
For all of those who said that they would never put a Chinese product in their mouths... WTF? Find me something that goes in your mouth that ISN'T Chinese. Straw, cups, utensils, thermometers, whistles, bubblegum... you'd be hard pressed to find something not made in China.

 

5star

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2017
406
1
Good point !
Though you don’t fire any of those products up (hopefully)

 

oldbaccy

Junior Member
Mar 31, 2019
65
0
Not a briar (rosewood) but a pretty darn nice poker for $12
Ordering one, can't beat that price. I don't get what all the worry is about. As previously mentioned, plastic cups are made in china.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Poker-Style-Solid-Wood-Rosewood-Smoking-Tobacco-Pipe-10-Pipe-Filters/323025319597?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649



 

gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
422
36
South Florida
$12.00 is a small price for a little bit of happiness!
I do prefer to use the “Softy” bit covers on my pipes no matter where they come from. At least what I’m chewing on is American made! :puffy:
Besides, I’m protecting my bits from “chatter” and I have a better grip on whatever I’m smoking.