Getting mixed messages about Falcons

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Jun 25, 2016
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I have read up on people's feelings about Falcon pipes several times over the last few years, and the general consensus is that they are great pipes, which smoke brilliantly, often improving the taste of tobaccos, and they are very user friendly.
However, in the subtext of the conversations, there seems to be a lot of potential negatives too. The expense and need of dry rings, or having to make them from pipe cleaners. The centre hole getting clogged and needing drilling out. Threads failing or wearing, and people having to repair or fudge it with PTFE tape. The need to dismantle to clean them. The need for non-standard, higher priced, slimmer pipe cleaners. The bowls taking way longer to break in, with pronounced stain tastes.
I like to keep my pipe array very streamlined, and tend to operate a one in - one out basis. For the lovers and haters out there, what were the make or break factors for you personally? Would swapping a cob for a Falcon be a step forwards, or a step backwards?

 

captpat

Member
Dec 16, 2014
259
0
Northern Virginia
I have one Falcon with a meerschaum bowl and it smokes fine. Yes it does need special pipe cleaners, cleaning doesn't seem to be much more involved than what I do for a briar pipe. I haven't enough experience with it to comment on the thread issue. The reason I don't smoke it more often is that the stem isn't amenable to clenching -- it's too small for me to get a grip on it.
I'd recommend giving it a chance, if you don't like I'm sure you'll be able to sell it and recover some of the investment.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,265
14
You'll get mixed messages about every pipe manufacturer or maker. It is what it is.
Here's my take on Falcons. I really like them and they are firmly in my rotation. Btw, I own 8 of them with bowls in various configurations from briar, to briar lined with meerschaum and just meerschaum bowls. They all smoke fine, but I prefer my meerschaum bowls. I used to use dry rings, but I haven't used them in quite a while (that's a cadence/drying issue) and I use regular pipe cleaners (Bringhams) with no ill effect.
As far as your other "complaints", I don't know. I've never had to drill or modify the threads or anything like that.
As far as one in and one out......I often take a Falcon with meerschaum bowl, a few pipe cleaners and some baccy and then smoke all day......6-8 bowls will zero problems. Zero.

 

owen

Preferred Member
May 28, 2014
560
0
They smoke amazingly well, dismantle for cleaning and are near indistructable. All my bowls have been estates so no comments on break in, the only problem I have had is with worn threads meaning the bowl leaks. They are also so cheap its crazy not to try one. Oh and they smoke really well.

 

lasttango

Preferred Member
Sep 29, 2012
869
0
Wilmington, De / Ithaca, NY
All you really need to know is never bet against Tom Brady... He's like Rambo...
Ohh... uh... you mean the pipe... I gave up on mine because at the time, it seems everyone was sold out of the rings and it also felt a little awkward to smoke in terms of weight, feel in hand etc. They are good pipes, but so are Cobs. Cobs smoke as well as anything. I suppose the reason why I have these pricier briars with birds eye and flame grain and hand cut stems is more for aesthetics and I enjoy the craftsmanship. I have never really got the sense that my $300 Ashton would smoke better than my $25 Elf Cobbit.
I did feel that my smokes with the falcon were incredibly smooth and cool and dry and consistent. I think it might be worth fudging with it a little bit if you think you'd enjoy having a falcon, you should get one and try it out.
Tobbaco pipes dot com has something called the weekender falcon pipe gift set. You get the pipe, two bowls, rings, pipe cleaners and a tin of Blood Red Moon Cult for $79.99. This is regularly sold out, but it's in stock now. I'm tempted to try them again!
Not sure if we are allowed to post links, so I didn't.

 

mortonbriar

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2013
917
16
I have one that gets smoked weekly. It gets treated badly, tossed in the bottom of a bag or kicking around in the truck and handles the abuse. It is light to clench, if it gets sour I unscrew the top mid smoke and wipe a tissue/napkin/tshirt edge in the inside and keep smoking. I never bothered with the pipe cleaner ring thing. A regular pipe cleaner passes fine, its just the fluffy ones that will not get 'all up in there'. Its a good smoke by the way, I have not ended up collecting more of them purely because it is not an aesthetic that appeals to me...vanity, basically.
Isaac.

 
Jun 25, 2016
211
0
Thanks for your input so far. Keep 'em coming.
One further question that I've though of pertains to ghosting. If you use the same stem but switch bowls, does the base/stem ghost?
Just noticed I didn't capitalise the title - apologies for that! Noob error, and I don't seem to be able to fix it.

 

drennan

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2014
344
0
Normandy
I can only speak of the hunter bowls, they're not dip stained and are raw briar on the inside. They tend to have a slightly better grain and less fills than the stained bowls, should that bother you. They break in just like a regularly raw briar pipe.
As above I don't use dry rings, never had and it's never been an issue, I also use regular pipe cleaners again without a problem. I personally think dry ring and extra slim pipe cleaners are just away of making another revenue stream for falcon.
I too find the bits are not the best for clenching as they're a little small and slippy in the mouth but a softie bit solves the problem.
I've not had a problem with thread wear but I let the bowl cool before I remove it. I've had a single bowl where the hole at the base swelled slighly, literally 30 seconds with some fine sandpaper wrapped around a pencil solved the problem.
You do need to break the pipe down to clean it as the humidome needs to be wipped out so it does take slightly longer to clean a falcon than a regular pipe, probably a whole extra minute.
I love my falcons. Sure they're butt ugly but they're rugged, make perfect travel pipes as a stem and three or four bowls take up next to no room and they smoke ridiculously well. Infact I've got several artisan pipes but nothing does a better job at smoking virginias than a falcon with a dublin bowl.

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,190
30
Here's some helpful info:

http://www.pipesmokerforum.com/forum/showthread.php?806-Some-Notes-on-Falcon-Pipes

 

condorlover1

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2013
3,541
103
New York
Don't get me started about these things. I am sure if you enjoy a pipe that is constructed from a brake line, melted down ring tabs from a selection of Colt 45 malt liquor cans and a hollowed out wooden door handle then its far from me to object to your foibles! I associate these pipes with people from 'Up North' who take their holidays in Blackpool and wear socks with sandals whilst on the beach along with nylon flat hats in garish colors! :rofl:

 
Jun 25, 2016
211
0
Thank you all for your input. It's really helped me weigh up the topic a lot easier.
Ray47: Thank you, that link was extremely helpful, and I think approached the topic in a very balanced way.
tbradsim1: Impressive looking pipe! I think that bowl would last me 3 days :D
drennan: Your comment on VAs was rather pertinent, as I don't currently have a pipe for uncased Virginias.
The fact that they're sitters, and are fairly rugged are definitely plus points in my book. They won't be treated lovingly in my hands. I think I may need to consider a hunter bowl and straight stem at some point in the future. I just need to raise the funds, and decide which pipe to cast out to make room for it in the array.

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,313
9
Akron area of Ohio
I have only one. It's rather old. I bought the body from eBay when I ordered one of the Meerqueen bowls when they were being offered on this forum. I like it. I use the dry rings. When needed, regular J.B. Longs work fine. I like it. The bowl has a wider diameter than I generally smoke but the whole thing works. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend ths particular combination. I have no experience with any other bowl with the Falcon.
Mike S.

 

kane

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2014
429
0
I have two stems, one straight and one bent, and two briar bowls. My stems are made in England, but I believe they original were made in U.S.

I think they're great. I smoke mine regularly. They deliver a cool, dry smoke, and the bits are nice. No complaints. I have never used the rings. I never saw the need, never had a gurgle or a wet smoke.

I would like to try a meerschaum bowl. I think I need a stack bowl like Brad's!

 
Jun 25, 2016
211
0
Hey condorlover1, I AM from Up North :nana: Though being from the other side of the hills, it was usually Skeggy or Scarborough for us :D
Function beats form ;)

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,963
130
Like lasttango, I thought this was a football thread. Falcons are their own thing, but people seem to love 'em. I avoid them, and Meerschaum, only to avoid another vast opening to PAD. brad's is very tempting, with the tall bowl, a perfect burley burner.

 

kane

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2014
429
0
BTW, does anyone know what the numbers and/or letters that are stamped on the bottom of the dome signify?

 

stvalentine

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2015
808
1
Northern Germany
Aah, Falcon - don´t get me started! :lol:
The Dry-Rings? I make them from pipe cleaners (much better) but you can skip them altogether.

Center hole clogged? Yes, maybe if you clean the Falcon only every two years.

Threads failing? Only if you regularly ruin the threads on your car/bicycle/motorbike/lawnmower.

Ghosting? Well, does aluminum ghost?

Dismantle them for cleaning? Yes, thats one of their main advantages!
What else? Ah yes, no gurgling and you can put them in your dishwasher too.

Finding new stem/bowl pairings is great fun. I just got a Morta bowl from Ghris Askwith England!
Err, and they smoke great too... :mrgreen:


 

akfilm

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2016
310
0
I have one in my collection (a Falcon #3), lovely little pipe, never has given me any trouble, nice and cool smoking. Once I found Kirsten's though, I switched over them.