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tschiraldi

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
1,154
1
So, there are 2 pipes from the same maker. One from a retailer, one on the "Bay". Both pipes are (truly) new. The retailer's pipe is a lower grade than the one on the "Bay". You love the shape of the lower grade pipe, but you're just okay with the shape of the higher grade. Both can be had for the same money (maybe even less for the high grade). The lower grade is priced a smidge below retail, the higher grade for half of retail. Which one do you buy, and why?

 

tozert

Member
Apr 26, 2017
156
5
Cornwall
I would go for the lower grade...you like the shape, it's the one calling to you. You can bet the same attention to detail will be found on both pipes. Often the higher grade is due to external factors, like the beauty of the wood. Or possibly the stem is hand made from rod and not a modified factory blank. Higher grade doesn't mean a better smoking pipe, so go for the one that is calling to you!

 

oldmansmoking

Preferred Member
May 13, 2017
561
20
UK
Expensive does not mean a good smoke, go for the one you are comfortable to buy. Just look at the smoke a corncob can give, a cheaper pipe you will never get.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,209
408
I'm not terribly concerned about how artisans or manufacturers grade their pipes. Somewhat as with automobiles, you can go high-end with all the bells and whistles and end up with a lot of warranty work, or you can buy the lower end work horse model and have it last forever and run like a dream. Things can work the opposite of that, but my point is, the grade assignment isn't a final judgement; you get to make that. I'm more skeptical of the higher grade and begin to look for features that justify it -- better grain? Larger briar? Expensive materials? Why am I asked to spend substantially more? I have economy pipes from brands like Nording, Stanwell, and Savenelli, and they all smoke as well as higher end versions of those same brands. So in the case proposed in the original post, go for the one you like best and ignore the grade.

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,953
74
Buy the shape you like the most, the "lower grade". That's the pipe you WANT! :)

 

tschiraldi

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
1,154
1
Okay, I pulled the trigger on a new Castello Trademark 35 oval shank Bent Billiard. The other was a Collection Hawkbill. I love the 35 and 235 in all its variations! Thanks for keeping me straight on this one. Now the long wait as it travels to me from the Motherland!

Tim