How Many Pipes In Your Collection Never Need A Pipe Cleaner

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Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
One of my biggest pet peeves is having to use a pipe cleaner to soak up excess moisture while smoking my pipe. I now buy pipes that I know will never require a pipe cleaner and the reason for this is the size of the shank dimension and the quality of the stem. After years of figuring this all out, I have determined that a shank dimension of 4.0 mm and greater plus a well made stem makes sure I never need a pipe cleaner. I now own 33 pipes in my collection that never need a pipe cleaner and those are the only ones that I smoke. I have 3 other pipes that do require a pipe cleaner and will eventually give those away.
So how important is it to you that you never need a pipe cleaner or does it matter to you at all? Do you think I am nuts for making this such a huge issue? lol
ps. I do live in Florida and smoke outside at times in the humidity which really tests a pipe.



Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
Washington State
I have pipes that smoke very well and others that smoke a little wet. If I have a pipe with a bit of a gurgle or is just a wet smoke; it doesn't bother me at all. Its no big deal to run a pipe cleaner through the pipe real quick. Its not something I worry about or even think about.



Preferred Member
May 30, 2012
Many of my pipes are store brands with a few higher end pipes. However, I have noticed a few stand outs that never need a pipe cleaner.
Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Neerup Bent Apple

2. Edwards Squat Bulldog

3. Comoy Bent Billiard

4. Comoy Pebblestone Volcano

5. Growley Rhodesian (best one)

6. Peterson Aran (Bradley gifted to me)



Senior Member
Feb 17, 2014
Jacksonville, FL
I haven't really taken note of which pipes need or don't need the occasional cleaner to dry them. Being in Florida, too, the humidity level is often so high I'm always prepared with a cleaner just in case. That said, I usually only smoke early morning and evening when a bit cooler out and humidity seems a bit lower so it hasn't been a big problem for me.



Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
All of mine get one side of a cleaner about halfway through. Doesn't bother me a bit.



Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2013
I rarely get the gurgle anymore. Never have I ever had to use a pipe cleaner while smoking a pipe. I also don't overthink this hobby too much and enjoy the benefit of living in Colorado where the air is dryer.
Pick it, pack it, tamp it, light it, smoke it, enjoy it.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
So I guess I am the only nut case here that gets homicidal if I have to use a pipe cleaner. It is funny because for years it never bothered me. It wasn't until I bought my first Rad that it became an issue so it is all Rad's fault I am an obsessive compulsive about using a pipe cleaner. Thanks Rad.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
I didn't know it was anything special not to need a pipe cleaner during a smoke. I think I've only run into

that once or twice over many years, and then more for a piece of leaf clogging the airway than for moisture.

I don't know why this is true.



Preferred Member
Jul 27, 2012
Harris, I would love to have a pipe that doesn't need a cleaner during a smoke. I think you're right to make it an issue.
Just about all my pipes could benefit from a run of a cleaner during a smoke. The ones that require it the least are my Stanwells.
Things are better during the summer months. During the winter our house is chilly and subsequently my pipes are cold - and I find that the heat of the tobacco creates excess moisture in a cold pipe.
It's why I've been adding more spigots to my collection - it allows me to remove the stem mid-smoke and blow air and excess moisture out without a cleaner being needed.
I will add that none of my pipes gurgle.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
The only time I have to use a cleaner to get out moisture is while I am getting use to a particular pipe, or if I am stressed and puffing a bit more than normal, usually my kids' fault, ha ha. Otherwise, I never keep pipe cleaners on me. They are always by the rack to give a good swiping before returning the pipe to the rack. Maybe try smoking your pipes that do get a bit gurgley a little slower. Or, send them to me :lol:



Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
If I can't fix a gurgle with a little filing, I get rid of the pipe. It would bug the shit out of me to think I needed a pipe cleaner every time I wanted a smoke. I must have 20 or so pipes that simply don't gurgle.
However, with my 100-year old antique pipes, I'm much more forgiving. Some of them will never smoke perfectly because they were never made to smoke perfectly. It was a different era and the standards were just different. Still, I have a couple of older pipes that have perfect airflow and never need a cleaner.



Senior Member
Dec 30, 2013
I've found that our Old Dominion cobs (at least the ones that I can attest to from smoking them) never need a cleaner to absorb excess moisture. Not trying to toot my own horn or the product, but I think it has more to do with the design of the traditional bamboo stem cob pipe. With the bamboo stem, the stem is placed just slightly above the bottom of the bowl and only protrudes just slightly through the sidewall of the cob into the chamber. Excess moisture then collects and is trapped at the bottom of the bowl instead of draining into and being sucked into the stem. While I haven't tried to smoke any original bamboo/cane stem cob pipes such as vintage MM and H&B cobs, I believe that they would perform the same way as well.



Preferred Member
Apr 4, 2014
I like using pipe cleaners even if I don't need to. Could be all in my head, but I feel like it makes the smoke drier and less steamy even if it's not gurgling.



Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2012
None. Even without gurgling, a smoke may be improved by using a pipecleaner several times while smoking.



Apr 20, 2014
None. Even without gurgling, a smoke may be improved by using a pipecleaner several times while smoking.
Serial clenchers have more problem with moisture.
Larger shank and a larger mortise bore so you're just changing the location of where the moisture collects. I don't believe that your pipes are any drier just the location where it collects is more to your liking but you'll still have to clean the mortise (and gawd, mortise gunk is bad if you don't).
You do sound a but compulsive about the issue, as is your right, and I'm glad that you found a solution.
Excuse me I need to run a cleaner...



Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
I like using pipe cleaners even if I don't need to.
Even without gurgling, a smoke may be improved by using a pipecleaner several times while smoking.
I'm in this camp ... I run one through at half-bowl regardless of what I'm smoking.



Senior Member
Jun 12, 2013
Harris, I am the same as you. If it requires a pipe cleaner I'm not going to smoke it. This started in me after becoming a member here, so I'm blaming you for my issue! Not a single pipe in my cabinet requires a cleaner while I'm smoking it. I do have some that have a little more moisture than others when I take them apart to clean. But none that need a cleaner while smoking. Now I am weeding down to the comfort level and weeding out some more. Out with the good pipes, in with the great commissioned works!




Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2013
Never really thought that much about it, much less it being any concern to me. Then again, I've gotten into the habit of occasionally running a pipe cleaner through the stem about once or twice at the most while smoking. I'm not one for filters, but on rare occasion, especially with my 9mm Stanwells, I'll at times use a folded pipe cleaner as a filter so I obviously don't bother with running a pipe cleaner through the stem while smoking.
Maybe I've just been lucky, but out of the 12 or so pipes that I have I've never had much of an issue with any gurgle. That is not to say it hasn't happened on occasions, but I personally think it mostly depends on the tobacco, it's moisture content, the cadence of smoking, humidity in the air, etc. Of course if I ever ran into a pipe that really gave me any constant issue with a gurgle I'd toss it out. However, if I ever learned one thing about pipe smoking is that one can NEVER have enough pipe cleaners! :wink: