- Feb 21, 2013
The is an old subject discussed and touched upon over the years. I think both routes work fine. I'm not dogmatic for either choice. Here are some pros and cons on each. New pipes have no abuse from the previous owner, no bad reaming, freight train puffing, poorly executed repairs, chewed up bits, chars on the rim, and so forth, and usually no oxidation on a Vulcanite stem. No sanitizing needed. And if you buy a standard and reliable brand, you can focus on learning to smoke, not figuring out your pipe's possible misuse in the past. But you tend to pay more. Estate pipes have the possible problems mentioned, but at the same price point, you leapfrog up the quality ladder and can get a pipe that cost someone else twice as much, or more, new. I don't think there is a correct answer here. If you are so lucky as to inherit a nice pipe, you have your estate and a family or friend's legacy to go with it. If you want to play it a little safer, you can buy an estate pipe from a reputable retailer like smokingpipes or trusted Forums members, and you'll get an accurate account of the qualities and flaws before you buy. I started with a house pipe from Tinderbox, with the Tinderbox stamp and St. Ives as the model, a bent pot with an interesting vertical saddle stem, still looking good and going strong after 40 years. A Tinderbox old timer thought it probably was produced by Chacom in France. Did you start with a new pipe or an estate? And how did that go?