New Pipes Or Estates For Beginners

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daniel7

Senior Member
Sep 11, 2018
305
0
If I started with cob I'm sure I would smoke cigarettes nowadays. Cob adds a weird taste to the tobacco, I think it is not everyone's cup of tea. If you would like to stay extra-cheap, then a hardwood pipe is a much better choice in my opinion. A cheap briar (Grabow, Bróg, Kaywoodie, White Star, etc.) is of course even better but hardwood is closer to it than cob.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,378
1,999
Monterey Peninsula
The instrument doesn't matter, unless it's a p.o.s.. Decent tobacco and a heads up as to drying, loading, lighting and smoking are more important. Yet all those things can be self taught as well.
EDIT: Just saw the above. Agree. I don't like cobs, either for the taste they impart initially, or for the lack of aesthetics.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,667
1,041
Interesting reading all the way through, about the first pipes, but also about life stories. Thank you, and keep on! Pappy, I remember you are retired Coast Guard, and you mention buying a Dr. Grabow and a pouch of tobacco aboard ship. Was this from a shipmate or new stock from some kind of ship store? My Navy minesweeper (yes, MSO 489) was so small, it only sold soft drinks and candy bars out of the scullery (dish washing area) when it was not in use for dish washing. The detail of buying a pipe aboard ship really intrigued me. So did all of the other posts. Great reading. A lot of living glimpsed on this thread. And yes, I did my time in the scullery actually doing the dishes not selling sodas, though not as long as some shipmates, since I was a radioman and they needed me for long watches in the shack. The only down time I remember was standing out on the weather decks in fair weather and foul, such that I became famous for being addicted to being out in heavy weather. "You love this sh**, don't you, Hawk?"

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
2,816
275
SC Piedmont
"You love this sh**, don't you, Hawk?"
Yeah, I can see that. :) Don't give us that bilge, Tom, WE know what happened. You were determined you were going to find the thing if it took all night when they put you on mail buoy watch! [duck & run like blazes]
Yeah, seriously, though, I really can see that. Some of us are just like that. An old supply sergeant I knew would trade ANYthing for a can of ham-&-eggs out of a MCI. He LOVED that stuff. Me, I'll just stick with good old SOS.
B

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,564
447
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
I have been through all those stages, brand New is new used is used and rebuild/restored estate pipe is that of the third existing sub category which may offer the best quality/money ratio but often this refurbished Estate option is not the cheapest choice one may find.

 

wyfbane

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2013
4,030
0
I started with established brand-estates. I figured that the pipes would be good. A Pete, A Sav, and a Stanwell. I learned to smoke using all three pipes equally. The pipes all performed roughly the same, so I figured they were good.
If I were advising a new smoker, I would recommend something similar. I got all three of my pipes for the price of one new pipe that would have required break-in.
Cobs are good and even cheaper, but I concur that the break-in flavors may affect the experience.
If it is a matter of smoking or not smoking, I have a supply of cobs to give any would-be pipe smokers.
It is our job as pipe smokers to grow the roster.
8)

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,282
1,771
Alaska
Started with a $40 Passatore bent billiardish thing purchased at the local tobacconist and some of their most popular house blended aromatics. It smokes just fine. I still use it as a tester pipe for blends that sound like an absolute mess (Usually aromatics flavored with moon dust and funnel cake or whatever ridiculous topping)
Chose to do that rather than the cob to avoid break in flavors, so my young, impressionable palate was not influenced by anything other than tobacco.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,754
1,175
United States
I have said the same thing time after time and still believe it is the best way to go.
Buy a new Savinelli toss any filters or adapters and have at it. My first pipe was a Sav and it showed me what a good pipe should smoke like. I now had a base line for all my other pipes. When I bought a crap pipe I new it right away and could dump it.
If you never have a pipe that smokes cool and dry how are you going to know that pipes that gurgle and smoke wet are lousy pipes.

Here is my first Savinelli.



 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,378
1,999
Monterey Peninsula
One ten dollar pipe a week= over $500. You could have a small stable of good pipes for that, then no more expense in years 2-50, a savings of some $25,000.

 

dcon

Preferred Member
Mar 16, 2019
759
449
Jacksonville, FL
I don’t think the type of pipe matters. I think that you should be experimental and , like any new adventure, consume all of the literature that you can on the subject. My first pipe and tobacco were a Dr. Grabow Duke Billiard and SWR purchased at a Katz Drug Store when I was a teen. Times sure have changed.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,667
1,041
If a prospective new pipe smoker asked me, I'd probably steer them toward a good name brand of inexpensive briar pipe or cob with an acrylic stem, only because I think purchasing estates requires a little more knowhow. But if he/she already had an estate pipe, I wouldn't bat an eye and would explain other things they might like to know. Or if they wanted an estate pipe, I'd steer them toward smokingpipes.com or another dependable source so they wouldn't get hung up on possible repairs.

 

ophiuchus

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,224
53
Pick something that pleases the eye and the hand ... and maybe keep an open mind.
Oddly enough, though I almost exclusively buy (collect?) new pipes, my first was not new when I bought it at Maison Edwards in Ann Arbor. It wasn't "used," it wasn't referred to as an "estate;" the salesman referred to it as a "refurbished" pipe. A good job of refurbishment was not performed on this pipe. There was nothing that could be done to hide the fact that the previous owner used a cigar torch on the rim of the bowl of this no-nonsense, no-frills straight pot, and I'm still not convinced that the stem was original to the pipe.
This Plain Jane pot stamped with nothing more than "ITALY" has served well, though; of the small handful of pipes I used during my college years, it's the sole survivor. Though it hides in a footlocker in storage with the rest of my "pre-move" collection, it will rejoin the active rotation when I unbox everything after moving into a more permanent house. I have nicer, fancier pipes that smoke as well; I've yet to use a pipe that smokes better than the old beater.
Sorry for running off at the keyboard ... :puffy:

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,667
1,041
ophiuchus, that story has its ups and downs but turned out just fine. Thanks!

 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
612
22
MSO, you always create intriguing topics. I say new. I started on new Savs and Stanwells, a few of which I still smoke. Like my trusty 320 and Stanwell octagonal shanked billiard. I don’t think new pipers should attempt the estate market without some guidance or experience. And many won’t have the patience to season a cob. So I say new lower priced briar.