Radice Buttons Breaking - Coincidence?

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peckinpahhombre

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Dec 24, 2012
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Many people view Radice pipes as good smokers and I can't quibble with that.
However, the experiences I have had with the brand have left me wondering whether there may be a deficiency in either the acrylic that Radice uses on their stems or in they way their stems are made.
In my almost 4 years smoking a pipe I have only had issues with five pipe stems breaking. One incident was with a Castello that I dropped, resulting in a broken tenon on the stem, which I sent back to Castello in Cantu for repair.
The other four incidents, however, have all been with Radice pipes, and none involved dropping the pipe in any way. In each of the four cases (the most recent of which happened only this morning), the same exact thing happened: the very end of the button, or lip, of the stem simply broke off in my mouth while I was smoking the pipe.
I smoke numerous brands of pipes. Many have vulcanite stems, but many also have acrylic stems (including Castello and Savineli, among others), and I have never had this issue with any brand except Radice.
And four times, no less, with the exact same thing happening in each case.
Now, I do clench often, but it is starting to strike me as far more than a coincidence. Could it be that Radice uses a different type of acrylic than other brands, such as Castello or Savinelli? Could it be that Radice makes their buttons unusually thin?
The issue could be me of course, but then if it is, I don't know why I haven't had the same issue with any of my other pipes.
I am really struggling here, since each pipe was a great smoker, but as it stand now, I would never buy another Radice.

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,933
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NY
That's pretty disturbing Peck. I think you just need to give up pipe smoking and ship your tobacco cellar to me. :nana:
Seriously though that sucks. I have been thinking about buying a Radice but after hearing this I think I'll stick to Caminetto, Savinelli and Castello.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
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Please describe the break itself. Simple crack, a section actually came off, etc. Pic if possible.

 

peckinpahhombre

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Dec 24, 2012
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George, the exact same thing has happened in all four cases. The button litterally shatters. Pics of the latest victim are below.






 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
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Mytown
Peck can you get a clear shot of the area of the break? The focus is off on the button and I'd like to see how clean that plane is where the break occurred on the stem.
-- Pat

 

davet

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May 9, 2015
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Wow, looks like it must be very brittle, does it appear to be thinner than other bits ?

 

oldreddog

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Sep 4, 2014
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That's a pain in the stones peck.

I just spent a fair amount of overtime money on a Radice rind nose warmer. Now I have a bit of a sinking feeling.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
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Wow, looks like it must be very brittle, does it appear to be thinner than other bits ?
I don't know if its thinner than bits on other pipes because the only brand I've ever seen a cross section of is my 4 Radice when they broke. All four seemed to be around the same thickness. Its like they just shattered in my mouth.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
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Acrylics are the same in the way all bread is the same. There's an effectively infinite number of combinations and ingredient proportions that will result in what APPEARS to be the same thing, but the performance/behavior characteristics will be different.
Looks to me like Radice bought a batch of stem material that is unsuitably fragile for pipe stem use. No matter how hard you clench (within reason---a hydraulic Terminator jaw doesn't count), a stem should NEVER shatter or crumble. Period, no exceptions.
I'm sure they are well aware of it, too. Such shattering is rare in the PipeWorld, and would stand out like like a sore thumb shortly after the pipes from a given batch were sold. Hopefully they will make it right if you contact them.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,096
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That's a pain in the stones peck.

I just spent a fair amount of overtime money on a Radice rind nose warmer. Now I have a bit of a sinking feeling.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to diss the brand. Maybe they just don't work for clenching, at least for my mouth pattern. I have 18 Castellos in the rotation, four Savs, and one Caminetto and never had an issue, so maybe those brands just suit me better.

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
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Mytown
Man... that's interesting. I default to George as he's seen WAY more stems than I ever have. But that button looks suspect to me. The ovoid shape around the airway appears to be different material or at least different colour than the rest of the material which made up the stem/button.
Very interesting.
-- Pat

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,096
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I'm sure they are well aware of it, too. Hopefully they will make it right if you contact them.
I tossed the other three in the bin and will do the same with this one. Not really worth my time to be chasing them for a $190 pipe. I will likely refrain from buying another, however.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
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The ovoid shape around the airway appears to be different material or at least different colour than the rest of the material which made up the stem/button.
That's the base of the funnel.

 

oldreddog

Preferred Member
Sep 4, 2014
923
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No worries peck I take your point that they are good smokers, mine is an instant favorite, and you are being quite fair to the brand. It's just when I saw your post I was thinking ah feck.

Georged has alleviated my worries though :)

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,955
5
FYI if anyone is taking pics with their cell phone.
Camera lenses can only focus so close, some lenses do have a very close minimum focus distance, but even those will have their limits (though sometimes the theoretical minimum focus distance is inside the lens, it's still a distance away from the sensor).
Most cell phone cameras are designed for wide angle images, not close-ups. Trying to fill the frame with a small object is going to place the subject too close to the camera, it physically can't focus at that distance, so the software ignores your attempts and focuses on the next thing back that can be focused on.
If your images are turning out blurry, move the object farther away so that the camera can actually focus on it, then crop the image later.
It may seem counter intuitive not to fill the frame, but we have plenty of resolution nowdays, the detail on a tiny spot that's in focus is going to be greater than something filling the frame that's out of focus.

 

peteguy

Preferred Member
Jan 19, 2012
1,092
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I assume the coincidence of all 4 being Radice would exclude these were bought as estates from the same person, etc. I was just thinking of the last few months and seeing all of the super glue threads. You probably bought them new anyway. Craziest thing I have ever seen whatever the reason. I think I will go back to mis-pronouncing their name....

 

dcrguns

Preferred Member
Aug 19, 2013
690
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That really stinks. I was thinking of getting a couple of Radice pipes but I think I will pass now. Thanks for posting this.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
2
I'm afraid this just became a non-issue.
I did a bit of P.I. Google-fu, found his driver's license photo on a database, and discovered that Mr. Hombre is a rather, um, unique individual. (pic attached)
It's safe to say that the problem he has with pipe stems is not something that most people need to worry about.