Suggestions for First "Good" Pipe?

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tinsel

Preferred Member
Oct 23, 2015
531
0
Hey guys,
So about 5 years ago I bought my first pipe which is an 1/8 bend apple shape rusticated briar marked "Italy" with a cheap plastic stem. It was one of only 3 pipes for sale hanging on the wall of a discount cigarette store and I paid about $25 for it.
When I gave up cigarettes and started pipe smoking seriously a few months ago I started acquiring a few more pipes. First, a small 1/4 bend paykoc meerschaum that I overpaid for at a B&M. Then a couple cheap no-name brair estate pipes that I picked up cheap on ebay and had to do some extensive cleaning on (salt and alcohol). Finally, I picked up a MM corncob (I believe it's a "Pride" model) at my local Walgreens pharmacy.
The corncob is fantastic, the meerschaum is decent, and of the briars 3 see regular smoking and 2 go pretty much unused.
I've been at this long enough now to see that I'm probably going to be a pipe smoker for life. I'm ready to make an investment on a nice briar that will be with me for a long time.
I'm a working man, with a tight budget. I'd like to maybe pick up something in the $50-$100 range. Looking for suggestions on pipes in my price range that are generally considered good quality smokers.
I like the look of a bent pipe and the ease of clenching, but have found that my straight and 1/8 bend pipes seem to smoke better (or at least drier).
I smoke non-aromatics (if that makes a difference).
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

jackswilling

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2015
1,777
0
All these are worth consideration in your price range

Chacom

Savinelli

Stanwell

Rossi

GBD

Peterson
I tend to favor Chacom and Savinelli in this price range

 

smokinfireman

Member
Aug 17, 2015
176
0
Dr. Grabow or Medico. Yellobole makes good pipes as well as Misourri Meerschaum. Remember- for the most part, a briar is a briar, some just come from fancy families.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
32,917
546
I heartily recommend Savinelli over any pipe in your price range. I own 19 of them, and all are great smokers.

 

dutch65

Junior Member
Feb 11, 2012
93
0
In that price range, I would recommend an old GBD in good condition that has been restored.

 

gogosamgo

Member
Mar 5, 2015
244
0
Can't go wrong with Savinellis! You can definately get a new lower end one, or if you're ok with estate pipes, you can probably find a mid-range Savinelli for that price range.
Smokingpipes.com also currently has a sale going on for Big Ben pipes, some up to 50% off. I saw a few today that I liked that are normally $125 for $75. But honestly I've never owned a Big Ben pipe, so I can't recommend getting one for sure, but it's worth researching and looking into reviews!

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,529
151
Absolutely agree with the Savinelli suggestions, but do check out the sale on Big Ben pipes!
http://m.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/Big-Ben/
Have one of their dromedary pipes, and love it.

 

danielplainview

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,852
3
wv
New Rossi pipes are basically Savinelli's with a different stamping. They are moderately priced. All my Savinelli's smoke like a champ.

 

seagullplayer

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2014
444
0
Indiana
I have several Dr. Grabow's, my current favorite is a smooth freehand.
Easy clinch, good smoker and no mortgage.
Plus I can get local.

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,662
9
Detroit
All these are worth consideration in your price range

Chacom

Savinelli

Stanwell

Rossi

GBD

Peterson
All worthy suggestions. I'm fond of Stanwells,in that price range,for new pipes.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,024
0
There's no guarantee you'll get a good pipe, regardless of what you spend. QC is all over the place and even pipes hand made just for you can come with significant issues. I've had to make adjustments (redrilling, filing slots) to nearly all of my pipes, both factory and handmade, as have many folks here. So what's a guy looking for a nice pipe that won't break the bank to do?
Well, the easiest way to stretch a buck is to buy a used pipe from an honest seller that knows how to service pipes. I'll pm you a guy I've bought from on etsy that is totally legit.
Smokingpipes may occasionally raise an eyebrow with respect to their estate pricing, but Romeo the estate pipe manager is the real deal and a helluva a decent guy. You can expect any pipe he services to be good as new.
For new pipes, Savinelli has a really flexible range of styles to choose from and their QC is a lot more stable than Peterson, for example. That said, I think Briarworks is bringing out the best bang for the buck pipes on the market today with their classic line. The pipes are either hit or miss with aesthetics, but there is no mystery. The pipes have a 4mm airway, the bits are standardized and every pipe in the line will have the same slot and button design. The downside is they tend to make a "smaller" bowl.
Here's one:

http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/Briarworks-Classic/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=186450
They also make the Cognac series for smokers haven, though SH does all the finishing. These are a great deal.

https://www.smokershaven.com/smokers-haven-pipe-the-cognac-black-blast-w-acrylic-amber-saddle-stem/
The thing about getting one good pipe is that as soon as you have one, you're going to want another.

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,933
0
NY
Savinelli.
Big ben you could buy 2 and still be under $100 however since I don't own one I can't attest to their quality.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,923
95
I'll go with the suggestions above. Just be mindful of filters and non-filters. Many of the Big Ben pipes on sale at smokingpipes.com are 9mm filter pipes. You can get adapters or smoke them without filters, if that is your choice. Some of the Big Bens don't have filters. Just keep in mind what you're doing. Likewise with Savinellis -- you can get them in non-filter series, or use adapters, or smoke them without filters or adapters if you like a very open draw; I find it a little too airy that way. Chacom and other French pipes are generally very good buys, fine smokers, and historically are the source of many/most of the great English shapes that are more expensive. With U.S. factory pipes, just be sure you are getting briar. Yello-Bole and Medico make a lot of Brylon pipes, a synthetic composite material; a few like it, but most don't, so probably avoid it, at least at first. You might also want to take a look at smokingpipes.com at Genod pipes, another up-and-coming French pipe with slightly larger bowls.

 

fordm60

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2014
598
1
This Rossi I just purchased and received it yesterday. All drilling is spot on. Only $44.00 I should be arrested for stealing. Smokes wonderfully. And it is nice and light. The sandblast is very nice very craggy! Rossi. click on Rossi to see it.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,923
95
That Rossi looks like a nice pipe, at a great price. Also look at Butz-Choquin Bistro pipes at iwanries.com (Iwan Ries), that sell for about $57. I think they'd be fine smokers. With either the Rossi or the BC, or one of each, you could get two pipes for a little over/under $100, and I think they'd be highly serviceable.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,493
3
I've had a blast reading these forums and then hunting for 'deals' on ebay. Most of my pipes were acquired in auctions there. I must admit, I haven't yet 'won' a pipestud auction. His pipes are usually gorgeous higher end units that he markets for his clientele, and out of my comfort $$ range, for now.
It seems that for me, part of the piping experience is the learning curve and immersion into the subject(s).
The advice you've received above is right on! All of it pretty much. There seems to be somewhat of a pipe resurgence in the works and thus competition among pipe makers which can result in some great values.

If you enjoy your cob, I'd say, be sure to get some more.
A 'lifelong' pipe smoker really oughtta have several pipes so that they can be maintained to best advantage.

 

mathoozula

Junior Member
Nov 25, 2013
54
0
When I started, I too was looking for briars in that price range.
I ended up choosing a bent brandy Rossi Rubino as my first briar. It smokes very well, but now I'm regretting the filter. The filter adapter just gets clogged all the time.
It does have some cosmetic issues such as the manufacturer's mark rubbed off the stem and the stem has oxidized. That being said, I still prefer the stem on my Rossi compared to the stem on my next purchase, a Savinelli. (you can really sink your teeth into the Rossi stem, I'm not worried about teeth marks on such a low priced briar)
The Savinelli is a King Sized 606, I believe, which is a bent billiard. The stem is vulcanite, I think. The stem is so hard that it makes it difficult to clench the KS briar.
I also regret the filter on this one. I basically smoke non-aromatics and have found that I would rather forego the filter. But that being said, the balsa wood filter system in the Savinelli is nice. A lil difficulty in keeping those balsa wood filters on hand, but it also will accept Dr. Grabow filters, if you cut them to the right size.
You cant go wrong with either Rossi or Savinelli. Both are good smokers.

 

mathoozula

Junior Member
Nov 25, 2013
54
0
My bad. I gave you wrong information.
The Savinelli stem was acrylic. That's the one that's hard to bite into.