Tamping?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

SmokingPipes.com Updates

3 Fresh Abe Herbaugh Pipes
12 Fresh Estate Pipes
6 Fresh Mark Tinsky Pipes
New Accessories
18 Fresh Butz-Choquin Pipes

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

bogfire

New member
Apr 9, 2019
37
0
I am just wondering what is tamping? I see great pictures of members with brass tampers, what are they used for?

I am a simple man and just put the tobacco in the pipe bowl,push it down with my finger, light it and smoke it.

Is there some other way I could be doing it?

 

bogfire

New member
Apr 9, 2019
37
0
Sorry, no sarcasm intended. I honestly have no idea what a tamper is used for. I love the Thoreau quote by the way.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,142
72
30
WI
Tamper, finger, stick, big toe, it's all the same. Some cost more than others.
As you smoke, push it down occasionally. Sposed ta keep er going er something.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,794
94
Tamping may (or may not) be important to an individual pipe smoker.
Tamping Important: FLAKE TOBACCO, slow smoke competitions, for those who want to smoke to the bottom, for long smokes, for mixing tobacco.
Tamping Not Important: SHAG/AROMATIC TOBACCO, smoking without considering the experience or timing, walking the dogs, in the car, etc. For example, my Grandpa never used a tamper, always his finger or a nail. He didn't care at all.
Also, never underestimate the ability of a pipe smoker to over think minuscule details like tamping. Many even collect tampers and care very much about the quality it adds to the smoking experience.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,888
76
Just keep in mind that they are meant to gently crush down the ash. It's not a ramrod for a cannon.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,476
89
I only use the weight of the tamper to bring the ember back down to the tobacco as it expands.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,530
94
United States
I have a few nice tampers I have gotten over the years but basically just use the one that is part of my lighter. I tamp after the charring light. I use the pick end of my tamper to gently stir ash before dumping it. I use a tamper to scrap the edges of my bowl when smoking folded and stuffed flakes. If my bowl begins to fade I will tamp to get the embers going again.
A tamper is a very useful tool when smoking. I have also seen old timers who never use one, but codgers are not what we are here. We are the mavens of the pipe world and accoutrements are part of who we are. :puffy:

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,899
73
Tamping is an art. You can use the tamper before your first light to even up the bowl and break down pieces that might not have settled in place. You can use the tamper as you smoke to bring the ember closer to the unlit tobacco below it. Before a relight, you use the tamper to settle leaf and ash in place for more even burning. You can even use a tamper to detect when the ember has burnt so low it is unlikely there is any more tobacco down there. As you learn this very gentle art, its subtlety and nuance will occur to you and you will enjoy your growing expertise. It's better learned through experience than taught, but there's a first lesson.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,811
0
I often use my finger, but I quite like the results of a tamper. My finger is slightly less discolored and the callous is lessening lately. Lol. Seriously, I find a tamper quite a nice addition.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,344
20
If, I sayIsay, if I'm at a "dressy" occasion I have a "Cosmic", custom made, tamper I break out. (I'm quite proud of it. I owe him and the crowd here a photo. I've only had that obligation for a couple of years now. Sorry Cosmic!) Otherwise, usually a finger and with either I usually tilt it a little and give it a quarter turn while pressing gently. "Why?" some of you ask. "Dunno. Just seems to get results with fewer relights."
There is also "aingiseoir" but, only an Irish speaker could begin to explain the subtleties of that word. I am a third degree black belt Aingiseoir. Should be some "fadas" in the spelling but, I'm too lazy to switch the keyboard to Irish.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,142
72
30
WI
Bill, yes I can clench my pipe and use my toe to tamp the tobacco with. :mrgreen:

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,142
72
30
WI
I have heard of these "cosmic Tampers". But they are only for the worthy.

 

bogfire

New member
Apr 9, 2019
37
0
Thank you all for taking the time to explain. Much clearer now. I also understand the joy of acquiring. My wife asks why I need more pipes or more then one guitar.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,344
20
Reply to her question that, "It is not a matter of need." Then ask her, "Why more than two pair of shoes. One is actually sufficient."

 

admiral

Member
Sep 15, 2017
267
0
Interesting for me is just the opposite. The light usually gets off because of tamping.

If my bowl begins to fade I will tamp to get the embers going again.