Tell me about Your Ben Wade Pipes

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rafterman

Junior Member
Apr 19, 2011
57
0
I have my eye on a brand new Ben Wade, and I wonder if any owners of these pipes could relate to me their impressions of said pipes? Even better if your pipe is a brand new Ben Wade.
Thanks folks
-Travis

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,132
21
I've got one Ben Wade that I've had for almost a year...medium sized, bent. To be honest, I'm kind of ambivalent about it...smokes fairly good, but definitely not one of my favorites. You can't tell by just one pipe, I don't know a lot about BW's but I'm not impressed enough with it to desire another one. Hopefully you'll get more feedback...don't judge by just my opinion.

 

cajunguy

Preferred Member
Jan 22, 2012
756
0
Metairie, LA
I just finished refurbishing a Ben Wade golden walnut plateau freehand. Today was the very first time I smoked it. It was quite pleasant. It had a nice, smooth draw and, given its size (namely its length - it's about seven inches long) was well-balanced and comfortable to handle. It smokes on the cool side, as well, which is a plus.
Now granted, this is only an impression from a first smoke... but I'm impressed.

 

pipeinhand

Preferred Member
Sep 23, 2011
1,199
0
Virginia
I have one, it smokes as good as my Nording's or Ardor. It is well shaped, draws well and holds nice in the hand. I am not looking for another as a must have but, if one comes up that I like I would go for it.

 

adam12

Preferred Member
May 16, 2011
919
0
Back in the day, Ben Wade was the coolest. All those big freehands and stuff, they caught my eye as a college kid. These days, however, theyre completely different. They are much more streamlined, seem bigger, and less pricey too. Almost a complete turnaround - in a good way I guess.

 

keith929

Preferred Member
Nov 23, 2010
748
0
I have four Ben Wades that are over thirty years old and they are all great smokers. The balance is just right and the draft hole is well placed. I bought all of these beauties when they were brand new and they stay in my regular rotation.

 

tobakenist

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
492
0
The question did not specify whether we are talking of Preben Holme Danish Made Ben Wade Pipes or any of the many guises that English made Ben Wade have gone under, the first Ben Wade pipes were London made, Duncan briars made Ben Wade pipes in northern England and today Ben Wade pipes are being made somewhere in England. The Ben Wade name seems likely to carry on for ever in one way or other, it must be a popular name to use.

 

mlaug

Preferred Member
May 23, 2010
908
0
Iowa
The new Ben Wades are totally different from the Dane produced pipes. They have a decent price point and seem to offer a nice pipe for the price. I don't have any personal experience with them, myself.
I just want to point out that what Tobakenist said is worth noting again. The Ben Wade name is an old one and you will want to compare apples to apples when looking for recommendations.

 

jcsnaps

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2010
1,032
0
I have several Ben Wades, all from the Danish era. One smokes outstanding, one so-so, the rest just real nice. As pointed out the name has been around for quite a while and the company has gone through many resurections of itself. Hope you find one you like and enjoy.

 

matchstickman

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
2,363
0
I have a pretty old Ben Wade poker that Mr. Jason Gone recently did a rustication job on for me. The pipe reminds me of Treebeard. Havent had a chance to smoke it yet but I did take some sample draws through it and it is incredibly free and open. It is going to be a dedicated English smoker but I havent decided what baccy I want try in it yet.

 

shawn

Preferred Member
Jan 1, 2012
532
0
I have a B.W. poker that I got off E-bay. I was a mess when I got it. I cleaned it up with all the usualy stuff. I smaokes great and is one of my favorites.

 

biloxi123

Junior Member
Apr 13, 2011
74
0
Layton, UT
I just bought an English Ben Wade straight billiard. I've smoked it about 5 times and I have to say it's a great pipe and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

 

tobakenist

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
492
0
Yours are definitely Preben Holme Danish made Freehand Pipes, if you Google Preben Holme you will find out all you want to know, they are still very collectible and fetch quite high amounts in the estate market, I have several amoungst my Freehand collection and they are great smokers and I would never part with them.

 

rakntur

New member
Jun 5, 2012
13
0
Albuquerque, NM, USA
I just have a few points to add at this quite late date. The genealogy of Ben Wade is confusing more than usual even in the often merging pipe world! That said, I believe I have some definitive conclusions. BW started in Leeds, England, in 1861, where it remained until three years after Lane Ltd. acquired it and Charatan in 1962. In 1965, Lane closed the Leeds factory forever, ending not only the famous Made in Leeds England, or just Leeds - England nomenclature but relegating the great hand-made century-old brand to machined seconds! a great brouhaha among connoisseurs has ensued ever since as to the quality of these machine made BWs, and rightly so, if simply because with any pipes made completely by factory assembly line, there will be fills and other blemishes that the hand craftsman's eagle eyes will catch and reject. Also, the shapes became mere classics in many instances without their old flair; the finish was heavy to cover the flaws and of course not as well applied, and the over-all finished product was often not all that appealing -- compared to the magnificent old specimens! But while I've owned some awesome old hand-made beauties that without doubt exceeded the quality of the Lane versions, I've also found still more estate Lane seconds that I cleaned up, restored (perhaps to conditions better than they ever looked in the first place) and found to be engineered soundly and producing an excellent quality of flavor and other results the discerning pipe man seeks: long-lasting, cool, dry burning to a fine ash at the bottom of the chamber included. And by well engineered, I mean they passed the first test of passing a cleaner from the button of the stem into the bottom of the chamber while the two parts are connected. My personal favorite BW period was the Preben Holm freehand collaboration that Lane, for purely financial gain, approved and then pulled the plug when Holm's personal financial difficulties returned due in part to difficulties with the U.S. market. At some point, Dunhill got its hands on BW, until Peter Duncan of Duncan Briars fame bought order rights in 1989 and literally saved the day once more. Therefore, Ben Wade pipes are again, it would appear, being made with still better quality at the Hardcastle plant of Dunhill -- for Duncan!
God save the Duncan!
There are other sources that can be cobbled together piece by piece, but here is the best: GREAT BEN WADE HISTORY

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,598
86
I have a couple of Ben Wades, two Danish Preben Holm made pipes and one cased Leeds pipe from 1914 that I just bought and cleaned. The two Preben Holm pipes are great smokers. Here's one of them:


I love the grain and the carving is wild. But the acrylic stem is thicker than I would like.
I haven't yet smoked the Leeds pipe, but it is quite jewel-like in appearance and the draw is wide open.
Ben Wade doesn't get much love these days.

 

agnosticpipe

Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
2,586
4
Wow sable, that BW freehand is crazy good!

I've had several Ben Wade pipes over the years, but this Ben Wade Danish Prominence is my favorite so far. This pipe brand has an interesting history though, with many fine pipes to choose from.


 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,598
86
Thanks Orley.
The carving in that pipe is something else, done to maximize the graining so that he have planes of that fine angel hair and planes of birdseye. Never seen the like.
I fired up the 1914 nosewarmer with some Yorktown this morning and it smoked like a champ. Really open draw.