The Myth of Brand and Maker in Pipesmoking

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Jul 31, 2012
It sure takes the pressure off for us nobodies. Now I don't feel like I have to have a Dunhill or any other particular model. :mrgreen:



Preferred Member
May 29, 2011
I read this years ago, and it still rings true. My collection is varied enough that I think I have about nailed it, lol. Of course, I don't have any "ultra high grades" to compare with, but my Peterson Plato is an exceptionally good and consistent pipe, while my Castello is decent. All of my pipes are good to varying degrees, and I found a lot of it has to do with the tobaccos that I match them with. I still want a Dunhill though, lol.



Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2012
I think a lot of people just want Dunhill for the aesthetic but I think if I'm going to spend that much I will buy a handmade pipe from one of the fine gents on here like Briarbird, Lonestar, or Storient.



Senior Member
Apr 4, 2011
Thanks Igloo, I must have missed this when Dave posted it. Any time a study mentions phenomenology

I get pretty excited, it's one of the most interesting forms of philosophical thought and study there is.



Junior Member
Feb 20, 2012
I do believe in the grain thing and that's my basis of finding/buying/biding estate pipe on eBay...
But that's all... not the brand....



Jul 19, 2012
It's a good read. Thanks for posting it. I've never collected based on maker of pipe. I have however, chosen a certain maker for pipes I smoke. It's based on what I consider quality at a purchase price I'm willing to pay. It includes all the things I value in a briar pipe. For me that's Savinelli which some won't have anything to do with for whatever reason. Each to their own. Grabow to Dunhill, whatever turns you on.



Preferred Member
Apr 17, 2011
I probably will never own a pipe over 200.00, let alone paying 6,000 for one like some of the ultra higrades...but like what Clye said, Whatever Turns You On



Junior Member
Apr 27, 2012
I've long championed the cause of the lowly pipe against their grown-up big brothers in the hand-made, artisan arena. I suspect many of us would like to have been the author of this article.
Yet none of us should be surprised - pipes, like trainers and designer ware, have been influenced by the market makers. Secretly we all know that a Stanwell is going to give us a great smoke... adding an artisan's name can add to the price, but not necessarily the value.



Preferred Member
Jul 27, 2012
Thanks for posting the link to this article - well done and provides good information.



Senior Member
Jul 9, 2012
Thank you for posting that article. As a newbie I have found myself often wondering what that perfect 1960's or older Dunhill smoke would taste like and what am I missing out on. This brought me back down to why I wanted to smoke pipes in the first place. I wanted to relax, unwind and enjoy the nice flavor of a good tobacco while having a wonderful conversation with my fiance with a couple of dogs resting by us on the front lawn. I have that now and though there is a chance that experience can be bettered; I doubt it can be by that much.



Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
Cheshire, CT
Can't say thank you enough for the reminder. After over fifty years as a pipe smoker I've learned that it isn't money that gets you a great smoke--it's finding the briar and tobacco that work for you. Money will certainly get you artistry, and we can hope that the artist begins his/her work with a top quality piece of briar, but the smoke itself won't necessarily be any better than you might get from a machine made Stanwell costing significantly less. The mid-range pipemakers use good briars and there is a high degree of probability that you won't be disappointed--I know I haven't been. And of course, I have a number of Missouri Meerschaums which deliver a mighty fine smoke that I would venture to say is the equal of the smoke you might get from a fine artisanal pipe.



Preferred Member
Aug 1, 2011
I talked to a guy once at the B&M who admitted that, his Dunhill (which he was smoking at the time) really didn't smoke any better than his Dr. Grabow.
Now of course I'm sure there are people out there who would vehemently disagree with him, but it does give credence to the idea that more money does not mean better smoking.



Senior Member
Jun 2, 2012
I'm a geek so there are certain things that reel me in from a brand perspective. They tend to be "features" of on sort or another. I can use a PC and do at work (as well as fix them) but I prefer an Apple computer at home. For me (as evidenced by my buying frenzy) I dig Pete System pipes. They have a feature set that appeals to me from a geek perspective, then there's the history of the brand itself. There are imitators and hell, they might even be better pipes, but then you get into the real meat and potatoes of the thing, I just LIKE them.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
This is a great article and reinforces my experience with high grades and lower grades. I believe it is the quality of the briar and then the construction that makes a great pipe. I don't care how good a pipe looks or how straight the grain if a pipe is not made properly it will not smoke good. I once owned 3 Peter Matzhold pipes with superior grain, all three were drilled improperly and they smoked like crap. I have a rusticated Mastro De Paja that retailed for about 200.00 and it smokes as good as any 1000.00 pipe I have owned. I have owned 4 Dunhills over the years with the oldest being 1977, I have now gotten rid of them all. They just didn't measure up to better pipes( less expensive also) in my collection so why keep them.
I buy pipes to smoke and in my experience great smokers can be had at many different price levels. I will say that my experience with machine made lower end pipes has not been great. Now the pipes were a Jensen, Nording and Peterson. These pipes didn't smoke cool and dry, they got hot very quickly and gurgled. Now seeing as that I had other pipes to compare them to, I recognized their faults quickly. If I didn't have a baseline of some great smokers, I would have never known the difference. I think everyone should try a higher grade pipe at least once so they can see if they notice the difference in smoking qualities. With the estate market, that is very easy to do. There are tons of pipes that sell for around a 100.00 that are highline great smokers. I just piked up a Winslow E grade Ekstra that reatiled for 400.00 for 84 bucks, it is a great smoker.



Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
St. Petersburg, FL
schmitzbitz said:

I would highly reccomend picking up Dr. Hanna's newest book, 'In Search of the Perfect Smoke'; it really is an engaging read that forces you to question the accepted wisdom and practices of pipe-smoking.
The article referenced in the thread opener is revised and updated in the above referenced book. I actually read that chapter last night as I smoked a pipe.



Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2010
Cornelius, NC
One of the best articles written on pipe smoking. Bump for all the newer members to be able to read. Thanks igloo for posting this up for us originally..