I recently picked up a Stanwell Royal Sand and and also have a feather weight bent pick axe. Both are fantastic smokers and seem to be really wel built. So, I got curious, what's the general consensus of Stanwell as a whole?
I have a few and LOVE them all. Built well and have great draw. I have heard some say something about the newer ones vs the older, but I cant tell that big of a difference. Even the cheap $50 ones are great. And a huge plus for me is most don't have vulcanite stems.
I think the new, Italian-made Stanwells are very good. The original, Scandi-made and hand-made Stanwells are as good as it gets. I good, clean estate Stanwell is a prize. And they are priced very well from the trusted estate vendors.
My wife has 3 Stanwells, one of which she has been smoking for about 25 years, so it's safe to say she loves them. I have 2 Stanwells and like smoking them as much as anything else. Very well made, and great smoking pipes. All of ours are the older Danish made pipes, so I can't comment on the newer ones, but from what I've heard they are fine pipes too.
I just realized, we're both smoking Stanwells in our avatar!
I don't have one, yet, but a Danish made is on my list. The genealogy of pipes is fascinating. Danish makers using an English sounding name to stimulate sales. French makers moving to London. Makers from all over the Mediterranean, Africa, Japan, the US, Turkey, it's just amazingly diverse and there is quality to be had all around.
I have an older Danish one that smokes wonderful. I had a new Italian one, but I just couldn't get into it so I sold it. I think it was more an individual pipe issue then the Italian make as a whole. I like some of the older shapes on the Danish produced pipes, but I'd try another newer one without much hesitation.
I have 3 Stanwells that are all labeled made in Denmark. All smoke well and in my opinion are built well. I have heard comments about the poor staining on the Italian made pipes but one of my Denmark pipes has a reddish stain and whenever I wipe it, the cloth has red stain on it.
In my opinion, Stanwell is amazing. They have been producing pipes for a very long time. I have a couple that I really enjoy. I have a freehand that is from the 50's that is one of the most beautiful pipes I own. Nice choice and you can't go wrong.
I think sometimes Savinelli's and Stanwells and Petersons as sort of get looked at like the "Entry/Lower entry" level pipes. But I can tell all of mine never have loose stems, they will all pass a cleaner they are bored right. To me these are the pipes that I spend $100-150.00 on and I don't worry about them. I have 5-6 Savinelli's 3-4 Stanwells and just got my first Peterson and all of them have been and are great smokers.
I have collected Stanwells for years, and have a dozen in my current rotation. I enjoy the older Danish made pipes, and recently acquired 3 NOS Hand Made pipes that smoke wonderfully. I have held and examined a handful of the new Italian Stannys, and to me they do not have the same feel or finish. But that is just me, and I am glad to see that others find them acceptable.