Tighter Draw- Am I Alone Here?

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tschiraldi

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
1,148
3
Inspired by another thread, I have to ask if I am the only one here who prefers a bit of a tighter draw than seem to be on most modern artisan pipes now? I like the draw on older Sasieni, Castello, Ascorti, etc pipes. Many new pipes, to me, are too open. I think I remember a comment from someone on here comparing them to wind tunnels, which I find perfectly relevant and accurate comparison. Does anyone else hold this view? I don't make or alter pipes, so I am ignorant as to the drilling size, in millimeters, that I prefer, I just know that the older pipes seem to have it.

 

smittyd

Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2018
726
210
40
Pennsylvania
I would have to agree, to big and you get no flow its like sucking on a tail pipe . However if its to small of a hole i have noticed its easier to get some tongue bite. I am no pipe maker either so what do i know!

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
352
I think a lot of people prefer a 5/32 air way. That seemed to be the standard of the classic Pipes. I like my pipes drilled out to 11/64 or 3/16. I think it all just depends on your packing method, with an open draw, you’re going to want to pack the chamber a little tighter than you would with a more narrow airway.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,629
1,542
I have a range of pipe, my Savinelli Piumas and GBD military stemmed dublin, small bowls and less than 3mm draft seem to have this tight draw, of which you speak. And, I love to smoke them, but like saying that all of a certain type of transmission in a car are only the best, negates the fact that not all cars drive the same. My tighter drawn pipes with small chambers drive really well. My Beckers also seem to have a moderately tight draw, and some of my customs seem to be loose and squirrely. Just as you wouldn't want a truck or a small economy car to have Ferrari shifting, nor a Porsche to have the shift of a 72 stepside, you want balance built for the pipe. It has to fit the pipe, IMO.
Some people may want just whatever pipe best fits their style of smoking, and the rest are crap (because they don't want or can't adjust their smoking style), in their opinion, whereas others among us enjoy the variety of styles that pipes prefer to be smoked best. It just depends on want you want. I enjoy pipes, and finding the sweet spot on each of them, just I enjoy driving. Give me a truck, sportscar, a land barge... If you enjoy driving, you'll enjoy exploring different vehicles. But, there are some that only want small Miatas, and that's ok too. Different smokes for different folks.
I just know to blow off anyone who declares that there's only one way to do anything. You have to be open to new ideas and differences. If you enjoy it, good.

 

tschiraldi

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
1,148
3
Oh, don't get me wrong, I have newer pipes with a more open draw that I love smoking and, you're right, I have to adjust my packing to accommodate them, but PREFER, the tighter feel of the old ones.

 

zack24

Preferred Member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
The briar pipes I make are all 5/32-roughly 4mm...my bamboo pipes tend to be 3mm because of the carbon fiber or stainless tube I use- they tend to have smaller bowls. If you feel a draw is too open, just pack the tobacco tighter...

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,642
2,882
Monterey Peninsula
What Zack and Cosmic say. I am agnostic as to size of airway- ignorant might be a better term. Packing and tamping makes each one "behave" to accord a good smoke. I've never had a problem with a tight draw that couldn't be cured by a pipe cleaner.

 

lawmax3

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2013
403
0
I prefer more open draw. As zack said, I just pack tighter to get the flow I want.

 

zack24

Preferred Member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
...and if ya like them really tight, get an old Meer with a small bone screw tenon- those are tiny...but still smoke well...

 

zack24

Preferred Member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
...and if ya like them really tight, get an old Meer with a small bone screw tenon- those are tiny...but still smoke well...

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,409
7
I like 'em open. I've had to open up several pipes to 5/32" to get them to smoke the way I prefer.

 

pipesticks

Senior Member
Jun 29, 2016
336
8
Chicago
I prefer a more open draw for most tobaccos but appreciate my pipes with a tighter draw too. I have several pipes where the restriction is in the radical bend of the stem, not the draft hole. No way to fix this short of heating, straightening, redrilling the stem, and rebending...a PITA and risky. So, I tend to use these tighter draw pipes with tobaccos I need to be reminded to sip slowly, like particularly bitey virginias. That said, I will drill out pipes wider when the draft hole is clearly the culprit for the tight draw.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,912
United States
I prefer my pipes to be 4.0-4.5mm. I pack my cube cut flakes firmly and I get a cool dry smoke every time. The pipes I have had over the years that were wet smokers were all Danish high ends. None of my Castello's, Radice's, Mastro's, Ser Jacobo, Caminetto's(radice/ascorti era) ever had issues being wet smokers.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,609
37
The perfect tobacco pipe airway size varies for a googol of reasons, falling somewhere between one angstrom unit and one astronomical unit 100% of the time. The end.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,955
1,614
I don't measure the airways, so I just go by feel. If I am aware of drawing harder, that's too restrictive. If I am getting too much air, so that the flavor is diminished, that's too open. I use an adaptor on filter pipes that feel too open, to focus the smoke more without a filter. I have some pipes that seem wide open, a Ser Jacopo for example, that still seem like great smokers, so it is highly subjective.

 

briarblues

Member
Aug 3, 2017
252
2
Tim, I'd day you're in the minority, but not because you prefer a "tighter" draw. I'd suggest, and some will disagree, that you have learned how to pack your pipes the way that works best for you. There is far more to getting the most out of any pipe than the draw alone. It is finding the correct packing technique, to fit with the tobacco cut /type / humidity, your climate, that blends with the way the pipe is "engineered".
I have been at this for more than 4 decades and only in the past 10 years have I found my "sweet spot" for the above criteria.
So much comes into play that one must adapt to each of these criteria. When I was in Cancun, I had to alter my packing technique for the pipes I brought with me, due to humidity and heat. The pipes I brought smoke far differently at home than they did in Cancun. Last week I was in Atlanta and had to adjust again, due to climate. Even though in my pouch was the same blend ( Escudo ).
Taking it a step further, with a pipe which has a more open draw, one must adjust how they pack, compared to an "not so open" draw. Add to that what may feel tight to me, may feel open to you.
When offering insight to new pipe smokers I would suggest the draw on a pipe should not feel as tight as a cigar ( depending on hand rolled long leaf / to short fill / to box press etc ). It should have an easier draw. If you were drinking a soda through a straw, the draw should feel similar. If you draw and it feels like a milkshake through a straw, it's way too tight.
So I'd say while others find draws too tight or too open, the majority just haven't found that "sweet spot" that works best for them.
Regards

Michael J. Glukler

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,986
1,181
Sometimes this airway thing just seems fetishistic. Is a wide airway better? No. It's just different. None of my ancient Britwood feels constricted, and airway dimensions varied depending on shape. It wasn't one size fits all. Surprise, British and French carvers had a clue. My modern wide open airway pipes smoke great. But that open airway has its limitations as well. Some very fine tobacco cuts have a way of getting sucked up that wide airway and into one's mouth. So, I don't smoke those cuts in my modern pipes.

 
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