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Does Pipe Shape Effect How It Smokes?

(52 posts)
  1. mechanic

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    Looking through all the diffrent style pipes. I was wondering if being a new pipe smoker i would be best to get a certain style. Im definetly gonna get some cobbs as reccomended but also wanted to purchase a briar in the 150 to 200 price range. Any advice would be greatly appreiacted thank you

    "I'm a kind person, I'm kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you will remember me for." - Al Capone
    Posted 4 months ago #
  2. mikethompson

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    Honestly, to me there is no difference in how a pipe smokes in regards to its shape. BUT, it may make a huge difference to you. Such is pipe smoking. It is so deeply personal that what works for me might be a hot mess for you.

    I would take that $150 and buy a few estate briars of various shapes and see if you like one more than the other.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  3. cosmicfolklore

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    The outside sculpting of the pipe has no real impact on how a pipe smokes; however, the shape of the inside of the bowl chamber does... as well as the design of the inside drilling of the draft, inside the stem, the briar, and button.

    It may not be dramatically different with each difference, as we have some forum members who cannot detect any differences. But, those who can better differentiate taste and flavors within tobacco varieties seem to be able to better detect differences between pipes.

    As to which pipe fits your preferences... well... you'll just have to try them and see.

    Michael
    Posted 4 months ago #
  4. techie

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    As to which pipe fits your preferences... well... you'll just have to try them and see.

    Which means you've got a lot of pipe purchases in your future!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  5. mechanic

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    Thanks for the info il have to be sure to get to mailbox before the wife to get the cc bills

    Posted 4 months ago #
  6. crashthegrey

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    Make sure your first briar has thick walls. You know, so it stays cooler on the outside for your sensitive hands. Or so it doesn't burn out. Heh. Take your time, pick a pipe you like, and get it. Worry about shape and chamber shape and depth when you know what you are doing.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  7. midwestpipesmoker70

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    I would suggest staying away from "nose warmers"...a very short pipe. The reason being until you really get experience in how to smoke, these pipes can smoke hot and cause tongue bite. At least that is what I have experienced. I prefer a longer stem for most blends without latakia, especially Virginias. I like a cool flavorful smoke with Virginias. I usually smoke blends containing latakia in my nose warmer pipes. They tend to be more forgiving for me. I don't notice much difference in a bent longer stem compared to a straight longer stem. Calabashes smoke nice and cool and reverse calabash do as well.

    Nate
    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. crashthegrey

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    these pipes can smoke hot and cause tongue bite
    I completely disagree. The temperature difference in a couple of inches does not seem substantial. And tongue bite is usually caused by steam from moisture, not smoking too fast. But I guess that is just semantics.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. midwestpipesmoker70

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    And I could be wrong but I do have a pipe or two that are very short nose warmers that do seem to burn hotter especially with Virginias, VaPers, etc. Could just be my experience so disregard my prior statement.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. crashthegrey

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    I personally don't find them to burn any hotter. But I disagree with you; I don't discount your opinion. They may burn hot for you and it is valid to tell someone this. Especially someone new. Best they are informed by multiple people.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. chasingembers

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    They all smoke exactly the same to me.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. cigrmaster

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    A thick walled Billiard is going to smoke differently than a thin walled Belge.

    A pipes dimensions are also going to effect how a pipe smokes as does the quality of the stem, the size of the shank, the drilling of the pipe. There are a myriad of things that makes one pipe smoke differently than another.

    Harris
    Posted 4 months ago #
  13. spartacus

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    As a newbie I don't notice a difference in the taste of my tobacco between a 6" Savinelli, a 14" Churchwarden, or a 4" Devil Anse. They taste the same to me. Maybe my palette isn't as refined as others on here.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  14. seldom

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    Heavily edited. You asked about shape and I went off about bowl size (wider bowls good for complex blends and etc). Apologies. Carry on.

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. jpmcwjr

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    A very wide bowl can be nice to get the full effect of the more complex blends

    I've seen this stated dozens of times, but, in terms of physics as I understand them, it doesn't pan out: The smoke from wherever in the bowl gets funneled down to a small airway and well mixed before it reaches the taste buds.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  16. seldom

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    I think it is surface area that is producing smoke at any given time. So a blend that has a bunch of different components can have more different components burning at a point in time in a wide bowl and funneling down into the small airway together. A smaller diameter may only have a single component burning at one time.
    That is probably the worst explanation in the history of the forum!
    Of course I may be wrong and/or the effect may all be in my head.

    And I edited that post before I thought anyone responded. Apologies again!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  17. anthonyrosenthal74

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    Does pipe shape effect how it smokes?
    I'm a pretty strong advocate of the shape alone having very little if anything to do with how well the pipe smokes.... unless it's a Savinelli 320. All of mine smoke like a dream! But honestly, it has more to do with the drilling and chamber size, which certainly plays a larger part in how well the 320 smokes. That doesn't mean a different pipe with different drilling wouldn't smoke as well. I have many pipes of different sizes and drillings and most smoke very well. But among all those pipes, those of the same shape will vary in how well they smoke. I think the age of the briar used may also play a role.

    For the price range you're looking for, you should be able to find a Savinelli 320 that will smoke wonderfully. If you want to save even a bit more, look for a Rossi 8320. Savinelli makes Rossi and the 8320 is the same as the 320.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 4 months ago #
  18. georgebmcclelland

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    If I were a new smoker with 200 bucks to spend, I would spend about a third of it on a few decent estate pipes of different shapes and sizes, then spend the balance on a bunch of different tobaccos.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  19. georgebmcclelland

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    I would also answer your inquiry regarding the dynamics of pipe shapes, and their impact on smoke distribution, but I'd need to go get a doctorate in physics first so it may take a while.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  20. saltedplug

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    Once the smoke enters the mouth the palate and its associated mechanisms, but more importantly the personality, shape it in many unmeasured/immeasurable ways such that it becomes quite impossible to describe any correspondence between the palates of said smoker and any other smoker's. Bowl geometry and drilling unique to a maker making the pipe smoke differently never made themselves known to me in my smoking, but I cannot contradict other smokers who make this claim.

    Bur claims that a billiard with thick walls and a belge with the thin walls smoke differently, that long-stemmed pipes smoke cooler than short, are, to me, irredeemable bilge.

    We have measured nothing in pipe smoking, not the influence of wall size, not the length of the stem, not the origin of the briar or the length of its cure, not clenching vs. hand-held, not the efficacy of sipping vs. huffing, not the rate of burn of the tobacco families or by cut. No, nothing. Yet on boards such as this we are free to say whatever has struck us, and it's great fun, but its in too many cases misleading.

    I've done all of the above and no doubt will continue to do so. But I really don't know very much objectively, and I would put it to you that you don't, either.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  21. lochinvar

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    As far as shape goes, no. I have found that some combinations of chamber geometry and different briar regions smoke with certain characteristics.....and I also have found exceptions to those. All my pots and princes smoke better with English blends, save for one VERY shallow Caminetto pot, which makes Virginias, especially Esoterica smoke rich and full.
    By the same rule, all my Castellos have tall, narrow chambers and are flake pipes, except for one very tall, very narrow bulldog which was carved by Carlo Scotti himself to smoke Peretti Tashkent exclusively (there may be some fiction there).
    My pipes in the billiard family seem to run 50/50 no matter what country the briar came from.

    What have I learned? There are some combinations which may affect taste, but may not....so there are no hard rules. Have fun, buy different pipes, smoke different tobaccos and see if you find a match. It's fun, definitely not for mortal stakes.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  22. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

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    100% Straight Here

    Posted 4 months ago #
  23. bnichols23

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    +100,000 on what Lochinvar said, although good advice from everyone. To add my own $.02W from the geezer side, if/when you have dentures or other teeth issues (overbite, etc.) you may find bents generally easier to manage/clench than straight pipes. Just a tidbit I picked up years past!

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  24. cosmicfolklore

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    For those of us who smoke for tasting different flavors, it's pretty obvious that the pipe does affect the flavors. but, if you are just starting out, then get whatever pipe appeals to you. You probably won't notice a difference in flavor just starting out anyways.
    But, shapes to avoid would be pipes that don't have chambers, or if they are missing a hole.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  25. chasingembers

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    For those of us who smoke for tasting different flavors, it's pretty obvious that the pipe does affect the flavors.

    I do, and can't find any difference smoking the same blend in different pipes unless they are ghosted.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  26. crashthegrey

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    or if they are missing a hole
    Or have an extra hole. But someone already bought that.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  27. cosmicfolklore

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    Chasing, you and Salted seem to have issues tasting any difference, and I acknowledge that. In fact, whenever the entire forum agrees on anything, one can bet that you will have a different experience. It is not that you are doing this intentionally. I fully 100% believe you. I just think that the creator sets a few people out to defy statistics. If we find anything to be 100% true, then we will defy God, create our own commandments, and start following golden calves. You are God's little statistical safety net.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  28. ernieq

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    Shape, not so much, but the chamber shape will have an effect. Conical VS Straight sided. Conical bowls seem to be much better for flakes or stronger tobaccos.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  29. bnichols23

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    You are God's little statistical safety net.

    Michael, I have to say this -- You sure as heck do know how to scare the ever-loving HELL out of people!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  30. cosmicfolklore

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    We all proselytize in our own strange and wonderful ways.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  31. chasingembers

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    In fact, whenever the entire forum agrees on anything, one can bet that you will have a different experience.

    It can also be said that in a community, few want to be the odd man out and agree with the majority.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

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    Maybe, I do see that on some things. I especially like your take on some tobaccos and pipes. I am usually the odd man out, especially when I give my take on some tobaccos. But, you think people are lying about tasting differences between pipes? You'll find pipe smokers discussing different shaped pipes tasting different going back decades in pipe literature. Maybe we are all brainwashed. But, if you think about smoking one blend in a small .6"x1" conical chamber and a monster wide bulldog with a.9"x2.5" chambered cylindrical bowl, it's not hard to understand that that blend will have a different taste that matches what your mind registers. It's like matching what seems obvious to what you obviously taste. It makes less sense to me that someone wouldn't taste a difference between those two pipes. But... when someone injects personal experience into a debate, then you have to acknowledge it, but it doesn't have much impact on the way most others will taste difference themselves. One's personal experience doesn't override another's. At that point, you just have to say, try it for yourself and see. But, when you have decades, maybe even centuries of people discussing it, along with the majority of forum members, it seems more than a little mythological.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  33. cosmicfolklore

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    It also works with cigars, some guys prefer the taste of some leaf in wide Gordo and some prefer it in pantellos. I like my lighter cigars to be long and narrow and my more robust cigars to be monster fat. If they all taste the same, then why do they go to so much trouble supplying so many varieties per cigar? And, why would this not translate the same for pipes?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  34. samuelgawith01

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    Straight shank / stem pipes allow the pass of a pipe cleaner more easily than bent pipes. Larger smoke channels in the shank give really good flow and less turbulence and a better representation of tobacco flavor,and less condensation.Try this approach for better smoking.BUT............like the other smokers say,it is still VERY subjective,as I have a pipe with a small shank drilling,and it produces a good tasting smoke,AND........it has a 3/4 Bend. Happy Smoking.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  35. sablebrush52

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    Does pipe shape effect how it smokes?

    Maybe, maybe not. The exterior, probably not. The interior, as in the chamber and airway, yes. But there are a number of other factors involved. How well balanced is the pipe? How comfortable is the bit? Etc, etc.

    More critical for me than a particular chamber size is tobacco prep and packing. When I get the prep right, as in getting the best moisture level, the right degree of cubing or rubbing out, if it's a flake, that sort of thing, I'll enjoy a great smoke from my pipe. If I don't get the prep right, the pipe won't make up for that.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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    Posted 4 months ago #
  36. chasingembers

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    But, you think people are lying about tasting differences between pipes?

    Not at all, different pipes taste differently based on curing, condition of the wood, and what may have been smoked in them. The only difference I have experienced in flavor has come from moisture variance, tightness of the packing, and smoking cadence. Tried similar condition tobacco in a small Dr. Grabow and a big Ben Wade freehand and both tasted the same with similar tightness and cadence.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  37. chasingembers

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    If they all taste the same, then why do they go to so much trouble supplying so many varieties per cigar?

    And, why would this not translate the same for pipes?

    You're getting different volumes of smoke that aren't diffused in a slender tube.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  38. unadoptedlamp

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    I have pipes that smoke very differently. It is hard for me to say if the shape has anything to do with it. There's just too many variables. For instance, I have it stuck in my mind that a pot shape works wonders for flakes. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Some people prefer narrow tall bowls for flakes. I always thought it was because the bowl resembled a long flake and the connection in the mind was made, but you never know. I couldn't tell. The pot shape did it for me.

    Maybe I just had a good pot shape that was drilled well or had some unique briar. Good luck sorting all of that out. I tend to stay away from the taller chimney style bowls, because I haven't had much luck there. Why? No idea. You just have to try and see what suits you, unfortunately. Perhaps this is part of why the "estate" used pipe market is so big. It is also your good fortune, in that you may be able to recoup losses if you buy a stinker.

    Maybe it is akin to wine glasses. Ever meet a true wine snob? There's a different shaped glass for every wine imaginable. I could drink it out of a coffee mug, if nothing else is around, but some would forgo the experience entirely and wait until they can find the proper vessel for their grape of choice. Pipe smokers... some of them, are not far off from this. The range of possibilities and opinions is endless.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  39. cosmicfolklore

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    You're getting different volumes of smoke that aren't diffused in a slender tube.

    Exactly, and a sip of something will taste different than a chug, creating different flavors. letting a slight sip of wine pass your lips will inherently give you a different taste of a wine than just taking a huge swallow out of a bottle. Thus, a tall slender bowl chamber will give you different flavors than a huge pot shaped chamber.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  40. foggymountain

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    Unquestionably. I could write a small essay on the subject, but will spare you. Longer stems are mellower. Thinner bowls impart less of the taste of the stain. Bent pipes smoke smoother, but are a nuisance to clean.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  41. midwestpipesmoker70

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    Perfect example with your post about cigar shapes Cosmic. Different shapes, at least slightly different experiences. Otherwise why make so many different shapes.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  42. krizzose

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    The only true taste difference I’ve experienced (or think I’ve experienced) based on chamber size (and shape doesn’t seem to change my experience at all) is that I can some get a deeper and richer flavor from a few mild Virginia Blend from smaller bowled pipes. This could all be in my head, of course, as I’ve never experimented with the same such blend by alternating puffs from a big bowl and a small bowl.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  43. mechanic

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    Looking at the 8320 basically the same as the 320? Where am i saving the money is it the name or finish etc.?

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  44. rdavid

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    Looking at the 8320

    I think that's the Rossi version of the Savinelli 320 KS correct?

    I have one and it smokes fantastic. Rossi is made by Savinelli I believe, so they're the same exact shape. And yes, I believe it's the finish and/or manufacturing tolerances. I personally can't tell the difference. I own several Rossi's and they are my work pipes. All good smokers.

    "May my last breath be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled in a jest." Charles Lamb
    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  45. chasingembers

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    If Rossi had a 904, I would own more of them than their Savinelli counterpart.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  46. mechanic

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    I appreciate the input folks gonna pull the trigger on one

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  47. mechanic

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    Got a vittoria 8320 otw

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  48. chasingembers

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    Got a vittoria 8320 otw

    Show it off when it arrives!

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  49. mechanic

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    Will do

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  50. davek

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  51. sablebrush52

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    Yeah, I remember that article. Nice theory. Sorry, but I get excellent smokes from all chamber shapes. The one part of the article that does ring true is the part about just barely simmering the tobacco. The conclusions, not so much.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  52. cajomu

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    Smoking involves two physical processes, combustion and distillation. When you light your pipe, hot gases are produced (combustion) which, when you draw them through the tobacco in the bowl, vaporize volatile, aromatic chemicals in the tobacco (distillation). These are then drawn through the stem and into your mouth and are what you taste. The taste depends on what chemicals are in the smoke and on their quantity. This, in turn, depends not only on the type of tobacco (Virginia, burley, English, etc.) but also on the temperature of the smoke and the amount of the tobacco through which it is drawn. A hotter burning pipe will vaporize more chemicals and less volatile ones than than a cooler burning one and, the more tobacco the hot gases are drawn through, the greater the amount of chemicals that will be vaporized. Since the different chemicals in the tobacco have different flavors, differences in the temperature of the smoke will affect the flavor.

    The shape and size of the pipe affects this process in two ways. First, all things being equal (mainly, how hard and fast you draw on the pipe), a narrow bowl will burn hotter because the gases will be moving faster. Second, a deep bowl allows the hot gases to be drawn through more tobacco, which releases more volatile compounds into the smoke. So we can expect tobacco smoked in deep, narrow bowls to taste different than the same tobacco smoked in a wide, shallow bowl.

    Of course, a lot of other things affect the smoke, such as how hard and frequently you draw on your pipe (more making for a hotter burn and less making for a cooler one), the length of the stem (a longer stem cools the smoke, which will affect the taste as some of the chemicals in the smoke condense out of it), the thickness of the bowl (thicker means a cooler smoke), etc. Also important is the smoker's ability to taste things. Some people have a very sensitive sense of taste (like wine sommeliers) and others not so much.

    So, the shape and size of a pipe bowl can affect the taste of the tobacco. A lot of smokers prefer to smoke different tobacco in differently shaped pipes for this reason. I prefer to smoke Virginias in deep bowl pipes because I think it makes them taste sweeter, and I prefer to English style tobaccos in wide bowl pipes because I think it enhances the smokiness of the Latakia.

    Of course, each of us gets to decide for himself which pipe/tobacco combination tastes best, or whether it makes a difference at all.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #

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