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Good First Briar

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  • Started 7 months ago by gordon28
  • Latest reply from leafsmoker
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    gordon28

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    Hi everyone I hope you are all well, I'm 28 and have not long got into this hobby of pipe smoking (only about 2 weeks) and I'm allready finding it to be quite enjoyable and relaxing even with the steep learning curve of packing the bowl to keeping it lit but I am getting there slowly but surely and have on 2 occasions managed to keep it going down to the last sip (if only every bowl was like that) I picked up my first and only pipe for now (mm corn cob legend) along with 3 tobacco blends, auld kendal light virginia, auld kendal carribean coconut and auld kendal coffee caramel from my local tobacconist, I bought this pipe as it was a cheap way to find out if I liked pipe smoking or not plus I've only read good reviews about cobs as a first or daily pipe but now that I am enjoying it I feel I'd like to have something a little more suited to my style to hold and smoke from, I am not looking to spend too much just yet and have been looking at the falcon coolway 13 and also the Dr grabow and Dr plum ranges, my favourite looking pipe I've seen so far is an erik nording freehand signature black grain which I intend to buy in future but I do think that this will be quite a heavy pipe and not something for everyday use so would rather get something more manageable for my first briar, I also need to get one soon as my corn cob is taking a beating as being new I am trying out bowl after bowl before it has time to cool down, my next pipe I will have more respect for but as this was cheap I don't mind if I burn it out too quickly, for now I just want to smoke my way through the different blends until I have found my favourites, the auld kendal carribean coconut is my favourite so far all though it is a little on the light side and am looking for something stronger and perhaps some vanilla flavours, thank you for taking the time to read through this, I am new to this so please excuse my long winded post, any suggestions to a reasonable priced first briar worth looking at would be much appreciated, looking around the under £50 range for now, the more expensive pipes I will aquire in time, happy piping

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    Welcome, Gordon.

    You might consider getting 2 or 3 more cobs for rotation, especially since you've been enjoying the one you have.

    Grabows aren't "fancy", but have a solid reputation and have been around a long time. Falcons are also an old school maker and have a bit of a cult following.

    I found my Falcon to be a bit small, but I seem to be in the minority. I know nothing about Dr. Plum.

    Check out the sponsor links on the left edge of the page. Most of those guys will treat you right.

    Since you're spending pounds, I imagine you're in the UK? Smokingpipes recently got their website going in your area and they have a stellar reputation.

    Don't let the thought of an estate pipe scare you off, either. A great way to get a higher grade of pipe within your budget.

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. mso489

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    My Nording signature freehand isn't that heavy, has an ample bowl, and is a fine smoker. Nording makes various sizes. If your online retailer lists weight, that can be your guide. I like the Dr. Grabow Royalton series for its acrylic stems. People like their Falcons, if you favor the metal shanks. Savenelli makes Rossi pipes in many of their shapes, and the Vittoria series is comfortably priced. Good luck in your shopping. There are a number of other good quality lower priced pipes, but I will leave it there for now. Welcome aboard. P.S. You can call an online retailer and ask for the weight of specific pipes, the Nording for example.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. lasttango

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    Check out Blakemar Briars right there in the UK. I hear their pipes are excellent on all price-points...

    A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.
    -Richard Burton
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Thank you for your quick responses I am glad to hear the the Eric nording isn't too heavy to handle, I will also take a look through the sites sponsor's and see what they have, I have just stumbled across a duncan briars freehand smooth pipe that is similar style to the Eric nording but is only £44 so this may be the one I go for if it seems to be a good pipe, not sure if anyone here has seen or tried it but would love to hear any information about it

    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. mso489

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    That sounds like a good price on the Nording.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Duncan-Briars-Freehand-Smooth-Bent-Pipe-h-NEW-Made-in-England-/232936062892 not sure if links are allowed or not so I do apologise if not, this is the duncan briars here

    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. acidpox

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    I too am new to this hobby. But I can suggest Dr.grabows and nording. I have a rusticated semi-churchwarden valcano nording from smokingpipes.com for $50 that i love. They always seem to be getting in new affordable nordings all the time so might keep an eye out on there. Also as Jaytex said don't be afraid of estates, I just pick up 6 pipes and a stand for 20 bucks at a local antique store. Takes a little work to clean them up but well worth it. I got mine looking almost brand new used oxiclean some mircomeah, salt and alcohol treatment on the bowl and a good polish with my dremel.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    That's a great buy we'll done, I have had a look at estates but I'm so new I wouldn't know what is good or bad, nothing wrong with a bit of elbow grease to get it back to order, I'm also planning on making my own pipe in the near future as I've started whittling and have made a few small one piece of wood pipes for fun but I like the idea of carving my own from a briar pipe kit

    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. nitemair13

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    Estate pipe briars are an excellent way to get high quality pipes for a good price. I bought a Savinelli 514 from Smokingpipes and it's been one of my favorites.

    Also since you like the MM Cobs, try out their bag of seconds. You can get a full rotation for cheap and they're all good smokers, they just didn't meet MM's perfect quality to be sold solo. Only thing I noticed from the bag of seconds was that there may be a few dings on the top of the cob but that never effected their smoking ability.

    But for sure check out estate pipes, I've scored Petersons, Savs, and CBDs at a good price. If you like new, loot at Nording pipes as they offer some decently priced Briar pipes. Dr. Gabrow has a good reputation but I've yet to own one myself. I'll probably end up changing that before long.

    “A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan.”
    -Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
    Posted 7 months ago #
  11. hoosierpipeguy

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    I'd recommend you purchase a couple more MM's and saving your money until you can get a nice estate Savinelli or Ascorti on eBay. You could even look at Moretti pipes sold new on eBay. I have a number of Moretti pipes, they smoke great and are a excellent value.

    I'd recommend not putting too much emphasis on smoking a bowl without a relight. When you can do that without thinking about it, great. But if you are too focused on that as your major metric for your pipe smoking expertise, you may lose sight of just enjoying yourself. Take your time, enjoy the bowl and realize relights aren't a crime.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  12. pagan

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    The Legend is a great Cob, great pipe all around, like others Id sudgest a few more cob and Dr Grabow and Mr Brog pipes would be good for first briars and wont break the bank

    Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes
    Posted 7 months ago #
  13. weezell

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    Check out Blakemar Briars right there in the UK. I hear their pipes are excellent on all price-points...
    I'll second that! ...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 7 months ago #
  14. jpmcwjr

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    Gordon- Links are allowed, but if it's an image, it's preferred to embed them in the post, as follows.

    (You simply take the URL you posted above, and pop it into the IMG tag above the compose window.

    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 7 months ago #
  15. rdavid

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    Missouri Meerschaum bag of seconds. 7 pipes for just under $30. Best money I ever spent.

    Also saw a quote from an unknown YouTube video awhile back. Kinda wish I would’ve done this when I first started: “spend your money on tobacco, not pipes”.

    If it’s gotta be a briar than I definitely concur with the above suggestions. A Dr Grabow or a Brog would be an excellent first briar.

    My very first pipe was a Grabow Grand Duke and that poor thing has been through newbie hell. Actually smoked it so hot, the varnish started bubbling on the outside of the bowl. Also had a crack in the stem and has been replaced. Can’t count the number of times I almost threw it out but it’s grown sentimental. Not to mention it’s also a great smoker. It’s my dedicated C&D Crooner pipe now. Really need to refinish it one of these days soon.

    Anyway, you’re definitely in the right place for good info. Let us know what you end up getting.

    "May my last breath be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled in a jest." Charles Lamb
    Posted 7 months ago #
  16. artificialme

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    Go for DUnhill......Not

    Jst grab grabows or maybe some savinelli... and an addition to Jay, cobs! never gone wrong with cheap MM cobs

    Adhie was here
    Posted 7 months ago #
  17. jaytex969

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    Also, with the estates, an eBay estate will likely require refurbishing but one from smokingpipes or most of the sponsors will already be spruced up. Just re-sanitize the stem and fill 'er up. Minimal elbow grease required.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  18. chasingembers

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    I'll throw the Savinelli subsidiary "Rossi" into the conversation.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. haparnold

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    I'll throw the Savinelli subsidiary "Rossi" into the conversation.

    Yeah, I've never had a bad experience with Rossi. II prefer them over many higher-grade pipes I own, I don't worry if one gets dropped or left in the truck overnight, and they don't have the gimmicky finishes their 'big brother' Savs sometimes have.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 7 months ago #
  20. blackadderlxx

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    I have like 5 or 6 Stanwells that all smoke great and I was able to get new, on sale for close to Dr. Grabow money. Those and MM cobs are God's gift to pipe smokers IMO.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  21. timt

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    I've got a couple Rossi "starter pipes" that are still among my favorite go-to smokers. An apple (8202) and a dublin (8204). Like Hap mentioned above, I also like the toned down finishes these pipes have.

    Tim
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Thank you all for all your help I really do appreciate it and by the looks of things I may be jumping the gun at looking for just one new pipe, it seems like I'd be better off trying to get a few cheap cobs for rotation and once that sorted then look into something nicer, I stumbled across another pipe I love the look of, petersons bulldog 150 racing green and sterling silver ring, its just beautiful, I think based on what you are all saying here though a few cobs and perhaps a cheap briar or few estate pipes would be best for now and spend my money on tobacco blends rather than one or 2 nice pipes

    Posted 7 months ago #
  23. cigrmaster

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    I tell every new pipe smoker they should buy a new Savinelli for under a hundred. I believe people should have a very good first pipe which will give them a baseline. Once you have smoked a good pipe you will know when you get a bad one. Savinelli's smoke cool and dry and they use good wood.

    Harris
    Posted 7 months ago #
  24. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Simple answer (unusual for me) on options. Estates -- Nording, Savinelli. You can't go wrong with those, PERIOD, especially if bought from smokingpipes.com .

    Their pipes are always in good shape & cleaned up; safe & ready to smoke, plus you don't have to worry about getting outbid as on eBay & other auction sites.

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  25. craiginthecorn

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    Rossi is a good choice in that price range.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  26. saltedplug

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    Check out Blakemar Briars right there in the UK. I hear their pipes are excellent on all price-points...

    I'll third.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  27. rdavid

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    Rossi is a good choice in that price range.

    I absolutely love my Rossi Rubino bent pot. I really like that dark satin finish.

    Just ordered a Rubino 8404 for $50. Couldn’t imagine a better first briar.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  28. newbroom

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    A huge part of the enjoyment of smoking pipes is the pipes themselves.
    As a newbie,this fascination can quickly become obsession, and there are several avenues of acquisition to quench that thirst for THE pipe.
    Only you know your own parameters, but, from my perspective, I suggest that you make very sure that you will enjoy the hobby before you invest a lot of money in pipes.
    I've had great luck with estates under $10.00 each and have all kinds of 'labels' to compare and critique. Sure, I bought a few that were basically 'ornamental' but, I hadn't spent a lot of money, and I learned.

    It's about the smoke, the time spent with your pipe(s) and relaxation.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Thank you all for your advice I've had a look at all the pipes you have suggested with one problem, I like almost all of them lol I feel the pipes themselves could be the most addictive part of this hobby, I think I just feel the need for briar as I want something I like to smoke from, as far as smoking goes the cob is great but just not my style, I have actually dug out a long wooden pipe I've had for a while, not sure what wood it is made from but I think it is ebony, tbh it's not your traditional tobacco pipe but it smokes cool and I can taste the tobacco well in it and let's my cob get a rest for now, I think ill go to my local tobacconist in a few days and pick up a few more blends as I'm running a bit low now and see what they have in stock, if I don't see anything I like I reckon I'll probably go for a blakemar briars and order some more cobs for rotation, I'd imagine once I've smoked a decent made pipe I can then order pipes I like the look of with a bit more understanding of how they should smoke

    Posted 7 months ago #
  30. crashthegrey

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    I always recommend Kaywoodie Pipes for daily smokers. I especially prefer the Super Grain line for an everyday pleasant pipe at or under $50. Morgan Pipes Bones are a nice deal as well. These pipes are affordable, but also good pipes. Not just a cheap pipe to get started.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Those kaywoodie pipes look lovely, thanks for that link that's definitely an option

    Posted 7 months ago #
  32. dante

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    I am relatively fresh back into pipes and I've thrown a bit of cash down on various brands to explore them. I have to say i keep going back to my Morgan Bones. For the money as a first pipe if I could go again that would be my first choice. Smokes great.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  33. crashthegrey

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    You're welcome gordon.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  34. rdavid

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    Morgan Bones! That’s the one I was trying to remember. I absolutely gotta have one of those. I love the unfinished briar. They smoke so good and it’s really cool watching them change color over time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    bullet08

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    most of my pipes are morgan bones. i'm a beginner and cracked three of them. but not too expensive to make me feel bad. and even with crack, they smoke fine. have two briarworks, and two peterson. i smoke those really slow.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    panamacharlie

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    How does one crack a pipe? From smoking, or did you drop it or drive over it? Pics please!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  37. blackadderlxx

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    I've had a look at all the pipes you have suggested with one problem, I like almost all of them lol I feel the pipes themselves could be the most addictive part of this hobby

    Picked up on that, did you???

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Sorry to keep this going but another option I've been thinking about is making my own pipe as I think id prefer smoking from something I've made and have seen a few pre drilled briar ebauchan kits that you can carve your own pipe from, has anyone tried these out, if they smoke good I'd probably rather go down that route

    Posted 7 months ago #
  39. jpmcwjr

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    Go for it! Post photos as you go! Whatever you make out of the ebauchon it should smoke just fine. 99% chance.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Yeah no problem I'd be happy to do a post of the making of my first pipe, I intended to make my own pipe anyway but was going to just buy one first for quickness but as I've got my cob it'd be cool to have my first briar as one I've made and something to keep for life

    Posted 7 months ago #
  41. crashthegrey

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    Pipe kits are absolutely fun and a great way to have a personal pipe. However, I leave you with a few words of warning:
    The pipe kits are not usually the prettiest piece of briar and are not always drilled perfectly. The stem is usually acrylic and a bit thick, you'll likely want to rework the stem for comfort. Then you will discover that nothing was quite the way you wanted it and before you know it you may build a workshop, acquire a lathe, spend a ton of money on materials, and start making a bunch of pipes in your "spare time," of which you will have less and less every day. You may then struggle with when the right time to sell a pipe is, how good a pipe should be before selling it, and becoming obsessive over little details of every pipe. Or you may carve one and be perfectly happy and skip all of the ridiculousness which I just mentioned. YMMV. Godspeed.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    I can only imagine crashthegrey lol I have made a few small pipes before just whittling and drilling, nothing fancy just some single wood pieces similar to carving spoons but my only tools so far have been a knife and sandpaper, I think I will get some files for this one though

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    bullet08

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    "How does one crack a pipe? From smoking, or did you drop it or drive over it? Pics please!"

    from smoking. either i smoked too hot too often, or try to keep relight the tobacco at the very bottom. now i smoke much slower, and don't relight if what's left in the bowl is near bottom.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  44. rdavid

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    I smoked my first pipe so hot, it bubbled up the varnish coating. Dr Grabow Grand Duke and still smoking it today. Looks like hell though.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  45. crashthegrey

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    I made some nice pipes with a knife, one file, and sandpaper. It's quite possible.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  46. dante

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    oh yeah i gave the guy an extra $25 and it came back all cracked like this...

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    gordon28

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    Cool pipe Dante, I like it....

    Posted 7 months ago #
  48. jpmcwjr

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    Rdavid- Re: your pipe that has bubbled varnish, are you interested in refurbing it? If so, post a photo or two.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  49. dante

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    it's got a lot darker with smoking it.It's kind of lost the dynamics but i still love it

    Posted 7 months ago #
  50. mrmachado

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    Although I am far from an expert and some of the forum members may know this by know, my first briar was this Savinelli and it's doing great. It cost me $75 and it's perfect for me atm. I also find it beautiful.

    It's a Savinelli Piazza Di Spagna Rusticated 602

    I think Savinellis around this price are worth it for beginners (like me).

    Posted 7 months ago #
  51. rdavid

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    Rdavid- Re: your pipe that has bubbled varnish, are you interested in refurbing it? If so, post a photo or two.

    Hey jpm. Yes, definitely going to refurb. I’ll start a new post with pics etc. Probably be a few days.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  52. rdavid

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    Dante that pipe looks great. Wasn’t going to order the extra lightning finish but you definitely changed my mind. Thanks.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  53. rdavid

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    Hey Machado. I have that same pipe but in a smooth finish. It’s one of my best smokers. Got it as an estate (unsmoked) for $80.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  54. jpmcwjr

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    M- Good choice, fine pipe.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  55. mrmachado

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    Yes. If he buys one of these (or a similar Savinelli) I bet he will not regret. Cost-benefit is perfect.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  56. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Totally concur -- Savinelli or Nording, either should be available from SPC or other quality vendor. Bang:buck, cost: benefit is a guaranteed.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  57. krizzose

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    Well covered ground already, but Savinellis/Rossi for sure. I own several of both and have never been disappointed

    Posted 7 months ago #
  58. whiteburleydude

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    Just gifted a friend of mine his first briar. He’s new to the hobby. It was a unsmoked Rossi 673. He loves it. Grab one for $40.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  59. mrmachado

    Machado

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    Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but why has basically no one recommended him a Stanwell?

    Since it's cheaper than Savinellis, and also a good smoker as you guys said, I thought it'd make sense.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  60. rogerrodger

    rogerrodger

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    My first briar was a Savinelli second basket pipe. Then a Rossi estate from smokingpipes.com. Both are great smoking pipes. The total expense for both was $90. My first non-briar pipes were Missouri Meerschaum corncobs, also excellent pipes, total expense $30.
    My next briar was a Peterson Derry Rusticated. Even though it is now smoking well, it took several days of running bristle cleaners through the stem to get the draw acceptable. I'm glad it wasn't my first briar. It might have turned me off to briars altogether.
    I'm waiting right now for a bent Cayuga billiard that was on sale for $49. Based on all the testimonials praising Cayugas on this forum site, I think that one of the Cayugas from Paul's Pipe shop would be a good first briar pipe, too.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  61. leafsmoker

    leafsmoker

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    Joined: Oct 2017
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    My first pipe was a basket Italy stamped Briar.Not anymore though.Mostly Meerschaum pipes now.

    The walls have ears, the windows have eyes, and the wise man tells no lies.
    You can offer someone a cigar, but you can never offer someone your pipe.
    Posted 6 months ago #

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