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Survey on Stem Preferences

(36 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by plateauguy
  • Latest reply from Love the briar
  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    plateauguy

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    I've always wondered, why do we choose the stem style that we do? With the exception of my Falcons, I am a semi-bent, to full bent kind of guy. They have always just "fit" my hand better.

    So, I thought it might be interesting to find out whether you're a bent or straight (no pun intended) kind of person, and why.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. andypandy

    andypandy

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    Although I'm not that experienced, I prefer straight stems. My first pipe was an estate Willmer with a straight saddle bit. When I use bent stemmed pipes I fear that saliva will pour down into the pipe and I've got a little trouble with getting my pipe cleaners into the chameber on my bent pipes.

    Anders Sandum
    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. werdna

    werdna

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    I prefer half, or quarter bent. A full bent pipe hits my chest when I'm reading or working at the table saw. I like straights too, but prefer a little bend in the stem.

    And to all a good night.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. pitchfork

    pitchfork

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    whether you're a bent or straight (no pun intended)

    I definitely swing both ways.

    There are functional advantages to each. Properly made straights can have continuous, uninterrupted airflow, which is good. Meanwhile 3/4 to full bents are much better in terms of leverage on the jaw (and they can be made to function almost as well as straights or partial bents).

    Also, I'm always drawn to how a pipe looks. I love Lovats, for example, but there's no such thing as a bent Lovat. I also like the look of many bent pipes, so aesthetics is probably the main reason I own both straights and bents, with no discernible preference for one or the other

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Anything less than a ¾ bent is fine. More than that and I start to have pipe cleaner issues.
    Most of my bent pipes are actually hawkbills, which I guess can be taken to be reverse-bent.
    For me, the hawkbill shape only has an aesthetic role, as it has poor leverage at best, and
    doesn't bring the bowl closer to the nose either.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. mso489

    mso489

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    As with shapes, my joy is variety. I don't have an Oom Paul, but I have about a third of my collection of
    about 40 pipes full bent. No, the pipe cleaners don't go through those, except for one compact pipe.
    Another third of my pipes are 1/8 to 3/4 bent, and the other third are straight. My one churchwarden
    is fully curved, which I was told is the classic design for churchwardens. (Sav 601.) I like full bent and
    churchwarden for contemplative smoking, where I fold in over the pipe, or full-bent for walking, to
    minimize the possibility of having a pipe jammed in the roof of my mouth if I trip. But sometimes I just
    need the alert, forthright aspect of a straight stem, when nothing else will do. The simplicity and
    visual rightness sharpens my senses.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. pitchfork

    pitchfork

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    Anything less than a ¾ bent is fine. More than that and I start to have pipe cleaner issues.

    I didn't even consider that. Maybe that's because I hate using pipe cleaners during a smoke. If a pipe doesn't smoke dry or if I don't think I can fix it with a little filing or by chamfering the tenon, I get rid of it. But the pipe cleaner issue is definitely worth considering for those who use them.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. irwinmetro

    irwinmetro

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    So far I'm indifferent between bent or not, though aesthetically I prefer an slight bend. What I really prefer, more than anything else, is an oval stem with a wide bit.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. pitchfork

    pitchfork

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    What I really prefer, more than anything else, is an oval stem with a wide bit.

    I only have a couple of these, but I really like them, too. Very Danish and modern looking to my eyes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I like straight, 1/4 bent and 1/8 bent pipes. I have an equal number of bent and straights in my collection and enjoy them all.

    Harris
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. erichbaumer

    erichbaumer

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    After hating them for quite a while, I've become a huge fan of straight stems, particularly on billiards and their derivatives. They now make up the majority of my collection/rotation, and it's been a long time since I've bought a bent stem. However, my second choice is full bent, so I guess my preference is one extreme or the other.

    "I don't want any of your statistics; I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it." -Mark Twain
    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. brdavidson

    brdavidson

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    I'm more of a straight, classically shaped pipe kinda guy. In particular I like straight Dublins or Billiards. Although I have several 1/4 bent pipes that are very comfortable to smoke. If the pipe is straight it has to be rather light to be comfortable.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. uberam3rica

    Uberam3rica

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    I prefer straight stems. I like bent stems too, but I tend to buy straight.

    As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
    Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    If I had to pick just one, it would probably be straight stem.

    Though I do own some of each bent and have been leaning toward 1/8 & 1/4 bents lately.

    Why one over another? Whim. How I think they look and feel, particularly while I am smoking them.

    Sometimes the importance of the stem's bent is almost trivialized when the pipe itself transcends its bent because I clearly enjoy the pipe because of other aspects and qualities.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. petergunn

    petergunn

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    1/8 and 1/4 no straight or full bent

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. flyguy

    flyguy

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    I prefer a little bend in the stem of my briars (1/4 bent or less). Straight stems work also.

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. sparrowhawk

    sparrowhawk

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    For some reason I tend to get the straight, preferring these for my billiards and so forth. Yet, the few bent Petersons I own feel strangely more natural, more ergonomic. In fact, when my budget allows, I plan on getting a few more of these. I also like the acrylic fishtail stem better than vulcanite, and I can't begin to understand how I can sense the difference. But the bent apple Dracula fishtale and the straight "pot" just seem more comfortable. Go figure.

    There is no beauty without some strangeness in proportion.
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I also like the acrylic fishtail stem better than vulcanite, and I can't begin to understand how I can sense the difference.

    Not to worry, I think it's safe to say that most puffers can't tell much of a difference in preference between Lucite and vulcanite stems. Of course, there's those who prefer one over the other at each end of that bell curve.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I used to go for straight or 1/4 bent stems. But then now, I tend to buy 1/4 or 1/2 bent stems...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. murf

    murf

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    used to like only bent pipes, maybe 3/4 ? decided to get a couple straight pipes to even out the collection. Now, I'm finding that I like the bend of a prince. I have a bjarne viking semi-bent apple that I really enjoy. Just fits right. Reminds me of a prince, but deeper bowl

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    Mostly Straight or slightly bent for me. Saddle bits are my favorite. I have a few full bents that I enjoy though.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    wilson

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    Aesthetically, I like 3/4 bent or fulll. In practice my favorites are straight to 1/4 bent. Maybe because my first few cheap pipes were straight that I somehow equated bent pipes with "better" pipes. Intellectually I know better but those early impressions die hard. I wonder how many have a preference because it is what they remember from their grandfather or uncle or ...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. batdemon

    batdemon

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    Mine are pretty evenly divided between straight and bent.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    I prefer a bent pipe, but have no preference on the measure of the bend. I have a few straight stems, but I definitely prefer the feel of the bent stems.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. lostandfound

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    I like the look- the gracefulness and fluidity, of the Danish bent shapes. As for anything that isn't intrinsically "Danish" in nature- I prefer a straight pipe. Also, there seems to be a recent trend of tapered stems becoming increasingly popular, and I find my self gravitating towards this group. I'm sure though, my preferences will evolve over time.

    Jerod
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    So far I'm seeing that if it's a pipe, we love it! The semi-bents and both are leading the straights only, which really surprises me.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. jdto

    jdto

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    I like a bend, but not a full bend. Most of my pipes have some sort of bend to them, which I find more comfortable, though I like the look of a straight pipe.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. jah76

    jah76

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    Bend that SOB in half. I like a big old jaw hanger while I'm puttering around.

    Seriously, I have a few straights and semi bents in the Rhodesian and Bulldog families, but I'm comforted by a big pipe full of my favorite tobacco hanging off my chin.

    When I'm driving or working in the yard I actually like straighter pipes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    chervokas

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    I tend to prefer bent stems of all different angles but especially princes, and longer stems or longer stem/shank combos, not necessarily freakishly long, though I do have a churchwarden that I like, but I like the bowl down and away from my face and I like the feel of the weight more below my mouth than right in front of it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. yaddy306

    yaddy306

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    I straight out prefer straight pipes.

    On one of my bent pipes, I give the stem a 180 degree turn mid smoke to help pass a pipe cleaner. It makes it a C shape instead of an S shape.

    Anyone else do this with their bents?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. teufelhund

    teufelhund

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    I prefer straight also; easier to to clean. But at the same time I like them and the shank shorter so the pipe is easier to clench.

    Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. - Irish Proverb
    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. jbbaldwin

    jbbaldwin

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    On one of my bent pipes, I give the stem a 180 degree turn mid smoke to help pass a pipe cleaner.

    I have to do this on three of my pipes.

    - Write if you get work.

    - Hang by your thumbs.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. puffinbilly

    puffinbilly

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    I’m a clencher, I put my pipe between my teeth and it normally stays there until I finish; so it's generally a bent stem for me. The other reason is that my wife generally buys me a pipe as a present for birthdays or at Christmas (certainly beats socks or ties) and she believes a straight pipe doesn’t “suit my face”. I do have one straight briar a Savinelli 812 with a tall bowl that I use for flake, even though it’s really light it just doesn’t feel right and the bowl is more in my field of vision. I guess we like what we are used to.

    Bill

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. petes03

    petes03

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    My collection is about 50/50, maybe a little heavy on the bents. As far as tapered vs saddle bit, I've never really had a preference. It's all viewed on a pipe by pipe basis. I like them all!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. tarak

    tarak

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    Prefer 1/4 or 1/2. Do have a straight. Hate full bents.

    Fave shape as far as curve goes is a Sav 626....1/4 bent apple.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Love the briar

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    Straight for me, but I do have both. Bent seems to be better for hands free smoking.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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