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Using Filters - or Not?

(33 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by donperique
  • Latest reply from markthelad
  1. donperique

    donperique

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    I just come back from smoking a pipe outside in the sun - to enjoy the first warming moments of the year. But - it wasn't a pleasure smoke at all. I forgot to put a filter inside the pipe so it became a very harsh and bitter break for me. In Europe, especially German, smoking with filter is standard - but I heard things look quite different in other countries or parts of the world.

    So what is your opinion about the use of filters?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. upnorth1

    upnorth1

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    Haven't used one in over 30 years. If I remember correctly I didn't like them

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. jazz

    jazz

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    I don't like them. They mute the flavours terribly for me to the point where I feel smoking is pointless.

    However, there is always an exception and that is the Savinelli balsa system. I don't think they really are filters in the truest sense of the word and they really only serve as moisture sponges as far as I'm concerned. That's probably why I don't mind them but I don't buy them anymore. I just use the adapter in my Savinelli's.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    The only thing I filter is my language and most days that's a shitshow.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. trouttimes

    trouttimes

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    I am starting to like the balsa filters but I agree that they are more of a sponge. I have learned to change them after 1 or 2 smokes or things get bad.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    +1 on the balsa system.

    I don't use filters regularly as like others have said, they mute the flavors for me. I will throw on in if something I smoke is harsh and I know it, but typically all of my pipes go filterless! The balsa system is quite nice though. I was recently gifted a Savinelli that came with them and have used them a few times. They tend to help control the moisture and reduce tongue bite if a blend is heavily prone to it or if I get to smoking too fast, which happens on a really good blend from time to time. They will get wet, but pulling them out after the pipe cools and rinsing them, followed by letting them dry allows for several uses until they get too worse for the wear. Once I run out, I might buy more just to have some on hand, but I'll probably switch over to the adapter.

    "If you can't send money, send tobacco." - George Washington

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. luigi

    luigi

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    I'm using filters quite often and change them after every bowl. The charcoal ones will mute the flavours a bit, the balsa ones will not.
    I'm a "wet smoker" so smoking without any makes more troubles than good. However, some selected top notch tobaccos have a privilege to be smoked from a non filtered pipes, it costs me a pipe cleaner or two but it usually pays off.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. donperique

    donperique

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    @ trouttimes, carolinachurchwarden

    Good idea, I should try Balsa filters too - instead of the common activated carbon ones.

    I think filter reduce a certain amount of tar, which isn't a component I really like to taste ...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. mso489

    mso489

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    I don't regularly use filters since I smoke a bowl or two a day at the most, some days none, right now none at all for dental work. They can be employed for situations where you will smoke much more than usual, like at a pipe show, club, or shop. Some Europeans always use them, for health reasons mostly, I think. I have mostly non-filter or adaptors in my pipes. If they work for you, I'd use them, if you can enjoy somewhat muted flavor and like the idea.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. workman

    workman

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    I don't. I've never tried one. I don't want more thingies and gizmos to carry around than necessary and pipe smoking requires enough of those already.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. seldom

    seldom

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    My impression is that filters are generally unpopular in the United States but popular in Europe.

    For what it's worth I sometimes use a filter but mostly not these days. For me its as much an issue of creating rubbish as anything. Carelessly discarded cigarette butts, especially in places like playgrounds and especially when my young child is found to be playing with them, really annoy me. I like that the amount of rubbish produced by pipe smoking can be comparatively small. The pipe filters I used include plastic. Disposable plastic is something I identify as a real problem in the world.

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. donperique

    donperique

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    @ seldom

    You're right - that's why I'm going to try balsa filters in future!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. wolflarsen

    wolflarsen

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    I've never used filters but have a few packs of the Savinelli balsa ones that come with their pipes when you buy them new. A few months ago, on a whim, I put one in a pipe and smoked a bowl. I was surprised to discover that I liked it. It was only one bowl but I felt like the smoke was more dry and just as flavorful. I was also surprised by how soggy the thing was after the smoke. I kinda forgot about the whole thing and haven't tried it again since. Maybe I will today. Thanks for the reminding me!

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    acidpox

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    I use a filter in only one of my pipes, a Dr. Grabow Royal Duke, I use it for Aeros only and I find the filter soaks up a lot of moisture, caused by me smoking too fast sometimes.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    elpfeife

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    I have used some filters lately. Besides the balsa, there are some meerschaum filters made in Germany that I like from my limited use. They definitely seem better than the charcoal filters as far as flavor goes.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    I like them. I don't always use them. I started using the Dr Perl Jr filters for my Vauen, but as soon as they got a bit moist they started giving off an upleasant plasticky taste. No more taste of tobacco from then on, only filter. I now smoke my Vauen with an adapter.

    I too, once forgot to put the adapter in the Vauen and had a horrible experience, from the charring light I got nothing but harshness and dreadful tongue bite. I had to stop mid-bowl. When I took off the mouthpiece I found out why: no filter or adapter was in place. I don't think 9mm filter pipes can function as impromptu reverse calabashes, at least not for me, so nie wieder. Filter or adapter from now on.

    On filtered cobs I use either the Medico or balsa. I prefer balsa.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. madox07

    madox07

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    seldom you got that right. Europe is really big on filters, and most of the pipers I have met around here like them. A few conosours do demonize them, but the norm is filter. I for one have smoked filter less, but for reasons that I have explained in the past, I do like my 9 mm ceramics and the 6 mm balsa.

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    Which brand of 9mm do you use, Madox?

    I was thinking of trying something other than the Dr Perl and see if the taste issue goes away.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. scloyd

    scloyd

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    I use the balsa filters in my two Savinellis and I change the filter after every smoke. I only smoke my Savinellis maybe 4-5 times a month.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. recluse

    recluse

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    So what is your opinion about the use of filters?

    I'm not a fan. They undermine the flavor of the tobacco, and it's an additional piece of kit to have to deal with.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. deckpiper

    deckpiper

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    I'm still somewhat of a newbie, but here is my take:

      -- My favorite pipe is a Vauen, and I use 9mm filters in it every time I use it (Dr. Perl Junior). I don't like to smoke it without the filter.

      -- I like the paper filter in my Missouri Meerschaum, but often smoke without them.

      -- I have a JJ Fox pipe which I do not smoke with a filter...not even sure what filter I would put in it.


    I think the Vauen activated charchoal filter makes for a smoother smoke. I usually only use it once, even though they say you can use it twice. I suppose you do get more flavor without the filter, but I think I get enough flavor with it, and I never seem to have a harsh smoke with the filter. I tend to smoke stronger tobaccos, though.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. deckpiper

    deckpiper

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    Having posted that, I am still evolving. Perhaps next year I will be back, decrying the evils of filters.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. luigi

    luigi

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    Regarding filter producers: for charcoal I really like Vauen and Stanwell. Savinelli for balsa. Meerschaum filters are somewhat expesive but don't reduce the flavours.
    If you try some less known producer it would be wise to sacrifice one and to check what are they made of. You know, for the team. These days when money rules the world you can find some really nasty stuff in them.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    kimbiker

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    Use an adaptor with my Savinelli 6mm because the balsa filters go spongey far too quickly with some tobaccos.

    Seems against popular opinion but I don't mind the charcoal filters in my 9mm pipes.

    I agree with deckpiper though, tastes and preferences can change pretty rapid.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    This pretty much sums it up for me.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. virginialover

    virginialover

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    I've never used filters and never will.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. jravenwood

    jravenwood

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    You’ll get 50/50 answers on this one. I personally use the balsa “filters” with every smoke if my pipe accepts it. They don’t change the flavor profile of the leaf, and they cut down on moisture .

    "It is quite a three pipe problem..."
    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. warren

    warren

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    Purely a personal choice. To me a filter is simply one more thing between me and the tobacco (nicotine).

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. wolflarsen

    wolflarsen

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    Do you use coffee filters Warren? Or just pack the ground beans in you lip like a chaw?

    Kidding of course.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    Do you use coffee filters Warren? Or just pack the ground beans in you lip like a chaw?
    Hey, what's wrong with that?

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 1 month ago #
  31. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    + 1 for Carolina churchwarden,speaking of filter use,I use to go like him.One interesting observation, lately I have come to conclusion, somehow it seems like the grand majority of higher end pipe manufacturers does not favor making filtered pipes too often. Especially ,those from England and Italy.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 month ago #
  32. madox07

    madox07

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    Olkofri after much trial and error I have reached the conclusion that Vauen's Dr Perl is the best price to quality deal. I like Stanwell as well, but from Germany I get 100 Dr Perls for EUR 6.5, while at my B&M Stanwell's cost EUR 1.8 for 10 pieces, and the quality difference is not that significant. Another interesting thing we find around here is White Elephant containing meer chips, or a mix of carbon and meer chips. I don't like the meer ones, and haven't tried the mix. Peterson is also something I get when I can't order from Germany. Bouts Choquin are also available, for cheap too, but they are quite bad in my opinion. If you want to get real fancy Tsuge and Brigham are nice options, but a bit too expensive for my taste - especially since on a day to day basis I smoke 80% filtered.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  33. markthelad

    markthelad

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    I have filtered pipes (9mm and 6mm) and non-filtered pipes.
    If the pipe takes a filter, then I put a filter in it, if not no worries.
    However I refuse to use the charcoal filters, because it seems like they cut the taste down to much.

    "I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."
    Johnny Carson
    Posted 1 month ago #

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