A Word Of Advice For Newbies

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Not open for further replies.


Oct 19, 2013
Southern Oregon
First of all a warm welcome to all the new people we have gotten recently on the forums! :puffy: I am fairly new myself and have noticed that how you pack your pipe is very important. Even though I have read this on the forums, I got a little careless. So I went back and watched the pipe packing video's posted by Bob. I recommend that you watch them more than once, they will help you a great deal and it will affect how your pipe smokes!



Preferred Member
Aug 3, 2013
SF Bay Area
Pipe smoking often seems to the uninitiated like a series of rituals, as though it might be an offering of sorts to some pagan god ... none of the myriad of details, including the packing of the pipe, however, it unimportant to the enjoyment one can derive from pipe smoking ... although I've been smoking a pipe for some 40+ years, I don't pretend to be an expert of any sort and will freely admit that I learn constantly from the experience of others in this forum and elsewhere.
This forum is comprised of pipe smokers at every imaginable level of experience, many of whom generously share their knowledge with the rest of us ... and every one of them has something to offer the rest, including some of the newer, less experienced smokers who sometimes have learned some very interesting things almost as if by sheer fortuitous accident ...
It's a wonderful thing, this place ... the concentration of accumulated knowledge and experience to be found here is unlike anything else to be found outside such a gathering ...
+1, jservant98



Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
Bethlehem, Pa.
I've been a pipe smoker since 1970 and I can't count the number of things I learned while reading posts here. It's all about sharing our experiences, knowledge and bon homme for the joy of our hobby.


PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor



Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
Chicago, IL
Thanks for the reminder, jservant98! :clap:

Even longtime pipe smokers get lax or negligent in their packing practices. Not too long after I started pipe smoking I read Carl Ewha's book, The Book of Pipes & Tobacco, and the final chapter contained a list of problems, their causes, and solutions. By my count, almost 70% of common pipe smoking problems -- everything from burnout to tongue burn -- were attributed to improper packing.



Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
I would have to say definitely adhere to "pack it tighter than you think" and check the draw before lighting. My pipes used to get pretty hot until I started packing the bowl a bit tighter. I also noticed the flavor came out better and more pronounced when I started packing the bowl a bit tighter.



New member
Nov 29, 2013
I would have to say definitely adhere to "pack it tighter than you think"
I spent ages working on the 'pack it lighter, pack it lighter! Lighter, dammit!!' theory. It's only the last few weeks I've realised that I was packing too light. Way too light.
Before I got the hang of fold-and-stuff for flakes, I used to shred them into tiny cubes, just drop them in, apply the tiniest tamp to flatten the top, and then light. And then relight, relight, relight.
All the advice I got as an absolute newbie was pack light. But they seem to have forgotten to say 'not too light'

Jan 28, 2013
I'm getting about a %40 perfect pipe scenario these days, even after smoking them for a couple of years. I might not be very good at it but I sure do love it.
Besides, the bad bowls just make the good bowls that much better, I reckon.



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2012
Sound advice. Smoking cadence is another area I find that can have dramatic effect on how well you enjoy your pipe.



New member
Nov 28, 2013
I really appreciate the free flow of knowledge and experience that goes on here. I don't know anyone that smokes a pipe (besides people that have already passed) and this site is definitely my go to. Its all very much appreciated



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
One thing I do all the time is to check my draw before lighting up. I want a nice firm pack and good resistance before I begin as too loose a pack will cause a pipe to burn hot and lose flavor. Sometimes I will have to check the draw 2-3 times before I finally light up as I want the resistance to be perfect.

Not open for further replies.

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor