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bersekero

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2023
118
234
Greece
Posting pics here is totally different. We share the same passion. No need to show my pipes to the ignorant and to someone who will think I am strange because I smoke a pipe.
Same with all the forums about various hobbies I was involved.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
5,951
31,900
71
Sydney, Australia
Posting pics here is totally different. We share the same passion.
For a long while I was hesitant to post pics of my pipes in case some think of that as showing off
Which it is, in a fashion

When I first became interested in pipes I was pretty much clueless.
My enthusiasm was spurred by the pipes posted in WAYS and in the “Show Us Your …..” threads

New members ask for advice on which pipe(s) to purchase all the time.
By posting pics of my pipes I’m hoping to inform and enthuse new members the way I was.
 

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
1,712
15,023
France
Well, there is showing off...and then there is showing off.

If it were just showing off of wealth that would be rude. I think people are not in that mind set here. I think its a sharing a passion. I know I can appreciate old estates or a well worn cob as well as commissioned works. I think most of us really enjoy looking at pipes and its nice to be able to say, "Look what I got!" to soemone who doesnt answer, "So what...its another pipe".
 
Mar 1, 2014
3,650
4,923
I always start cheap. That is common logic. I need to see if a new hobby, sport, interest, experience is right for me.

Then I associate with experienced people and become a member of a nice forum and here we go. Forums are a real disaster. They drain your pocket.

Quality aka expensive equipment works better. That is true with all my other activities and in general. Road bikes, road running shoes, mountain running shoes, trekking shoes or boots, fishing rods, airguns, bows, r/c airplanes.

When I started pipe smoking 25 years ago, I bought some basket pipes. I quit shortly maybe because I never had someone to teach me how to smoke.

Now I found this place and, in a few weeks, I bought a MM cob, a Chacom, a Savinelli, a Dunhill, a Radice and a Castello. In that order. I still have the old Fe.ro.

Long story short I almost always reach for the expensive pipes. As a newbie I am not in the position to appreciate and tell which smokes the best but I certainly like the pricey ones much more.

So, do expensive pipes really smoke better?

"Quality aka expensive equipment works better"

Ironically the opposite is true in most of my favorite hobbies.

In pocket knives, some of the best steel comes on disposable blades (12C27 steel gives you the best fine edge of any alloy and is common in disposable razors).
In fountain pens, you get better quality control with steel nibs on the average $20 pen than you do with gold nibs on the average $500 pen.
In tobacco pipes, Missouri Meerschaum will give you a better smoking experience with a $15 corn cob pipe than anything below a top of the line handmade pipe.

Regarding briar pipes, the worst problem I've found on "basket pipes", the lest expensive briars, is some bowl coating clogging the draft hole (which is easily fixed), but outside of that I've actually had just as many faults with my best handmade pipes as the cheapest pipes.
When carvers get too creative with production methods things start to go wrong, I have two pipes from some of the most reputable carvers that cost over $200 and won't easily pass a pipe cleaner through the shank.
As far as briar goes my bet is you'll find the best price/performance ratio by buying the cheapest Savinelli pipes.
 
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bersekero

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2023
118
234
Greece
I used to be a member on bladeforums and britishblades for years. I bought, traded and sold hundreds of folding knives. Great hobby but I quit years ago. Now I only have a cold steel lawman, a doug ritter mini grip and two SAKs. Ah and a mora.
This hobby can also be very expensive.
I tried the mm legend cob but hated it. I used a crappy tobacco and additionally I had no clue how to smoke it. I fried my tongue badly. Then I bought the nice briars and forgot about it. I must give it another try.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,636
110,432

HawkeyeLinus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2020
5,612
41,215
Iowa
Posting pics here is totally different. We share the same passion. No need to show my pipes to the ignorant and to someone who will think I am strange because I smoke a pipe.
Same with all the forums about various hobbies I was involved.
I wouldn’t describe folks who don’t smoke pipes as “ignorant” in a pejorative way or assume they would think you are strange for smoking a pipe. Buying a few pipes and enjoying them doesn’t transform you into something you weren’t already, nor suddenly render the non pipe smoking world outsiders or enemies or whatever. No point circling the figurative wagons.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,956
Humansville Missouri
I learn a lot from watching and listening to others on this forum.

Last year I bought a Missouri Meeeschaum Legend for $6 and a package of Golden Harvest tobacco for $1.29 just to see how much better all my hundreds of briars and pounds upon pounds of good tobacco really are.

Not so much better, but some better.

Last night I found the first four hole stinger Kaywoodie I ever bought, from a pipe shop in Springfield Missouri from a man who looked exactly like Charlie Rich. He taught me the absolute pinnacle of briar quality and never again to be exceeded smoking pleasure came from well kept pre war Kaywoodies.

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But a #72 Large Canadian Kaywoodie is smaller than the typical Dr Grabow sold today.

He sold me a Savenelli Roma #111 that I still smoke today, and truth be told it’s the only briar pipe I’d actually “need”, if you can call a pipe a need instead of a luxury.

IMG_6425.jpeg

What I’ve learned on my own is this $20 used Algerian briar pipe I bought yesterday will smoke as good as any briar can possibly ever smoke.

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I don’t look half bad, neither.:)

Here’s the last word anout pipe quality.

Kaywoodie during the thirties was selling ten million pipes per year, just Kaywoodie. There might have been over fifty million pipes a year sold in the entire world.

I doubt today in the entire world there are a half million pipes sold. The market is about one hundred times less.

The best briar, came from briar in hard to access places where it grew very slowly. It was 200-400 years old.

Kaywoodie had all that briar dug up. It’s gone for another 250 years or so, maybe longer if they keep digging up usable burls as they mature.

It’s better than what we smoke today, but not all that much better.
 
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captpat

Lifer
Dec 16, 2014
2,305
12,224
North Carolina
I think it’s hard to come to a general conclusion on this. For example I have multiple Castellos and Savinellis, all of my Castellos are better smokers than my Savinellis, the average cost of the former ~$400 while the cost of the latter is ~$135. OTOH my MM cobs smoke on par with my Castellos, in this case the cob is about 1/20 the cost of a Castello. Caminnetto, Radice and Ser Jacobo are on par with Castello, Dunhill, and Peterson on par with Savinelliess. IME cost is not a definitive predictor of smoking quality, as always YMMV.
 

bersekero

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2023
118
234
Greece
You guys made me smoke the cob again.
I smoked a bowl with the castello and then with the cob. Same tobacco, same dryness, same everything.
Does the castello smokes 400 euro better? Absolutely not. The only difference is that the cob has an undertone of corn maybe because it's not broken in yet.I need to remind that I am a newbie and my palate is not trained.
The overall experience, the feel and feeling? Well, maybe it's worth 400 more.
 

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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,956
Humansville Missouri
I think it’s hard to come to a general conclusion on this. For example I have multiple Castellos and Savinellis, all of my Castellos are better smokers than my Savinellis, the average cost of the former ~$400 while the cost of the latter is ~$135. OTOH my MM cobs smoke on par with my Castellos, in this case the cob is about 1/20 the cost of a Castello. Caminnetto, Radice and Ser Jacobo are on par with Castello, Dunhill, and Peterson on par with Savinelliess. IME cost is not a definitive predictor of smoking quality, as always YMMV.

Last night I was smoking an extremely old four digit Kaywoodie marked Aged Buyere, that was new when the Joads were packing up their Hudson to head for the promised land.

It is a mere Drinkless, not even a $5 Super Grain.

On one side is a blackish red colored spot where I can count growth rings so tight together that briar had to be centuries old, not one century but several. Kaywoodie only used a fillet of the outside near the bark of plateux briar where the growth rings are less than a hair’s breadth apart.

IMG_6426.jpeg

Those ancient specimens are long gone, and all gone. It’s like my 20 acres of timber in Spout Spring Hollow. My great grandfather cut all the perfect 300 -400 year old trees about 150 years ago and while I have wonderful timber there, it’s second growth. There might be a few old wolf trees on the hillside that are 500 years old but they aren’t straight enough to use.

But places like Castello can, and do still buy really good briar that’s over sixty years old. Some might be a hundred years old, but not many.

It’s a little better than younger briar.


That’s why high dollar pipes smoke a little better. Not much, just some better.
 
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Grangerous

Lifer
Dec 8, 2020
3,274
13,190
East Coast USA
Buy an inexpensive digital watch and bypass Rolex if you’re concern is which will keep accurate time.

The joy found in a pipe is personal.

For some, the joy is in the collecting That doesn’t always have to equate to expensive.

For Briar Lee it’s locating, restoring and enjoying Algerian Briar.

Some enjoy collecting carved meerschaum.

I find myself of late seeking BBB and GBD estates and have amassed a modest collection of what I consider my prized pipes and none of these are expensive.

I own one Dunhill. It’s not visually stunning nor a better a smoker than some baskets I own.

What you like is where you’ll assign value.
 

bersekero

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2023
118
234
Greece
Quick irrelevant question.
I didn't know that the bottom of the cob is soft so I almost dug a hole when I cleaned it with the tool after the first time I smoked it. It didn't went through the adhesive on the outside but it was close. Is there an easy fix or never mind?
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,956
Humansville Missouri
I thinned down my collection of old Kaywoodies about five years ago. I might have a couple of dozen perfect pipes with four hole stingers and perfect briar (plus one seventies Magnum to remember just how bad they got.)

I own just over a hundred Lees.

If you want a top class, none better, small forties style pipe a Lee is by far the best value. They aren’t pre war Kaywoodie quality but nothing else will ever be again. For post war pipes a Lee was king.

But if you want a pipe to smoke, then buy a pre 54 Marxman. They aren’t pretty.

Marx used an almost powder soft, ancient Algerian briar that other pipe makers probably considered waste. The growth lines on some of mine are a razor blade width apart. They were expensive in their day. And the massive sized Marxman pipes of that era are today not so big at all by modern style trends.

And all things considered a bigger pipe is a better smoke, on average.
 

bersekero

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2023
118
234
Greece
I own just over a hundred Lees.

If you want a top class, none better, small forties style pipe a Lee is by far the best value. They aren’t pre war Kaywoodie quality but nothing else will ever be again. For post war pipes a Lee was king.
Well maybe my next purchase will be a Lee.
What is a good place to search?
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,956
Humansville Missouri
@Chasing Embers
Thank you. I will try that. But I will not scratch and remove this patch next time I clean the chamber? It will be like cement or I just have to be careful?

Buy these. These are the least expensive high end Missouri Meerschaum pipes. They are larger cobs, better finish, better stems, and hardwood plugs.

IMG_6427.jpegIMG_6428.jpeg


I have some of the deluxe MM pipes in rotation over 25 years old.

You could destroy one in a year of daily smoking.

If you have several pipes and let them rest they’ll outlive you.