Churchwardens

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marcel

Junior Member
Feb 25, 2015
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I'd like to ask you guys about Churchwardens pipes. I don't own one but I'm thinking about getting one because…well 'tis the season. Of those of you who own a churchwardens how often do you smoke it. I'm thinking it would be a good pipe to smoke while reading, probably less so good while mowing the lawn. Any suggestions as to makes? Are there high end or artisan churchwardens? Has Dunhill ever made a churchwarden? Of course they do necessitate longer pipe cleaners so they are a bit of a commitment.

 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
18,769
12,876
Carmel Valley, CA
Dunhill has made them, and Peterson still makes them, among others.
I've smoked my churchwarden zero times in the last three years. Not only is it ungainly, it's a pot shape, my least favorite. But there are some good looking shapes out there.
YMMV.

 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
28,421
40,793
I have three of Vauen's Auenlands, but find a clenchable pipe more enjoyable for reading. I may smoke the Auenlands once per year.

 

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irishearl

Preferred Member
Aug 2, 2016
1,533
1,853
Kansas
Have 1 which I smoked yesterday, a blasted Stanwell HCA II, the 1 with a calabashed bowl They're handy because they also come with a regular stem. I probably only use the CW stem 4 times per year. Very attractive calabash pipe.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,377
1,080
Las Vegas, NV
A Churchwarden was my first pipe I ever bought. It's also the only one I have in my collection. I typically moved away from it because it's a bit unruly as far as clenching goes and when I have a bowl I'm usually typing on these forums or playing games on my tablet which require both hands.
As far as smoking goes, they typically do deliver a drier cooler smoke. The long stem seems to help reduce the moisture created keeping the heat of the smoke down.
I don't think too many artisan carvers make Churchwardens. I know Peterson makes Churchwardens that have a lot of good reviews on them. I want to say Savinelli might do them as well. I've never been a Dunhill man mostly due to lack of funds, so I have no idea if they've done/do a Churchwarden.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
34,617
30,977
I didn't dive on churchwardens. My wife gave me one for Christmas, as appears in my avatar, a Savinelli 601 with no filter, and the traditional fully arched stem. Eventually, I also bought a straight Big Ben Lectura and an Ewa 10 inch small (Group 2) version. Churchwardens provide a pleasant smoke, especially when you're seated and it's easy to rest your arm on the arm rest and puff easily along while reading or meditating. I have quite a few pipes...several score...more... so there is a long rotation, but I certainly smoke them in turn. They are pleasant smoking, picturesque, and a satisfying change of pace, to me. If you don't fancy them, I don't think you are missing out, but I enjoy mine. If you have the itch, get one and I think you'll find it worth it.

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,779
21
Bethlehem, Pa.
I bought a Savinelli 401 churchwarden. I don't know what I was thinking when I bought it. Smoked it twice and now it sits among my other mistakes.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
15,147
7,609
Chicago, IL
"You'll poke your eye out, kid."



 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,493
710
I have three. One is actually a clay tavern pipe. The other two are a Big Ben gifted to me from a former member, and a no name that happens to be one of my best smoking pipes.

 

thefishguy

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2017
486
1,147
My MM Shire cob is great for smoking in the car. I can rest my elbow on the center console and reach the bit with ease.

 

johnbarleycorn

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2015
2,171
350
I have a Stanwell HCA with the interchangeable stems. I have smoked the churchwarden stem only once in the last 2 years. I just really don't dig it. But I love the same pipe with the standard stem.

 

leatherman

Member
Nov 23, 2017
202
0
I have a shire cob as well, great pipe. The vulcanite stem is nice, but I'm worried to mar it unlike my other cobs that I can just replace.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,741
1,351
I have a churchwarden, some anonymous brand made in Prague, the Czech Republic. Honestly, I bought it as an impulse thing ... I always wanted a churchwarden as I thought the shape was rustic, old school, whatever you want to call it. Honestly? Not the most comfortable pipe I own - it smokes well, don't get me wrong, pretty cool too even after I have removed the stinger. On the other hand you can't clench it, it is a tad more difficult to clean, and it takes up a bit of space in the rack being so long and all - every time I pass by the rack where I keep it I have to be careful not to tip it over. I smoke it maybe a couple of times a month ... maybe I will use it more around the winter holidays.

 

sunriseboy

Member
Feb 5, 2017
166
69
Yeah, MSO489 has got it. To do one on the cheap, order a Wizard (or the Hobbit series) from MM. I just renovated my three and after having reamed them out (with an 80 grit roll of sandpaper) they are smoking better than ever. They've also had the mud mod. done to them which brilliant, in my opinion.

I also got some extra C/w bits and use them on my CGs if I just want a brief time with the pipe.

 

seagullplayer

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2014
486
105
Indiana
They are one of those things a pipe smoker thinks he has to have.

Not real practical, but that's not why you got it to begin with.
Not completely unlike owning a sword...

 

5star

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2017
437
252
Just about all my churchwarden length pipes are clays. They provide a nice cool smoke. They are a bit unwieldy (and easy to break), so I only smoke them when I have time to sit and contemplate. For that reason, I’m more likely to grab one of my short cutties when smoking a clay.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
24,522
24,148
Helena, Alabama
I have a beautiful Northern Briars Warden, high end, big bowl with a beautiful brindled stem. It smokes wonderfully. Never used the damned thing after getting an initial break in on it. You have to hold the thing in your hand, or set it down occasionally, and I can't smoke like that. I have two more wardens that I also don't use. They look cool on the rack though. :puffy:

 

anantaandroscoggin

Senior Member
Sep 9, 2017
482
674
67
Greene, Maine, USA
Of the 22 of my pipes which are out and visible from here, seven are churchwardens and one is a nosewarmer. All are in my regular rotation, except for the tiny clay pipe (bowl lucky to hold 4-5 minutes of tobacco) which I only use maybe once a month.
Ananta Androscoggin

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
34,617
30,977
One key to not developing an aversion to your churchwarden is to mostly smoke it seated. If you're used to dusting around your smoking area, or driving and getting around, a churchwarden isn't your choice. The extra length will always get in the way and prove an annoyance. Once you settle into a chair, or stand meditatively in one place, the ease of a longer stem comes into play and a churchwarden feels like a friend. But yes, in the first smoke or three, I did some cussing snagging the long stem on the furniture. Think of them as your pipe for taking it even easier than just a regular length pipe.

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
7,538
8,995
Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I think the churchwarden style introduced a few people to pipes. Think of Gandalf.

I agree with MSO in that the style is more suited to sitting and contemplation, not moving around. I don't have one in my collection, but wouldn't be opposed to it.

 
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