Took the words right off my mouth. Makes no sense to be spending twice as much and then replace the cob and keep the stem when the former gets its bottom burnt through. What's next? Forever Filters? Keep the filter and replace the pipe?I have about a dozen cobs. I struggle with the idea of spending two to four times as much for a stem as I do for the pipe. Were I going to smoke a cob often, I suppose I'd have to bite the bullet and purchase better stems. As it is, I just live with the cheap plastic stems that come with them.
I made vulcanite stems for my ones that get smoked the most. Under normal conditions, the plastic bits would be fine. My problem with them is that I smoke while I’m working on knives, and any time I put any physical exertion into anything, like hammering at the anvil or filing down guards, it’s just a natural tendency for me to bite down on the bit a little harder than I should. Over time, they kind of get pinched and look bad. Vulcanite is my “Goldilocks” stem material for my “shop pipes.” Acrylic is too hard, and the original plastic bits are too soft. Now if I’m just sitting down and relaxing with a bowl, any material is fine.