Developing Preferences and Criteria

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marcel

Junior Member
Feb 25, 2015
72
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I would like to ask the more experienced members of this forum how their preferences in pipe buying developed. I would also ask how they came to be smoking what they smoke but tobacco preferences are more fluid and harder to quantify.
I wrote a post a while back in which I said I’d run out of pipes to buy because at around 30 I thought I’d reached the limit of the pipes I wanted to smoke. But I’m a relative newbie and I had bought a broad cross section of pipes with visual appeal as my only criteria.
A smart move was to begin a data base of my pipes and tobaccos. Weight was the first criteria that became important to me. My lightest pipe is a 28.5 gram Hilson Prince and my heaviest is a Vauen bent Apple sitter at 70.5 grams. And although the Vauen is very well balanced and fairly easy to clinch, I prefer lighter pipes. As to shapes I think my preferences run toward Billiards, Apples and Bulldogs, either straight or bent, although I have a few Dublins which are quite nice.
I recently purchased a couple of estate Comoy pipes on-line and they were a revelation as to how well a light weight pipe could smoke.
I guess one’s pipe buying preferences should evolve simultaneously with one’s tobacco preferences but other than chamber diameter I don’t really connect the two. My tobacco preferences are still wildly erratic. I don’t believe my tastes would every come to the point where I would buy a dozen of one kind of pipe and 50 lbs of one kind of tobacco and say I’m done. Although I’m sure someone probably has.

 

maxx

Preferred Member
Apr 10, 2015
709
5
My first tinned tobacco was Nightcap, and it's been my standard of comparison since. Nothing has tasted better, some as good. In pipes, I favor .80" bowl diameter and larger. My first pipe was a Bent Bulldog, and the next few were straight pipes. Then I got a Bent Dublin and Bent Billiard. I'm more attracted now to bent pipes. I don't clench, so weight isn't important to me, although the lightness of my Savinelli Bent Dublin is pleasant. This is a nice clencher for the few times clenching is handy. Some of my pipes are smooth, some rusticated. I like the rusticated look and feel more than smooth. I dislike rusticated brown, only black. I don't have a preference for vulcanite or acrylic stems. My Poker's is acrylic, the others' are vulcanite.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
8,748
4,262
I used to trust my tobacconist to direct me to any new blends he thought I might enjoy. The closest dealer is now a 3 hour flight, a rental car and drive away. So, I stick to my usual blends when ordering. I will try a new blend when I have read remarks from members whose tastes my palate seems to mirror closely.
I'm generally not in the market for new blends. I can be enticed now and then though. So far the only, now regularly smoked, blend I've found recently is a brown rope. Because of all the hype I am all a tingle awaiting the new incarnation of "War Horse."

 

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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
34,617
30,977
The whole pipe buying endeavor mystifies me. I am impelled by particular pipes but usually hold off until I've done a lot of shopping in that genre, then usually my next purchase is quite different, but I feel very committed to and appreciative of most of the pipes I've bought, from a Dr. Grabow Royalton and Yello-Bole Checker to a Ser Jacopo. Gift pipes and my cartoon caption prize pipe really create a bond. Tobacco buys seem more deliberate and rational as I explore particular types of blends like burley non-aromatics and recently dark fired blends, and back to English and Virginia and Va/Per. I'm much more patient with tobacco and can wait a long time to buy and a long time to open tins, although I usually smoke samples sent by Forums members and bulk tobacco fairly soon, to at least try them. I admit, in pipe buying, I am the opposite of a big spender but I get a lot of mileage out of discounts and sales, so I have what I consider to be excellent pipes in several different distinct price ranges.

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,705
187
I started by getting a large assortment of shapes and brands, and tobacco blends. Through trial and error I found what I like, although slowly. I went from over 100 pipes to about 30 once I found what I really liked. As for blends. I now try "samples" of new blends instead of buying any outright as I have found a dozen or so staples that knock the socks off anything else.
Finding a new adventure is half the fun!

 
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