Do Big Pipes Smoke Better?

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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
Title edited. Posed as a question per your post.

I’m puffing on a gigantic Bari Wiking that has a .960” bore and a chamber over two inches deep, with very thick walls.

IMG_6622.jpegIMG_6620.jpeg

This and every other truly extra large pipe I own is a dynamite good smoker.

You’d think a great big ember would be hotter and smoke hotter than a little ember but I find the exact opposite is true, as a rule.

And a bigger hunk of briar costs more than a little hunk, and it has to be older, and a maker will tend to use better briar on a bigger and more expensive pipe as a general rule.

There’s a debate if cheap, young briar smokes the same as old, aged briar, but no arguments are ever made briar gets too old or too aged to be any good. It doesn’t spoil..:)

Another reason big pipes smoke better is between my ears.

I expect my beautiful , huge, very old Wiking to smoke better so I make it smoke better, subconsciously, or else I think it does.


Do big pipes smoke better for you?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Grangerous

Lifer
Dec 8, 2020
3,266
13,159
East Coast USA
I prefer classic, straight billiards, small by today’s standard. But among my pipes I find that their draw is everything.

Some of my smaller diameter chambers smoke beautifully, while some of the larger draw tighter, a Chacom to name a beautiful pipe that could use some widening.

Cobs are small of chamber but wide of draw.

I would be curious to own and smoke a large briar. So I can empirically comment.
 
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K.E. Powell

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 20, 2022
506
1,828
37
West Virginia
I definitely prefer my pipes with fairly robust proportions. I've pipes of all sizes, but I prefer a fairly muscular pipe with a nice open draw.

Now, do those pipes smoke better? Maybe, but I would argue that it is rather that I smoke them better. Larger chambers, for me at least, are easier to load and offer more space for when the tobacco naturally expands. I also like how they feel in my hands, and I just generally find them more aesthetically pleasing. I suppose an argument could be made that larger pipes could be slightly more durable, though I would not be able to prove it.
 

Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
2,712
13,047
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
Most of my pipes are larger. They smoke more not necessarily better. What does smoke better is thicker pipes, Even small pipes like my Kapmeer 999 has somewhat thicker walls and smokes better than a thin walled pipe. just my personal observation and preference. That Bari is nice !
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
I just measured the standard medium size Lee Three Star I’ve listed (how many standard bulldogs does one man need).

It’s .750” bore and about 1.7” high, 5 1/2” long and 40 grams. Actually a bit beefy for a forties medium sized American pipe.

The Bari weighs 105 grams, with a .940” bore. The bore is only a fifth of an inch wider and maybe a half inch taller, it’s hard to gauge it.

The Bari holds over three times the amount of tobacco. A ounce and a half pouch is good for about five smokes, more or less.


If those were cigars we’d not argue a Double Churchill at ring gauge 52 was a better smoke than a ring gauge 42 Corona.

There’s a lot more to smoke in truly large pipes.
 

Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
2,712
13,047
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
I just measured
To determine thickness of pipe, you need to subtract the chamber width from the over all width of pipe bowl; then subtract the chamber depth from the height of the pipe bowl. I find that between 7 and 12 millimeters thickness is average. Peterson House and Pub pipes average 10-12 millimeters thickness all around and at bottom for example. That's how I do it ... it may be wrong but it works for me. Size of the chamber only determines volume of tobacco. I'm sure there are plenty of pipers here with far superior math skills than I possess.
 

Lees65GTO

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2022
261
332
79
Texas
Title edited. Posed as a question per your post.

I’m puffing on a gigantic Bari Wiking that has a .960” bore and a chamber over two inches deep, with very thick walls.

View attachment 278401View attachment 278402

This and every other truly extra large pipe I own is a dynamite good smoker.

You’d think a great big ember would be hotter and smoke hotter than a little ember but I find the exact opposite is true, as a rule.

And a bigger hunk of briar costs more than a little hunk, and it has to be older, and a maker will tend to use better briar on a bigger and more expensive pipe as a general rule.

There’s a debate if cheap, young briar smokes the same as old, aged briar, but no arguments are ever made briar gets too old or too aged to be any good. It doesn’t spoil..:)

Another reason big pipes smoke better is between my ears.

I expect my beautiful , huge, very old Wiking to smoke better so I make it smoke better, subconsciously, or else I think it does.


Do big pipes smoke better for you?

I counter your Wiking with my Wiking.

Bari Wiking.jpg
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
5,822
30,991
71
Sydney, Australia
Size 🤔
Are we talking about overall dimensions or chamber size ?

A large bowl can have an average sized chamber because it may have thick walls.
The benefit of this is the thick walls will insulate better, so the pipe feels cooler in the hand.
It does NOT necessarily equate to a cooler smoke.

There are some members eg @Chasing Embers who prefer pipes with humungous chambers

I do have large pipes, but my preference is for a 25-30 min smoke, so a Group 4 bowl is ideal
But this is predicated by the cut/presentation of the tobacco and how dry it is

Its not the size of the pipe, but how you use it 😁
 

Lees65GTO

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2022
261
332
79
Texas
So to get back to the original post. I prefer the larger bowls mainly because I pretty much smoke continuously, except when I I'm asleep, and with large bowls I can smoke longer without filling a new bowl. To me they don't necessary smoke any better than the smaller bowls.
 
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