Does Price Make a Pipe???

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shayde

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Oct 4, 2013
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I would say that price does make a pipe to some extent. If you want a pipe that looks good and smokes nice for a night on the town you'll probably be lookin to spend quite a few bucks. But if you want a good smoke I'd say a MM is the way to go. It's all about sentimental value really, your pipe is only as good as the value you place on it. Sometimes the cash value of a thing can greatly impact the sentimental value you place on it.

 

ssjones

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When you throw estate pipes into the mix, price occasionally means nothing. I have a number of brass rondell (older) GBD's that were less than $50, some as low as $20. They smoke just as well as my $400 Jack Howell (also purchased estate for a lot less). I just bought a new, unsmoked 60-70's era GBD for my son-in-law for $80...
If you are talking strictly new pipes, than yes, as mentioned the odds of getting a great pipe goes up with the investment.

 

bigvan

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Mar 22, 2011
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"It's all about sentimental value really, your pipe is only as good as the value you place on it."
I must respectfully disagree with you there, Shayde. If you know what you're doing, you can get a good smoke out of a cob, no doubt about it. But there is a definite difference between the "soft 'n chewy" stem of a cob and one hand cut by an artisan, which to many of us will create a more enjoyable experience. There's nothing "sentimental" about it.
I understand where you're coming from, but I disagree that it's "ALL" about sentimental value.

 

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sothron

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Sep 20, 2011
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I wish I had the problem of having to explain why I like my $500 pipes... :)

 

andrew

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Feb 13, 2013
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http://tobaccopipeartistory.blogspot.ca/2011/12/masterpiece-fromm-dunhill-antique-pipe.html

50,000$ Dunhill, but how does it smoke? I have some great pipes that were estate finds that are worth probably a good 200$ easily I got for under 30$, they smoke good, but pretty much all my pipes smoke good, even the cheap ones.

 

metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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Washington State
My most expensive pipe is my Peterson Sherlock Holmes Squire Bulldog which is valued at $250+.

My best made pipe is my handmade SparkysPipe made from Mimmo Briar and is valued at $160.

My favorite pipe is my Savinelli 645 Bent Apple Short Pipe which is valued at $57.
As for which one smokes the best, it would be my SparkysPipe, but there isn't really a noticeable difference between the three. As for which one gives the best flavor during the smoke there is no difference. Excluding corn cob pipes, in my opinion the best pipe for the value is a Savinelli pipe. Though they are factory pipes, they are well constructed, very durable and they are great smoking pipes.

 

msandoval858

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Jun 11, 2012
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Austin, TX
I've always been of the opinion that you get what you pay for... to a point.
For me pipes have always reached that price to performance balance at around the $150-200 range. Over that you are usually paying for aesthetics or brand reputation. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not saying anything over that price range is a waste of money as I love enjoying nice things such as beautiful grains as well as knowing that I own a pipe from a maker that has strict quality control over their products. There are also plenty of pipes under $100 that are great smokers. I have a $65 Savinelli rusticated I picked up at the local B&M that is one of my favorite.

 

seamusjft

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Dec 16, 2012
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I don't have anything real expensive but I did think that money would buy me a better smoke. I spent £250 on a Dunhill and sold it 2 months later. Thank goodness they hold value reasonably! I gave it a good go, I'm a heavy smoker. For me, I still went back to 3 pipes I have which were basket pipes all the same manufacturer, Darvil. They're great smokers! And at £15 (around $7) who can complain?

I have a giant poker from Greece that Iove which is handmade and that's another corker! I'm also a big cob fan! I fish a lot! Of I break a cob I don't gave to get upset about it.

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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In pipes, I disagree with the "you get what you pay for" notion, because after a certain modest price point, when you pay more,

or a lot more, or an astonishing amount, you are paying for something different, and that's okay, but it's not about getting

full satisfaction out of tobacco. If you pay $8,000 for a Tiffany lamp, it is not because it holds the lightbulb above the floor

better than the $89 lamp from Sears. You're paying for all kinds of aesthetic, historical, craft, and cultural aspects. Likewise,

if you have a good MM cob or wisely selected low-end briar, you will probably get the full benefit out of any tobacco you may

afford. In the case of the inexpensive briar, you may enjoy this benefit for the rest of your life if you take care of the pipe.

But that doesn't make a beautiful, well drilled, well engineered, quality briar that sells for $40 a high end pipe. With high end,

you're paying for excellent superbly aged briar of unusual beauty, or something comparable in Meerschaum or other materials,

exquisite personal workmanship on the stem and on all details, maybe rare materials, and a visual experience each and every

time you take the pipe down off the rack. And that's completely legit. A classic oil painting isn't a print or a poster. So for

smoking enjoyment, you may go low-end if you shop wisely. For the rest of it -- art, history, inspiration -- this is between you

and your family and maybe you're accountant.

 

petergunn

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Mar 3, 2013
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Pipes, you pays your money you take your chances. If a pipe don't work for you, send it down the road and start again. I for one believe price like size does matter.

 

ssjones

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Strictly speaking about new pipes, I've been told as you go up the price range, the stem work really starts to be apparent. I always thought, yeah, right. To this point, I've only had moderately priced estates (Ashtons, Upshalls w/handmade stems) or a handful of new pipes (Tinsky). The stem and button my recent Jack Howell purchase is noticeably better crafted that all of my other pipes, no matter the cost. The inside of the stem is polished and fitment to briar is flawless. Of course, the pipe smokes wonderfully. Is it better than my other stems? - definitely Worlds better in smoking experience? Not really.

 

bigvan

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Mar 22, 2011
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"I have payed as high $350 and as low 45 , the 45 $ one smoked the best. "
I gotta ask, Teddy... what $45 pipe smoked better than what $350 pipe?

 

cigrmaster

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May 26, 2012
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Like anything the better it's made the more you pay, but my question is can you still get the same taste/effect from a tobacco in cheaper pipe vs. a pipe that cost 300.00 or more. Thoughts
The simple answer is yes you can. With the estate market being what it is, I have bought pipes under 300.00 that smoke better than pipes I have smoked costing 3 times as much. Now in terms of new pipes, in today's dollars my price point is around 400.00 give or take because after that I am paying strictly for looks or grain and not performance. There is nothing wrong with paying for looks and grain as we all like nice things, but in my experience, the smoking properties of a pipe does not go up after the 500.00 or so price point. Now I have to qualify that statement by saying I have never smoked an ultra high grade from Bang or Ivarsson and that ilk. I have smoked plenty of pipes from what some people feel is the tier below those guys like Former, Balleby, Barbi. Pipes from those guys today go for up to 3500.00 but when I was smoking pipes from those makers, retails were around 800-1000 for real nice straight grains. Those pipes smoked nice, but not as good as the ones I have today, luckily back then( 2000-2001) I was trading Cuban cigars for them and paying half the wholesale price.
I have come to the conclusion that for me, I prefer to have fewer artisan made pipes that I love smoking than bunches of cheaper pipes that I have to force myself to smoke. I have bought plenty of great American artisan estate pipes for 140-250.00 and will continue to do so.

 

terrygoldman123

Senior Member
Jun 2, 2013
427
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Virginia
No.

I do not smoke any pipe that costs more than $100 and many were far less, estate and new alike.
There are simply to many variables. Tobacco blends are distinctive and the way one smokes-slow puffer versus hard puffer et al make for this feeling on my part. I cannot argue the beauty of a more expensive pipe-some that will be collected, some that will even be smoked.
Still I cannot accept the fact that more money spent produces a better smoke.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
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In my experience, a $900 or $1000 pipe rarely smokes better than a cheaper ($300 or $400) pipe, so I have no doubt there are diminishing returns at some level. I do also own some much cheaper pipes, and while there are a few outliers in the bunch (good smokers), for the most part they don't give me the same quality smoking experience as higher priced pipes.
For those who don't want too much damage to their wallet and still want a great smoking pipe, there is the estate market. What I love about shopping the estate market is I can rely on guys like Mike at Briar Blues to steer me in the right direction. Recently I bought a pipe from him by a carver I have never heard of by the name of Ingo Garbe that Mike thought would be a great smoker. I have absolutely no recollection of what I paid for the pipe but I don't think it was a fortune, and I have been incredibly happy with how that pipe smokes. So if you want a great smoking pipe while only paying $$200 - $300, the estate market is where you want to go.

 

zack24

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May 11, 2013
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It's interesting approaching it from the side of the pipemaker. If I was asked to produce a $100 pipe, I could. I'd start with $8 briar and a pre-formed stem. Total cost...maybe $15...a couple of hours work and done. Right now, I'm averaging $40 a block for some excellent large plateaux briar straight from the cutter and German ebonite/Cumberland for a hand cut stem. Total cost $50 if I don't throw in some ivory or exotic hardwoods. Minimum of 7 hours time to get it to the finish where I'm fairly happy. In October, I'm buying twenty blocks of some extraordinary briar- the best my cutter has seen in a decade...and I'll pay $100 a block for it and spend 15 hours or so really fussing over the details. I hope the high end pipe smokes better- I know it will look better...and I know it will make me a lot happier to make it...and maybe I can sell a couple of them along the way...:)

 
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