Dr. Grabow Omega Smooth

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sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
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I've never smoked a briar before and while I've got my eye on a $100 Savinelli for my first purchase, I've recently considered the possibility of just getting a cheap Grabow to get the hang of building cake and overall briar maintenance.
What do you think? $28 well spent or $28 that should just go towards the eventual purchase of the Savinelli?
I'm not made of money these days and that is why I'm thinking about being "thrifty" with the pipe; perhaps I can swing my expensive briar as a Christmas present when the time comes!
I should also add that I smoke outside a lot of the time, and that has been another consideration. I don't want to ruin a good pipe smoking PA out on my windy patio... (I will get a wind cap but you know how it is)
http://www.4noggins.com/dr.grabowomegasmooth.aspx
Are these Omegas decent smokers?
It is the only Grawbow on 4noggins that I like the design of. I'm a pretty orthodox smooth bent-billiard kind of guy at the present time...
Anyways gents, let me know what you think. I don't read about pipes very often (I know way more about tobacco) so I am fairly lost when it comes to selecting a starter pipe.
Edit: On closer inspection, the Savoy is also fairly attractive, but I still prefer the Omega.

Opinions about the Savoy would also be welcome...

 

brewshooter

Preferred Member
Jun 2, 2011
1,658
2
I have an Omega. It's a good pipe and I have no complaints. Would a $100 Savinelli be a nicer pipe? Quite possibly, but the $28 on the Omega would also be money well spent.

 

crpntr1

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2011
1,973
0
Texas
I have a Savoy...its a good smoker and it was a starter pipe for me. I don't smoke it very often anymore tho

 

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spartan

Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2011
2,963
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Grabows are a very good value. I use mine for shorter smokes since the bowl is on the small end. Great smoker.
But I would definately recommend that once you get the hang of your grabow that you upgrade to whatever you can afford. Squirrel away $10-$15 a week and in a few months you'll be able to shop for a very nice pipe.

 

matchstickman

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
2,359
20
An Omega was the first briar pipe that I ever owned. It still gets regular use and like Brewshooter, I have no complaints with it. Bowl size is a little bit smaller than I like, but it makes for a nice quick smoke, and the military mount makes it really easy to clean. I have Savinellis that I have easily paid four times more for, and sure, they smoke a little bit better, but in terms of a good smoking instrument, the Omega will do you well as long as it is smoked properly and maintained properly.

 

schmitzbitz

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2011
1,165
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Port Coquitlam, B.C.
I also have an Omega, and although it smokes wonderfully and offers the orific-bit I so crave in a Virginia pipe; I do have one complaint. It features a similar design to the Peterson System-Pipe, including a well to trap condensate - but also features a mortise for a 6mm filter in the stem. I find this design is a real pain in the ass to keep clean, regularly eating a half-dozen cotton-swabs in addition to my usual horde of pipe-cleaners.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
3
Whoa, thanks schmitzbitz, that could be a dealbreaker for me. I am really particular about pipe cleanliness and I'd hate to have to put up with that all of the time. I already decided that I was going to avoid the system pipes... I will put some more thought into it first; maybe it will be worth the extra effort.
I'm glad to hear that everyone has had a good smoking experience with them, though. I've read about a few issues with the stems cracking off or otherwise malfunctioning but I'd be willing to take the risk for $28.
I presume the Savoy doesn't have this well feature, but I guess all Grabows are built for filters?
Spartan, I am definitely going to upgrade in the near future but I'm leaning towards the Grabow for now. Price trumps all at the moment. I'm not averse to having a smaller bowl; it should be good for quick casual smokes, and I'll be able to break her in quickly.
Chris, I'll probably be the same way. I could always dedicate it to a particular blend, however, so that way it always gets a little bit of attention. I'll see what smokes best in it.
Pipe novelist, I'm glad to hear you have had good experiences with the Omega. That's the thing - I want to keep it well maintained as a test run for any future pipes. I'll be looking to keep it in good condition so I know how to keep a more expensive pipe in pristine shape.

 

matchstickman

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
2,359
20
I do have one complaint. It features a similar design to the Peterson System-Pipe, including a well to trap condensate - but also features a mortise for a 6mm filter in the stem. I find this design is a real pain in the ass to keep clean, regularly eating a half-dozen cotton-swabs in addition to my usual horde of pipe-cleaners.
I run two cleaners through the stem, then run two more cleaners through the shank. I then take those same two cleaners, double them over, then twist them in the shank to absorb the excess moisture. Total of four pipe cleaners for the job and it smokes nice and dry for me. I suppose, like all things with pipe smoking, this is one of those YMMV type things, but its something to consider.

 

ejames

Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2009
3,916
7
All Grabows made today are made for a filter. My omegas have always given me a good smoke,and they are not hard to clean.

 

oldredbeard

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2012
628
0
The humidity is normally high here, so I like the filters in my Grabows. They smoke very well, and I don't have a hard time keeping them clean.
For a first pipe, I would certainly recommend Dr. Grabow

 

colorduke

Preferred Member
Mar 5, 2011
775
0
4noggins is a bit pricey call the grabow factory and get it cheapier and free shipping.

 

jwp159

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2010
365
0
I have a few omega's and they have given me great service. I find no trouble with cleaning the well. I use 4 cleaners on the pipe, then a twisted piece of paper towel in the well for the moister. Then double over the four cleaners and use them in the well just to make sure it's clean. This has worked for several years for me and they smoke great. :puffy:

 

gwtwdbss

Preferred Member
Jun 13, 2012
2,941
2
One thing I noticed about my Omega is that it had a heavy varnish or clear coat. I sanded it and gave it a nice wax. It seems to breathe a little better now and I like seeing more of the grain. I also gave the band a bit of a brushed look with some fine grain sandpaper. It's a nice little pipe for that quick smoke.



 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
3
It's looking good, gwtwdbss...
I'll probably end up trying an estate and a Grabow but I don't know which direction I'll take first.
The Grabow is obviously the easier option but I'll keep my eyes peeled on eBay for some decent estates.

 

brewshooter

Preferred Member
Jun 2, 2011
1,658
2
Hmm, one thing about my Omega that was a downside was that varnish. It actually bubbled just slightly on the bottom of the bowl at one point and I didn't really think the pipe was all that hot. I might sand it and wax it like you've done.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
3
I should mention in this thread that I've gone the estate route; a new Omega Smooth will be on the backburner, indefinitely.
I picked up a couple of straight pipes: Grabow Viscount (unfiltered), Frank Medico, and a Grabow Grand Duke (apple shape)... They are in the mail as we speak - I hope they smoke well!

 

will

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2012
98
0
Good luck with your new estates.

So far all of my briar pipes have been estates and most have been great.

It is possible to get some nice smoking briar and not spend a lot of money.

 
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