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Akoni808

Can't Leave
Mar 17, 2022
403
3,927
O’ahu, Hawai’i
Do you enjoy filters? If so, what kind of filter? Paper, charcoal, balsa? If not, why not?
I’ve found that I like a charcoal and balsa filters, and also enjoy no filter. I tend to grab for charcoal filters because I like how they smooth out rough edges and deal with moisture, but I know there is a slight flavor mute as well.
 

burleybreath

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 29, 2019
711
2,516
Finger Lakes area, New York, USA
I would use them in some circumstances, but the draw seems much too restricted (the 9 mms). I have no reservations about buying a pipe built for using filters because, so far, the ones I have smoke great without them and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. But the filters themselves?--nah, my one small box of Dr. Perl Juniors has lasted me a couple of decades, and will probably last for a couple more. The balsa ones work great for their purpose, but they aren't really filters. I use them occasionally.
 

Akoni808

Can't Leave
Mar 17, 2022
403
3,927
O’ahu, Hawai’i
I would use them in some circumstances, but the draw seems much too restricted (the 9 mms). I have no reservations about buying a pipe built for using filters because, so far, the ones I have smoke great without them and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. But the filters themselves?--nah, my one small box of Dr. Perl Juniors has lasted me a couple of decades, and will probably last for a couple more. The balsa ones work great for their purpose, but they aren't really filters. I use them occasionally.
I definitely like the option and will continue to buy filter pipes too, as all my filter pipes (savinellis) smoke fine without them.
 

brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
8,333
9,980
I've never used filters until recently, but there's been so much talk about them on here lately I decided to experiment a bit. I have a few 9mm meers, and so far I've used Falcon, balsa and meerschaum filters.

The Falcons are hands down the best of the three for me. I've used them numerous times now, and they seem to have little impact on the draw or taste and mainly serve to absorb moisture. Overall I have to admit they seem to be a net positive and I may keep using them in my 9mm meers.

I expected the balsa to be about the same as the Falcons, but to my surprise they were the worst of the 3. This seems to be primarily because they fit too tightly in my meers. I have to squeeze them to get them in and then they seem to expand again...and restrict the draw too much.

The meerschaum filters aren't too bad, but they do affect the draw and taste just enough to be undesirable...especially compared to the Falcons.

I haven't tried carbon filters yet, and I don't have any 6mm pipes...but at this point for 9mm I would highly recommend the Falcons.
 
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Servant King

Lifer
Nov 27, 2020
2,973
15,445
37
Frazier Park, CA
www.thechembow.com
I use filters in the three of my five non-cob pipes that take them. I smoke aromatics in my Savinelli Tortuga 614, always with a 6mm balsa. Really helps alleviate the excess moisture issue. I use the 9mm balsas in my lat blend pipe, also a Sav, a Miele 611. Generally these blends have far less of the aforementioned problem than the aros do, but I still like having the filter present. My only other that will even take a filter is my Medico Whitewall. I will use either balsas or charcoals in here (6mm), but I prefer the balsas. I smoke Virginia-based blends in this one, which generate lots of moisture if I fail to keep a relaxed cadence.
 

TinCup

Can't Leave
Nov 14, 2019
330
930
Indian Ocean
Never filter free. Charcoal in most, balsa in both Savinelli

....I expected the balsa to be about the same as the Falcons, but to my surprise they were the worst of the 3. This seems to be primarily because they fit too tightly in my meers. I have to squeeze them to get them in and then they seem to expand again...and restrict the draw too much.......

Instead of squeezing them, if it’s a tight fit (& since its just balsa) use your fingernail to remove a sliver off one (or more) ‘corners’ until they fit better, its the work of a couple of seconds ?