Filter or Non-filter Pipes? Confused.

Log in

SmokingPipes.com Updates

71 Fresh Savinelli Pipes
3 Fresh Sam Adebayo Pipes
12 Fresh Genod Pipes
24 Fresh Brulor Pipes
4 Fresh Tom Eltang Pipes

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

68748Joe

Lurker
May 12, 2024
8
21
Nebraska USA
Ok - really dumb question, but I’m new at this. Can any pipe use a filter, or is there a difference in the build? I see pipes are 6mm, some 9mm, and I’m assuming that’s the size of the draw tube? Or is that wrong?

I ordered a Rattray pipe a few minutes ago, and the description says it is a 9mm filter pipe. The Tinsky pipe I ordered a few days ago says filter=none in the description. Dunno about the 6 or 9mm part. Came in today and I tried it out while messing with the big green egg grill my son gave me, but I’m getting way off topic.

So to use a filter, the pipe has to be made to work with one? And I’ve read here while searching, a guy doesn’t have to use a filter if not desired.

If I could get a bit of clarification on the differences, I would appreciate it. Sorry to be asking such basic questions. 🤓

Joe
 

RookieGuy80

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 6, 2023
677
2,292
Maryland, United States
So it sounds like you've just about got it. Most pipes made now are filtered in some way. And many in the past took filters. Now, not all pipes can take filters. And this that do can only take filters that size; it wouldn't work putting a 6mm filter in a pipe that takes 9mm.

You're also correct in a pipe doesn't require a filter to be enjoyed. If you smoke a pipe that takes a filter, though, it will be a much wider more open draw. Some makers (like Savinelli) offer adapters which choke down the draw like you have a filter in it, but without the filtering.

Me, I prefer a wider more open draw. So the first thing I'll do with a new pipe is yank the filter out. But then sometimes I'll use the Rock Maple Totally Not a Filter thing that Brigham comes with on some more goopy aromatics because I like that the filter does to those. Others wouldn't smoke a pipe without a filter. It's all personal preference, if you're enjoying your smokes you're doing it right.

When your Rattray shows up, try it both ways and see what you like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yanoJL

BingBong

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 26, 2024
549
2,331
London UK
I prefer pipes without filters and filter pipes without filters - in the belief that I get the full flavour of the blend. Yet others claim that filters improve the flavour and range of nuances of a blend. The journey is yours to explore.

The stage is set for a bitter Interwebs war, except pipe smokers enjoy their preferences and can't be bothered. We could auction the idea off to Reddit though, I'm sure nonsmokers would get involved and immolate themselves over it.
 

proteus

Lifer
May 20, 2023
1,315
2,237
53
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
Stem has to be drilled to accept the correct size filter. A filter pipe can be smoked without a filter but your draw will be more voluminous and could over heat the tobacco so draw more slowly or use a plastic insert. Savinelli makes them I believe. A non-filter pipe cannot be made into a filter pipe without significant modifications and potentially remaking the stem or even the whole pipe. Not worth it though I'm sure some enterprising tinker with nothing else to do might be able to convert a pipe. Never say never. But for me I am a pipe smoker not a pipe maker. I'd rather spend my time making smoke not pipes.
 

68748Joe

Lurker
May 12, 2024
8
21
Nebraska USA
So why do some listings then list the pipe (even not filater) as either a 6 or 9mm. Just so you know the size of the hole? I get that’ll affect the draw.

And then it’s safe to assume if the pipe listing doesn’t mention it’s filtered, it won’t be then.
 

BingBong

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 26, 2024
549
2,331
London UK
So why do some listings then list the pipe (even not filater) as either a 6 or 9mm. Just so you know the size of the hole? I get that’ll affect the draw.

And then it’s safe to assume if the pipe listing doesn’t mention it’s filtered, it won’t be then.
Yes, filter sizes are usually listed if a pipe is that type; if you're invested in either filter size and wish to keep uniformity, then it helps guide your choice of a new pipe. Usually, the filter fits in a chamber formed between stem and briar roughly 50/50.
 
Jan 30, 2020
2,040
6,704
New Jersey
Yes, filter sizes are usually listed if a pipe is that type; if you're invested in either filter size and wish to keep uniformity, then it helps guide your choice of a new pipe. Usually, the filter fits in a chamber formed between stem and briar roughly 50/50.
Yes, as an example I only use 6mm filters so would not buy a 9mm filter pipe because I don’t feel like keeping stock of those filters.
 

Bassman65

Can't Leave
Nov 30, 2022
326
605
Canada
You got it. It’s all personal preference. I started out not using filters, now I’m a filter guy. I have pipes that take 6mm ones and others that take 9mm. I prefer charcoal filters, but have also used balsa and meer. It’s all about trying different set ups until you find one that is most enjoyable for yourself. Much like tobacco choice.

As mentioned above, some also use filters only when smoking certain types of tobacco and not others.
 

bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
9,258
38,778
RTP, NC. USA
You can't stick a filter in a non-filter pipe. But you can smoke a filter pipe without a filter. Unless you have some specific reason for using filters, just get a non-filter pipes and forget about it. Those 6mm and 9mm are filter size.
 
  • Like
Reactions: paulfg

PaulDM

Lurker
Dec 12, 2022
48
317
Savinelli 6mm pipes are quite versatile. You can smoke them with no filter (using the plastic adapter prevents the draw from being too open), a balsa filter, or a 6mm charcoal filter (which I happen to like the best).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Puff nstuff

Puff nstuff

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 2, 2021
210
1,021
Inland Southern California
You may want to try a cob that takes a 6 mm filter, and buy yourself a few different types of filters to see what works for you. There are 4 basic types: paper, charcoal, Meer chips, and balsa. You can also smoke this cob without any filter. This would be an inexpensive way to get know your way around the different types of filters. I myself prefer smoking with filters generally, but not always.
 

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,005
18,280
France
@Puff nstuff which filters do you prefer when you use one? I am partial to the 9mm charcol myself. I try to stick with that since I still like an open draw and I dont want to have to stock multiple sizes. I have a few meer filled ones. I have not compared them yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Puff nstuff

captpat

Lifer
Dec 16, 2014
2,346
12,333
North Carolina
I don't use filters as I don't care to mess around with them when they need changing. Pipes built for 6 mm filters are smoked without, pipes with 9 mm filters get an adapter. However I have one Savinelli that the only way to stop it from gurgling is to use a filter.🤷‍♂️
 

jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
643
3,020
Norwich, UK
I'm in the camp that don't use filters at all. You'll also find that it does somewhat limit what pipes you can buy, and if you ever want to get into antique or estate pipes, you're unlikely to find any with filters (or at least not the modern style of filters).

One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that pipe filters are not like cigarette filters, so if you're in the small minority that inhale their pipe, don't think the filter will filter out all the tars etc.; it won't.
 

Puff nstuff

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 2, 2021
210
1,021
Inland Southern California
@Puff nstuff which filters do you prefer when you use one? I am partial to the 9mm charcol myself. I try to stick with that since I still like an open draw and I dont want to have to stock multiple sizes. I have a few meer filled ones. I have not compared them yet.
Except for one Molina bent, all my pipes take 6mm. I mostly use paper (Medico) as they seem to absorb well but change the draw the least. For wetter tobacco I think I prefer the charcoal filters. For that Molina, I have some balsa inserts that do well. I'm always surprised by how much moisture the balsa sticks absorb. But they all do great to help keep the pipes cleaner and my mouth happy. I've never tried the meer or clay filters.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sigmund