First Briar -- Buy New or Estate?

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rjc149

Lurker
Mar 20, 2023
14
32
Hey all,

I'm looking to get my first briar pipe -- I've been very happy with my cob pipe, but briar bulldog pipes just catch my eye. Also, I want a "sophisticated" looking pipe for social events that call for cigars (I don't care for cigars) and something where I can have a little pride of ownership.

I've looked on Etsy and there are a nice selection of estate pipes for around $75-100, which is what I'm looking to spend.

But then, I'm also seeing new pipes from Peterson, Savinelli, Tsuge, etc. for around that price as well.

Assuming you have $100 to spend on a briar, and you're looking for a reliable smoker first and foremost, are you getting a better pipe with a $100 estate, or would you simply get a new $100 one?
 
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Bbailey324

Lifer
Jun 29, 2023
1,234
15,106
Austin, TX
If you are new to briar pipes you might be better served by a new pipe. Estates are great and often a good value but you need to know what you have and a bit about how to clean up and restore. For about $100 I would look at a new Peterson. I own several. For a bit less Rossi makes some nice pipes. Ropp also has a good reputation. Hope this helps.
 

mtwaller

Lifer
Nov 21, 2018
1,326
5,574
34
Atlanta, GA
Often you can get a slightly “nicer” or slightly more expensive pipe for that $100 than what a new one would be. Smokingpipes.com has loads of new and estate pipes in that range. Peterson, Savinelli, Stanwell, and others have plenty of pipes at or less than $100.

Smokingpipes is nice because they give an accurate description of any condition issues a pipe may have as a result of it being smoked. A little rim darkening is no biggie in my book, nor are mild tooth chatter or minor scratches around the bowl. My big no-no’s are charred rim, charring around the airway, and over reamed or out of round chambers.

I’ve bought a few pipes on Etsy and all have been nice and as-described, but sometimes people misrepresent things, or don’t provide accurate descriptions because they don’t know a whole lot about pipes. Etsy can be hard to know if you’re getting a fair deal sometimes.

Find whatever speaks to you and gets you excited! But again, if you’re unsure, it might be better to stick to trusted retailers until you start to figure out what’s what.
 

Bassman65

Can't Leave
Nov 30, 2022
319
573
Canada
For less than $100 Vauen makes an incredible pipe. I don’t know if you use filters or not, but if not, they have adapters. I use 9mm charcoal filters. Hard to beat the Vauen Basic pipe range for build quality vs. price IMO. Good selection on SP. Right now they’re only $58.50 USD. You won’t be disappointed.
 
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briarblues

Can't Leave
Aug 3, 2017
395
620
New can be great, but you'll need to go through the "breaking in" of a new pipes. Some brands break in "quicker" than others, but there is that time frame in which some pipes just don't smoke that well.

The estate market is where I would look, BUT only if you're going to buy from a reputable seller that cleans the pre smoked pipes. The advantage is the pipe should arrive ready to smoke and most likely is already "broken in".

$100.00 on a pre smoked pipe usually equates to around a new pipe priced around $200.00.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
5,830
31,011
71
Sydney, Australia
If it's your first, then get NEW
Lots of choice at your price range

The majority (overwhelmingly) of my pipes are estates
Estates can be a minefield for novices because some sellers (especially on Ebay or Etsy) don't know much about pipes. Or misrepresent their wares.

If you are looking at estates, the safe option is to go to Forums sponsors SmokingPipes, Blue Room Briars, The Danish Pipe Shop or Tobacco Treasures
 

verporchting

Lifer
Dec 30, 2018
2,900
8,982
New. Estate pipes can be a great value but you need to learn the ropes before buying, so I would strongly recommend a new one.

Savinelli, Peterson, Stanwell, Ropp - these are all reputable brands in the $100 range.

Good luck and happy hunting! Buying a new pipe should always be exciting, especially your first one.
 

Lees65GTO

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2022
261
332
79
Texas
As already stated by other members there are several manufactures that have pipes for $100 or less (Savinelli, Rattray, Peterson, Nording, Morgan, to name a few) and are very good pipes.

If you decide to get an estate pipe I would recommend getting it from a seller that specifies that they are cleaned and sanitized.

The site sponsors would be a good source, some of them sell estate pipes. In addition to the site sponsors you could look at: Smokers’ Haven, Tobacco Pipes.com, Milan Tobacconists, Stem & Briar.

I would be cautious with an Ebay or Etsy pipe for reasons stated by other members about what you will get.

I have several estate pipes and they all have smoked great.

You will have to decide what looks best for you.

New or estate should give you a good smoke.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
24,724
27,320
Carmel Valley, CA
Where do you live? Is there a tobacconist nearby?


Please put your location in your Profile, as people are forgetful.
Why: It will save time for others as to where you live when you mention local stores, weather, tobacco prices, availability, regulations, location of photos, wildfires, air quality, etc. In many instances that saves time for those who read your posts, and for you in not having to reply to inquiries. .
How:
Under your avatar, (top right, left most of three symbols) you choose "Account Details", which brings up "My Account". "My Location" is halfway down. Whatever you're comfortable with- town, city, county, state. province, etc.
 
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Jul 12, 2011
4,135
4,215
+1 New - The #1 thing to remember; If the pipe isn't designed properly to "smoke" I don't care how pretty it is, it will not be in a rotation and you would have just bought a new paperweight, not a tobacco pipe. - So purchase even a machine made / 1st Briar ( which is what I did when starting out and can find them $100 or less - I see some great ones out there right now between $50-$100 range for machine made briaris ) from makers like Stanwell, Sav, etc. ; - They all make solid / well designed smoking models ( Some of my favorites and best smokers to-date.... but don't tell all my handmades that, haha ) .

Then add a few MM Cobs, Clays and maybe a Meer into your rotation so you can give the briars some rest time ( could be a few days, etc. after smoking all day on/off ) . I don't always rest them up enough but can tell that they are not singing as much as they use to - why, overworked.

If you need help finding something - I love PAD shopping for not only myself, haha - What styles / shapes do you like? Also would you be keeping it hanging from jaw or putting it down ( weight then comes into play as part of the selection, etc. ) . Another thing - what types of blends do you enjoy ( some say it doesn't matter / IMO and experience it does for me; larger pot-style bowls with chamber depth being under 1.2x" really "open up" some blends, while it could mute others and those blends may need a more conical-shaped bowl, etc. to sing )
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
Hey all,

I'm looking to get my first briar pipe -- I've been very happy with my cob pipe, but briar bulldog pipes just catch my eye. Also, I want a "sophisticated" looking pipe for social events that call for cigars (I don't care for cigars) and something where I can have a little pride of ownership.

I've looked on Etsy and there are a nice selection of estate pipes for around $75-100, which is what I'm looking to spend.

But then, I'm also seeing new pipes from Peterson, Savinelli, Tsuge, etc. for around that price as well.

Assuming you have $100 to spend on a briar, and you're looking for a reliable smoker first and foremost, are you getting a better pipe with a $100 estate, or would you simply get a new $100 one?

Buy a new one, the best you can turn loose of your money.
 
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Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
2,324
28,392
Casa Grande, AZ
I’m an estate guy, but…
For the purpose (social smoking with the cigar guys) and information in the OP I’d recommend a Rossi or Peterson, in a shape/size that matches what you’re familiar with.

Estates are fun, interesting, cn be great smokers, and allow a deeper connection with the hobby. They also consume time and money in gathering the supplies and knowledge to refurbish. For success there is often failure in the learning curve. Some will show off estates found for good prices that look enticing, but leave out that they sent them out for repair/refurbishing and what that cost in time and money. Many estates sold as “cleaned up” looked great to me before I knew what I was really looking at, and now would be a hard pass due to damage from the same cleaning up processes (buffer damage, refinishing I’d rather now not have, etc)

I’m assuming (yeah, I know) that from smoking a cob (or cobs) and the price range stated that the quickest fit would be a Rossi. I haven’t seen any complaints of them not smoking well.

Define the job, then pick the tool.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
5,830
31,011
71
Sydney, Australia
Hey all,

I'm looking to get my first briar pipe -- briar bulldog pipes just catch my eye. Also, I want a "sophisticated" looking pipe for social events that call for cigars

But then, I'm also seeing new pipes from Peterson
I’m a bulldog guy with over 40 of them (and only 3 Rhodesians)
There are a few Petes amongst that lot
Petes are available at various price points.
So I’m going to say you can’t go wrong with one
 

newbroom

Lifer
Jul 11, 2014
6,123
6,726
Florida
I started with a cob too. I didn't know enough about pipe smoking to eschew inhalation.
Once I learned, I started scouting ebay for pipes. I've got way too many now, and it was a blast winning bids with low dollars and rescuing old briar pipes. I've got several that were just thrown in along with my intended target of a pipe rack. Brands from all over the world. I haven't spent more than $67.00 for a pipe yet, and that was for a 1954 Dunhill Shellbriar, just to say I own a Dunhill.
I once got a total of 8 really nice bent pipes made in the 50's' from one ebay seller for less than $100.00 including shipping. Every one of 'em is worth about that amount if I were to buy it from a dealer. I had read that older briar was desirable and that breaking in new pipes was a chore.

There are several criteria I'd employ if I were to buy a new pipe. Of course you want good internal fabrication and you would like to have a nice looking pipe, but it's the stem that usually motivates me when I select a pipe to smoke. I prefer vulcanite and not too wide a flare. I like pipes that will pass a pipe cleaner from stem to bowl, that I can easily clench, and that feel good in my hand too. Appearance is perhaps the least important.
I might check in to the Morgan Pipe offerings. I hear good things about those bones briars they sell.