How Large is Your Pipe Collection in Proportion to How Much You Smoke?

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Jul 27, 2020
165
841
Finland
5 pipes in rotation. Rotation is not fixed in any way, it's just I like to smoke different things so it naturally rotates. Sometimes same pipe may be smoked on consecutive days and it's a non issue.

I smoke depending on circumstances 0-6 times per week. None in winter and on most days during summer. So each pipe sees action between 0-3 times per week.

In addition I only own one more briar pipe and three corn cobs which don't get smoked. I'm not a fan of these pipes.

I'm not very materialistic so I don't want to collect pipes. Owning stuff doesn't bring me any pleasure. I view pipes as tools.
 

stogie37

Preferred Member
Mar 24, 2012
631
3,141
Southport, North Carolina
Ok, OP, I’ll try to give you some hard numbers - or at least accurate ranges:
I have 110 pipes in my collection.
I smoke 10-14 bowls a week, averaging 2 bowls a day with the exception of a single bowl on my very busy days of Thursday & Sunday and maybe a 3 bowl day a week.
I try to hold my rotation for each month to about 20 pipes (12 factory / 8 artisan handmade or high end factory) so that they each get smoked 1-3 times, then cleaned and an extended rest.
The factory pipes (about 60 of the collection) get racked and rotated to the back of the line after their month’s use & cleaning - so they get a 4-month rest. Out of 40 artisan pipes, the 8 are cleaned and immediately fair game to select from for the new month - however I rarely run the same pipe in back to back months. The remaining 10 pipes are unsmoked as of yet and may enter the rotation or be sold or just sit for a bit longer.

Over 30 years of smoking and collecting this is just how it shook out - the rotation / pattern formed organically and seems to work very well for me.

A clarification: there is absolutely no pattern in smoking quality between the factory pipes and the artisan pipes. The aesthetic value tends to be higher with the artisans and bit quality /feel is above average as a rule, but over 30 years I’ve weeded out the bad smokers and every (smoked) pipe in the collection is at least a solid grade B performer, with most at A grade and 8-10 absolute stars.
 

tobefrank

Preferred Member
Jun 22, 2015
1,348
4,751
Australia
Ok, OP, I’ll try to give you some hard numbers - or at least accurate ranges:
I have 110 pipes in my collection.
I smoke 10-14 bowls a week, averaging 2 bowls a day with the exception of a single bowl on my very busy days of Thursday & Sunday and maybe a 3 bowl day a week.
I try to hold my rotation for each month to about 20 pipes (12 factory / 8 artisan handmade or high end factory) so that they each get smoked 1-3 times, then cleaned and an extended rest.
The factory pipes (about 60 of the collection) get racked and rotated to the back of the line after their month’s use & cleaning - so they get a 4-month rest. Out of 40 artisan pipes, the 8 are cleaned and immediately fair game to select from for the new month - however I rarely run the same pipe in back to back months. The remaining 10 pipes are unsmoked as of yet and may enter the rotation or be sold or just sit for a bit longer.

Over 30 years of smoking and collecting this is just how it shook out - the rotation / pattern formed organically and seems to work very well for me.

A clarification: there is absolutely no pattern in smoking quality between the factory pipes and the artisan pipes. The aesthetic value tends to be higher with the artisans and bit quality /feel is above average as a rule, but over 30 years I’ve weeded out the bad smokers and every (smoked) pipe in the collection is at least a solid grade B performer, with most at A grade and 8-10 absolute stars.
That sounds very similar to my ratio of pipes to number of smokes except that your pipe collection and smokes are about 10 times mine.
 
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Infantry23

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2020
388
845
41
Smithsburg, Maryland
I haven't counted recently but I have about 20 pipes and smoke about 3-4 bowls per week. I REALLY don't need any more pipes and I'm not really looking to smoke any more bowls. I think I am pretty set, but I am also not opposed to getting another pipe if the conditions are met (price, desire, etc.)
 

Dave4211

Junior Member
May 15, 2020
63
140
Tennessee
I have 8 briars and 16 cobs. The briars have all been kept either because they are sentimental, because they are good smokers, or both. One of them almost never gets smoked, but I'll keep it.

All 16 cobs are MM Legend bents.

I smoke, on average, 16 bowls per day, using somewhere between one to four pipes. I don't like leaving dirty pipes laying around too much, but I only clean pipes once per day.

Today, for instance, I have a cob and an old Grabow with me. The cob has seen three bowls so far, and the Grabow has seen one. I'll clean them tonight or in the morning, and either keep smoking them or grab a different one off the rack to smoke for the day.

I've been making it a point to smoke my briars more often, because they seem to smoke better when they get more use.

Anyhow, the 16 cobs is a sort of insurance. If I smoke one half to death for a day or two, it gets plenty of time to recover.

The briars I own have been with me now for over ten years. Many have come and gone, but these eight remain, and they will remain.

I have plenty of pipes.

In fact, I may put most of my cobs in a box and get them out of sight. Five is plenty. Sixteen is also plenty.

A pipe for each bowl smoked in a day is a good number to own for rotation purposes, but I'm not going to smoke 16 or 24 pipes in a day, because I like to keep them clean, and I'm not going to clean 24 pipes in one day, or 16, or whatever.

There it is.

That's what I do lately.

Five of my briars really speak to me. Five or six of my cobs do, too. Each one is a little bit different.

Some thought went into this phase of my collection/rotation. It's working out just fine.

I would gladly pick up any single one of my pipes and walk around the world with it a few times.


And that's what I wanted.

Sentimentality blended with usefulness.

Something that feels right and works right.

"Stuff that works," as Guy Clark would say. "The kind of stuff you don't hang on the wall."

"Stuff that's real. Stuff you feel. The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall."

I have just enough pipes, and it's unlikely that I'll ever need or want to buy another one.

In my smoking, I am quite content.

It feels as though I have enough.
 

Singularis

Member
Sep 11, 2019
156
842
Wausau, Wis
I have twelve in rotation (I was surprised it grew to that many somehow). Some I use more than others, of course. The special and specialized are used a bit more sparingly: a Randy Wiley with a very large bowl that is kind of a Sunday pipe; my one clay pipe, which has to be handled a bit more carefully; a churchwarden; a meerschaum.

With smoking a bowl on average once a day, that results in each pipe seeing 30 smokes a year.

By year's end, with any luck, I'll have a couple more added to the collection.
 

sallow

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2013
1,488
3,212
For fun I will play the game of averages...

24 or so pipes in regular rotation
2 bowls a day x 365 = 730 bowls per year
so around 30 smokes go through each rotated pipe per year

Assuming I don't favor some pipes more than others (this is a bad assumption, my rotation order is not that strict. Some pipes get rotated in more than others).
I am also ignoring some pipes that do not get rotated regularly, or at all.

I use the same two pipes all week, then they go to the cleaning drawer, and two clean pipes come off the rack. This way I'm not constantly cleaning pipes.