Ideal tamper design?

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Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
9,290
38,849
RTP, NC. USA
+ 1
Utilitarian and cheap enough to buy by the dozen - if you're into losing things all the time.
Just don't get the (even) cheap(er) Chinese knock-offs made of shoddy metal

I have a few artisanal tampers and tools which I never reach for
Used to use a pipe nail that looked like horseshoe nail. Then got a Czech tool to test it out, and never looked back. Do have other pipe tools, but Czech tool seems to do the job very well without weight or unnecessary implementation.
 

sardonicus87

Lifer
Jun 28, 2022
1,214
13,071
37
Lower Alabama
I also think the Czech tool is hard to beat. All I ever need from a tamper is a flat bit for tamping and a nail... though the nail rarely gets used. I use the spoon more actually because it's less likely to scrape gouges in the walls of my meer.

One thing I really like about the Czech tool, is that it's pretty good at drawing heat away from an ember that has maybe gotten a bit too warm, and just normal tamping is no issue, just draw while tamping to prevent stealing too much heat.

I don't need weight to a tamper, prefer not to have any weight myself. I tamp by feel with my fingers and almost never over-tamp.

The only downside with mine is that when you say, pull the spoon or pic part out, sometimes the other unused tool is left floppy. Like the whole assembly is just loose enough when "open" for stuff to flop. Everything stays put when the nail and spoon both are "closed".

I just can't evision a tamper that's better for me.
 

bluegrassbrian

Your Mom's Favorite Pipe Smoker
Aug 27, 2016
6,424
59,501
41
Louisville
I really like my Vauen telescoping "automatic" tamper. Operates like a click pen.
Looks like it's been discontinued though, shame.

The most important feature for me is a removable pick that doesn't screw in. I HATE having to screw things like that. I want to just be able to pull it out when needed. Magnets... clip mechanisms.. whatever, just no screwing.
 
After exploring a few designs in the tamps I make, I have found that I really like a concave tamper surface to help round the cherry out in the chamber. I also like them to be between .75 oz to 1 oz in weight, so that I can just use the tamps weight without having to apply any extra force.
For the other end, just something to gently scrap the tobacco out. I've never needed anything like a poker, because I never over tamp or pack too tightly.

Here are a few that I've made recently.
1694437689159.png
 

PaulRVA

Lifer
May 29, 2023
3,667
59,516
“Tobacco Row” Richmond Virginia USA
After exploring a few designs in the tamps I make, I have found that I really like a concave tamper surface to help round the cherry out in the chamber. I also like them to be between .75 oz to 1 oz in weight, so that I can just use the tamps weight without having to apply any extra force.
For the other end, just something to gently scrap the tobacco out. I've never needed anything like a poker, because I never over tamp or pack too tightly.

Here are a few that I've made recently.
View attachment 246072
Those are awesome!
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
4,106
11,966
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
I too like a concave tampering surface. I also like a sharpish edge to the tamper for scraping the side of the bowl when needed. This is my ideal tamper, which I have unfortunately lost.
tamper.jpg
Tsuge makes a similar model in stainless steel (the above is silver), but the handle is a bit too long for me.
3TELT.jpg
 

obc83

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 4, 2023
244
1,144
After exploring a few designs in the tamps I make, I have found that I really like a concave tamper surface to help round the cherry out in the chamber. I also like them to be between .75 oz to 1 oz in weight, so that I can just use the tamps weight without having to apply any extra force.
For the other end, just something to gently scrap the tobacco out. I've never needed anything like a poker, because I never over tamp or pack too tightly.

Here are a few that I've made recently.
View attachment 246072
Wow, those look awesome. I have also been beginning to realize that the concave tamp seems to be ideal, at least for the way I like to smoke a pipe. I think when I get to making one it will have that.
 
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obc83

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 4, 2023
244
1,144
I'm mainly aiming toward the pocket tamper as far as what I'm looking to make, so I guess my next question here is; Are you happy with the tamp and scoop, like the common pipe nail, or would you rather have a tamper and a pick combo? If you were to grab one heading out the door.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,372
28,624
Carmel Valley, CA
I use this one and I like it a lot. It has a little weight to it and I like the look of it. I’m not sure who made it but I bought it at Boswells and it’s my favorite now. Pipe nails are nice too but I like having some options like a pick.

image-jpg.245931


That one or a golf tee. Depends on purpose- whether more is needed than just a tamp.

While concave, convex, perforated, weight just so—may be important to some, it doesn't compute with me.
 
Last edited:

Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
3,072
38,532
Casa Grande, AZ
Tamper or tool? Two different animals…

Make me an aluminum 2.5” with golf tee end and other end a 3/4” long spoon that has parallel or very slightly tapered sides and a round end and I’m in.
 
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