Pipe Mouthpiece Stem Rubber Bits

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srkays

New member
Oct 29, 2018
4
0
I have BJ Long rubber bits on all of my pipe stems. When should I replace the rubber bits and/or how long can they stay on a pipe if storing on a rack? Will they discolor the vulcanite stem if left on? Should I be removing them, cleaning the stem (saliva get under the rubber), and putting them back on? Any help/advice appreciated.
 

mingc

Preferred Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,897
4,487
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
As you know, they're a pain to take on and off because they're so tight. And they do leave a shadow on vulcanite stems because they actually protect the part they cover from oxidation. I stopped using them in favor of the soft silicone ones that you can get on ebay. These can be removed easily.
 

BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
11,348
38,234
38
IA
I have BJ Long rubber bits on all of my pipe stems. When should I replace the rubber bits and/or how long can they stay on a pipe if storing on a rack? Will they discolor the vulcanite stem if left on? Should I be removing them, cleaning the stem (saliva get under the rubber), and putting them back on? Any help/advice appreciated.
I found after a while they get funky and you damn near have to cut them off. They will start to give an off flavor because the juices get between it and the stem. Overall I’ve just decided not to use them. Why am I protecting the stems of my pipes from teeth when that’s where they were meant to go? I mean if you’re going to use one you may as well have a pipe made with no button and just put on a softy bit... because the button is useless with one on.
 

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highwaycobbery

Preferred Member
Nov 14, 2015
533
1,198
North cacallaky
Love’em. Don’t have any pipes without them, after time they will start cracking and then just fall off. To take them off just put some spit on the stem and work it under the bit. Slips right off
 
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ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,071
3,690
Dalzell, South Carolina
Sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't. I smoke my pipes without wearing my dentures so the Softie Bits make clenching more comfortable. I put all the bits in a pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes to get them clean. I do this about once a month. Once a year I begin replacing them with new ones.
 

jhe033

Member
Mar 15, 2020
109
838
Indiana
I'm a big fan, as I'm a pretty tough clincher, and this helps the stem and my teeth. I also hate dealing with oxidation, the bane of my OCD. So I lean toward pipes with non-vulcanite stems.

I find that since I use the flush method for cleaning my pipes after smoking, this is part of the ritual. I simply slide the bit around with some water and dry it with the paper towel before using it to swab-out the bowl. I then do the normal pipe-clearer run through and voila.

I can get why some people don't like them, because they can be a bit of a pain, but overall, I find them handy. I would love to see others post links to alternatives though. I've seen some chatter about tape, other types of bits, etc.
 
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dcicero

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2019
372
1,220
I had a devil of a time getting them on. Decided I didn't like how they felt. Had a devil of a time getting them off. Guess it's not for me.
 

Richmond B. Funkenhouser

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2019
3,643
16,659
30
Al/Ga
Why am I protecting the stems of my pipes from teeth when that’s where they were meant to go? I mean if you’re going to use one you may as well have a pipe made with no button and just put on a softy bit... because the button is useless with one on.

That's why I haven't tried them..

I've also never chewed up a stem like a rabid beaver. I guess people do that though... nearly all the old pipes on ebay are chewed up. I feel like my teeth would start to fall out if I chewed on stems like those ebay people.
 

DAR

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2020
343
1,032
Tiburon, California
If you don't flip your pipes for new ones I suppose it's best to just smoke the stem and have that "patina" to remind you that it's your teeth and your pipe. Enjoy, enjoy.
But if you do sell some of your pipes in order to buy other ones, you probably are better off by using something...... soft bits or whatever, to keep your teeth from creating a crater. No one wants to buy a used pipe with horrible teeth marks on it unless of course they are into pipe repair, which I'm not.
I don't use the Soft Bits brand because it discolors vulcanite and is a bit too squishy for my preference. I can't remember who makes the ones I like but they are relatively hard, easy to use and really make a difference for me. I keep that pipe in my mouth throughout most of the bowl and although I'm not a rabid clencher, I have been known to put my mark on too many pipes.
 
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STP

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2020
1,971
4,687
Northeast USA
I wanted to like them, particularly on some of my newer pipes as I like to clinch, but I don’t like the feel. The smoking experience seems artificial... or something. They were a PITA to remove, but I just rolled them off with my thumbs... and there was some superficial shadowing. I have a bag of them, and “might” revisit down the road...
 
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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
17,499
33,510
63
Sarasota Florida
I buy only Ebonite stems, no acrylic and I couldn't care less about tooth marks. My pipes were bought to smoke and not to worry about tooth marks down the road. I prefer au natural instead of rubbers on my stems. There has to be some kind of disease people have about not marking up their stems, maybe we should come up with something official.

Mark, if I had noticed you were using that tape last time you came over, I would have busted your balls till you ripped that shit off. I have a no tape or softy bit zone in my entire house.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,232
33,513
I've used them in the past to try to protect the soft plastic stems on cobs, but now I just buy the MM cob special editions that come with an acrylic stem. Also, I tend to flex my jaw against the softies and it causes my jaw to ache and probably isn't good for my teeth. The fewer extra accessories for pipes the better, to my point of view. I buy pipes to smoke, and in general, don't have many that would resell with much profit, so I never bother about tooth chatter. If I buy it, I smoke it, and devil take the hindmost. Gift pipes are enjoyed in the same way.
 

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