Pipe Purchase Motivation

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Not open for further replies.


Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
In another thread I tried, in my usual clumsy manner, to explain how/why I buy a pipe. This led me to wonder about the motivation of others when they purchase such. Is it a "need" to acquire? A desire to enlarge the rotation? I understand perfectly the motivation of those who collect specific brands. That is self-explanatory.
Are there members who notice a bit of extra cash and immediately go purchase another pipe? Or, do some members have a goal of ... say, a fourteen day rotation? Some purchase used pipes because they enjoy restoring them to a utile condition. Others do the same to "flip the pipes."
I'm just interested in the various motivations leading to pipe purchases. I'll question no one's motive, curiosity it is, so no defense or justification is needed.
I do not "need" another pipe. Nor do I necessarily want another pipe. But, if a pipe catches my eye and, then meets my requirements, I will acquire that pipe.
What leads others to purchase pipes?



Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
It used to be a compulsion, but lately I've seen nothing that caught my eye. I think I'm done, and have too many.


PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor



Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
East Indiana
If I see a pipe that strikes my fancy and I can afford it, I buy it, but I have gotten so selective that this happens less and less often. I consider my pipe collection as a sort of never finished work-in-progress, there is a core of pipes that I would never part with for various reasons, but the rest are upgradable. I don't wish to have hundreds of pipes, I have in the past and found this to be collecting for collectings sake, my current collection sits at around 80, I find this to be a manageable rotation. I do a cull of my pipes once a year, before the Columbus show, any pipes that don’t get smoked, get traded away. If I buy a new pipe and it doesn’t smoke well, it gets traded or sold, regardless of how attractive it is, my pipes need to perform well as smoking instruments first and foremost.



Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
If I see something I like, I have the money and it fits my requirements (which means I will actually use it) then I will buy it.
I do have a modest mental list of pipes/types that I would like to collect and I'm quite a long way off of achieving that goal but the same rules apply as above. I used the word modest but of course, it's relative. Relative to my Grandfathers smoking habits it's beyond excessive but compared to some of the collections I see here the list is short. My list may take me to about the 50 pipe mark but I can never see myself owning more than 100 pipes. I know, famous last words and all that.
I'm in no rush to get them all either. I will get them when I can and when the time is right. If I have spare cash I don't rush out looking for a pipe. If I have a spare £300 in my wallet I am more likely to spend part of that on buying more tobacco than I can smoke this week because I can see the misery of a tobacco-free society that is being imposed upon us by joyless, social engineering scum bags.
When I next move and have space in the form of a garage or shed I can see myself having a go of restoring some and even turning a few of my own. Only as a hobby and for myself though.



Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
Warren, a most excellent question, especially as pipes seem to fly into our hands automatically even as the funds flow out. When this happens to me I am stunned as more than probably I just finished telling myself no more, no more! I adore pipes and spend a good bit of time looking at them. In the 16 years I've been smoking, were I in a different economic order, I can easily see having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for 500-1000 pipes.
Lately I buy when a pipe seems to have great value and costs less than $200.00. I did it a week ago for a pre-Cadogan Comoy at $79.00. I bought a Huybrecht 6 weeks ago for twice that price, both smooths, the Comoy an Apple and the Huybrecht a Quaint. In both cases pretty wood at a good price.



Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
I usually search out specific makers or shapes, but sometimes something I wasn't even looking for pops up in my searches. The latest is a 1976 Dunhill 52HU Root Briar, hungarian shape with an egg shaped bowl. Originally bought it because the price was right and it was in amazing shape, but I didn't think I'd keep it (1970s pipes were always so hit and miss). It's smoking the house down with some Elizabethan right now, no relights and it just keeps going strong and cool. It's quickly winning a place in the rotation.
Sometimes you look for pipes, and sometimes a pipe finds you ;)



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Good question!
In the beginning it was about discovery. I was trying out different brands and shapes, discovering what I enjoyed.
Later, it was expansion as I began collecting Barlings and some artisan made pipes, while selling off unsuccessful early experiments. I wanted different sized chambers for smoking different types of tobaccos and for long or short smokes. So this period relates to my expanding explorations of various tobaccos.
The last phase has been, only something really exceptional. Who am I to turn down an 1872 cased Barling Magnum? And I've just bought another early Barling, from 1906, that was offered to me privately and which is on its way from England.
I need another pipe about as much as I need another fat roll. But my interest in pipes is as much about their history as much as it is about smoking them.



Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
Austin, TX
I'm more of a tobacco man myself and I am much more concerned about my cellar than I am my pipes. That being said, every now and then I get the "itch" to buy a new pipe but I haven't bought one since December of 2016 and plan on going all of 2017 without buying one. If I just simply don't look at pipes online then I don't feel the need to purchase one but if I find myself browsing Smoking Pipes for a pipe then I'm in trouble and I start thinking of ways I can get a Bruce Weaver and it just becomes an unhealthy obsession. I have way more pipes than I need anyway and these guys will last me my entire life but what good is a collection of pipes without some good tobacco to go with them?



Preferred Member
Jan 1, 2017
It's an affordable disorder. Logically I don't need to smoke at all and rationally I only need a few cobs and lifetime supply of Burley. But I enjoy many pipes and the time spent with them, or else they get shuffled off.



Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
Well, my reasons have evolved as I have. At first, I simply wanted 21 pipes for a seven day, three pipes per day, rotation. Once this was achieved, I wanted to upgrade to 21 "good" (or at least better) pipes. Having discovered that I really like the aesthetics and quality of two particular makers, I began a quest to acquire 7 from each of them. While this quest is still not fulfilled, I have discovered a third make that I have fallen for. So, when I have 7 from each, my goal will be to watch for better examples of them and upgrade when possible. Sunless I find a fourth love, my "collection" will probably remain around 30 or so pipes. 7 Castellos, 7 Jesse Jones pipes, and 7 Sasieni Four Dots plus 5 of my Dad's old pipes, a couple of beaters and something new to try if one tickles my fancy. No hard and fast rules, just short term goals. This could all go out the window tomorrow!



Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2010
I just counted. I have around 30 pipes. I know what I like and only "see" pipes that meet this criteria. This month I bought two pipes on eBay, since they were something I have wanted for a long time. The first was a full bent from a carver that I have followed for a long time, but never bid high enough. This was an estate. The second was a gourd calabash, like Sherlock Holmes smoked. This is my third meer pipe. I suspect I will continue to collect the Chicago Pipe Show slow smoke pipes.



Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
I'm enjoying the responses. Most especially because two caused an unexpected trip down memory lane. I had forgotten that my reasons for buying pipes have evolved over the years. My first pipe, a leather covered Ropp apple, was purchased, Woolworth's, Fairbanks, AK, mid-60s simply because I was sure the black leather would catch the eyes of the various coeds. That's truthful guys. If the pipe toting professors were getting all the ladies the, by God, I'd take on the pipe as well as the cigarettes.
Being blessed, or cursed, with an addictive personality, more pipes were acquired, not all the quickly.
I thank you for the bonus!
Oh! The coeds and my conquest of them? Another story for another day. It is a rather short story though.



Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2017
I enjoy the contraptions and seeing how they work. I am interested in the history. I really like restoring old pipes (and 'things' in general) I have about 50 pipes now, about half ready to smoke. The rest are works in progress or just waiting. Today I cleaned 6 of them (think I said 5 in another thread, but then I counted). I learned from those 6 and enjoyed the process of seeing how the different ones work and are made. The next part, making them pretty again, is more fun yet.



Junior Member
Dec 7, 2015
For me, frankly, its obsession. When I get an idea in my head, I usually can't stop thinking about it until its mine. Whether I can afford it or not. I'm like that with all of my hobbies. The pipe needs to "talk to me" though. I won't buy one if I don't like the look of it. I have 12 Pipes right now, but am always on the lookout for another.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Most of my pipes in recent years have been gifts, and extremely astute in their selection, so now with "too many" pipes on my racks and in my cabinet, even the pipes that take my fancy often are already mirrored in what I own. I admit that a highly interesting pipe at a startling low price does attract my eye, and I have enough experience now to know an "offer I can't refuse" when I see one. For a while I bought a pipe every month or two, but now I think I focus more on enjoying the pipes and tobacco I own. But sure, every once in a while, I slip.



Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
The best motivation occurs when your needs are met, but you see something beautiful and want to give it a home.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
Helena, Alabama
Great thread, Warren. And, I am more like Cortez. I see a pretty pipe that I envision loving and comitting to a symbiotic relationship. I don’t like the one night stand or old hags. Give me the pipes that are beautiful and I can foresee growing only with.

Not open for further replies.

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor