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Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,712
Winnipeg
Anybody like them?

I see some Kaywoodies I like the looks of, but the only one I ever owned—which was a nice sandblasted pot—I got rid of, because the stinger just seemed to condense moisture and lead to gurgling. I admit I didn't spend a lot of time with that pipe. Before you respond by saying I need to dry my tobacco more...please...just don't. The question is, do you like stingers? Do they work for you? Do they serve a purpose? Seems like a lot of them were produced. Must have been a reason for 'em.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,427
52,190
Mostly I just pull the removable ones out and file them in a small plastic bag with others. The one stinger pipe I regularly smoke is a Kaywoodie Drinkless Ruff-Tone that uses the the stinger as a screw-on to attach the stem. To my surprise, it cleans quickly, and gives a good smoke, so I almost don't notice it. If it was easily removable, I'd remove it, but I'm happy with it as is. Incidentally, Kaywoodie has since gone to push bits on all its former stinger pipes. So I don't particularly want stingers, remove them when I can, but have no problem with the one I own.
 
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georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,072
6,998
Gimmick marketing.

Yup.

In the mid-20th century 20% of the adult male population in the US smoked a pipe.

Being simple-in-concept objects---briar bowl + stem---made market visibility for your brand really difficult. Everyone was selling the same thing.

Enter gimmick plumbing. (Most humans make decisions based on emotion, and internal gadgetry "felt right" to new smokers and those who never really liked pipe smoking but did it because it was the Fashionable Thing).

When pipe smoking's popularity tanked in the 1970's, so did 90% of the companies that made "drugstore" pipes, and so did gimmick plumbing.
 

Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,712
Winnipeg
The one stinger pipe I regularly smoke is a Kaywoodie Drinkless Ruff-Tone that uses the the stinger as a screw-on to attach the stem.
The one Kaywoodie I did own had the same screw attachment and the stinger was not removable. It sounds like that's not the norm?
 

Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,712
Winnipeg
Gimmick marketing.
Yeah but if they sucked wouldn't it have immediately backfired as a marketing gimmick? Seems like they were around for a while. Some people must have liked them. (?) I haven't ever heard anything good said about them though on this forum. I'm wondering if anyone will defend them as a good idea.
 
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Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,712
Winnipeg
When I look up stinger on pipedia.com, it looks like a lot of companies used them. Who originated them?
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,072
6,998
Yeah but if they sucked wouldn't it have immediately backfired as a marketing gimmick? Seems like they were around for a while. Some people must have liked them. (?) I haven't ever heard anything good said about them though on this forum. I'm wondering if anyone will defend them as a good idea.

They were---and are---an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.

They don't cause problems or fix them.
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,072
6,998
Then, like now, new smokers wanted to believe there were shortcuts to learning how to smoke a pipe.

Bingo again.

Learning to smoke a pipe is not natural or easy for anyone. Only around 5% of those who start are still at it two years later.

So, back when smoking a pipe was Trendy & Cool, anything that seemed like a shortcut was hard to resist. Honey to bees.
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,072
6,998
Don't they interrupt the airflow and create more surface area for condensation to accumulate? My impression is they do cause problems and that's why they went the way of the Dodo.

I'm pretty sure that sort of analysis wouldn't prove to be true in a large scale double blind study.

If air can travel from chamber to button in a sufficient amount, the pipe will smoke no matter how many "obstacles" are in its way.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
38,515
85,258
Don't they interrupt the airflow and create more surface area for condensation to accumulate? My impression is they do cause problems and that's why they went the way of the Dodo.
Yes

They can sometimes block the passage of a pipe cleaner.
 

Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,712
Winnipeg
If air can travel from chamber to button in a sufficient amount, the pipe will smoke no matter how many "obstacles" are in its way.
Sure it'll smoke, but not well. Otherwise, why all the talk about "engineering", and "open draw". It seems like a stinger would make for a shitty smoker. No? Or do all pipes smoke the same?
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,072
6,998
Sure it'll smoke, but not well. Otherwise, why all the talk about "engineering", and "open draw". It seems like a stinger would make for a shitty smoker. No? Or do all pipes smoke the same?

Why all the talk, indeed.

I think it's mostly 25 years of pipe forums doing the fractal thing. Pipes ARE pretty simple, and if you didn't "deep dive" subjects conversation would die after a while. Human nature did the rest.

What am I basing that on? I've known pipes with .110" diameter airways that smoked no differently than ones with .177" airways. That's 2.57 times the volume of air moving from the chamber to the button with each puff.

I've also known pipes with massively off-line drilling that smoked really well, and perfectly aligned ones that wouldn't stay lit if you squirted gasoline on the tobacco.

And so on.

The longer/more you smoke a pipe, the more you realize that craftsmanship is only a general indicator of smoking quality AT BEST. Good craftsmanship and/or internal alignment(s) probably improves a pipe's CHANCES of it being a good smoker, but it guarantees nothing.

Why? Because there are too many variables in play with every smoke: Ambient air temperature, ambient humidity, tobacco brand, tobacco label, tobacco lot number, tobacco moisture level, and so forth all combinatorially churned with pipe dimensions, angles, hole sizes, and etc. which is then churned AGAIN by the smoker himself. Puff rate, puff strength, the angle the pipe is held/clenched, how cool is it allowed to get between re-lights, and so on.

Oh yeah... there's also the Placebo Effect. Expectation modifying experience. It's very real. Not imaginary. And there are a thousand reasons someone could have different expectations about a given pipe.

Still more: the smoker's mood overall, what he last ate or drank, and how long ago he consumed it.

Anyway, you get the idea.
 
I don’t disagree that a stinger is unnecessary, but I never remove them. It is important for me to keep each pipe as I found it. I de notice that some of my pipes with stingers a Tutsi collect a lot of oils and tar on the stingers. That is oil and tar kept from me.

To those who simply hate stingers, well, what can I say. It is really such a small thing.