Tapping out ash...

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Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
Never found the need. I don't pack very tight and the ember rarely needs ant more than the occasional tap from my finger to burn to the bottom of the chamber.
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Oct 13, 2021

When you’re halfway down a bowl, or less, do you loosen up the smoked tobacco (now ash) and tap it out into an ash tray? If so, do you then tamp down what's left and re-light?

Not since I started smoking Petersons with a reservoir...


Can't Leave
May 22, 2022
NW Connecticut
Similar to several others above I generally leave the ash as long as I can (re-lighting thru built up ash as needed), then close to the bottom when that no longer works I use the pick on my pipe tool to simply loosen accumulated ash and just dump whatever comes out via gravity method (no "tapping" per se). A quick relight (minimal/no tamping) and I'm usually "good-to-go" until the end...
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Dec 7, 2021
I do dump ash sometimes on the two blends I smoke the most which are Pegasus and sir Walter Raleigh. They’re dry and easy to get lit. If I’m smoking a flake tobacco I tend to not dump as often because it’s easier to relight with a bit of ash on top. But these are not hard and fast rules and it’s more of an intuitive thing.
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Reactions: FLDRD and Sgetz


Aug 3, 2022
SF Bay Area, California
As you can tell by the replies, it depends...

Sometimes tamped ash will choke the ember and the pipe won't burn properly, that's generally when I get rid of it. I stir just the top, ashy part, and invert the bowl. Most of the ash falls out, then most times I'll blow across the top of the bowl to get the finer stuff out.

Works well for me and unlike a cigar, I've found it only improves flavor. Just try a bunch of stuff and figure out what works for you.

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Briar Lee

Sep 4, 2021
Humansville Missouri
I seldom dump ash until the end of the smoke.

If I do it right, I can taste when I’m done, and simply flick the pipe when upside down over an ashtray and the ember falls out, with all the ashes.


Sep 30, 2022
I often have to dump ash during a smoke. If it is right in the middle of the smoke, then what comes after is not nearly as tasty, usually. So I could see how some would just stop there.

But some tobaccos still taste decent after the halfway point.

When I do it, I use the pick to gently loosen the fine ash, then I turn upside down and dump. I may do this again, if I discover there is some fine ash even deeper in there.

I then tamp, trying just a little to bring down the sides, if they are up too high.

However, I have learned NOT to stir the sides down, because apparently that usually lets down fine stuff that then obstructs the draught hole.

I definitely come across the situation often where a relight is difficult. This is usually where there's too much ash built up, and dumping the ash makes it light easily.

But ... I've just been at this a year, so my technique may be missing some crucial elements that the vets do well.
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