Using Filters - or Not?

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donperique

New member
Jan 11, 2019
22
0
I just come back from smoking a pipe outside in the sun - to enjoy the first warming moments of the year. But - it wasn't a pleasure smoke at all. I forgot to put a filter inside the pipe so it became a very harsh and bitter break for me. In Europe, especially German, smoking with filter is standard - but I heard things look quite different in other countries or parts of the world.
So what is your opinion about the use of filters?

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
4
UK
I don't like them. They mute the flavours terribly for me to the point where I feel smoking is pointless.
However, there is always an exception and that is the Savinelli balsa system. I don't think they really are filters in the truest sense of the word and they really only serve as moisture sponges as far as I'm concerned. That's probably why I don't mind them but I don't buy them anymore. I just use the adapter in my Savinelli's.

 

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trouttimes

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
1,911
3,324
I am starting to like the balsa filters but I agree that they are more of a sponge. I have learned to change them after 1 or 2 smokes or things get bad.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
17
Raleigh, NC
+1 on the balsa system.
I don't use filters regularly as like others have said, they mute the flavors for me. I will throw on in if something I smoke is harsh and I know it, but typically all of my pipes go filterless! The balsa system is quite nice though. I was recently gifted a Savinelli that came with them and have used them a few times. They tend to help control the moisture and reduce tongue bite if a blend is heavily prone to it or if I get to smoking too fast, which happens on a really good blend from time to time. They will get wet, but pulling them out after the pipe cools and rinsing them, followed by letting them dry allows for several uses until they get too worse for the wear. Once I run out, I might buy more just to have some on hand, but I'll probably switch over to the adapter.

 

luigi

Member
May 16, 2017
294
392
I'm using filters quite often and change them after every bowl. The charcoal ones will mute the flavours a bit, the balsa ones will not.

I'm a "wet smoker" so smoking without any makes more troubles than good. However, some selected top notch tobaccos have a privilege to be smoked from a non filtered pipes, it costs me a pipe cleaner or two but it usually pays off.

 

donperique

New member
Jan 11, 2019
22
0
@ trouttimes, carolinachurchwarden
Good idea, I should try Balsa filters too - instead of the common activated carbon ones.
I think filter reduce a certain amount of tar, which isn't a component I really like to taste ...

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
28,090
4,920
I don't regularly use filters since I smoke a bowl or two a day at the most, some days none, right now none at all for dental work. They can be employed for situations where you will smoke much more than usual, like at a pipe show, club, or shop. Some Europeans always use them, for health reasons mostly, I think. I have mostly non-filter or adaptors in my pipes. If they work for you, I'd use them, if you can enjoy somewhat muted flavor and like the idea.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,815
333
I don't. I've never tried one. I don't want more thingies and gizmos to carry around than necessary and pipe smoking requires enough of those already.

 

seldom

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2018
971
624
Germany
My impression is that filters are generally unpopular in the United States but popular in Europe.
For what it's worth I sometimes use a filter but mostly not these days. For me its as much an issue of creating rubbish as anything. Carelessly discarded cigarette butts, especially in places like playgrounds and especially when my young child is found to be playing with them, really annoy me. I like that the amount of rubbish produced by pipe smoking can be comparatively small. The pipe filters I used include plastic. Disposable plastic is something I identify as a real problem in the world.

 

wolflarsen

Senior Member
Jul 29, 2018
333
334
I've never used filters but have a few packs of the Savinelli balsa ones that come with their pipes when you buy them new. A few months ago, on a whim, I put one in a pipe and smoked a bowl. I was surprised to discover that I liked it. It was only one bowl but I felt like the smoke was more dry and just as flavorful. I was also surprised by how soggy the thing was after the smoke. I kinda forgot about the whole thing and haven't tried it again since. Maybe I will today. Thanks for the reminding me!

 

acidpox

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2018
412
180
I use a filter in only one of my pipes, a Dr. Grabow Royal Duke, I use it for Aeros only and I find the filter soaks up a lot of moisture, caused by me smoking too fast sometimes.

 

elpfeife

Preferred Member
Dec 25, 2013
1,131
40
I have used some filters lately. Besides the balsa, there are some meerschaum filters made in Germany that I like from my limited use. They definitely seem better than the charcoal filters as far as flavor goes.

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
3,973
3,536
I like them. I don't always use them. I started using the Dr Perl Jr filters for my Vauen, but as soon as they got a bit moist they started giving off an upleasant plasticky taste. No more taste of tobacco from then on, only filter. I now smoke my Vauen with an adapter.
I too, once forgot to put the adapter in the Vauen and had a horrible experience, from the charring light I got nothing but harshness and dreadful tongue bite. I had to stop mid-bowl. When I took off the mouthpiece I found out why: no filter or adapter was in place. I don't think 9mm filter pipes can function as impromptu reverse calabashes, at least not for me, so nie wieder. Filter or adapter from now on.
On filtered cobs I use either the Medico or balsa. I prefer balsa.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,501
237
seldom you got that right. Europe is really big on filters, and most of the pipers I have met around here like them. A few conosours do demonize them, but the norm is filter. I for one have smoked filter less, but for reasons that I have explained in the past, I do like my 9 mm ceramics and the 6 mm balsa.

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
3,973
3,536
Which brand of 9mm do you use, Madox?
I was thinking of trying something other than the Dr Perl and see if the taste issue goes away.

 

scloyd

Preferred Member
May 23, 2018
2,685
1,274
I use the balsa filters in my two Savinellis and I change the filter after every smoke. I only smoke my Savinellis maybe 4-5 times a month.

 

recluse

Member
Sep 11, 2011
146
0
So what is your opinion about the use of filters?
I'm not a fan. They undermine the flavor of the tobacco, and it's an additional piece of kit to have to deal with.

 

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