What is a "Stinger" for?

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Durhamshire

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 31, 2024
140
253
UK
Have trried stingers and filters and I can't handle either. Know both are supposedly healthier, but just can't. I know the risks and smoke how I want, the way I enjoy
 
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Bbailey324

Lifer
Jun 29, 2023
1,404
17,377
Austin, TX
I find them to be pretty useless at best and worse at times. Mostly just cause condensation where it isn't needed. That said, I have several older Kaywoodie pipes with the large stinger and I do enjoy them. Might like them better without them but history and all.
 
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kcghost

Lifer
May 6, 2011
13,755
22,531
77
Olathe, Kansas
I have found them to be next to worthless, but they were supposed to eliminate moisture in the tobacco leaving a dryer and cooler smoke for the user.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,956
Humansville Missouri
Were I the King, there would be a one dollar tax on any new pipe without a removable airway metal filter (stinger).

We call them stingers today. In their day they were called metal filters or condensers.

They work, or else you’d not have to clean the gunk and tar off them.

The water they trap would have gone in your mouth, as would have the gunk and tar.

They also act to cool the smoke, however slightly.

And if removable you can take them out, which is what I’ve done for years.

My first bicycle had training wheels and I liked the training wheels, until I didn’t, then my father removed the training wheels.

The only objection to a removable stinger is cost.

When Kaywoodie was the 800 pound gorilla in the market the others added a removable stinger.
 

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
1,712
15,027
France
@Briar Lee Do you keep and use the stingers? Just curious as to your experiece with them.

Stingers here are a buck a piece. I imagine they last a long time before needing replacements. Ive had old worn out pipes and the stingers would still have worked if I bothered to clean them. Almost every old french pipe Ive seen has one. I like 9mm filters and the costs add up but so what I figure. Nothing much on top of paying for good tobacco in the EU. Here you may as well buy the good stuff because the crap stuff is also expensive....heavy tax. We dont have bulk tobacco so its always paying the cost of tins. You might save 3 bucks buying crap stuff vs good.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,956
Humansville Missouri
@Briar Lee Do you keep and use the stingers? Just curious as to your experiece with them.

Stingers here are a buck a piece. I imagine they last a long time before needing replacements. Ive had old worn out pipes and the stingers would still have worked if I bothered to clean them. Almost every old french pipe Ive seen has one. I like 9mm filters and the costs add up but so what I figure. Nothing much on top of paying for good tobacco in the EU. Here you may as well buy the good stuff because the crap stuff is also expensive....heavy tax. We dont have bulk tobacco so its always paying the cost of tins. You might save 3 bucks buying crap stuff vs good.

I still pick a penny up off the street.:)

So of course, I save the stingers.

Aluminum stingers outlast the pipes.

A steel one might rust.
 
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Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
1,712
15,027
France
I might have to give one a spin in a non filtered pipe. I know a lot of people hate them but I really prefer smoking with a 9mm filter. Its less steam and less to me any flavor it removes are flavors that mask some of the perique and other flavors in the tobacco.
 

Swiss Army Knife

Can't Leave
Jul 12, 2021
408
1,210
North Carolina
Frankly if you're getting so much steam along with the smoke that a stinger would help then you're doing something wrong.

Besides a 6mm balsa filter will do the same thing better.
 

Puffaluffaguss

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 30, 2021
665
2,137
32
The City Different
To be 💯 with myself and the community, Stingers have a purpose in which helped me learn to slow down my cadence. The first pipe with a stinger I own is a kaywoodie magnum 3-hole I think. The first time I smoked it I hated it and dumped the bowl in the trash and loaded up an Ashton. As I learned to smoke cooler and slower the stinger found its home with certain blends that tend to smoke hot. The way I can tell is because if it start to gurgle I'm smokeing wet if the bowl gets hot I'm smokeing to fast etc etc. So no they aren't a life changer or anything but It helped me. Freaking thing would burn my hand it got so hot, now I can smoke a whole bowl through to the bottom without it getting hot enough to feel the difference on my palm.
 
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Jun 9, 2015
3,975
24,731
42
Mission, Ks
Stinger is an industry term for a condenser. The idea was that a condenser would cool the smoke causing moisture to condense and drop out of the smoke and be trapped in the shank or "well". The end result would bea cooler drier smoke. Condenser materials varied from aluminum to bone and vulcanite. In theory they are sound science, in practice they are not so straight forward.

They can be categorized into a few different things.

Integral- a stinger that is a non-removable part of the tenon, often having screw threads that interact with the mortise.
Removable- a stinger that is interference fit or threaded into a tenon. These can be removed from the pipe without affecting functionality.

Both can also be sub categorized as,

Straight through- meaning the smoke path is inline with the tenon/draft hole
Tangent- meaning that the smoke path deviates from the path between the tenon/ draft hole.
 

Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
2,574
32,099
Casa Grande, AZ
The majority of my smoking is done in old Kaywoodies, and to a lesser extent Lee’s.
I have a collection, but am by no means a collector-therefore I have integral stingers, cut integral stingers and pipes with removable stingers removed.
Pipes with stingers (cut, removed, and intact) all tend to gather moisture at the attachment fixture of stem to shank. Dissimilar materials and disruption in airflow probably is the cause (I’m no engineer).
I like these pipes because stinger or not, I can unscrew them and blow out the collected moisture mid-smoke when necessary, wether or not I have a pipe cleaner handy. Conventional mortise/tenon I need to keep a cleaner for gurgles, and I smoke fast enough that I can get a gurgle in almost any pipe.
To the point of me not claiming collector status, I do tinker with pipes with intact stingers. I usually will file the airway opening on the stinger to allow the max airflow possible, but leave the stinger intact. If a pipe is received with a cut stinger, I will cleanup and chamfer the neutered remains for best airflow as well.

Here’s two examples I happen to be carrying in my lunchbox that will be seeing 2-3 smokes each today.
First is a KW Drinkless that I’ve opened up the draft hole on the existing stinger, and second is a KW 7409 Thorn that came to me with stinger cut-I actually just chamfered and cleaned it up this morning before seeing this thread.
93209450-7A07-49F3-BD4B-EC0B40AEBE3E.jpeg03774846-6D51-4B39-8D03-CC5E6E336052.jpeg
I make such modifications because I’m not worried about resale value, I just get a kick out of smoking old American pipes as daily beaters in the same manner of use most members here reserve for cobs (and these old briars take the beating actually as well, if not better than my cobs).

As always, YMMV, and the only person that’s gotta like what you choose to do you’ll find in the mirror😉
 
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