Would You Buy a Semi-Handmade Former For $530?

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Part of the Furniture Now
May 1, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
So Former makes a pipe that is very similar to the Eltang Copenhagen Collection and Sara Eltang Line, called the Former Signature Apple. The stummel and stem are premade, but the shaping and finishing is finished off by Hans. I was introduced to this pipe by @shaneireland after I watched @npod buy one at the West Coast Pipe Show. (If it wasn’t you, Neal, correct me. But I remember it being you buying one.)

The pipe immediately caught my eye, and Shane explained to me what it was. I have wanted one since, and almost pulled the trigger on one months ago, but it was brown and not black, like I prefer.

I have now noticed that they recently shot up over $100 in price, from around $400 to $531 (I can’t speak for how much they sell for on Smoking Pipes, because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one in stock there). There is no problem with a carver increasing prices - it’s a hard way to earn a living - however, I want to ask you guys: Is a partially handmade Former worth this price point? I still like them, but I have been pushed a little bit further away from considering one now. Would love to hear what Former owners think.
Mar 1, 2014
I just watched a 40 minute video of him taking a pipe from stummel to finished shaping, at those prices it doesn't sound like a hard way to make a living.
Of course that's the market, once you're well known you get to set your schedule.

For some people this is all chump change and those are probably his regular customers.
On my budget I would consider paying that price if I know the maker does everything exactly the way I want, but it's going to take a lot of research and long consideration.
(One way of gauging the value of personal interest is if I've spent enough time reading literature on something to have equalled the value of the object in work hours then I'd probably be willing to actually do the work to pay for it.)
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Feb 21, 2013
I would certainly consider what else you could get for that money, and consider if you want to spend that much on a pipe. If it is irresistible, that may be your answer, but then the question is, will it be irresistible the week after you take delivery? I'm not throwing shade, just lending perspective.
May 2, 2018
I’ve only paid 500$ once for a pipe. It was a Dunhill and when I was first starting out. I rarely smoked it as I cherished it more than enjoyed it. Since then I’ve realized that paying anything more that 200-300$ rarely improves the smoking experience. I’m sure others will disagree, but that’s what makes the world go round. ☕️


Jul 30, 2016
Vegas Baby!!!
I would think semi-handmade would apply to almost every pipe out there.
I disagree. A pipe made by one artisan is handmade. Using power equipment is still handmade in my books if one human is doing all the work. That’s what I’m paying for. I’m not paying for woodchuck bob to gnaw a pipe out and shape a stem with his fingernails.