Good Smoker

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by Peach21, Jan 22, 2012.

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  1. Peach21

    Peach21 Member

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    I hear this term all the time in the forum. I'm interested to find out what characteristics define a good smoker from some of our more seasoned members. At this point I'm not able to identify which of my 15 or so pipes meet that definition, if any?
     
  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    IMHO, the pipe that "gets out of the way of the tobacco" is a good smoker. That means a perfectly neutral pipe (such as a meerschaum or clay), a pipe that doesn't produce gurgles or add a sour taste to the mix. A pipe that has good pipe physics such as the draft hole perfectly at the bottom of the bowl and properly centered (although I have had some good smokers that weren't centered). There are also things like balance (the weight on your teeth/jaw), aesthetics, handfeel... all are things that subtly impact your mind and add to the smoking experience.

    But really, a good smoking pipe is one that you enjoy smoking. If you find yourself reaching for it often, it's a good smoker.
     
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  3. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Your good smoker might be my so-so pipe. If it is drilled properly, with properly seasoned briar, then it will deliver a good smoke. The carve your own kits sold by reputable sellers are good smokers without any further carving. Almost everything else is aesthetics, from the look of the grain, the shape, the feel in your hand, etc. Bottom line, if you enjoy it, it is by definition a good smoker.
     
  4. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    For me a good smoker is a pipe with an effortless draw (good engineering), properly cured and processed briar (purged of impurities and resins) and a comfortable bit/stem.
     
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  5. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    That is sig worthy!
     
  6. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    I'll second that!
    Especially a good draw is most important! It's my belief that the smoke canal in the shank of most pipes is drilled too tightly. I redrill them to 3/16" and the smoking qualities dramatically improve regardless of make or brand!:bing:
     
  7. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    I'll offer a sort of reverse definition. I hear people say things like "This pipe is a good smoker - I just need to run a pipecleaner in it 2 or 3 times a smoke so it doesn't gurgle." or "This here pipe is an excellent smoker. I guess it gets a bit hot, and I have a tough time keeping it lit, but it smokes good." Well... what the hell is that supposed to mean?

    To me, when I say "good smoker" I mean a pipe that doesn't gurgle under ordinary smoking conditions (most pipes will gurgle if you burn too hot/fast), a pipe that doesn't overheat, that doesn't taste awful, doesn't leave a big wet pile of tobacco at the bottom...that seems to smoke without much effort and rewards the user with a pleasant time. Now, a lot of this is about technique, and even a perfectly good pipe can be smoked improperly. But all things being equal, some pipes seem to function better than others.

    It's perfectly possible, Peach, that all your pipes are "good smokers". It's also possible that they are mediocre and that you would notice an improvement if you bought a "better" pipe, but I can't answer that for you because I don't know the kind of experiences you are having.

    How you smoke, what you smoke, how you pack it.... these probably have more to do with the resulting smoke than the pipe itself UNTIL you master them, and then you can start to make judgments about individual pipes.
     
  8. bigpoppamike100

    bigpoppamike100 Member

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    Yup, a good smoking pipe to me is, A pipe the does not gurgle. is easy draw on, it is not to heavy in the mouth and sits nice in the hand. I also notice some pipes stay lit alot easier then others. I'm not sure why, I've try the same packing method, same tobacco and it just comes down to, a pipe that stays lit fairly easy is a pipe for me, well I just wanted to chim in on this topic and give my thoughts thanks
     
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  9. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Easy draw, no gurgle, no funky pipe imparted flavor, smokes cool, good fit and finish, and good balance. While primarily a matter of good craftsmanship, it is also partially subjective on the part of the smoker because what I think is a good smoking pipe might not appeal to another pipe smoker.
     
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  10. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    That pretty well sums it up in my book!
     
  11. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    A good draw, smokes cool and no gurgle. Still figuring out the rest.
    I have one pipe that gurgles like a water fountain. It drives me crazy.
     
  12. Peach21

    Peach21 Member

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    The gurgling is the worst, especially when running a cleaner thru the stem doesn't solve the problem. That's what I like most about cobs. No gurgle. Thanks for all your inputs.
     
  13. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    This is all well and good, but some descriptions sound like we are looking for the "perfect" pipe. Ain't gonna happen. all of my pipes will gurgle, refuse to stay lit. scorch my hand and mouth, etc..... Sometimes.
    And then the next smoke out of one will be heavenly. I am not sure, but maybe those less than satisfactory times is more about my performance than the pipes. But I have also had pipes that just could not be salvaged. Briar does make a nice firewood.
     
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  14. Ol Brokedik

    Ol Brokedik Active Member

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    It's the pipe that gives me a quality smoke 99% of the time. I'm a clencher, so it's a pipe that can dangle out there without jacking up my jaws. If I was a vain man, it would be any pipe that makes my face look better.
     
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