How much is too much?

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by KN092011, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. KN092011

    KN092011 Member

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    ...to pay for a pipe that is. I was perusing a few websites that sell estate pipes and stumbled across a Dunhill estate pipe that was listed for $1800, original price was $2300. It was #4 of only 500 made so clearly it was a rare pipe and falls into the collecting category. However, I got into pipe smoking because I enjoy it and because of the nostalgia of it (grandfather/father/then me). Considering my pipes range from $7 to $100, I can't wrap my head around spending that kind of money and not being able to smoke it. I grasp the rarity of the make and likely the rarity of the briar it was made from (Amber Root Christmas Pipe) but it just blows my mind. If I spend that kind of money on something, I want to use the dang thing!

    All that to say, what's your limit?
     
  2. Tate

    Tate Member

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    If I was a billionaire I might drop thousands on a pipe. There are people out there that can do that with no problem. Collectors who place great value on their collections will. Kinda like asking what will you spend on a comic book? Honestly. Is that first edition worth six figures? To some people it is despite it being NO BETTER then a copy that you can read exactly the same.

    Personally, within my own budget and my own life, my upper limit is around 500 bucks a pipe. That would be for something really special. My most expensive pipe was 200 dollars. A BST billiard that I enjoy alright. I got my best smoking pipe on ebay for 175. I've got enough pipes now that I think I'm honestly done. I have no real desire to buy anymore. I cannot possibly cycle all my pipes in a single week even if I tried really hard.
     
  3. GlassEye

    GlassEye Member

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    I would smoke it, it is just a piece of wood with two holes in it if you don't use it to burn some tobacco. My limit for a pipe, right now, would be around $200 or so, but I have yet to get close, with a few good estate deals and Falcons I don't need to yet.

    I have no problem using and sharpening hand-made kitchen knives worth $400 or more, some of which cannot be replaced (the smiths have passed away or retired). So I am saying: what is the point if it doesn't serve the purpose it was designed for? I would think the craftsperson who made the item would be happy to know it is being used as it was designed for, that their work is being enjoyed as it was meant to be.

    Plus, you look so much cooler if you actually smoke the pipe you paid 1800 for rather than letting it sit in a glass box.
     
  4. KN092011

    KN092011 Member

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    I meant to add too how it's interesting that this limit and our perspective changes over time. I bought my first pipe in college; paid $100 for it and felt I was buying a "top of the line", high end pipe. Bought my next pipe almost 10 yrs later and felt the $60 Sav I was buying was just an entry level pipe. The $200-$300 pipes were the "good" ones, but the really good ones were $500+ and way beyond my reach. Then I did some more learning and now I realize (for me at least) that the quality of the pipe is not tied to its price but rather how well it smokes and what it means to you (I have my grandfathers pipes, probably cost him $5 each in the 70s but to me they are priceless). Don't get me wrong, quality and price are interrelated, but I just don't put as much stock in price = quality; my $7 cob smokes pretty dang good but I wouldn't necessarily show it off to my friends.

    If I had the money, I could see buying something in the $300 range. I probably would only do it once, but it's not out of the question.
     
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  5. KN092011

    KN092011 Member

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    Haha! I like it!
     
  6. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    There isn't a good answer to this question, and it's been debated frequently on this forum.

    For one thing, you mentioned that you wouldn't spend that much on a pipe you couldn't smoke. Well, a Dunhill Amber Root Christmas pipe would probably be a fantastic smoker, as most Dunhills are. So I don't see why you couldn't smoke it; I know I certainly would! A pipe like that is priced high because, A) it's a Dunhill, and B) it's a very limited edition Dunhill. There are people who really love Dunhill pipes and memorabilia. I happen to be one of those people, but I can't afford a Christmas pipe or anything. Still, it's worth whatever someone will pay for it.

    My personal limit on a pipe depends on my finances at the time. So far, the most I've ever spent on a pipe was $200 on a BST/Sasquatch custom made pipe that is tied (with a Dunhill) as my best smoker. I would say my limit, with my current income vs. financial obligations status, would be $300. There are pipes that are worth more than that to me, but I can't have them because I don't have the scratch. I can buy $200 pipes, but I never have enough money sitting around at one time to buy, say, a $600 pipe. There are pipes that I really want (like Michael Parks pipes) that I can't have, but maybe someday I'll be able to get the money together. Remember, your pipes will probably outlive you, and there is almost always a market for well-kept estate pipes, so a pipe is not such a bad thing to spend your money on, especially if it gives you enjoyment.
     
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  7. Texhealer

    Texhealer Active Member

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    Two to three hundred would probably be my limit currently, what would give a bigger thrill would be finding #5 in a junk shop for $19.99 and then using it like a borrowed mule.
     
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  8. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Too much is when you are robbing from the grocery or rent money to pay for a pipe. It has been pretty much established after a certain point you are paying for something more than just a tobacco incinerator. You are paying for name, reputation, craftsmanship, snob appeal, what have you. The fun comes in deciding where that point is.
     
  9. inkybat

    inkybat Active Member

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    It's like every industry, I think, there are times when a a lot of money is well spent on a craftsman's product that will last generations and there are other times the money is spent on the prestige of a certain brand, which may or may not be well designed and crafted. I think of a company like Filson as a clothing company where you are primarily paying for the quality and assurance that comes with that brand, and I think of Gucci as a brand where you are paying for the status that comes with the brand and the quality is besides the point.

    I also think we all have our own personal limits on what we'd spend, depending on income, our philosophies, our personal histories etc. I think I'd stay under the 200 dollar range... At least that's where I am right now.

    Another thing is, and one I think about a lot, is how much is too much for tobacco? I went to buy some new Frog Morton the other day at a local tobacco shop but it was almost 20 dollars more than what I could get it for online....I bought something else instead. It looks like the Amazon Effect is spreading to pipes and tobacco.....
     
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  10. highstump

    highstump Active Member

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    This is pretty much right where I'm sitting too. Most folk's take on this question is going to be a tiny bit different here and there. Speaking strictly for myself, even after 40 odd years at this I'm not convinced that I could appreciate the difference between a $200 pipe and a $600 pipe. I'm not saying there is no difference; just that I personally probably wouldn't be able see $400 worth of difference. :cfsd:
     
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  11. Russell Hartman

    Russell Hartman Stay Silver

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    EXACTLY what DGErwin said. He has summed up my personal definition of where to draw the line. I have in the past saved for a VERY long time to pt maoney aside for a pipe or so.
    My family and basic life needs such as heat, food and such come first. If you find yourself robbing money from those needs--well in my house the wife would go nuts on me.
    Each person must define for themselves where that dividing line is at. We all have different stations in life as far as levels of income, and just how much we can afford to spend on pipe stuff.
    As DGErwin said--thats where the fun comes in trying to decide what to do---Just DO NOT allow yorself to rob from funds that are for family needs--bills etc. that need paid. Lets face it PAD can be a dangerous thing if not kept in check. My wife REALLY keeps me grounded with controlling PAD, and TAD.
     
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  12. craig

    craig Active Member

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    my limit is 50 pounds, i could have a higher limit but to be honest i dont see the point of me owning a really expensive pipe, im happy with my falcons and and alco, and im happy with the smoking pleasure they give me.
    when it comes to expensive briars, im a little dubious as to what i would be paying for, would i be paying for a good smoking pipe with impeccable finish or just paying for a name and label and something which doesnt smoke all that well.
    least with what i smoke now i know im getting something that to me looks good and smokes better and as i always say if it aint broken dont fix it
     
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  13. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    $12.00 now - maybe $250 back when.

    I'm briared and meered up for eternity. A few bucks above retail for the right MM cob now and then. Awww... I'd go $100 or so for bargain on a Brakner. Hope this is helpful.
     
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  14. bubbagump

    bubbagump Well-Known Member

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    One of mine (the Altinok) was about $220 with shipping. For me...that is a LOT of money to spend on a pipe. When I was thinking it over...I sat down, thought about it, and decided that I would get a lot of enjoyment out of it. That's how I justified it. If I didn't think that I would smoke it frequently and enjoy it, I wouldn't have ordered it.

    So far, I've put 30+ bowls through it in less than a month and I thoroughly enjoy just looking at it/checking it out. To me...it's a work of art that I'm able to enjoy/appreciate every time I take it out of the case.

    I doubt that I'll ever drop that kind of money on a pipe again though.
     
  15. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    Helpful as ever, Moo.
     
  16. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    So far, $50 plus hipping for the POY. I haven't seen anything that will make me go over that with my current income. If I had a well-paying job, I might go as high as $2-300 for a custom job from a carver.
     
  17. JuJu McMojo

    JuJu McMojo Member

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    "...if you have to ask, you can't afford it."
    H. Hughes
     
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