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How many in-rotation pipes needed?

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#1
Some people say a pipe needs to rest a day or three between smokes.

Some people say you need different pipes for different blends or blend types, to keep the flavors from getting mixed.

It makes sense to me that if you smoke a strong vanilla blend or other strong flavoring, it should get a pipe of its own (or pipes, depending on how often you smoke that blend and if you like to rest pipe between bowls).

I can also see keeping pipes dedicated to Perique and, separately, Cypriot/Oriental/Latakia/Turkish (COLT) blends.

I'm not convinced about the need for separate pipes for Virginia vs Burley, fire/flue vs air-cured, flake vs ribbon.

It seems to me that if I swab out a pipe after use, it's ready to go again. I'm not considering trying to get it to last for 100 years. If it is ruined in some way in 10 years, I'll get another. But I could be wrong...

Since I don't smoke COLT tobaccos, it seems the minimum for me is 3 pipes - flavored, Perique, other. The maximum, since I might smoke 6-8 bowls a day, is 24 pipes - which seems high to me. Maybe the people who rest pipes for a day or longer mainly smoke one blend or type or just don't mind smoking different things in the same pipe.

What the WOOF (Wisdom Of Old Farts) on this?
/Lee
 

DGErwin11

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#3
3 -4 would be a good minimum. The upper limit is going to vary for each of us. With budget being the big determinant. Of course, if you chain smoke from morning to night, you would need more pipes. I often smoke the same pipe all day, 10 to 12 bowls with no problems. Give it a day or two to rest and fire it up again.
 
#4
96 pipes is a good number .. I'd shoot for that :beck:

How many pipes do you have now ?
Six, but only 3 I am using. I decided long ago that Peterson made very functional pipes in enough styles that I could just stick to them. I feel no urge to revisit that. I started with two XL-size system pipes, but they were discarded due to their weight and bulk. I moved to the little 317s, and was smoking a pair of them when I quit for a number of years. I also still have one "nice" pipe, my wife's gift, a Sherlock Holmes Mycroft, left over from that time.

Recently, I started again, and enjoyed the experience, but found the 317's bowl to be too small, and often too hot to the hand for me, as is the 31 I have from back then (the one straight Peterson system pipe).

So I bought a pair of 314s (premier grade), the next "size up" in that shape, and I enjoy them, along with the Mycroft.

To sum up, I have a 317, a 31, and an even smaller Peterson tankard in a bag (not in use). I have 2 314s and the Mycroft in use. One of the 314s is dedicated to flavored blends. It's loaded with CAO Bella Vanilla right now.

I also have in transit a deluxe Darwin to use as a "house pipe". I thought the B42 bowl and the stout deluxe stem went well together. So that will be 4 pipes in the rotation.

And I'm looking at a Premier / Star 312 to try the longer stem (vs the 314), a Silver Mounted Supreme #69, the Mark Twain pair (mainly for the bent one), and a Sherlock Holmes Professor, perhaps in meershaum...sigh. I think I have the disease.
 
#6
3 -4 would be a good minimum. The upper limit is going to vary for each of us. With budget being the big determinant. Of course, if you chain smoke from morning to night, you would need more pipes. I often smoke the same pipe all day, 10 to 12 bowls with no problems. Give it a day or two to rest and fire it up again.
Do you smoke very different blends in the same pipe, or do you mainly stick with one type of tobacco?
 

daveinlax

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#7
One, I've known many pipe smokers who smoke one pipe all day every day till it's burned out or broken and are perfectly happy. For them it's a habit not a hobby. :confused:
 

Longshanks

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#8
I think the final answer to this question always revolves around money, but keep visual variety in mind. If you are limited to about $100 for pipes you could afford 20 cob pipes and enjoy whichever tobaccos you have in stock whenever you want. If price is no object, then the number 96 offered above could also be a legitimate answer, and those could all be high end varietal pipes, each set aside for your different tobacco flavors.

I like to rest my pipes for 24 hours after 1-3 bowls per pipe. That would require 2-3 pipes per day in your case, or 4 - 8 total on your pipe rack. Of course, saving a pipe for a specific tobacco would increase the number of pipes you'd keep.

I work on the road a lot and carry a pipe kit with 5-7 pipes in rotation. I might only get 2 smokes a day, so the pipes get 1-2 days of rest at minimum. I carry similar tobaccos with me, so I don't have to worry about overbearing flavors offending each other. That being said, I don't limit my number to the number of bowls I'll burn in a day, and my tastes stretch beyond the Carter Hall and Prince Albert shown in the kit below - though they are tried and true flavors that I enjoy regularly. I'm traveling today and carrying Escudo, Orlik Golden Slice and Irish Oak with me. The humble (low end) rack shown below has pipes that I've picked up here and there. Each provides visual variety to the experience regardless of the tobacco variety. And I think you'll find visual variety important when choosing the number of pipes in your rotation.



 
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#10
One, I've known many pipe smokers who smoke one pipe all day every day till it's burned out or broken and are perfectly happy. For them it's a habit not a hobby. :confused:
I'm an ex-cigarette smoker, and I have nothing against nicotine. In fact, I like it. It's one of the more harmless addictions (the nicotine itself). And I like the habit / ritual of smoking, too - I find it relaxing.
 

Deckard

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#13
I'm a firm believer in the necessity of resting your pipes, but I don't think you can judge that solely in time. Moisture is the real killer here and if the heel of your pipe is still a bit soggy from the last smoke the next one is gonna taste off. So when in doubt stick your little finger down there and see if it needs a little more time to dry out. Your minimum number will depend on how often you want to smoke and IMO where you live. I think a smoker in Georgia will find he needs more pipes than another in New Mexico.

I don't smoke that much anymore because of a combination of work, winter in Syracuse, and my dwindling tobacco supply. I do believe in dedicating pipes so I've only got two briars for the blends I've still got stocked. Its not an issue though as I only find time and will to brave the cold maybe once a week.
 
#14
I think where I'm coming out is to buy the pipes that strike me for their irresistable beauty - and also buy as many Peterson 312s or 314s as needed to have a dry, un-cross-flavored pipe available at all times.

I can live with that :).
 

Eric Pierson

Resident Giant
Patron
#15
Take what you have then Add a lot more and then more, I haven't run out of reasons to get another one yet. Once you have your rotation set, then you need one of each shape, then You need one from each pipe maker. The. You need one of each shape from each pipe maker.

I really don't subscribe to the "your pipes need rest theory," but its really cool to have more pipes. Lol
 

TheKiltedOne

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#16
I would guess that my pipes number in the high teens low twentys, I don't want to count it's safer not to know.

However I usually pick one pipe for a day and smoke it for the duration. That could be one tobacco all day or a different one each time and the number of bowls smoked could vary from 1+.

I will add here that I have been known to swap my pipe out during the day but that's just because I want too and not for any specific reason. As for resting, I try to leave they for a few days but not for any specific length of time and I have been known to smoke the same pipe more than one day at a time.


P.S. I really recommend at least trying a Corn Cob, they are great smokers. Especially if you want lots of pipes to dedicate them all.
 
#17
In addition to the one-day rule, here are the things that have blown up my pipe collection:

1) Dedicating pipes to different blend types. Since I don't really smoke aromatics any more, it's really latakia blends and then everything else. If you smoke Lakeland blends, you'll want pipes dedicated to that.

2) Size. Smoke in enough different situations, and you'll want small, medium and large bowls for each blend type.

3) The "travel team." I'm not going to take my Castellos and Tim Wests to the annual drunk-fest at the beach or to work. For smoking situations not involving my back porch, I look for good, solid seconds from established makers (Savinelli, Comoy, GBD, Stanwell, etc.). If you don't mind restoring them, you can frequently find these for under $20 on eBay. But again, I'm looking to dedicate pipes to blend types, and in a variety of sizes.

And you'll always want a cob or two. Just because.
 
#18
Isn't size mainly related to how long each bowl lasts? At this early point, I think I can postpose going the multiple size bowls route. I'll let the need arise.

On the cob front, is MM the way to go? Is there anyone else for that matter?

And can I get a Peterson-lip stem for a cob? :)
 

TheKiltedOne

Active Member
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#19
Isn't size mainly related to how long each bowl lasts? At this early point, I think I can postpose going the multiple size bowls route. I'll let the need arise.

On the cob front, is MM the way to go? Is there anyone else for that matter?

And can I get a Peterson-lip stem for a cob? :)
MM are the only Maker for cobs. There are lots of people that sell MM cobs but make sure you don't get any knock offs.

As to the P lip, if you like them I believe that Forever Stems come in a P lip, they're not cheap though but the quality is fantastic!
 
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