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Is a Nording Freehand a good investment?

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#1
I need to clarify this question. According to many people even a 5$ cob is a good pipe. So this question doesn't cover smoking qualities as such. Its more of a case of: if I was to save up money for a "once in a lifetime" (hopefully not) 100+ dollar pipe, would a Nording freehand be a good buy in that category. Or would a Stanwell, a more expensive Vauen, a Peterson or any other name you care to think of be a better buy?

In other words, are Nording pipes worth the cost? Is there anyone who does better freehand's at a similar price point?
 

Coastal Bend

Get off my lawn...
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#2
By the time you redrafted the question, I'm not sure I have a good answer for you. :confused:

I will say that a number of years ago I received a large Nording Freehand for a gift. It was not a style I would have chosen for myself, but it has been a great and comfortable smoker, which I enjoy now a good deal.
 

Mister Moo

Gone but not forgotten
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#3
Investment is a tricky word if coupled with price. When you drive off in a new Maserati Quattroporte for $150,000 the salesman calls it an "investment" and maybe you believed him. When you drive by the lot a week later and see recent models with low mileage selling for $50,000 you might suspect otherwise. Pipe as successful monetary investment is an occupation for skilled buyers; pipe as long-haul quality smoking tool, resale value be damned, is another thing entirely. Not sure how you're looking at it.
 
#4
Ah, I should have chosen a better word. No, I wasn't thinking of it in resale terms. Just for the long haul.

The question is: whether Nording is good as everyone else at that price point? First in terms of quality. Secondly, whether his is the best "design" of that type. If I understood it correctly the Nording freehands are the most popular factory produced pipes in their category. I'm wondering if the popularity is deserved.

Obviously design is a matter of taste, but I still like to hear other people's opinions.
 
#5
Man, when I first got into pipes, I absolutely LOVED Nordings. Now, he's doing some shapes that look like pinecones and such and I havent seen a one in months that I even remotely liked (at least not on smokingpipes). I loved his old stuff, but his new stuff, not so much.
 

Mister Moo

Gone but not forgotten
Staff member
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#7
Nording makes a quality product, so if you really, really like the shape and have the $$, buy it. The problem is that cost don't always relate to smoking qualities. Every old fart has a story of a $20 pipe that smokes better than a $200 one.
Old Fart here: confirmed. I have a $7 ebay pipestore "house" brand buy that I reach for before other more costly "name" brands. Good pipes are where you find them. Price, for all but surface appearance, should be largely incidental once you are in the $100 zone. Sure, Nordings are good.

Bottom-feeder that I am, nearly all my (heavily depreciated) pipes come from ebay where quality can be hit or miss depending on both the buyer and the seller.
 

Billy Ockham

Notice when you’re happy.
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#9
In my opinion, your best investment is the pipe you are going to look forward to smoking. If a pipe speaks to you now, and is within your means, then that is the pipe to get.

Each of the brands you named is quite decent. And know that if you enjoy this hobby, it is likely that you will probably own at least one Stanwell, Peterson, Nording, Vauen, etc at some point down the road, regardless of which one you get first.

By the way, If you are wanting a freehand specifically, I would also consider an estate Ben Wade.

Look around a bit, and have confidence in your own abilities to determine what YOU like. That should lead to a nice investment, indeed.
 
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Puffstone

Active Member
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#14
I think everything named here smokes great and looks great, in fact I like nearly all pipes I've ever laid eyes on. I have a nording freehand of which I'm yet to have smoked, also have savinelli, peterson and ser jacopo as I enjoy collecting and smoking.

If I were going to buy a $100 range pipe that was new I'd probably buy brebbia, their briar seems to be great for the price in my opinion.
If I were wanting to buy the most pipe for my money in the $100 range I'd buy an estate charatan from the lane era.

As for freehand, if that's what I had my mind set to, I'd buy a preben holm era... Of which I think bambam had/has one for sale in the for sale area.

Lastly, any pipe you enjoy is worth more than what anyone else thinks of it so get what you desire and enjoy it. Good luck!
 
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#15
Hello AlexanderM,

I've never owned a Nording so I can't speak to their quality. I'm sure they make a nice pipe, but how often do you see them listed for sale as estate pipes? This should answer the investment question for you from the financial sense of the word. As for the intrinsic sense of the word... to each his/her own (as you already stated). So you want something that is good, will retain value, and possibly even appreciate? There are a lot of options. I just suggest you really take your time; read and research, observe others behaviors, and consider the historical context of pipes. It's easy to keep your cobs close, while your mind wanders. The best investment pipes are estate pipes and handmade artisan pipes. Think about it... they change hands over time and never stop selling. I don't see a lot of people competing for Nordings, Savinellis, Stanwells, Vauens, Petersons, etc... on eBay or in the estate sections of online stores, with exception to rare productions of such brand of pipes. A brand new $100 Nording will probably never turn into a rare pipe. Mass production pipes become a modest investment over the course of a lifetime if you choose wisely; otherwise they fight to remain in rotation, hoping to avoid being thrown out by someone after we're dead. This doesn't mean they aren't great pipes. It means that a $100 Nording is probably more of an intrinsic investment and not so much a financial one.

It's interesting because what you are confronted with is a decision we are all faced with when we decide to pull the trigger on purchasing a pipe. Ultimately, we ask ourselves what we want? What sets us all apart is our individual paradigm in regards to who we are as a pipe smoker.

Do I just like to smoke? Am I a collector? How long will I be smoking pipes? Will I become more than a pipe smoker? Maybe I'll start to restore or make pipes? How much money can I spend? Will I ever sell my pipes? What pipes do I like? What brands, shapes, weights, finishes, etc...? It's a trial and error experience that unfolds over time. We win some, we lose some; with the last question usually always being... Did I just make the right decision?

I say go for the Nording. Why not? A brand new pipe is a great thing regardless. You'll love it and eventually move on to the next one, return to it, get another, then go back it, and then who knows... maybe you gift it to a friend/relative, or it could end up in your rotation until you die. Who knows? You may continue to love it or you may grow to hate it? The investment lies within the journey.

Cheers,
Greasy
 

RTOdhner

Well-Known Member
#18
If you're looking at investment in a pipe from a resale or artistic rendering perspective, then a Nording is not a good investment. If you're looking at it from the perspective of a good pipe that will give you many years of smoking enjoyment, then yes it is. My wife gave me a Nording Signature series pipe that is a very nice smoking pipe. It feels good in the hand, has a really nice draw, and doesn't look half bad. It's not really my style of pipe, but it's a good pipe and it was a birth day present. It really took to heavy Latakia blends, and that's what I use it for.

The debate has long waged here at PSF as to whether a particular pipe is worth the asking price. $75 - $100 is generally the price of a good entry-level pipe. Nordings are very good entry-level pipes. From my experience, they do everything a pipe is supposed to do, they do it well, and I think that they're worth $75 to $100. A small price to pay for decades of smoking pleasure, if you ask me. If you buy one, I think you'll like it.
 

datguy85

Member
Member
#19
If you get a little obsessive with ebay you may find a $200-$300 pipe around what you are looking for. Everytime I start looking for a new pipe around $100 I always find myself waiting around for a slightly used one. I just won a Radice silk cut for $45... most have been taken care of previously.
 

Gothicmace

Member
Member
#20
I need to clarify this question. According to many people even a 5$ cob is a good pipe. So this question doesn't cover smoking qualities as such. Its more of a case of: if I was to save up money for a "once in a lifetime" (hopefully not) 100+ dollar pipe, would a Nording freehand be a good buy in that category. Or would a Stanwell, a more expensive Vauen, a Peterson or any other name you care to think of be a better buy?

In other words, are Nording pipes worth the cost? Is there anyone who does better freehand's at a similar price point?
I have one Nording... its not a freehand but a vintage 80's African block meerschaum .... but I will say this Nording really puts a lot of quality and detail but more importantly spirit into his pipes. I love all his freehand styles... I would be more than willing to spend the money to buy one.... and some day soon I will. Very beautiful pipes by a very dedicated craftsman.
 
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