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My thoughts on falcons and other pipes.

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craig

Active Member
Member
#1
Hey guys hope your all well.

So the other day, monday i think, when i was waiting to meet my fiancee for her lunch i was sat having a pipe and flicking through here on my phone when i spotted a post by RTOdhner (sorry if i spelt your forum name wrong Roy), and he was talking about pipe snobbery and mentioned falcons, and this set off my own thoughts of what i thought of them in the past and what i think of them now.

I will be honest when i first seen a falcon when i was a kid i was mesmerised, i was thinking how do these work to me a pipe was made of wood and had the plastic stem, and ever since i seen a falcon for the first time i was and always have been curious, but i also thought are they just a gimmick and do they require a certain knack to get them to smoke as they should.

Fast foreward to last year and i started out on corn cobs, at the time they suited me perfectly they were cheap, and fool proof and they set the wheels in motion for my pipe smoking journey, the amount of tobaccos i tried in that first cob was absolutely astonishing, from aros to vapers to balkans and although they was a slight taste it was never off putting and from what i learned it would of fast rendered a briar a complete ghosted mess, probably more due to the way i smoked, deep fast inhales which due to having to break in a briar would of also turned it into a burning wreck.
So yeah for the first few months they suited me and i grew quite a collection, but when it came to my birthday i got a bit better at pipe smoking and i wanted something different.

The shop were i go carries a modest selection of petersons, cobs, basket briars and a few kaywoody yellow bowls and lorenzos, luckily the shop keep where i go knows me and kindly let me see how they hung in my mouth and how they felt in hand and by far and away the winner was a curved falcon.
And the journey began, the teething problems slowly stacked up and i was close to selling it on but i decided to start from scratch try different packing and smoking techniques and withing a couple of months it wa sperfect falcons where my new favourite pipes.

But in the pipe world as roy said there is quite a snobbery against them, although all you guys on here who said they are gimmicky and not your tastes have never downed people for owning them and for that i must hold out the highest respect.

The thing is falcons are my favourite and im happy with what i have, but i have been asked would i consider a traditional briar and the answer is no, but for what i think good reasons.
Let me explain, The thing with falcons is the system works for me im a wet smoker, and although i did have the teething issues the system now works a charm for me, and i like the way they look, i like the way how they have been around for nearly 80 years but still look new and up to date and the appearance has remained timeless.

I have also been asked why i passed up the petersons in the shop, well the thing is they just didnt feel and look right for something that would be mine, dont get me wrong i love admiring a good peterson, i think a good peterson looks beautiful and they look like they are good smokers, but as for something that would be mine, its just not something i would feel right by owning, dont ask me why, its just a feeling i have.
And for me to get the best out of a pipe not only does it have to be a good smoker but it has to look and feel right to you, and thats another major advantage the falcon has to me.

But the thing i dont get is the snobbery that has been held against the falcons, sure they are out there and they blew the whole traditional idea of a pipe to hell with its introduction, the system is foolproof and they are cheap.

People may say i am a snob for only smoking a falcon and an alco, but am i really a snob for smoking something which i find works an absolute charm, and gives me the best smoke i strive for each smoke and has never let me down, after all isnt the whole idea of pipe smoking, smoke what you enjoy.

Ill leave you with this thought which i always stand by:

30 quid falcon or 300 quid briar pipe, i admit the 300 quid briar will probably look pristine and have flawless briar, but just because it is 10 times the price doesnt mean it is going to smoke 10 times better.

whatever pipe you smoke whether it be a cob, falcon or a no name basket briar or a dunhil, savenelli, peterson if it smokes well for you and you enjoy and look foreward to each and every smoke you have out of it then so be it, and if the snobs happen rear their petty heads and stupid thoughtless oppinions smile politely and hold comfort in the fact that to you, you have the best smoking pipe money can buy and its yours and no one else.

Happy days and happy smoking to you all.
 

Longshanks

Member
Member
#5
I had the same feelings toward corn cob pipes early on. I blame that prejudice on the el cheapo Chinese crapola cobs I've seen in various gas stations. I look at them and get angry because of all the victims they conned into purchasing the crap, knowing darn well they've quite possibly dowsed their victim's hopes of enjoying a good pipe smoking experience.

I'm sure my fondness for traditional briar pipes is purely aesthetic. I've personally got nothing against Falcons or other metal pipes... or cobs for that matter. I've found that cobs travel well, as I'm sure metal pipes do. The problem is, I just can't look at myself in the mirror with a cob or metal pipe in my mouth and think... dang you look good. LOL
 

5H4N3

Active Member
Member
#6
I have offered my opinion on this forum before, but this seems a good thread to repeat it.
Before joining this forum, I would never have owned a Falcon. I did not (and frankly still do not) care for the looks of them, and yes, I thought them a bit gimmicky.
I noticed several of the gentleman on this forum were raving about their Falcon pipes, and how nicely they smoke (you guys know who you are), so I decided I would try one on for size. I'm glad I did, because I never knew what I was missing!
My Falcon is, without a doubt, my BEST smoker, by a wide margin. Nothing else even comes close.
I do not own a gaggle of pipes, like some of you, only 12 in total, but I have a very good mix.
4 Briar, 4 Cobs, 3 Meerschaums, and 1 Falcon.
I have smoked my Falcon, every single day since I bought it. After the Falcon, I have 1 Meer and 1 Cob that get frequent use. These 3 pipes account for 80% of my smoking, and the Falcon alone accounts for more than 50%.

Which of my pipes is most beautiful? Stanwell design series 86
Which of my pipes is most expensive? Peterson Meer
Which of my pipes is most unique? MM Golfer

BUT...I buy pipes, not as an investment. I buy pipes to smoke.

Which of my pipes smokes the best? Re-read line 6 if you are unsure.
 

craig

Active Member
Member
#8
I have offered my opinion on this forum before, but this seems a good thread to repeat it.
Before joining this forum, I would never have owned a Falcon. I did not (and frankly still do not) care for the looks of them, and yes, I thought them a bit gimmicky.
I noticed several of the gentleman on this forum were raving about their Falcon pipes, and how nicely they smoke (you guys know who you are), so I decided I would try one on for size. I'm glad I did, because I never knew what I was missing!
My Falcon is, without a doubt, my BEST smoker, by a wide margin. Nothing else even comes close.
I do not own a gaggle of pipes, like some of you, only 12 in total, but I have a very good mix.
4 Briar, 4 Cobs, 3 Meerschaums, and 1 Falcon.
I have smoked my Falcon, every single day since I bought it. After the Falcon, I have 1 Meer and 1 Cob that get frequent use. These 3 pipes account for 80% of my smoking, and the Falcon alone accounts for more than 50%.

Which of my pipes is most beautiful? Stanwell design series 86
Which of my pipes is most expensive? Peterson Meer
Which of my pipes is most unique? MM Golfer

BUT...I buy pipes, not as an investment. I buy pipes to smoke.

Which of my pipes smokes the best? Re-read line 6 if you are unsure.
Well said shane i can never understand why people buy pipes and never smoke them and just admire them tbh smoke thwm and admire thwm and you get the best of both worlds
But hey different strokes different folks

And im sorry shane if i was in any way responsible for your PAD attack on falcons :D
 

craig

Active Member
Member
#9
I had the same feelings toward corn cob pipes early on. I blame that prejudice on the el cheapo Chinese crapola cobs I've seen in various gas stations. I look at them and get angry because of all the victims they conned into purchasing the crap, knowing darn well they've quite possibly dowsed their victim's hopes of enjoying a good pipe smoking experience.

I'm sure my fondness for traditional briar pipes is purely aesthetic. I've personally got nothing against Falcons or other metal pipes... or cobs for that matter. I've found that cobs travel well, as I'm sure metal pipes do. The problem is, I just can't look at myself in the mirror with a cob or metal pipe in my mouth and think... dang you look good. LOL
Cobs and metal travel well long shanks when im travelling i never have that niggling thought that they might end up in pieces falcon is rugged as hell mine has been dropped a few timws due to my own incompetance lol and not a mark on it
 

Stonewall

Active Member
Member
#11
Falcons were as much as a misconception for me as Corn cobs, initially. In the beginning of my journey with pipe smoking, I thought no self respecting, serious pipe smoker would ever be caught smoking from a corn cob pipe. Like an old man told me once when I was an 18 year old smart ass who thought I knew it all, "ignorance is the first penalty of pride".

And in my ignorance, I thought corn cob pipes were novelty items or souvenirs you'd buy at some hillbilly theme shop on highway 64. Or stage props for period actors...

Well, I couldn't have been more mistaken. Because as most of us know, cobs absolutely bring a great deal of blends to life.

It was basically the same for me regarding Falcons. I thought Falcons were nothing more than mid-century marketing gimmicks. Surely they were to be dismissed as a serious smoking pipe.

Well I had a belly full of Crow on that one too! I bought a Falcon pipe, on a whim actually; and boy was I surprised. It smoked wonderfully. I own five of them now; two bent (my favorite shape) and three straights. I even bought a lot of four vintage unsmoked bowls still in the little bags they were marketed in.

I don't speak much anymore of what I believe to be silly, or even snobbish. I've learned not to. It's awfully hard to taste those wonderful tobaccos if I've got a mouth full of Crow!
 

craig

Active Member
Member
#12
IF? IF? What do you mean IF? You know damn well you are in the thick of it! :mad:
You won't be laughing when I show up on your doorstep with my sleeping bag, after the wife throws my sorry ass out for buying pipes!:bangin:
I certainly am not shane i would never be an enabler....
 

LostDog13

Yes, I'm a New World Samurai
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#13
I really like that the snobbery is non-existent on here. Not everyone likes Cobs, or briar, or meer, or metal. I didn't like the way cobs look, but picked one up out of curiosity and love the diplomat. I do prefer briar, but as of yet do not have a meer (this will change). I just can't get past the looks of metal pipes, but that is just me. I'm sure I'll buy one someday because curiosity will get me sooner or later, but not yet. Craig, continue enjoying your falcon. Those who scoff will never understand the enjoyment you get from the metal pipes, and as such will not be able to truly enjoy the hobby themselves. It isn't about how much the pipe or the baccy cost, but how much you enjoy it.
 

MakDragon

Wizard of PSF
No Ads Upgrade
#14
I just bought my first Falcon with a bull dog bowl. I never gave them any serious thought either as I always associated a metal pipe with some art deco thing of the 70's. I didnt know that they had such a rich and storied history and had been around for so long.
Same with cobs. I have a cob that I bought pre 1980 but it was just someting to stick in my mouth going to a high school St Patrick's Day dance. (HA! Imagine going to high school now with a pipe in your mouth!)

Once again, this forum enlighten me. I love my cobs! And I am so looking forward to the weather to break here in NE Penna so I can get outside to try the new Falcon.
 

dmkerr

PG- free since '83!
Staff member
Moderator
#17
Snobbery abounds in every hobby and avocation. The best way to avoid it is to keep two things in mind:

1) Preference means that you like a certain something more than all other somethings
2) Snobbery means that you believe that something you like more than all other somethings should be liked more than all other somethings by everyone else in the world.

One approach is clearly not reasonable in a predominantly subjectivist hobby*.

BTW, for the poster who didn't like the word "hobby" wrt pipe smoking, here's another Kerfinition:

Pastime: What I partake of for personal enjoyment (watch a movie, exercise, travel)
Hobby: What I not only partake of but study, dissect, read about, join a forum to discuss, argue over, show passion for and not just enjoyment of (pipes, tobaccos, music, guitars).

;)
 

JHeiliger

Member
Member
#18
Just picked up a falcon in a lot I got off the Bay. I haven't dove into it yet because I've been cleaning up some of the others, but you guys have peaked my interest!

Is there a tutorial around here for cleaning or polishing?? Mine seems to have taken some abuse...
 

RTOdhner

Well-Known Member
#19
My interest in this hobby is the tobacco, and I generally view a pipe as a tool to burn that tobacco. That being said, I like nice tools. Despite what we tell ourselves, we really could get by with just one or two good pipes - but for most of us here at PSF, I'd say that a good part of the hobby is collecting pipes. I've got more pipes than I could ever use, and recently I culled the herd down by about 50%, and now have about 20 or so pipes that I really like. Included in that is my Falcon system (stem and four bowls), and the Falcon easily gets 60% of my attention. It's just such a handy, practical system. It smokes pretty good, too.

I don't buy too many pipes anymore, mostly because I've got all the pipes I'll ever need. The exception to this is the Pete St. Paddy series. I buy one a year, and I just ordered a 2013 #408 St. Paddy. It's a straight Author style. No snobbery here, and no working class hero shtick either. There is just something about them I like. Mostly, I like Pete's take on the traditional style pipes, and this crosses over to their St. Paddy pipes. I also think that they offer a good pipe at a reasonable price. Their St. Paddy series strikes a good balance between attractive looks/styling, smokeability, and fair price - and I like being able to collect a limited production/collectable series pipe that smokes well and doesn't break the bank.
 

craig

Active Member
Member
#20
I really like that the snobbery is non-existent on here. Not everyone likes Cobs, or briar, or meer, or metal. I didn't like the way cobs look, but picked one up out of curiosity and love the diplomat. I do prefer briar, but as of yet do not have a meer (this will change). I just can't get past the looks of metal pipes, but that is just me. I'm sure I'll buy one someday because curiosity will get me sooner or later, but not yet. Craig, continue enjoying your falcon. Those who scoff will never understand the enjoyment you get from the metal pipes, and as such will not be able to truly enjoy the hobby themselves. It isn't about how much the pipe or the baccy cost, but how much you enjoy it.
exactly whatever the cost of the pipe and baccy if its an enjoyable combo then that outweighs the initial outlay of both infinite times over
 
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