Pipe Noob

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I'm a newbie pipe smoker, been smoking cigs and cigars on and off for years but on a whim I picked up an inexpensive pipe and tobacco from my local Tobacco, Ball Cap, T-Shirt, and Camel Emporoium. The pipe is cheaply made, pine wood by the looks of it. Actually It looks like someone drilled a couple of holes in a block of wood and crammed a furniture dowel in one end, which is probably exactly what happened. The tobacco is BestValue Black Cavendish and at $4 for a 5oz bag you can imagine the quality.

In spite of all this I fell in love with smoking a pipe. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting on my porch, puffing away, and watching the evening fall.

After only a week I've decided I need an upgrade though. My brain tells me that smoking through pine is a bad idea...soft woods, resins...bad. I've been reading article after article online and I think that until I get a little more experienced an estate pipe would be a good choice. I realize there are pros and cons to estate pipes but until I can get a good base for technique I don't want to ruin a perfectly good pipe through poor break-in. A pipe that has proven its worth is perfect for me. Plus, frankly, the price is right.

As for tobacco...I have no idea. Since there are no tobacco shops worth a damn anywhere near me I'm thinking I'm going to have to rely on samplers ordered off the internet. Pipesandcigars.com has a Nording sampler that I may try.

Anyway, that's me! And my first post to boot...damn I feel special.

PS: Anyone have any suggestions? Places to buy quality pipes, tobacco samplers they have enjoyed? Little extras I'm overlooking? The square root of 45873.818?


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Welcome to PSF. I suggest you check out our newbie sampler as a way to experience various types of tobacco blends. With regard to pipes, estates can be a good value but not always. What's your price point and maybe we can suggest a reputable brand in that price point. The very inexpensive way for you to step up is to pick up a few corn cob pipes.



According to Excel, 214.18174058495276. But that's just a rough guesstimate.

As for the pipes, I would actually recommend a Savinelli Duca Carlo. My local has them on sale for $39.99 here. You might be able to find them even cheaper somewhere else. The advantages would be that it's new, it's a Savinelli (so it's top quality for a beginning pipe), it has an optional balsa filter system that you could try to see if you even like filters, it's in a good price range, and it's a phenomenal smoker. Break-in really won't be that difficult with one of these, especially since it comes pre-carboned. It also is a good step into the world of quality briars. It was my first step-up after my $20.00 basket pipe, and in retrospect, I wish I had just started with one of these. Plus, Savinelli makes them in every shape in which they make other pipes.

That same store has a nice 8 pack sample of aromatics, non-aromatics, and Englishes. They're all good quality tobacco's and would give you a nice place to start.

Also, you might try corn cob pipes. Inexpensive, reliable, and they don't carry-over the flavors as much.


Welcome DM,

Cobs are a great suggestion. So is a new Sav. I have about 25 pipes and probably 10 are estate. You can learn what to look for and how to restore them once you get in more research.

If you go estate you may be lucky at some local fleamarkets. The benefit to that is you are there in person - unlike epay. Just avoid cracked shanks, bitten through or cracked stems, and look into the bottom of the bowl in good light to check for burnout. Everything else (stem oxidation, excessive cake, charring on the rim, dull finish) can be restored at home. There are some great deals to be had out there at antique and fleamarket, and restoring can be fun. But it you may want to save that hobby for later if you're just starting out - up to you.

Have fun!
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