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The great filter debate continues..

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by WrightwoodJohn, Oct 15, 2011.

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  1. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    Last couple of weekends I have been smoking my Armellini 9mm filter pipe, getting used to the dryer smoke...loss of flavor true but what I've noticed is about half way down the bowl that flavor starts comimg back. And I'm not convinced it's a loss of flavor but more of a subtle flavor. I also like the non-gurgle aspect of the filter pipe. I'm using good quality charcoal filters (Stanwell, Peterson) no generics. Anyway yesterday I switched over to a non-filter pipe for my afternoon smoke but found the transition a little tough, gone was that dryer cooler smoke and back was minor tongue bite with stronger (bitter?) flavor. I used a pipe cleaner to take care of the gurgle (which really doesn't bother me as I love the mechanics of pipe smoking...the loading, charring, lighting, tamping). But I found myself wanting to go load my filter pipe. The non-filter pipes are certainly more traditional and there is a better variety available, however there are plenty of high quality filter pipes out there as well, Savinelli, Peterson, Vauen to name a few. So folks the question is can you switch back & forth from filter to non filter with a smooth transition of enjoyment? Or must one commit to one side or the other?
     
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  2. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Yes, personally. I sometimes use the filter in my Savinelli prince, and enjoy it when I do. I sometimes use a filter in my cobs, as well. However, I generally have stopped using them not because I dislike the quality of the smoke, but because I notice a definitely lower quantity of nicotine when I use them.

    I like nicotine...
     
  3. Drek

    Drek Member

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    I use the filter in my Savs when I break them in - I just don't want to breathe the fumes from the pipe stain. But after that I need the N, so, no filter :)
     
  4. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Hi there!
    I used to smoke with filter for decades, and the transition to non- filter was certainly a learning curve!
    I observed the same phenomenon: No filter and the smoke was hotter, wetter, sharper etc... but I'm now at a stage where I'm selling off almost all my filter pipes,
    except a few which are special.
    They are all good smokers, but need that little bit of extra cleaning of the filter chamber where moisture will collect. OK, it's no big deal, and those filter pipes that I'm keeping don't get smoked that much but I won't use a filter in them.
    What you need to be aware of is that when you smoke with a filter you automatically draw a bit harder to overcome the extra resistance of the filter.
    So if you draw just as hard when smoking without a filter you naturally get a hotter, wetter smoke so you need to adjust your technique a bit.
    May I suggest that you smoke without filter for a while, let's say a week or so... things will develop and your technique should improve.
    After that you can switch between filter and non-filter without any problems... my guess is that you might even give up filters altogether.
    So the money you save can be spent on tobacco, pipes, accessories etc...
    Hope this suggestion works out for you!:)
     
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  5. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I've never used them, so I would imagine it would be weird to start. If my pipe starts to gurgle, I simply slide a pipe cleaner into the bit and extend it to the draft hole, and pull it out quickly. Gurgle gone.
     
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  6. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I rarely use filters in my pipes anymore unless I think a certain tobacco might benefit from a little extra moisture absorbancy, maybe if it's a hotter burning Virginia or aromatic (I use the 6mm Savinelli Balsa filters when I do). I don't care much for the Medico style filters, as I notice a distinct loss of flavor with them.

    I think Shadow is right: if you get used to them, you adapt to their smoking qualities and may wind up with a wetter smoke and maybe tongue bite when you go without. Nothing wrong with filters, just bear that in mind when you aren't using them.
     
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  7. Strongirish

    Strongirish Member

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    I never use a filter anymore, to me they add staleness to the taste but one thing I have learned over the years is that there is no set rules in pipe smoking. If you are enjoying your pipe then you are doing it the right way.
     
  8. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    There's one more thing: Sometimes gurgling can be caused by a small piece of tobacco that found its way into the smoke canal and traps moisture!
    So you think you've done everything right, filling, lighting, tamping, smoke technique.... and the pipe STILL gurgles!
    As dmkerr said: a cleaner inserted into the mouth piece gets rid of the gurgle AND the stray leaf:).
    I don't know if I should write this now but whenever the above mentioned happens to me I separate the stem from the bowl, even when the pipe is hot, which is frowned upon, and blow through the mouth piece. :bing:
     
  9. beaupipe

    beaupipe Active Member

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    I use them about 90% of the time. Charcoal filters in 9mm pipes. Studies on the topic show that there is little to no reduction in nicotine when smoke is passed through charcoal filters. Flavors are very slightly muted, but I really don't notice a difference between the same tobacco in a filter versus a non-filter pipe. I like them because I'm often working when I smoke and I don't have to worry about reducing how much I smoke, how hard I puff, and I don't ever have to worry about gurgle or bite.

    If I smoke an unfiltered pipe, it's usually toward the end of the day with a beer and various "deep" thoughts.

    FWIW, I made the opposite transition to most. I smoked unfiltered pipes for about 10 years before I accidentally bought a filtered pipe. I tried it out and instantly loved it. Now I pretty much only buy filtered pipes (even though I don't need more). I never ever experience any oral discomfort from smoking and I enjoy it immensely.

    But filters are entirely a personal choice and there is no right or wrong answer when considering them (though I have read some weirdly strident criticisms of them). There are fabulous pipes made today that take filters--Viprati, Caminetto, Parker, Dunhill, Tao, Larsen, Stanwell...and so on. Availability tends to be relatively limited in the US, but I just order from German-based sites or flea-bay sellers.

    We should also remember that in pretty much the entire history of pipe smoking, the quest for the cooler, drier smoke has been an obsession. Stingers, paper filters, system pipes, meerschaum linings, sumps...you name it. They're all in the service of the cooler drier smoke. Many argue that "technique" is the real answer to the issue. But I've seen plenty of advocates of technique accuse various tobaccos of biting. Heck, I've done it myself. There is absolutely zero bite when tobacco is passed through a charcoal filter in my experience. Using them allows me to smoke anything and everything in my quest for diverse flavor experiences from my pipes.

    So I'm a huge advocate of them. Must be the smidge of German in me. But to each his own.
     
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  10. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    Great responses & many thanks. I've always had a pipe cleaner handy for that gurgle action...no problem. And I did figure I had gotten used to a little stronger draw with the filter pipe, so I will adjust accordingly with the non filter pipe. I'll see how it goes, and will keep reading the responses !
     
  11. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    Thanks Beaupipe, must admit I'm leaning strongly in that direction. BTW you guys probably already know but Cupojoes & Smokingpipes have good selections of the filter types.
     
  12. beaupipe

    beaupipe Active Member

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    By the way, if you like relatively small-bowled, lightweight pipes from another era...with screw in stems...that take 9mm filters...these Weber pipes are a ridiculous deal. I've ordered and regularly smoke a half dozen of them. They're sort of throwaways because I chomp them while working and the stems are quite soft. But once the bowl coating is worn away or sanded/scrubbed off, these things are awesome. And soooo cheap. No affiliation, by the way. I've seen these Weber filtersmokes for double or triple these prices as ebay estates.

    http://www.tobaccomkt.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=&Category_Code=WEBER
     
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  13. johnhwatson

    johnhwatson Member

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    I recently aquired a filter pipe (Falcon international) and found that certain blends (Highland sliced, revor plug) are improved when smoked with a filter but others are made worse (St Bruno, CCP). Also I find that they add a stale tobacco taste to the smoke if you relight the pipe a few hours after it has gone out plus they are an extra expense.
     
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  14. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    That's exactly right!
    If filters are used they should be replaced after each smoke. If left in the pipe a filter can -upon re-lighting or re-using- give back the "harmful" substances it was meant to get rid of in the first place.
     
  15. justMike

    justMike Member

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    without goin into the whole filters are good/bad thang (done t death already), I make the OP's switch all the time, several times a day. The pipes best suited for me to use at work are all non filter, I load and smoke accordingly. The drive to work, and smokes in the evening are invariably in filtered pipes, again matching blend to mood/weather to pipe. To me, there's no downside... I use filters as much as I can primarily to reduce the risk of needing to go through aanother bypass op years down the road... That's my choice, made on my own for my benefit... it works for me, YMMV
     
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