Looking for some of the best tobacco pipes...
...well we've got you covered!
Tobacco pipe smoking has been around for centuries...
And with man's clever imagination and innovative creativity, we have paved way to a seemingly endless line of stylish tobacco pipes.
As much as you want to enjoy smooth smoke and well blended flavor, finding the right pipe is a critical first step you might want to consider.
Today, tobacco pipes come in different shapes, designs, styles, and material.
Read this review to have a full grasp of today's tobacco pipe trend, and find the perfect tool that will help you fully enjoy the flavors of your favorite tobacco blends.
My Top Picks in Tobacco Pipes!
Can't wait to buy your new tobacco pipe? Checkout my top picks.
Keep on reading because there's definitely more about tobacco pipes than meets the eye!
What is a Tobacco Pipe?
Before we break down the best of the bunch, let's have a look at what a tobacco pipe actually is...
A tobacco pipe is a smoking device that comes with a bowl at the tip and a mouthpiece at the other end.
This seemingly humble contraption is used by tobacco smokers to inhale a safe volume of smoke from a slowly burnt tobacco blend. The smoke passes through the pipe allowing it to be cooled down first before being consumed through the mouthpiece by the smoker.
There are three major types of tobacco pipes - corncob, briar, and meerschaum.
- Corncob is a disposable type of tobacco pipe. It is very affordable and highly recommended for first time tobacco smokers. Cobcorn pipes are very easy to use and maintain, but are also durable.
- Briar on the other hand is a special type of wood. It is a burl that is found between the roots and the trunk of the "Heath Tree". The burl has a twisted and closely impacted grain, which contributes to its hardness. Briar pipes have varying qualities depending on the age of the wood. Well-aged is lightweight and very durable.
- Meerschaum is a hydrous magnesium silicate mineral. It is commonly derived from fossilized shells and used to come up with a hybrid type of tobacco type. Aesthetically, meerschaum pipes appear white at first and eventually turn dark brown. Pipe bowls made of meerschaum material offer a unique and purer smoking experience because they don't burn together with tobacco. Its ability to absorb more moisture makes it capable of providing a cool smoke flavor. Meerschaum pipes are usually crafted with artistic designs.
Did you know...?
Did you know that "smoking" wasn't really a term used before the 17th century? The act was first coined as puffing or dry drunkenness.
The English believed that smoking was beneficial to one's health based on Galen's "Four Humors Theory".
They even believed that smoking can be a remedy for syphilis (nice try).
Christopher Columbus introduced tobacco to Europe after he saw Native Americans use it for medicinal purposes.
Parts of a tobacco pipe
For tobacco smokers, the tobacco pipe is hands down "heaven-sent".
As simple as it looks, the tobacco pipe performs a complex role to make sure that the smoker enjoys smooth, cool, and manipulable smoke in every puff.
The stummel is the first major part of the pipe. It's comprise mainly of the bowl and the shank. The bowl is that section of the pipe that holds or accommodates the tobacco while being burned.
For some experts, the bowl is the exterior part while the chamber is that particular section that holds the tobacco from the inside.
The shank on the other hand, is a hollowed protruding section that serves as the neck that connects the bowl with the stem which is the second major part of the pipe.
The stem is the smaller major part of the pipe. It houses the bit, which is a long slender section of the device and the bit or lip which serves as the pipe's mouthpiece. The lip is partially flattened for the mouth to have a better grip of the pipe.
Basically, the pipe can be disassembled into two separate parts (stummel and stem) for safekeeping or cleaning purposes. These parts can be fitted back together through a mortise and tenon joint.
If you are a first timer, you may think that smoking with a tobacco pipe is quite easy. On the contrary, the whole process isn't just about lighting up the blend and puffing the smoke. It takes special skills to puff out a good and rich smoke from your tobacco pipe.
Tamping is the process of firmly pressing the tobacco blend into the chamber. Veteran smokers can do this easily with their fingers, but I'd recommend a wood or metal tamper for first timers.
How to tamp your tobacco:
- Fill the chamber with tobacco one pinch at a time.
- On your first fill, gently press down the leaves evenly while making sure that there is enough room for air. Never press your first fill too firmly.
- Repeat the step with your press getting firmer with each subsequent fill.
Rule of thumb is that your first press should be the lightest. Mastering this skill may take some time so don't feel frustrated if you are not able to do it right on your first couple of tries. Proper tamping will result to slow but continuous burning of tobacco leaves.
How to fill your pipe
In pipe smoking, you should learn to respect not just your device but the tobacco as well.
Putting flavors and aromas aside, tobacco leaves also vary in density. Depending on how they were prepared, tobacco leaves may contain different amounts of air with them. Tobacco with higher density requires a much gentler tamping compared to those that hold more air.
Knowing how to properly fill your piper will help you avoid burning your tobacco too quickly or clogging your pipe. You can easily identify the density of your tobacco leaves just by looking at the label or simply by feeling their texture.
Watch this video to see how to pack your pipe:
How you should light your tobacco
Lighting the tobacco may seem to be the easiest part of the entire process.
On the contrary...
This stage also requires skills and practice.
Lighting your tobacco the right way will help you avoid relighting the pipe in the middle of your smoking session.
Also known as "charring", the false light stage is simply done by lighting the leaves in circular motion. While doing this, take a short puff or two in order to pull the flame downwards. Leave it be until the light goes out on its own. With the help of a tamper, gently press down the leaves in slow circular motion until you are able to even it back with the top of the chamber/bowl.
The main purpose of charring is to balance out the moisture content of your tobacco.
After you are done with the charring stage, relight the tobacco throughout its entire surface in circular motion. Take a few short puffs until the chamber is able to maintain a glowing ember with thicker smokes coming out.
Doing these two critical lighting techniques will help you enjoy good and undisturbed smoke. If you are a first timer with tobacco pipes, relighting should be a normal thing.
How to take good care of your pipe
Whether you have opted for a cheap tobacco pipe or an expensive one, you should be responsible enough to know how to properly maintain your smoking device.
Learning the proper procedure in maintaining your tobacco pipe will not only improve your device's longevity but will also make sure that you enjoy clean, fresh, and rich smoke in every use.
How to clean your tobacco pipe:
- The first thing that you should do before you start cleaning your tobacco pipe is to let it cool down for a few minutes.
- Empty out the ash by flipping the bowl over and tap the side against the palm of your other hand. After doing so, detach the stem from the stummel.
- Take out a pipe cleaner and feed it into the bit from the mouthpiece.
- Rub it against the tube back and forth for thorough cleaning.
- Using a different pipe cleaner, clean the shank by inserting a strip from the part that connects with the stem. Do the same type of cleaning that you did with the bit.
- For pipes that can't be disassembled, it is recommended to use a tobacco scraper in taking out the ash from the chamber. Bear in mind that it is not recommended to completely scrape off the cake or ash buildup from the chamber.
- Only scrape of a little until the thickness of the cake is the same form that of a nickel. This cake helps protect your bowl from burning while improving the richness of your tobacco's flavor every time you use it.
- Blow into the mouthpiece a couple of times to flush out all loose debris.
- For better cleaning, dip your pipe cleaner strips in whiskey, scotch, vodka, rum, or brandy (depends on your personal preference).
- If you do wet cleaning (cleaning with alcohol) make sure that you don't use your tobacco pipe for at least one whole day to allow your device to dry completely.
The best tobacco pipes for 2017
Now that I've covered some of the basics, let's get into some of my favorite products.
This is a good tobacco pipe to start with if you are still on the testing stage. Like any corncob tobacco pipe, this one is durable as it is functional. The pipe actually delivers a good smoke considering how cheaper it is compared to other types of tobacco pipes.
Mr. Brog is a certified veteran in manufacturing tobacco pipes and has been in the industry since 1947. Model No.21 is handmade from high quality pear wood. It's an all natural with a 40 by 17 mm chamber that can accommodate more tobacco leaves for longer smoking enjoyment.
Made of superior ebony wood, the Solid Wood Tobacco Pipe offers that classic look with rich flavor in every puff. The pipe has undergone high temperature processing to deliver a smooth uniformed finish. Stem can be detached from the stummel for easy cleaning and the package comes with a couple of pipe accessories.
Hey look! It's Popeye's all time favorite pipe! Or at least it looks just like it. Better Love's Mini Straight Bar Pipe is simple, straightforward, and does what it's supposed to do. Can be considered as the minuscule version of tobacco pipes, the Popeye Straight-Bar is conveniently lightweight and can conveniently fit in your shirt's pocket.
My Best Pick
A lot of people smoke but only a handful gets to enjoy the richness of different tobacco blends thanks to their slender and protruding smoking devices. With tobacco pipe smoking increasingly regaining its popularity, it's become even harder to find a reliable pipe for all your tobacco smoking escapades.
From my list, I'd highly recommend the Solid Wood Tobacco Pipe by YLYYCC because it offers superior durability thanks to its top quality ebony wood material. The pipe can be disassembled which makes cleaning a breeze and it comes with a complete package - plastic stand, pipe scraper, go to pouch, and a nice looking box.
Written by Robert Ordway
Raised in the small mill town of Lake Station, Indiana, Robert’s blue collar upbringing exposed him to little if any of the clothing industry. Robert has been following the menswear industry for over a decade and has been significantly influenced by the book, Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser. From 2009-2012, he worked in retail sales at both Brooks Brothers and JCrew. In 2015, Robert received the Custom Clothier certification from the Custom Tailor and Designers Association (CTDA), the oldest continuously operating trade organization in the United States. He is the former owner of Rusted Oak, a men’s retail clothing store in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Today, Robert's mission is to teach men of all shapes and sizes about grooming care, general life style tips, and of course male fashion stemming from his deep career in the fashion industry.