Choosing the pipe - How do we measure the pipe? - Quality and the parts of a pipe...
Choosing the pipe
Pipes are primary made from one type of wood (briar) or meerschaum, each material with interesting characteristics. Briar is a very dense root that grows wild around Mediterranean Sea, and it has a very beautiful grain, which can be a huge part of a pipes personality. You can’t manipulate the wood quality, you have to accept whatever nature gives you and in that sense every pipe is a unique piece.
Briar pipes are by far the most common ones but there’s a long tradition for smoking meerschaum pipes as well. Meerschaum is, in short, a white mineral that provides a very clean and dry smoking experience, and the colour wil change over time, from white to almost jet black.
Pipes are usually categorized in either “classical shapes” or “freehand/ hand made” pipes. Denmark is well known for mastering both categories. A handmade pipe often starts with a block of wood that cost the pipe maker 25-70 Euro. It typically takes a day to make a high end pipe.
What style you want is a personal thing. With the wide range of pipes it should be possible to find one that suits you. If you are a beginner we recommend you to choose a not to full-bent model. It is a little easier to smoke on straight shapes. Money wise you should start around the 40-80 euro. At that price level we know that you get a decent peace of wood and a quality mouthpiece. If you fall in love with pipe smoking, we advice you to get another pipe or two, so you’ll be able to switch pipe once in a while. Let your pipe rest and remember to let it burn and smoke all the way down (in order to get rid of moist in the bowl)
How do we measure the pipe?
We weigh and measure all the pipes in order to give you an impression of them. On the unique pipes these measurements are quite accurate but with mass produced pipes the numbers can vary a tiny bit.
Already a Pipe smoker?
If you are a pipe smoker you probably know what you want, but if you have not bought a pipe through the internet before, here is some advice: Check the length and weight on your pipes and use those measures to check the pipes in our web shop. For some it could be interesting to know the chamber width and depth so you could measure that as well. The rest is personal taste: Do you prefer smooth, rusticated, black etc.? Choose with your eyes! One thing is for sure: as long as the pipe is unsmoked we will accept a return, so don’t be afraid to take a chance. Some pipesters even buy 8 and send 2 back!
Quality and the parts of a pipe
Briar wood is classified according to its age, where is it from, and so on, but there can be some natural flaws in the wood, holes that can be fixed with wood kit. Other spots will often be so-called sand spots; the result of a grain of sand that has grown into the wood early in the life of the root. That’s just how it is; nature is only perfect because it really isn’t.
Sure, one can get lucky and find a piece of Briar without any marks or pits at all, and that’s very cool (but also highly unlikely). But on the other hand, spots, blemishes, and scars are what adds personality, we think.
In any case, these little details shouldn’t keep you up at night. They certainly won’t harm the smoking experience.