There are many different styles and prices for tobacco pipes, and there are good and bad pipes in every category. Finding the best tobacco pipes in Westminster takes some work, but the extra time is definitely worth it. These are some of the things to look for when inspecting various pipes.
Everything Lines Up
The essence of a pipe is to allow air and smoke to flow freely through it. The airways should all line up correctly and be unobstructed. Without proper alignment, the smoke may not flow well or at all. The draft hole inside the pipe bowl should be close to the center, making it easier to draw smoke out. The same applies to the air hole in the stem.
One of the biggest mistakes new buyers make is not testing the filter to see what it is made of. A metal filter many times will lead to excess condensation in the pipe and a less than enjoyable experience. The filters should be plastic or wood to avoid the condensation.
Look and Feel
While the look of a pipe will not affect how it smokes, it is important to the overall aesthetic of the pipe. Holes and scratches that have been filled in with putty will not age as well on a solid pipe while certain varnishes or sealed surfaces can begin to crack and flake from the heat in the pipe. However, many smokers enjoy a more decorative pipe and look for carved bowls and fancy stems.
Many experienced pipe smokers say the weight of the pipe is very important. A lighter pipe is easier to hold in the mouth, leading to less struggle and a more enjoyable experience. A lighter pipe also has a lower moisture rating, having been dried for longer than a heavier one. The lower moisture content also helps the tobacco burn smoother and more evenly.
There are essentially four types of pipes being used today, with briar being the most popular. Briar pipes are made from the root wood of the Erica Arborea, a Mediterranean shrub. The wood is ideal for its resistance to fire and its porous nature which helps foster a dry smoke.
Brylon is a combination of nylon and wood that was created as a cheaper version of briar wood. It is extremely hard, lasting for a lifetime.
Corn cob pipes have been around for decades because they are inexpensive and great for new smokers. They are also great as a sample pipe. Many experienced pipe smokers will use the inexpensive corn cobs to sample new tobaccos.
Finally, Meerschaum is the most decorative style, being soft enough to be carved into intricate shapes and designs. But, like the briar, it is very porous and creates an ideal smoke.
The biggest factor when looking for the best tobacco pipes in Westminster is personal choice. What looks and feels right for one person may be abhorrent to another. That is why picking the right one takes time and patience.
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