What's new

I tossed a pipe today - budget options?

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
Well after listening to some of you in the HERF the other night, I learned a lot about pipes--how they are drilled and how that affects the draw, and also gurgle. So I was smoking this piece of junk last night I got years ago out one of those baskets of loose pipes you sometimes see a large tobacconist. I could never get a pipe cleaner through it, you have to remove the stem and put it through backwards. And you can barely get the stem on/off the pipe, even when it is totally cool. It seems to always burn wet near the end.

I tossed it in the trash.

We talked about fountain pens briefly the other night and you learned I use mostly Lamy or NOS Schaeffer school pens like I learned with in grammar school, nothing fancy. Well, one, but that was an $80 Indian. With a Schaeffer nib.

So I can safely say I will most likely never buy a $200 pipe. I will most likely never buy a $100 pipe, actually. But I would like to buy some factory seconds that are mechanically sound. I can imagine that it does not take much of a cosmetic defect to knock a $200 pipe into the factory seconds bin. I have also become aware of Bones and Savinelli III pipes, which appear to be decent smokers, but which the manufacturer realized early on would not make it to a premium pipe but they continue to manufacture them, just leaving them unfinished.

I'd happily pay $50 for those if they are really good smokers, that's why I'm doing this thread. Are they typically good smokers? And while we're on the subject, a) what is the preferred way to finish them, and b) for the lazy among us (that would be moi) are there any mechanically good finished pipes with blemishes that sell as seconds?

Based on my experience with pens, I really don't give a rip about looks, at all. And I won't spend a penny over $100. Not $101, $100 tops, period. I'd prefer to spend like $50-60 on a decent smoker with cosmetic defects. Best place to look for these?

Thanks, gents!

P.S. And what the heck is Arbutus? Never heard of it. Apparently, it is used like briar, but this is new to me. Pros, cons??
 
If I am reading your post correctly, I believe you are asking about budget briars. Although my experiences with briar pipes is somewhat limited, I have a bunch of corn cob pipes from Missouri Meerschaum that do great for me. The best one(s) I have is the Country Gentleman style pipe (barrel bowl). It's an excellent smoker, no fuss, just a great way to sit and enjoy the evening. Best part, <$15 and can be modified. Just wanted to throw that out there for even a passing consideration.
 
Under $100, there are plenty of options. You don't need to buy a second. You have many estates to choose from. There are also plenty of new factory options from the big makers, such as Savinelli, Peterson, and Vauen, and the others you mentioned. You can absolutely get a finished, and even a smooth finish pipe, for under $100.

Under $50, there are still plenty of choices, including many estates. In a new pipe under $50, you really cannot go wrong with a Grabow. They are very good smokers and uniformly well drilled with little to no fills in all the recent ones I have seen. Where a Grabow cuts a little corner is in the final finishing, but you can polish off their vulcanite stems to a mirror shine yourself.

Places like Smokingpipes and Tobaccopipes have search functions, where you can narrow your search based on price. A place like Ebay can also be good, if you are careful and know what you are looking for.

I would try and avoid the Chinese pipes, and pipes made from unusual materials in the lower price points. Stick with an economy briar or cob. Or a fine estate pipe. You can get a lot of pipe in an estate at $100.

Of course, a nice cob is under $10, and that can go a pretty long time and they smoke well, too.
 
Last edited:

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
I would look at vintage pipes from the 'bay, I've acquire most of my collection that way, many nice pipes at a fraction of the cost of a new one. As for unfinished pipes, I have one of the Sav 320 series III that I just let color naturally with my skin oils at first, then I applied a little carnauba wax for a soft finish.
 
Well after listening to some of you in the HERF the other night, I learned a lot about pipes--how they are drilled and how that affects the draw, and also gurgle. So I was smoking this piece of junk last night I got years ago out one of those baskets of loose pipes you sometimes see a large tobacconist. I could never get a pipe cleaner through it, you have to remove the stem and put it through backwards. And you can barely get the stem on/off the pipe, even when it is totally cool. It seems to always burn wet near the end.

I tossed it in the trash.

We talked about fountain pens briefly the other night and you learned I use mostly Lamy or NOS Schaeffer school pens like I learned with in grammar school, nothing fancy. Well, one, but that was an $80 Indian. With a Schaeffer nib.

So I can safely say I will most likely never buy a $200 pipe. I will most likely never buy a $100 pipe, actually. But I would like to buy some factory seconds that are mechanically sound. I can imagine that it does not take much of a cosmetic defect to knock a $200 pipe into the factory seconds bin. I have also become aware of Bones and Savinelli III pipes, which appear to be decent smokers, but which the manufacturer realized early on would not make it to a premium pipe but they continue to manufacture them, just leaving them unfinished.

I'd happily pay $50 for those if they are really good smokers, that's why I'm doing this thread. Are they typically good smokers? And while we're on the subject, a) what is the preferred way to finish them, and b) for the lazy among us (that would be moi) are there any mechanically good finished pipes with blemishes that sell as seconds?

Based on my experience with pens, I really don't give a rip about looks, at all. And I won't spend a penny over $100. Not $101, $100 tops, period. I'd prefer to spend like $50-60 on a decent smoker with cosmetic defects. Best place to look for these?

Thanks, gents!

P.S. And what the heck is Arbutus? Never heard of it. Apparently, it is used like briar, but this is new to me. Pros, cons??

Also, a soggy heel is not necessarily the sign of a bad pipe. A tight fill more often causes that as much as anything else. So do many aromatics that are too wet to begin with.

If it's a filter pipe, try it with the intended filter installed. Some filter pipes don't behave as well unless they are loaded as designed, or an insert is installed.

I would not toss the pipe just yet, but try it with some other blends. Some pipes are better suited to certain blends than others, and you may be throwing away a perfectly good pipe that is just not good with what you are putting in it.

It is not uncommon for an assembled pipe to not pass a cleaner. Many do not. That is not the sign of a bad pipe. But unless it has a military or spigot mount, always wait for the pipe to fully cool before pulling the stem. Otherwise, you can wind up with a loose shank joint.
 
Last edited:
USD 50.00/EUR 43.00 would put me under pressure to find something in Europe other than Estates or NOS Budget pipes from the 70ies (not a guarantee for a fine smoker).

James Fox’s Tally Ho line (white label Peterson?) would fit the bill also a basic Falcon or some house brands from reliable vendors.
 
USD 50.00/EUR 43.00 would put me under pressure to find something in Europe other than Estates or NOS Budget pipes from the 70ies (not a guarantee for a fine smoker).

James Fox’s Tally Ho line (white label Peterson?) would fit the bill also a basic Falcon or some house brands from reliable vendors.

House brands can be a great option. Many are from major factory makers at an economy price. I don't know too many pipe and tobacco vendors that offer house branded pipes anymore. The closest I've seen nowadays are some exclusive lines that WV occasionally commissions and offers.

Some of my best smoking pipes cost under $100. Of course, it depends on when you bought them. ;)
 
I would look at vintage pipes from the 'bay, I've acquire most of my collection that way, many nice pipes at a fraction of the cost of a new one. As for unfinished pipes, I have one of the Sav 320 series III that I just let color naturally with my skin oils at first, then I applied a little carnauba wax for a soft finish.
Yes. Occasionally a private collector puts some of his rack up for sale there. A while back, I was able to acquire what would probably today be a $250+ Vauen, NOS in the box from at least 25 years ago, from one collector, for under $100 delivered.

But you may have to wait a while to find what you are looking for, and wade through a lot of bad deals to get there.

For a less experienced piper lacking access to local shops, an inspected, graded and professionally reconditioned estate or new budget model from one of the big online vendors can be a more trouble-free experience.

Occasionally perusing an online vendor's clearance section can also uncover some great bargains from time to time.
 

Mike H

Instagram Famous
Artubus is Strawberry Briar, the root burl that grows underground at the base of the Strawberry tree (Arbutus Unedo / Strawberry Madrone.) It is the sister of Briar (Heath or Heather tree) that grows along the coastal forest of the Mediterranean. I highly recommend the Morgan Bones pipes ($50). Solid, chucky, and smoke great. Cup O Joes currently has a nice selection online.
 
Lots a great options under 100. The bones are nice for the money for sure. Savinelli, Peterson, Stanwell, and many other makers have options under 100. Watching for sales can get you some good deals as well. Estate pipes is a great option too. Sometimes they can require some clean up but there are lots of great deals out there.
 
Artubus is Strawberry Briar, the root burl that grows underground at the base of the Strawberry tree (Arbutus Unedo / Strawberry Madrone.) It is the sister of Briar (Heath or Heather tree) that grows along the coastal forest of the Mediterranean. I highly recommend the Morgan Bones pipes ($50). Solid, chucky, and smoke great. Cup O Joes currently has a nice selection online.
I’ll second the Morgan bones. I have quite a few of them (like 8). All of them that I have will pass a pipe cleaner with ease. I use them anytime I can’t sit still for a bowl. If I drop one while doing yard work or tinkering in the garage and it gets a scratch or ding it doesn’t bother me as much as if I dropped a $100+ pipe. Did I mention they all smoke great too?
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Check out “Pipe Club” on eBay. James sells new as well as estate pipes. I’ve bought several pipes from him. He is great to deal with and knows his pipes. All sales are “Buy Now” so there is no bidding to deal with.
 

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
I've bought a couple estates from Smokingpipes, they are clean and ready to smoke. Generally more expensive than off the 'bay, but a known quality and safe.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I aim (or did, when I was buying) to pay £25 for my new pipes, although I had to creep up towards £40 for some of them. Most of mine are from the Dunhill factory, with other branding, specifically Ben Wade and Parker, although others come from there too, including Hardcastle, and GQ Tobaccos in house branded pipes.

I have the added complication, that I only smoke sitters. If it falls over when I put it down, that's NOT a pipe for me. Despite That, I have an array of budget pipes I am very happy with, and all smoke well. I have a Dr Plumb that can occasionally be annoying, as it collects fluff of pipecleaners, and as such, I cannot use one mid smoke. Denicote crystal filters added before packing, fix that problem though.

My other budget briar sitters include a Peterson Barrel, and a couple of Falcons. Parker pipes in your price range can be found at mysmokingshop.co.uk and thepipeshop.co.uk. Both do overseas shipping on pipes (but no tobacco products) and the VAT you save might well cover (or significantly subsidise) shipping costs.
 
Top Bottom