"Ideal" Minimum Number of Pipes


I'm guessing most of us have way more pipes than we really need. This is for newer members who have heard many conflicting opinions as to how much use pipes can take. It is possible to have only 1 pipe that is in constant use. Frequent use of pipe cleaners is just about mandatory. Although I own North of forty pipes, I am sure I could survive with 3. This from a guy who goes through a 14 oz. tub of Carter Hall per month. I settled on 3 as I would want briar, cob and Meer. Those 3 would be a higher end briar billiard such as many of our resident artisans make. The cob would be a good size bowl such as a Country Gentleman. But I would most likely have one of our cob cobblers drill it to 7/8", replace the shank with some thing like maple, drilled 5/32" and vulcanite or acrylic stem. Last, but not the least, would be a good Meer billiard. In my experience, Altinok would be considered a starting point. Baki is a good choice also, but spendier. I would most likely smoke one for the whole day. Using pipe cleaners as needed. Then put it up and let it rest for 2 days and repeat with the next 2 pipes. Keep them swabbed out with pipe cleaners and clear bowl with wadded up paper towel. If possible let pipe return to ambient temperature before smoking it again. Make sure your puffing and loading techniques are solid so as to avoid smoking too hot and/or wet.. YMMV.
If you smoke Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Pipes, you only really need 1.


It's a warning...
Great post! I have been thinking about this thread for a while, and have come up with what I believe is the right answer for me - YMMV.

I have "sets" of pipes.

I have "collectors", those pipes that for whatever reason I don't think I will/can ever smoke (can't be repaired to smoking shape, they have never been smoked and I can't bring myself to smoke them - they've lasted this long, they are so old it is amazing they are still around so I don't want to damage them, whatever) so I appreciate them for what they are, art pieces. Less than 20 of these...

I have "smokers". Those that I smoke regularly because I know they smoke great, I like the shape, etc. These tend to be Peterson 306 & 304 because I like the flat bottoms. I also have some billiards (generally Peterson 106s - though I just sent a message to @Notow1 to see if he can work me one up), since billiards are the only shape that fits in my travel kit worth a d@mn, and I travel monthly. I have around 10 of these...

I have "beaters". Those that I like to try new tobaccos in. These are generally pipes that are decent smokers, and because I smoke them regularly trying new blends, I don't worry about them drying out, etc. I have 5 of these...

I also have "Parts" pipes and future resto pipes that I intend to get to when I retire (4 1/2 years away or so) or when my side job slows down, or when I get the right tool, etc. I have at least a dozen of these...

Maybe I too am suffering from some form of PAD? Ugh, another affliction as I grow older...lol


Well-known member
I did it wrong, Savs and Stan’s then cobs and eBay. Now I have many dedicated for my moods and moon phases it seems. My advice:

Cobs till you have 100 pounds of that there terbaccy cellared. The spread sheets for my wife are too difficult I’m told.

Falcon doesn’t equal a ‘53 Dunhill doesn’t equal a new Hasty doesn’t equal the gawd darn J. Alan. Hopefully I will die with 2 dirty cobs.


Well-known member
I agree that one can get by pretty easily with only a handful of pipes. I’ve got a couple of hundred in the collection (I’ve been buying pipes pretty regularly for 25 years, and inherited some from relatives), but tend to smoke only six or seven regularly (this varies, and pipes go in and out of the rotation). Given that I only smoke two or three bowls per day, this is plenty.
Only 2 or 3 bowls every day! Holy moly. I'm a lite weight. I enjoy smoking a bowl so I get it. Do you use the same pipe during the day?


Active member
Even being a noob I have already collected 3 mm cobs, a couple Nordings, a lovat Luigi Viprati and a few estate GBD's from Ebay that I bought to bring back to life to keep me busy doing something during the winter. So I think I already have about 10

I mostly smoke from the MM cobs and Nording.
The cobs are easy to put in my pocket and not worry about banging them around.
For what they are they really cant be beat.


Well-known member
I used to rotate my pipes each smoke, now I tend to smoke the same pipe all day, or switch whenever it catches my fancy. I have two pipes out of maybe 25-30 that taste nasty if not rested, no matter what I do….

I think little about logistics and things like rotating/resting, right/wrong conventions and just enjoy and do what seems to work. That’s the opposite of when I first started, though.


Well-known member
Seems ok to me. My categories are similar except I smoke my antiques occasionally and I have more of everything. Unless your missing mortgage payments there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to buy another pipe.
I’ve told my Wife that if I die suddenly to send all my pipes to @jpberg .

I've been watching you, you have 20 pipes dedicated to Old Joe Krantz just in case that stuff ghosts (which it absolutely does)...me I started this (miserable) forum mid 2023 w a dozen or so pipes, now I have 3x that or more, less than 50 still but that may hold or not hold. Maybe I switch to using more medicated snuff. There is one good thing about all this: You meet super nice people, the nicest I can think of, and having been into motorbikes and cars...pipes all look the same to the Mrs and they do not take up space...at least not so far.
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