"Ideal" Minimum Number of Pipes

NVFireFighter

Active member
I've been smoking a pipe for a little less than 2 years, but I've kind of jumped into the deep end!

I check everyday on the bay for recent Estates and usually have 20 to 30 in my watch list on the hopes of getting "The Deal" of a lifetime, but alas, they usually go for more than I'm willing to spend on my budget.

But I have jumped on a lot of them, lol.

My traveling kit that I recently scored is quite the talking piece...

Close to 150+, I don't want to actually count them, hehe.


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user3677

Member
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.
As someone who's smoked cigars for years and now have transitioned to pipe smoking maybe 2.5 years now. I have 5 pipes so far, 4 for non aromatic, mostly English and one corn pony for aromatics. I usually smoke non aros so atleast have a rotation going I guess and so far so good! I've met people with over 40 pipes as well but they still have that one pipe they use every day haha
 

Lunting Lifestyle

Did you bring a shrubbery?
My ideal number is always just 1 more than I already have. I currently have around 35 (I really don’t count them anymore) and they all get used depending on my mood and blend of the moment choices. I’m content right now with the current collection, but there’s always room for more. I enjoy collecting functional art.

From a purely practical standpoint I could make do with 5 briars (aros, English, Balkan, VA, VaPer) only because I like to season / ghost them, or maybe just 1 quality meerschaum.
 

Condor

Well-known member
Here is what I just did . I found 9 older pipes in my basement in a shoe box . Some old Erhlichs and Pete’s and other London names . One from a now gone Nantucket pipe shop and stamped as such . I was not smoking them . I want to cull anyway as I am with other stuff so what to do ? I own mostly Dunhills ( about 20 ) . I could eBay those older pipes . But decided to send them off to SP for cash or credit . They accepted 7 . Great , no eBay pains . They were great . Gave me a value and a cash and credit value and I took the credit . I can get some tobacco for a while …. But wait … next week in the new purchase thread watch for a nice Estate Dunhill Chestnut Bent billiard! So that’s a cull . I did add some cash to the credit . Now I am eyeballing some of the Dunhills to maybe upgrade and reduce the numbers. I do not need 100 pipes ( I only bought 3 new Dunhills in my life from back in the late 70’s. The others were what I thought steals from eBay … so..) .
 
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justinhb

It's a warning...
Patron
Here is what I just did . I found 9 older pipes in my basement in a shoe box . Some old Erhlichs and Pete’s and other London names . One from a now gone Nantucket pipe shop and stamped as such . I was not smoking them . I want to cull anyway as I am with other stuff so what to do ? I own mostly Dunhills ( about 20 ) . I could eBay those older pipes . But decided to send them off to SP for cash or credit . They accepted 7 . Great , no eBay pains . They were great . Gave me a value and a cash and credit value and I took the credit . I can get some tobacco for a while …. But wait … next week in the new purchase thread watch for a nice Estate Dunhill Chestnut Bent billiard! So that’s a cull . I did add some cash to the credit . Now I am eyeballing some of the Dunhills to maybe upgrade and reduce the numbers. I do not need 100 pipes ( I only bought 3 new Dunhills in my life from back in the late 70’s. The others were what I thought steals from eBay … so..) .
Would've loved first crack at those Pete's here...
 

nhamms

Member
I am always thinking about the next pipe or the next tobacco to add to my cellar. Pipes are addictive you will always see another that catches your eye lol. Then before you know it you have enough pipe to smoke a different pipe everyday for months without smoking the same pipe twice. Same for tobaccos.
 

Ziggywm

Active member
Maybe I'm a pipe smoker with PAD. Most of my acquisition was when I worked in pipe shops in the 70s and could buy pipes at wholesale cost - good pipes like Dunhill, Comoy, Barling, GBD, Charatan, Savinelli, Castello Camenetto, Paul Fisher & A. Bauer meerschaums, Diebel and my own Benchmades, plus Peterson and a host of carved briar heads and other antique pipes - more than a hundred. I got to thinking about about "culling the herd" recently.
 

ender1204

Well-known member
I think this is actually a great question. I’ve often wondered the same thing myself.

For me, I have one briar dedicated to all blends with latakia. I do not like the ghost of lat and I am sensitive to the taste and can detect it for a while in a ghosted pipe.

I have one aro dedicated briar, but that is more of a luxury than a necessity.

When I started out I had two briars that I alternated between smokes and smoked each about five times a day. I would clean them thoroughly during and after every smoke and had no problems. I didnt mind lat ghosting back then and would smoke a lot of westminster in both pipes.

As time went on I got lazier and bought 10 MM Legends for $50. I fell in love with cobs and smoked mostly MM until very recently when I started using 9mm filters.

To answer the question I think four pipes is the minimum for most smokers, but its just a guess. I assume that if one has a high quality meer and doesn’t mind a small bit of ghosting they could probably use one pipe for their entire life provided it is cleaned regularly. With excellent care, two briars could be enough.
 

Lakeland lover

Active member
I have only have two pretty crappy pipes as of recently, one being a john Brumfit bent bulldog and the other being a huck finn mm. The other better ones ( a savinelli 128 Roma rustic, a rattrays bulls and dogs 42 sandblast, 3 different stanwells and a Peterson Canadian) were ruined in an electrical fire a few months back. Adjusting has been tough. 😮💨😂
 
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