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Pipes That Don't Meet the Standard?!?

Full Bent Brian

Well-known member
#1
Good evening gentlemen.

We all have them. Pipes that don't meet our standards. They gurgle. They're hot. They won't stay lit. While most of these issues may be attributed to user error we all have a few pipes that just haven't clicked for us. It could be a perfectly ok pipe but not compatible with our packing or tobacco preference methods. But let's assume that's not the case...

What do you do with these pipes? I'm hesitant to give a lemon to a new smoker. I'm generally speaking of cheap basket pipes where it's reasonable to assume the construction has something to do with its lack of smoking pleasurability.

I love giving things away but I don't want to discourage new pipe enthusiasts with a bad pipe. But throwing briar in the trash feels sinful. So what do you do with your below average less than optimal smokers?'!? No one wants a herd of 3 legged sheep. Please advise.
 
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Yosemite

Well-known member
#2
that's a hard one for me to answer ... I suppose if I was fairly certain something was mechanically wrong with it I'd just disclose what my own experience with it was and let someone else try and fix it if I couldn't. I think there are so many variables in smoking styles it's hard consider a pipe "dead" to everyone,not just me... and even a dead pipe could become parts,a practice piece for someone learning to re-drill,pipe mud a bowl,refinish,rusticate....a prop for a play-or snowman.....or even become briar dust to patch a hole in a vintage pipe
 

PipeHaze

Well-known member
#4
I only have a few briars, so when this happens it's with a cob. With that said, I do have a couple that just aren't as "good smokers" as others and I am about to replace those asily.

I believe like you said it can simply be a pipe that doesn't match up with our packing or smoking habits and maybe it could be a better match for someone else.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#5
I have two Yanik meerschaums that I don't smoke because they smoke poorly. I keep them because the carving is stellar and I enjoy looking at them.

Through the years when I've stumbled on pipes that don't smoke well, I either sell them if they have market value or toss them if they don't. One pipe I'll never forget was an old Charatan Special 1/8 bent barrel. I loved the shape, so I bought it. Put it through over 200 bowls or so trying to get it to smoke properly, but it never did. I sold it. Perhaps the new owner can get it to live up to his standards, I don't know. I've often wondered what became of that pipe, but this happened over 20 years ago.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#7
This is why I’m hesitant to buy used pipes. If they were great pipes why sell them? I’m not sure everyone has the integrity that you do. So, mine sit as mentioned above. I’ve contemplated sending them to smokingpipes.
I've sold literally dozens if not hundreds of great smoking pipes as my aesthetic tastes changed or if I needed the money to buy the next great pipe. I've purchased dozens of used pipes and never had a problem. I've probably bought 5 "name" pipes over the years that didn't smoke well - all new pipes.
 

xrundog

Old Pipe Dude
#8
I've sold literally dozens if not hundreds of great smoking pipes as my aesthetic tastes changed or if I needed the money to buy the next great pipe. I've purchased dozens of used pipes and never had a problem. I've probably bought 5 "name" pipes over the years that didn't smoke well - all new pipes.
My experience exactly. But I do have a "discard box" for pipes that are either just bad, or simply won't get a decent return.
 

Danno44

Well-known member
Sales
#9
I’ve had a couple of pipes that didn’t smoke well for me. When I sold them I gave full disclosure my personal issues with them.
I don’t have any pipes currently that don’t smoke well, but many that I’m no longer attracted too.
I sit on them for a while then give them another chance. If they still don’t make the cut I sell them.
I would rather move them along to someone who may enjoy them, it seems like a waste to me to have them collect dust IMO.
 

MakDragon

Former PSF Wizard
Sales
Patron
#10
I have a few that are not stellar smokers. I really don't know for sure if it is me or the pipe so I hold on to them and give them a try every once in a while.
I have one, and only one, Peterson that is far below standards as far as drilling goes. It is so high, I don't know how it passed QC. BUT....... I bought it the night my beloved dog passed and wanted to have it to smoke and think about her.
So its not going anywhere and I'll put some pipe mud in it and carry on.
 
#11
This is why I’m hesitant to buy used pipes. If they were great pipes why sell them? I’m not sure everyone has the integrity that you do. So, mine sit as mentioned above. I’ve contemplated sending them to smokingpipes.
Buy on here. If a fella on this forum can’t get a pipe to smoke good for him I’m confident most would say so. I’ve only sold two pipes on here. Both smoked great, I just realized I don’t dig nosewarmers. There’s lots of horse trading on here and probably other forums that has nothing to do with smoking quality.
 

Sorringowl

With feathers
Sales
#18
Over the years, having more than about 300+ pipes in that time, it's been a very rare few that just didn't smoke well (maybe 2 or 3). Two of those were filtered pipes that I bought anyway, because I liked the shape/finish. There were probably a bunch more that just smoked okay. But most of the pipes I have smoke fine, and a couple dozen smoke great.

Most of the pipes I sell from my personal collection, though, are just pipes that I either don't smoke anymore, or that just don't work for me (aka, not comfortable to smoke, for me). Most of that has to do with my particular dentition, and that's where the stem work and balance of a pipe come into play more, rather than how "they" smoke.

Beyond making modifications to a pipe to get it to smoke better, some pipes just don't work well with their user. So, rather than toss a pipe because you think it may not smoke well, in general, consider that it may just not smoke well for you. If you're comfortable with your technique (and everyone's technique is different), and it just doesn't work for you, it may work well/better for someone else.

Also, I've only experienced a gurgling pipe a handful of times but, mostly, those have been smoking low quality, goopy aros when I was just starting out (aka, I had zero technique). That said, I still enjoy a quality aromatic blend here and there, in the right pipe, and now that I have a technique that works for me.

I can't, for the life of me, understand why anyone would suggest smoking aros to beginners--they are actually, I believe, the most misunderstood genre of tobacco, and getting the best out of them, I believe, takes a bit more technique (and the right pipe) than other genres (but, that's for another thread).
 

BSTpipes

That'll do, Pig.
Sales
#19
I trade in bad pipes. I can't be bothered to sell on eBay (or fail to sell). So they go to whoever will take them, and I take whatever they'll give me. It's rare I can't fix a bad smoker, there's usually something identifiably "wrong" but not always. Maybe the next guy will love it. Whatever. There's always a risk buying a pipe unless you really trust the maker. And I figure about 1/2 of people buying pipes have no idea how to smoke properly anyway, and so won't notice the difference.
 

Serenity

Burn out Bright
Patron
#20
I have two Yanik meerschaums that I don't smoke because they smoke poorly. I keep them because the carving is stellar and I enjoy looking at them.

Through the years when I've stumbled on pipes that don't smoke well, I either sell them if they have market value or toss them if they don't. One pipe I'll never forget was an old Charatan Special 1/8 bent barrel. I loved the shape, so I bought it. Put it through over 200 bowls or so trying to get it to smoke properly, but it never did. I sold it. Perhaps the new owner can get it to live up to his standards, I don't know. I've often wondered what became of that pipe, but this happened over 20 years ago.
It went thru four other Charatan fans and ended up in @JimInks collection being told it was a pipe owned by Bill Conrad. Now you know, and you're welcome.