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Characteristics of Pipes That Can Affect Your Smoke

Characteristics of Pipes That Can Affect Your Smoke

There are many factors that play into the taste and smell of your tobacco when you smoke it. For example, different bowl sizes, shapes, and stem length and shape can affect how smooth of a smoke you get from your pipe. Pipe shapes are very personal and unique to the individuals who smoke them. For example, Bing Crosby was always seen with a long-stemmed billiard because he preferred the kind of smoke he got from that particular pipe. Sherlock Holmes was known for smoking a Calabash pipe because it provided a longer smoke for when he would contemplate the clues in his cases.

Pipes are all about personal preference, and it’s useful to know how each characteristic will affect how your smoke turns out. The thickness of the stem, the width and depth of the bowl, and even how a pipe stands are all determining factors that can greatly affect the kind of smoke you will derive from your pipe.


Pipe and Stem Shape

I’ve covered some of the different pipe shapes before. However, I wanted to touch on how the shape affects the kind of smoke you can get. For example, pipes with straight stems tend to be heavier on the teeth because they come straight out. Therefore, you need to keep your head upright to avoid your tobacco falling out. This feature causes you to clench harder on the stem (Smoker's Haven, n.d.). Billiard, Canadian, or Chimney pipes are usually straight-stemmed pipes that are for when you just want to sit and smoke at the end of a long day. Well-known figures such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were known for smoking Billiard pipes when they would sit and talk about theology.

A bent pipe sits more comfortably in the mouth, keeping the bowl out of your face when you're reading, writing, or doing anything where you have to look down. The Brandy pipe, for instance, has a curved stem that allows the pipe to sit out of your face without fear of your tobacco spilling out. The center of gravity provided by a curved stem allows for more convenient usage and less clenching of the teeth (Smoker's Haven, n.d.).

Pipes with thicker walls around the bowl, such as Tomato pipes, are better for when you want to hold your pipe in your hand. The bowl doesn’t heat up as much as pipes with thinner walls, because the heat is more securely maintained within the bowl. This is an especially favorable quality if you’re a talker, and use your hands to express yourself.

Pipes with flat bottoms, such as Poker pipes, are perfect for when you need to set your pipe down without having to use a stand. This feature allows for convenience if you’re in a rush, or you’re a busybody smoker who likes to multitask (The Pipe Guys, n.d.).


Bowl Shape & Size

There are a few things to note when looking at the bowl of a pipe and how it will affect your smoke. For example, larger bowls with wider chambers tend to be better for beginners who don’t know how to properly pack a pipe yet. These bowls are also betters for smoking tobacco blends that are lower in sugar, such as English blends (Smoker's Haven, n.d.). A narrow bowl is preferred by smokers who enjoy Virginia blends. Virginia tobacco is known for its high sugar content, so a narrow bowl helps keep the temperature down (Smoker's Haven, n.d.).

Depth of a bowl will greatly affect smoking time. For example, if a bowl is deep, you can pack more tobacco in there, allowing you to smoke it for longer (Smoker's Haven, n.d.). The reverse is true for shallow bowls. A deep bowl would be better for a smoker who likes to sit and enjoy their pipe for a long while. On the other hand, a shallow bowl would be better for restless smokers who would rather have a shorter smoke because they don’t want to commit to a long smoke duration.


Final Thoughts

There are so many qualities when looking for a pipe that will affect your smoke. Each pipe has its own personality that tends to reflect the person smoking it. You know how they say that dogs look like their owners? The same can be said about pipe smokers and their pipes. Pipes are all dependent on personal preference, so pick the pipe that will give you the best smoke and reflect your lifestyle.



The Pipe Guys. (n.d.). Smoking Pipe Shapes Guide. The Pipe Guys. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from

Smoker's Haven. (n.d.). Pipe Guide. Smoker's Haven. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from


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