Art of Smoking a Tobacco Pipe

Now that you’ve got your favorite style of corn cob pipe, the best smelling aromatic tobacco you could find, and a couple of simple pipe accessories let’s figure out how to put it all together. One other quick requirement I would suggest is a park bench or a comfortable rocking chair on the front porch. It’s important for you to remember that learning how to pack, light, and smoke your pipe is something you’ll learn to perfect. It’s not going to happen the first time you light it up no matter how many pipe smoking guides you read. It’s something you need experience with in order to get better, so take your time and relax. As with anything in life, learn from your mistakes.

Packing Your Pipe

1. Clean Your Pipe – It’s vital to ensure your pipe is free of any previous ashes or condensation for a previous smoke. Run a pipe cleaner through the stem and then blow on the stem to ensure nothing is blocking the air passage to the bowl. I would highly suggest you turn the bowl away from your face otherwise you’ll end up with a face full of dottle (ashes and unburned tobacco).

2. Prepare the Tobacco – Remove the approximate amount of tobacco you’ll need to fill the bowl and place it on a napkin. Make sure the tobacco is free of any clumps and that the moisture level of the tobacco isn’t to wet. If it is let it sit out for a couple of minutes while you take in the fresh air of the evening.

3. Filling the Bowl – Loosely fill the bowl with tobacco. At anytime while filling DO NOT press down on the tobacco with your thumb or fingers. Also don’t pinch the tobacco so tightly that you create clumps which you got rid of in step 2. Now with your handy tamper tool press the tobacco down until its springy. The bowl should probably be around half to 3/4 of the way full. Remember the tobacco should be springy, not rock hard. Take a test draw from the stem. Is there any resistance? If so dump out the tobacco or stir it up with your pick and start over. Otherwise fill the bowl back up and tamp it down again. Take another test draw. Again there should be little to no resistance. If there is more resistance the breathing through a drinking straw, dump or stir the tobacco and start over. If the tobacco still isn’t even with the top of the bowl add more tobacco and tamp it down so that it’s now even with the top. Another test draw should yield only a little resistance.

Lighting Your Pipe

The False Light – With the pipe between your lips, light your match and apply it to the tobacco in a circular motion. You’ll want to make very shallow puffs on the pipe. You’ll probably see the tobacco swell up or unravel in the bowl. That is completely normal and the main purpose to the charring light. This expels any extra moisture from the tobacco and prepares the tobacco for the True Light.

The True Light – After the false light the tobacco may not be at the same level – the top of the bowl. Use your tamper to lightly compress the tobacco back to the top of the bowl. Be extra careful here, this is where many beginners make their biggest mistake. Relight the match and again apply it to the tobacco in a circular motion. Again a series of shallow puffs will be necessary to stoke the flame. If done properly the tobacco should not unravel or puff up like it did during the false light. Not its time to enjoy your pipe!

Smoking Your Pipe

If you’ve done everything right you should be enjoying your first pipe smoking experience. Bask in it. Enjoy it. You’ll eventually get into a rhythm. If the smoke entering your mouth is hot you’re going to fast. Slow down and take long rhythmic puffs.

If your pipe goes out while between puffs don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal. Just relight as you did in the True Light step above. Many pipe smokers will relight at least once during a smoke. You may find the pipe getting a little juicy as you smoke. To avoid this try keeping your mouth as dry as possible. You may want to consider running a pipe cleaner down the stem to clear it out. Let the pipe cleaner sit for a moment and withdraw. Whatever you do, don’t take the stem off the pipe while it’s still hot, as this will eventually cause the stem to get loose or even break. If at any time your pipe starts to taste nasty, stop. Pipe smoking is always supposed to be pleasant and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t always be so. This is most likely caused by smoking to fast or the pipe not being properly broken in.

The Rest of the Pipe Smoking Guide


  1. Thank you so much for spelling it out! A lot of places tell you how to purchase the stuff and what to look for to enjoy it…but not HOW to enjoy it! You are awesome!! (The only thing I would love better is a picture to go with the explanation!) πŸ™‚

    • wat is your problem your just asking to kill your self by smoking lifes to short 2 waste

      • if you dont like pipe smoking you should not be in this forum so don’t comment on our habits when i’m sure you have plenty that we could comment on as well. And for the whole killing yourself slowly thing, smoking a pipe is not even as dangerous to ones health as eating a burger from mcdonalds (which i’m sure you’ve done) for the reason that you don’t actually inhale the pipe smoke into your lungs just your mouth.

      • sherry before you start on people for smoking, take a good look at your self. If you take a breath of air from in your home, out side, or where ever, you killing your self. the air that you take a breath from, the food that you eat, is killing you. so until you dont do any of them, back off! this is the land of the free. its people like you that is taking that freedom away!!

      • Do you think you are going to live forever? No one knows when their time will come. You could be driving to the grocery and BAM!! some lady talking on a cell phone πŸ‘Ώ could hit you and the fat laady sings for you. There are some people that don’t want to go to the grave all nice and “peaceful” like in a big bed surrounded by wailing family but instead to go through life and end up sliding into their hole sideways with a beer in one hand and a smoke in the other exclaiming: “WOW! WHAT A RIDE!!”

        • That is the greatest thing I have read in a forum…ever!

        • Yehh!! This guy speaks the way it is. Why live a really long boring safe life when you could live a slightly shorter enjoyable one. To all those people who say life is too short, life is the longest thing youll ever do.

        • Catherine says

          That’s great! Thanks for “telling it like it is”.

        • This is a nicer version of the Hunter S. Thompson quote – author of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Many have adapted and sometimes found on plaques in cigar bars….
          β€œLife should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

      • Although pipe smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer like cigarettes, it does have an equal chance of causing lip or mouth cancer. However, those are much more treatable and much less common than lung cancer.

      • I hope you can find the time to go back to school and learn some basic spelling and grammar.

      • eric Gulino says

        listen…. i am not throwing myself on you telling you to smoke, don’t come over here and bother me. I am not doing anything to disrupt you. It’s people like you, who try to throw their beliefs on others when they don’t even really know what they are talking about. I challenge you to look at how many medical cases arise from pipe smoking each year. It’s far less then the ones that arise from some of our other more “socially acceptable” habits, like eating fast food, not exercising, or being a reckless driver. Go put your energy towards something constructive.

      • haha, and you are too stupid to enjoy your short life…


      • Studies have shown that people who smoke around 2-4 bowls a day live longer than the average non-smoker. While I don’t have the patience to link you to these studies, I’m sure you can use google to find it. Have a great day Sherry.

      • Catherine says

        Please go away, hater. πŸ˜›

    • Ironic that you use the phrase ‘spelling it out’ in your comment Rachel because this article is so full of spelling errors I couldn’t even bring myself to pay attention to any content. I’m sure the content is good but why not try and but the same devotion into your writing skills that you put into packing that pipe eh?

      • You’re funny! LOL You should “but” some of your energy into reviewing the crap that you write, especially when you are dogging others about their communication skills! They aren’t writing a publication, they are quickly communicating with shorthand script! You sound doucheish!

    • I wanted to say THANK YOU. My best friend in Poland got hooked on her boyfriend’s pipes. They bought me a set of pipes as a gift…and they included these other accessories that I had no idea what to do with. πŸ˜‰ Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to “spell it out” for us ‘rookies’. It’s much appreciated. (Now all I want to do is find out what types of pipes these are.) πŸ˜‰ The Amphora tobacco he sent smells SO good. I’d been hesitant to start…not knowing what I was doing…and not wanting to ruin these. Again, thank you SO MUCH!

    • carl bowman says

      Amazing how someone can make such a comment concerning smoking,especially pipe smoking in which it is not inhaled while happily inhaleing all the exhaust fumes from 100’s of cars each spewing many more times the harmful chemicals than I ever could without uttering a word about it.
      First get a life,then put things in proper perspective,then go out and live and enjoy that life while allowing others to do the same.

  2. Howard Gilliam says

    I am looking for a pipe named FALCON made in England. Any info?

    • You can find Falcon Pipes on ebay (uk). Very trendy.

    • Falcon Pipes

      Are a metal stem either straight or bent into which you can screw a wooden bowl of whatever shape you wish,

      My father who i got my pipe smoking from, (another story) used to smoke these, when he died i tried a few of them, but found they always smoked wet for me no matter what i tried, no other pipe i use does this, i think its the coolness of teh metal condensationing the smoke

      anyway they are still available at least in teh UK, but for reference

  3. One thing I haven’t seen on the site is how to break in a new pipe. I’m new to pipe smoking (just bought one last night) and am eager to start but don’t want to do anything that will mess up my pipe by not starting it correctly. Any words of wisdom on the subject?

    Much appreciated.


    • It’s easy to break in a new pipe. It takes 3 easy steps. Step one, load only a small amount of tobacco ie. just fill the bowl about a quarter of the way and smoke it. Step 2, load the bowl half full and smoke it. Step three, load the bowl full and smoke. This seasons your pipe and you will get a good resin build up to ensure a good cool smoke.

      • i have just started up pipe smoking, bought a package deal (of ebay) 7 pipes and a humidor. any way they are all estate pipes and i was just wondering if these needed to be broken in as they have all been cleaned very thoughouly priar to purchase and do not have any of the cake left on them? Also i was wondering about the metal filters, are these inserts or built into the pipes? as all of the pipes do not have one. any help would be appreciated, thanks.

        tim m.

    • To break in a new pipe you just simply have to smoke it. Smoking tobacco out of the pipe will create carbon or “cake” on the inside wall of the bowl. This cake will imorve the draft in the pipe and ensure a complete combustion through out the time you are smoking it. I hope that helped.

  4. I have just started pipe smoking and love it! I have an old Meerschaum pipe and an old clay one however i am looking to buy abriar pipe, i found one that i like but it seems cheap will this one work?

  5. Nice tips, thanks a lot… πŸ™‚

  6. Sanda pipes are good cheap pipes for beginners if you don’t like the look of the corn cob ones.

  7. Thanks a lot for this guide.
    It has really helped. I never really knew there was such complexity to it, but you’ve made it easy to understand.

  8. Hi there,

    Nice to go through your article… I should have come across this earlier..
    I quit ciggarettes!

  9. also new to the pipe smoking thing.alot of my friends smoke cigars and i just think they smell horrible.i just bought a new pipe. it is a north carolina made pipe called dr.grabon…and i purchased some captain black ( sold in the white pouch).can anybody tell me if i made a good decision on ly semection of a pipe as a starter,and the type of tobacco i picked?


    • Robert Fox says

      Try the Peter Stokkebyes “Luxury” offerings such as Navy Flake (plain Virginia), Twist Flake (mildly aromatic cavendish Virginia), and Bullseye Flake (Virginia, Perique, and unflavored black cavendish). All can be “rubbed out” or (carefully) folded and stuffed into the pipe., Very good prices for excellent tobacco! (and much higher quality than Captain Black, for less money,)

    • I’ve seen recommended for checking out how well ppl like different brands.

  10. I read one article on pipe smoking before this one, and I have to say, this one is a lot more informative. Great job!

  11. I have just broken in my first two pipes. I got a large capacity and a smaller.
    I am having trouble smoking the large right down to the bottom, the ash build up
    is getting in the way and puting out the tobacco, any tips???

    • Tap the ash out of your pipe when it starts to build up. Just turn it up side down and tap it against your ashtray or tap on the bottom of your pipe. You don’t have to tap it hard just gentely.

      • Robert Fox says

        Tapping or tamping can both help-I just lightly tamp down with a tamper (or my finger if I don’t have a tamper handy) and this will help a lot.

  12. William - Muar says

    πŸ˜† this is a great guide for beginners. I decided to quit cigarettes

  13. I just wonder if the local tobacco shops are a good choice to find a quality pipe and tobacco? I say tobacco shops, but they always say “discount tobacco” etc… which usually means old and/or outdated…. in my opinion anyway. Also, how long does a “smoke” usually last? I would assume that it wouldn’t be much longer than a cigarette, but then again, you see the “back when i was a young whippersnapper like you” type folks that can sit for hours at a time with a pipe.. but then again, it may just be that they fall asleep and the tobacco quits burning…

    • Robert Fox says

      Pipe tobacco improves with age when sealed (if it is good to begin with). Try bidding for vintage tins on ebay! Search under Tobacco/tobacciana/tins/full, unopened, sealed. A pipe should last for 20-45 minutes unless you just packed a small bowl.

  14. This forum has encouraged me to quit smoking marijuana and try the pipes on for size.. i have always loved the smell of my great uncle’s pipe while he sat in his chair and puffed away. i can’t wait to find a pipe i love. thanks for the info!! πŸ™‚

    • Robert Fox says

      Yeah, mon, the ganja is good, but it is too expensive for the good S___, and when you are too used to the effect it just makes you tired!

  15. I kinda get it, but you seriously need to proofread. Many of your statements don’t make sense, or are spelled incorrectly. It’s tough to read smoothly.

  16. I have just bought my first pipe, a Peterson brier pipe. I have had two smokes today, one quarter and one half. The second one was a much more enjoyable smoke. Better than any cigarette. With hindsight, wish I had bought one with a smaller bowl. Even a half/quarter is too much at the moment. The pipe cost Β£50. Should have ordered on line but I am compulsive when it comes to buying. No corn cobs in the shop. However the good thing about pipe smoking is that I can let it go out and smoke it a bit later. I bought it to relax with in the garden. My view on coffee/tea drinking and smoking is that we all endulge too much. That is, with all the above they should be done as part of a relaxation ritual, if you get my meaning. Drinking coffee/smoking while walking down the street defeats the purpose. This site gave me more information than the shop but the chap in the shop did take time to give me as much info, and as much time and info as he could being a none pipe smoker himself.

  17. Hiya;

    Above someone mentioned tapping your ashes out of your pipe. You should be careful with your nice briar or meerschaum pipe and invest in a cork tamping pad(I guess you could call it), it looks like a mushroom made of cork. I use old wine corks screwed onto a wood screw. Meerschaums especially can be very fragile and will not tolerate a tap, even lightly. Also I recommend stirring your ashes with a pick, toothpick, twig, whatever you have until you see dark tobacco in your pipe then just dump it out. Tamp down the remaining tobacco lightly then relight. And of course always puff your pipe all the way to the bottom. It is easy with a new or even estate pipe to have ‘cake'(or carbon buildup) begin at the top of the bowl and not the bottom. You can even out your ‘cake’ with a dull pocket knife but be careful not to scratch into the wall of your pipe.

  18. Please keep in mind that I am new at this, but I think I could use some advice here. Whenever I smoke my pipe, The first few puffs are wonderful and tastey… However, the on the next ten or so puffs, only the aftertaste is nice. Then after that it just tastes like ash. Is there some way to fix this?

    • Hey there;

      You may be letting your ash build up. Also it is very easy to puff your pipe too quickly which allows moisture from the tobacco to build up. This can make it burn hot or uneven which allows a dirty burnt taste come through. Make sure you are cleaning your pipe well and that it is dry before you reload it. So try puffing slower and pack it well but not too tight.
      If you puff slowly your tobacco will taste good all the way to the bottom.
      I remember going through what you are with all my pipes, I would only enjoy the taste for about half the pipe full. If you have moisture build up you don’t have to empty your pipe and start over, just run a fluffy pipe cleaner through the pipe with the stem attached. Let it sit there for a minute then remove it. Try that after you removed your ashes. Then relight, it should be good to go all the way to the bottom now.
      Good luck and keep trying…

      • Thank you very much. I found out that one of my problems was incorrectly packing the bowl, but I’m going to have to remember to go slowly. Oh, and how do I fix the ash build-up? Do I just tump out the ash and relight? Thanks once again for your help.

        • Hiya;

          Well I’m gonna assume you have a tamping multi tool. Just use the ‘poker’ looking part to stir up the ashes until you come to solid tobacco. Then dump out your stirred up ashes. Now use the tamp to make sure your tobacco is level. Try not to push down too much here though because it could make the tobacco burn hotter or uneven. If you don’t have a multi tool any flat instrument(like a dowel maybe) will work. To stir up your ashes a tooth pick or twig will work fine.
          Good luck and I’m happy your pipe smoking pleasure is coming more into focus. Every pipe smokes a differently as well so you’ll need to get to know the charecter of each one.

        • Hey, thanks a bunch Brandon. You’ve really cleared up a few trouble spots for me.

        • Have smoked a pipe since I was 15 (I’m now rolling up on 47). It is quite enjoyable and any health hazard associated with it has been largely invisible to me. I myself have run marathons and know many pipe smokers that are runners and triathletes. I always figured any years I was cutting off of my life would be the last 3 or 4 when I only had half a clue what was going on or what had happened. I know of many pipe smokers that have lived to a ripe old age. As for me, I prefer to smoke a pipe and enjoy something great than deny myself the pleasure so I can “enjoy” my golden years in a diaper at the old folks home.

  19. Hi everyone there,

    I am from Vietnam and I ‘ve just started smoking pipe more than two months and I find it greatly enjoyable, I mean this is a very different experience from smoking cigarette. I regret that I cound not started it sooner. Unlike smoking cigarette (just please yr addiction)smoking pipe is something far above that, it ‘s a matter of aesthetics (crafsmanship), sophiticated and connoisseur. I never get tired admiring my pipe during my smoking and not smoking at all.
    In Vietnam, just very a few people smoking pipe and it’s not popular at all, there are no pipe makers here, and it’s hard to find and buy a pipe. If you want a pipe you like, you have to wait for months for your friends bring it to you from overseas. And the tobacco too, there are not many choices. You guys are so lucky.

    Message to cigarette smokers: What wait for ? Switch to pipe !

  20. “Whatever you do, don’t take the stem off the pipe while it’s still hot, as this will eventually cause the stem to get loose or even break.”

    i made the rookie miatake of doing this and now my stem does not fit right i was wondering if there is any way of fixing this or if i am screwed.

    • Garras Porgratix says

      Yo, justin. Its very easy to fix that if its only slightly undersize. Get some bees wax and a spot of dental floss. Wax the floss then make a loop against the stem where it goes into the shank. Wrap the floss 1 layer thick around that loop starting from the end and work back up the stem. When you are finished, put the loose end through the loop which is under the wraps then pull the beginning end. You then clip the loose ends off. This tidyes up the ends and sticks them under the wraps so the don’t come loose.

  21. Is there any kind of pipe that you can smoke 2 bowls a day out of without letting it rest for 2 days in between, i know briar pipes need a rest, how about meershaum?

  22. I’v smoked pipe for few years now, I’v smoked alot of pipe tobaccos my fav is captain black (white) but I highly recommend a honey it smells and tastes great. It also go’s great with a nice glass of Jack Daniel’s… πŸ˜€

  23. Also check out it has alot of good info about pipes & tobaccos πŸ™‚

  24. Douwe Egbert’s Flying Dutchman tobacco has been a favorite, with various MacBaren’s blends for special-My pipe’s a ritual that almost forces one to calm down and take it easier for a spell.

  25. I quite smoking cigerettes about five years ago due to health, but I really enjoyed it. I have just started to smoke a pipe. I chose a Medico Churchwarden, what a delight it was. Very cool, and so relaxing. Can’t wait to find some moton cadet and get it a try. Also thanks for the advice on packing and lighting, first time and it worked like a charm.

    • Garras Porgratix says

      Glad you found a good smoke! I scored 5 pipe bowls on eBay the other day and got some stems from PIMO. One turned out as a chruchwarden. Thats the best one yet. Really enjoyable and cool smoke compared to the other shorter stemmed ones.

  26. I read somewhere about cleaning your pipe with kosher salt and “spirits”. Anybody ever hear of this? And if so, what “spirits” do your recommend?

  27. I found this site to be somewhat informational. i only recently visited this site because my original site closed down. i miss that site…

  28. Ray Mocarsky says

    Merry Christmas Pipe-Suckers!!!!

    (That’s what my friends call me, anyway) . . .

    57 years old; been smoking bowls since I was 18 (because my mom wouldn’t allow anything else in the house; that being because she was a widow and “missed the smell of my dad’s pipe” (my discerning) and she and I were raised with pipe suckers–uncles, dad, cousins) back in the late 50’s early 60’s there were a lot more of us.

    Interesting reads most of the above . . .

    And since it is late Christmas night and as I hold my Apple twixt my teeth and she is coming to the end of a glorious 40 minutes of Fader’s (Maryland tobacconist house blend) Unique, I wish to shortly reply to one question I saw.

    Regarding the question about Dr. Grabow pipes . . .

    Having been into it for sooo long, my opinion, founded on nothing but personal experience is that Dr. Grabows are fine pipes . . . nothing wrong with them at all (if you can discount the limited choice of designs offered)..

    Also . . . a long time ago in a galaxy far away . . .

    Kaywoodie used to be vastly more expensive then than they are now, actually you could say that several Kay’s compete with Dr. Grabows price-wise;

    Both are solid, American By-God values.

    And IF you are near, or in Maryland go to Faders for the most extensive and delicious variety of house blends . . . beats the tar out of anything tinned/wrapped/shipped.

    Trust me.


    • HELP
      I am a cigarette smoker who is presently not smoking and I’m going out of my mind. I had to quit for surgery (third time) but I know I will go back to it again. I was hoping to find an alternative to cigarettes and was thinking of a pipe, although I was thinking that it isn’t very lady like. It sounded to me that your mom is or was a pipe smoker??? Anyway, can you make any suggestions that could help me. I know nothing about pipes (sizes, styles ect.) and I have always associated them with men only. Are they even acceptable for women???
      Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

      • Don’t think that pipes are just for men. In fact, my mother has been smoking her fathers pipe for thirty years.

      • Pipes are a good alternative they smell good are healthier don’t inhale the smoke though and are not addicting so you can put it down anytime you like not to mention very relaxing and our both men and women.

  29. Hey all. I am just breaking in a new Peterson 303 System. The blend i choose to break in a pipe is usually MacBaren Golden Blend. I find it cakes very nicely and the taste is not very far from my usual fare of Rattrays HOTW, Old Gowrie, Escudo, Reiner LGF etc.

    The first two smokes were not too bad, i find Petes are easier broken in these days. Just broke in a Pete Silver Spigot #302 Rustic over a period of three months and it was a good experience compared to my previous horror stories of many moons ago.

    My favourite pipe brands are Petersons and Design Berlin

  30. Jim Killey says

    πŸ˜† Hello to all you pipe smokers,ahving smoked a pipe for ten years,my previous tobacco vices being cigarettes & cigars may I say if you are considering converting to a pipe do not hesitate.I can tell you its healthier,and do not be discouraged persevere it took me about two weeks to learn how to properly pack & light my beloved pipe,but it is well worth it,the experience of new tobaccos & even blending is total pleasure in itself and you will after a short while understand the expression pipe dreams,my greatest pleasure is sat outside a country pub on a warm summers day with a pint of good english ale in hand and watch the world go by,calming,relaxing a kings ransom could not buy the feeling.I hope my comments assist anyone considering pipe smoking.

  31. thanks for the tips. It’s been trial and error for me, being taught the wrong way, off and on for several years. Good advice. Now I now the reason why your website is top of the heap on google. Simple, easy to read, instructions. I thoroughly enjoyed my pipe tonight.

    • The search for a perfect sweatshirt is truly very important, and I also spend significant time in the search and make sure I note where I will eventually return to close the sale.

  32. Great guide. I’ve been interested in pipe smoking for a while and I’m looking forward to trying it now. Thanks for the tips and the time you put into this site!

  33. art of smoking? whatever you call it, it is still unhealthy and should be stopped. Smoking tobacco is dangerous to your health. People should be informed by the issues about smoking. To spread this information to a wider audience, a free e-book is being given away. The book is endorsed by prominent people, such as Dalai Lama. You can check out the e-book by going to this link

    • The Aficionado says

      It may come as a shock to you, but many people know the health risks of smoking tobacco and they choose to do it anyway. Just about everything you do has a health risk, hell, driving can be worse for your health than smoking. Before you criticize people’s habits, remember that most of them (especially nowadays with all the public service announcements) made their own choice to start.

    • Last I checked we live in “AMERICA” where one is free to make their own choices in life. Your opinion that it “should be stopped” is just that, an opinion. You’re welcome to it but it doesn’t mean we have to listen to it. Before you go off telling someone what they can or cannot do try ‘reading’ and ‘understanding’ the Bill of Rights rather than ignoring it as a bland inevitability. So, do everybody a favor, read the Constitution and take that self-righteous socialist attitude elsewhere.

    • Smoking a pipe is an art and it has been proven time and time again that people who smoke pipes live a lot longer then non pipe smokers. The relaxation you get is worth a kings ransom sure it has its risks but life in in itself is a risk you will be killed quicker by fast food then you will be by a pipe. I will note that you don’t inhale pipe smoke and go away and leave us pipers to our art. We knew the risks when we started but I would rather live my life and enjoy it then be worried about everything all time everything we do has risks. On my tombstone it will read he lived and enjoyed life to the fullest .

  34. Hey guys. I just bought my first pipe. A nice cheap one our shop calls a “budget pipe”. It looks real nice and all.. I just finished my first bowl and I must say I already love it. Although my tobacco seems to burn uneven, I wrote it off as me not knowing what I’m doing hehe. I think its coz i packed it incorrectly. I took Rum and Maple for my first try used to smoke it through hand rolled. It has a great taste just as a light it and a few puffs after then very little smoke comes out and just a bit of it stays lit.. Will keep trying, I like it allot already

    • I got it perfect today.. 2nd time trying.. I must’ve packed it perfectly coz I only lit it twice, the false light and the true light. After the true light I didn’t have to light it again. It was very very good. I’m quiting cigs now and smoking pipe.. lol already got one of my mates into it as well,Thanks for the site. Helped alot

    • I’ve been smoking a pipe and cigars occasionally for a few years now. Both are very pleasing experiences, although on balance I prefer a pipe. I now have five.
      It’s relaxing and different, and I don’t like following the crowd anyway! For me it’s a contemplative and peaceful experience usually conducted alone to fully appreciate the moment; the smell of an aromatic tobacco the feel of a favourite pipe bowl of smooth briar in the hand, and the thick clouds of smoke drifting up; a pipe cannot be rushed, there’s no such thing as a quick pipe smoke! Therefore savour the moment in quiet thought and consideration, and pity those poor health fascists running around trying to ban everything enjoyable in sight.
      May they all learn to calm down mind their own business!!

  35. PΓ‘draig Scully says

    thank you so much for such a clear guide. i’m 22 and always wanted to properly smoke a pipe. i bought my first one today. i’ve just finished my first proper smoke. thank you again. just have to find the right tobacco now. πŸ™‚

  36. I’m 23 and never thought I’d smoke a pipe but here I am. This guide had me smoking like a pro in no time. Awesome job! Thanks a bunch! :mrgreen:

  37. Michaell Franklin says

    Just some thoughts to add – from someone who has smoked pipes for nearly fifty-five years.
    1.Inhaling may not be recommended, but I get joy from it and it has never done me any damage. A pipe smoke is not like a cigarette because it is not a continuous front-to-back process. Left unpuffed it will go out, and that it good. I have a few puffs, put it down, and then a re-light, several times over a long period. A pre-filled pipe lasts me a two-hour car journey.
    2. Collect a set of pipes. I have twelve. This enables me to rotate them so that they are fresh, sometimes using two a day. When you put a recently used one into rest, run a pipe cleaner through it and give the bowl a light scrape. There will be moisture at the bottom of the bowl, but it will dry out within hours. Also, you can accumulate sediments from your saliva at the sill on the end of the shank. Give that a scrape and wipe it clean regularly.
    3. Use a tobacco pouch. It keeps the tobacco moist and tidy and you can fill your pipe without spilling any. Bulk tobacco freezes well. I move it from a sealable plastic bag into my pouch every other day perhaps and it is immediately smokeable. It chills, but it does not freeze hard and the flavour is preserved.
    4. A cigarette demands that you smoke it end-to-end, but you can (if careful) put a lighted pipe in your pocket, bowl upright, in the side of a jacket. I do it all the time, particularly if we are eating out and I pop out for a quick puff which I always do.
    4. Careful how you buy tobacco. Some research will lead you to inexpensive sources but many are unreasonably pricey. I ought not to make any recommendation in this column, but I can buy lovely Toasted Cavendish at a little less than a buck an ounce! Go search!

  38. I just bought my first pipe today but haven’t had a chance to smoke it yet. I look forward to lighting it up tomorrow. I enjoy cigars but really wanted to try out a pipe. One question I had is what are the pros and cons to smoking a long-stemmed pipe(like the one Gandalf uses in Lord of the Rings, if you’ve seen it)?

    • I prefer long stemmed pipes not only because I too am a fan of those books but simply because long stemmed seems to keep the smoke out of my nose and eyes when holding it in my mouth. The only downside I can say about it is that its harder to balance in your mouth for long periods of time because it is heavier at the end.

  39. Scott Ampleford says

    I am 18 years old, I own three pipes all of which have been bought for me over the last four years, however I have never smoked any of them.
    I’ve always been tempted to try pipe smoking but have never truly understood this art which is why I am grateful for this site.
    Unfortunately, smoking of any kind is highly frowned upon in the area of England in which I live.
    I hate buying things online and would therefore prefer to buy tobacco in person, however i have no idea where I could buy some nice, proper, aromatic tobacco

  40. Hoang Tuan says

    First I would like to say sorry for my stupid question 😳
    I have an old pipe and when I smoke, the ashes go directly into my mouth. I don’t know how to fix it, could you please help me out ?
    I live in Vietnam and I’m 26.

    I’m very thankful.

  41. Having read every post on this topic, i dont think anyone answered the question about using kosher salt and spirits to clean a pipe bowl

    yes its a widely accepted method and does work, here is what i do

    1, use my czech tool or a blunt knife to scrape back teh cake
    2, remove the stem from teh bowl
    3, fill the bowl with sea salt (I assume thats the saem as Kosher salt)
    4, gently and i do mean gently sprinkle a few drips of vodka (you can use any spirit yyou like teh taste of, Whiskey, Bourboun, Rum etc after all your pipe will taste of this for a few smokes)

    5, leave the bowl standing overnight, you will notice the salt turns brown

    6 next morning, use a czech tool or blunt knife to scrape the salt out of the bowl

    7, wad up soem kithcen towel and wipe the bowl out as best you can trying to remove all the salt

    8, if teh bowl seems a little wet from teh alcohol still just leave it stood up right to dry out

    9, dip a fluffy pipe cleaner in the same type of alcohol you used before and run it through the stem, then run a dry pipe cleaner through it to dry

    10. same as 9, but run the cleaners through the shank

    11, when all is fully dry, reassemble teh pipe and fill with your favourite tobacco and enjoy

  42. ok so. i found this cool looking pipe but i know nothing about brands/types or anything like that. I remember reading something about buying a estate pipe for beginners. i have this on watch on Ebay:

    i also remember it saying “Look at a pipe and if it feels right go for it!” however like i said.. looking for some opinions on Brand/Style.. Please help me out. Thx in advance

  43. There is always one! All things in moderation…even complaining!

  44. Leigh, isn’t that a fulcrum pipe you’ve just mentioned ?

  45. Albert Head says

    Good info, but riddled with type-o’s and poor punctuation. Attention to detail is as important to the English language as it is to smoking a pipe!

  46. i was happy when my Wife allowed me to buy my first pipe.. She was begging me to quit cigarettes for a long time.. Nevertheless, i bought the pipe and now have 6 of them.. She never allowed me to smoke cigarettes in the house.. (let alone when she kicked me out with the cigars..) but when i acquired my first pipe, she called me to the bedroom to sit with her as i smoked my pipe.. I now only use Cherry Cavendish tobacco in all my pipes.. Oh & to that lady who spoke about “killing ourselves”.. Shut up.. Your mouth is more likely to get you killed than my pipe..

  47. I know lots of people smoke with pipe but don’t know anything about Art of Smoking. πŸ™‚

  48. I am new to pipe smoking and love it, but I am having a problem. After I smoke, I get a burpy feeling in my throat. Sometimes I do burp, and sometimes I can taste smoke, as if I’ve swallowed smoke. I don’t think I am swallowing any air / smoke but I guess I could be. Is this problem indicative of a certain type of bad smoking technique?

    I would very much appreciate any input I can get.

  49. David MacIlwraith says

    Please tell me how to smoke my pipe without dribbling as I have masted smoking my pipe however I’m getting very anoyed with myself for getting dribble on my shirt and I know that I can do better than that! I know that it must seem a silly question but I really would like some advice!
    Thank You

  50. Hi Matt – Are you inhaling the pipe smoke?

    David – is the “dribble” coming from the pipe or your lips?

    We have a great guide to help you get started:

    This will be a start and as most things, over time you will gain the experience.

  51. Hello. I’ve had my pipe for over 20 years, but hardly ever used it (maybe a dozen times, total). I even have the original pack of tobacco I bought to go with it! The tobacco still smelled good, and when I tried it a few days ago, it lit up and tasted just fine. I like this pipe because it uses a pipe cleaner as a kind of filter, to capture some of the tar. Here’s my question: I remember when I first used it, and noticed the same thing happening, now – after several puffs, my tongue progressively starts to sting, as though I had just eaten some hot peppers. Is that normal, and if not, how can I avoid it? Also, the skin on the roof of my mouth became “rough,” almost as though I had burned it with hot liquid, but the smoke from the pipe wasn’t physically hot; only “chemically” hot, as I described. What’s going on??

  52. Borkum Riff Orange and Honey here, after I crash tested most tobaccos in the series as to how they taste and how they smell, and we all drew the same conclusion. Orange and Honey smells the most divine. And as for me, tastes the most divine as well. Been at it for over 3 years now, and I just got my fourth pipe. I am beginning to suspect I need to service the other three, like good. Need to read up on how to do that properly, for now, I’m going to break in my new one. Oh, and yes, I’m a woman πŸ™‚ Surprise.

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