Humans have been smoking tobacco out of pipes for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise that throughout history, more and more materials have been used to construct pipes that are capable of improving the smoking experience. Today, the pipe market boasts a wide array of materials used for construction, with each one having its own unique pros and cons.
The first thing that anyone has to decide when deciding to take up pipe smoking as a hobby is which material for a pipe they’d like to try. With so many different ones to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which one will give you the best experience.
Wood pipes are easily the most commonly used, and for good reason. Wood is widely considered the best material, both in terms of pipe durability and the smoking experience that it provides. Briar is the most popular wood material used by far, for various reasons. For one thing, it seems to add to the flavor of the tobacco. It’s also highly resistant to fire, which, as you can understand, is very important. This is because of the fact that it’s a highly porous wood. Meanwhile, it keeps the smoke very cool as well, which prevents harshness along the throat. It’s resistant to charring, as charring can interfere with flavor and be difficult to clean.
Also, briar is a very durable material, which is great for those who like to take their pipes with them when they go out. Briar pipes also have the distinction of being uniquely beautiful, and many high-end companies craft gorgeous pipes using this wood.
However, briar pipes can be a bit expensive because of the cost of the material and the fact that they are carefully handcrafted. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to choose an alternative material.
Plastic tobacco pipes are extremely inexpensive, which is why they exist. Plastic pipes are typically used as party favors and the like because they’re not very high in quality. They’re not great at resisting heat, and you can imagine that it’s hard to avoid getting the taste of plastic mixed up with your smoke. They are durable, but they are certainly not made to last.
Metal smoking pipes are known for being incredibly durable, as you can imagine. Many different metal materials are used to craft pipes of this nature, and each one has its own resistance level to heat. However, metal pipes, as one would assume, do get very hot, as metal absorbs heat inevitably.
Corn cob pipes remain popular despite the fact that they’re a bit, well, kitschy. Corn cob pipes are extremely inexpensive because they are literally constructed from hollowed out, dried out corn cobs. Surprisingly, however, they are great in terms of providing you with a quality smoke. Their heat resistance and flavor work great for smoking tobacco, and they’re surprisingly durable. They can last a lifetime, in fact, as long as they are properly maintained. They are also known for providing a surprisingly clean smoke.
Clay pipes are rarely seen these days, primarily because constructing them requires a lot of effort, making them very expensive. Additionally, clay pipes are very fragile, which isn’t surprising. Clay pipes must be constructed using a very specific molding process, and few companies are willing to take the time to execute this process.
Meerschaum pipes are constructed from a specific mineral composite and are very rare these days. They’re very fragile for one thing, and very expensive due to the process required to make them. This type of pipe is renowned for delivering an exceptional flavor, however, due to the porous nature of the material.
Each Material Has Its Advantages and Disadvantages
Use this guide to figure out which type of pipe material is best suited for your unique needs. While briar pipes are widely considered the best, you may feel that another one is right for you, and that’s fine. And, always make sure that you choose your pipe from a trusted manufacturer so that you can know that the materials are the finest of their kind