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Pipes - to filter or not?

MarkMMarkM Member
edited June 2016 in Other Forms of Tobacco
I use filters with my pipes, not because I'm trying to reduce the tar and nicotine of the smoke, but just because I don't like getting hot moisture and dottle in my mouth.  I like the Medico filters because they seem to provide somewhat less alteration in the airflow than the Dr. Grabow filters, and they're less expensive anyway.  Any thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of using filters with a pipe?

Comments

  • I have four that use 6mm filters, six that are unfiltered, and one that takes 9mm filter.

    The 6mm filters take some of the excess moisture from the smoke, but I don't find they impare the taste over the unfiltered. I use the Medico and the Balsa filters at the moment, but when they've gone, I think I'll probably stick to buying the balsa ones.

    The 9mm filter does take flavour away, so I tend use that one for toning down tobaccos that I've bought that are a little too strong for my taste. If I feel like using it just for the sake of it, I'll be sure to put something like Commonwealth Mixture in, so there's still plenty of flavour coming through. One other thing to mention, it takes me part of the bowl to remember how to smoke it, as it does affect the airflow. Not that it's a huge issue, you just have to drive it differently.
  • I only use Sav. Balsa wood filters and Brighams maple wood filters.  They don't hinder air flow or alter the flavour they just wick away any excess moisture.  I tried the 9mm carbon filters but found they hindered airflow and altered the flavour of the smoke so I don't bother with them anymore.

    By the way Sav. makes a 9mm balsa wood filter as well as a 6mm but its harder to find, you may have to use ebay to find the 9mm balsa wood filters

  • MarkMMarkM Member
    edited June 2016 PM
    I like the balsa filters, too - brilliant concept.  The only sticking point for me is that they're about twice as expensive as the Medico filters.  I use the balsa filters when I'm smoking a really fine tobacco where I want the fullest flavor experience possible.  With my everyday go-to tobaccos, like Five Brothers or Sir Walter Raleigh, the Medico filter serves just fine.  To me, using a balsa wood filter to smoke Five Brothers is like using a crystal champagne glass to drink Coca-Cola.
  • I'm sure I've seen the 9mm balsas for sale somewhere, but I still have about 50 or so of the cartridge type tucked away from when I first got the pipe 18months ago or whenever it was. IIRC they were quite pricey
  • PsickoPsicko Member
    edited June 2016 PM
    I hate using filters with pipes. Too much extra to deal with. Also they seem to change the taste of the tobacco. Once I figured out how to properly load, tamp, and smoke I have not had any issues with moisture that can't be fixed with a pipe cleaner. The only pipes that I have that accept filters are my cobs and I don't use filters in them.
  • MarkMMarkM Member
    edited June 2016 PM
    @50ft_trad - By the way, if you don't mind my asking, what is your first name?  My significant other is interested in these conversations I have on this site, and I'd like to say there's this really interesting English person I've met named "so and so" - "50ft-trad" gets a little cumbersome!
  • No worries, it's Al.
  • PsickoPsicko Member
    edited June 2016 PM
    I believe his first name is 50ft Must be a rap artist... j/k. :))
  • MarkMMarkM Member
    Well, @50ft_trad nice to meet you, Al!  I'm Mark.

    @Psicko - yes, the drawback with filters is that you can't just run a pipe cleaner through the pipe while smoking it.  Do you smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl and still manage to keep dottle out of your mouth?  That was a problem I was having with my briars, especially when they were new and I was trying to form cake all the way to the bottom.
  • I've never had any "surprises" when using filters. No splash of juice, no ash or crumbs. I would say I prefer 6mm balsa filters to unfiltered, and prefer them both to 9mm filters. As my technique improves, my opinions my change. But the only downside to the 6mm balsa in my opinion is the cost.... which is offset by not having to dip a cleaner down to soak up the excess juice on an unfiltered.

    Disclaimer: The 6mm pipes I use are cobs and MM Ozarks, which have the natural well beneath the "chute" on the stem, which may be why I haven't had any gurgles and wanted to dip a cleaner down
  • I'm with @Psicko. I never use a filter. The only "burning dottle in mouth" issue I've ever had is with a new cob that's yet to be broken in. Once the cob develops some wear, this becomes a non-issue. I just smoke them carefully for the first 20 or so smokes. Filters do change the taste IMHO.
  • The only pipes I have that take filters are cobs, so take comment to concern cobs only; I never use filters. For me they reduce airflow enough to hinder my enjoyment. They get nasty, wet and discolored, yuck. Also they are one less expense, since I prefer my cobs without. I do want a Brigham one day, my mind may change. 
  • @MarkM. I used to get dottle on the very rare occasion when breaking in a new pipe or when I was trying to smoke it down to the last bit. Just smoke cautiously and you should be good. A bit of dottle doesn't bother me and is one of those expected things that go with smoking a pipe. By the way, are you on smokersforums.co.uk? I think I recognize your name from there.
    @50ft_trad, check out smokersforums.co.uk. it's a pipe forum. Good info there too.
  • @Psicko You won't believe this, but I actually registered there about 12 hours before you suggested it :D Just waiting for the admin team to flick the switch as it were
  • @50ft_trad, nice. I'm on there some times as well. I used to be in there a lot before the crash of 2013 (the site crashed hard due to hackers).
  • Look like it happened recently too, March I think. All data lost between then and 2013, and not a huge amount of activity since by the looks of it.
  • Personally, I don't care for them. I had this one pipe that had this cooling coil inside the mouthpiece, that was pretty nice, but it made cleaning quite a pain, so I removed it. I just feel a filter diminishes my draw on the tobacco. If it's a little too moist, (or way too moist, bordering the soggy, as it usually is at my shop) I just leave the bag open and let it air out for a time, reseal, shake it up, let the remaining moisture equalize. Smooth smokin' from there.

    It helps that my pipe has a nice wall of insulation that built up which I had treated with some honey and whiskey over time. I'll have to shave that down a bit soon though.. Thanks for reminding me! Haha
    "Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy."
                                                                                                         ~Voltaire
  • I smoke my 6mm pipes without a filter. I have a 9mm pipe and tried the charcoal filters and found that they took too much away from the smoke as others have mentioned. Without a filter the draw was too open. I got an adapter for it and it smokes great now.
  • Filters for me make it too tempting to inhale. So I don't use them.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • @basement_shaman Oh, I inhale regardless. Not every draw, probably every third or fourth I'll take a nice deep lungfull. Haha. Tasty.

    "Your body is a temple!"
    "Why yes, and temples burn incense!"
    "Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy."
                                                                                                         ~Voltaire
  • Despite 25 years as a cig smoker, I don't get tempted to inhale at all, whether filtered or not. I am actually a little surprised I have adjusted so easily in that respect.
  • @50ft_trad That's awesome, sometimes I wish I didn't feel the need. The snuff is helping with that little by slow, but I just love that smoke.
    "Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy."
                                                                                                         ~Voltaire
  • @HRSnuffinPuff I know what you mean. I kicked the cigs back in April of this year. It was hellish, but I managed to break free with the help of snuff, vape, and the pipe. The vape took on the inhalation appeasement, and I'm soon to be ready to kick that too.

    After 25 years, I decided I craved the freedom more than I craved the smoke. It wasn't easy, but I did it, and I now consume tobacco on my terms. I still get the occasional skin crawling, blinkered vision, and wave of angst wash over me, but I've learned that the vast majority are false cravings which are satisfied with a drink or water, or something to eat, or sometimes it's just rest/sleep that being craved... basically, the things I'd previously use a cigarette as a delay tactic for.

    The pipe took a bit of adjustment in many ways, and I would still consider myself a novice really. I am enjoying it though, and it's really nice to be able to have a nice long smoke, without jonesing for another "fix" an hour later.
  • @50ft_trad Congrats! I'm hoping to at least drastically reduce the amount. They actually help me breathe, and really manage my allergies, snuff helps the later even more though, who knew cramming more stuff up my nose would help it clear up? And I don't even touch the Menthols. Haha I tried vaping, I liked the flavor options, it just.. didn't go out, so I would just keep puffing, and puffing, and puffing, so I've been rolling my own cigarettes, that's saving me $70 - 80 a week, and I've cut that habit almost in half. So I'm happy with the progress I'm making.

    I'm mostly concerned about my wallet, and the fact that I was smoking in the stead of eating, or resting, or at least as a delay like you said.

    I actually started smoking pipe before cigarettes, I was just a little too fresh faced at the time so I got pulled over, a lot. Bit of a problem when you're trying to get to work or some social engagement. The cigarettes didn't satisfy me as much, so I smoked more, and more. Now I'm gravitating back toward my preferred habits, the beard and the crows feet help. Huzzah!

    I can't wait until I'm not having a craving every hour on the hour. Just a nice pipe here and there and a bit of snuff. It's nice coming back to my pipe after so much time though, I definitely appreciate it more. 
    "Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy."
                                                                                                         ~Voltaire
  • Keep it up, my friend. The first time you do something that you wouldn't have been able to do before without engineering in a smoke break, feels really good. Remember, the cravings are a need, listen to them, you're body needs something - it's just not the cigarette that you think it is. You kind of have to treat each one like a crying infant, and go through the guessing game of what's actually needed (hydration, food, rest, oxygen/deep breaths, pinch of snuff). After a while you stop getting cravings and your brain starts identifying with what's actually needed, so you don't need to play the guessing game as much
  • Not.  I'm a dinosaur and a firm believer in pipe cleaners, so my vote doesn't count.
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