Finest Quality Indian Snuffs

Two new Fine Border snuffs.Toque Snuffs

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 Two new Fine Border snuffs.

Thinking about pipes.


Since quitting the cigs (month and a half) using snuff I've found that I still crave something to smoke.

I like the idea of a pipe as I do a cigar. I would like to give pipes a go but obviously don't want to break the bank for something that I may not enjoy.

I've seen these; Pipes&nc=pipes tobacco smoking briar wood discount best uk&man=332&cat=67

What are your thoughts?

I've read a lot on here about pipes and most recommend a cob pipe. Would one of the above be okay for a starter?

Also, filters & crystals?? To bother or not?

Now onto tobacco.
So no flakes of twist to begin with but what about; Plug&sec=2085&man=326

If not suitable could you explain why and also offer an alternative please.

Lastly, would this be completely unsuitable?

Lastly (really this time)
Is the a pipe smoking bible or YouTube person that is worth checking out?

Thank you!!



  • shakesshakes Member
    edited February 2015 PM
    Check out . It's a great forum for any questions you could possibly have. I would definitely try some cobs. I have a handful of expensive briars and I still use my cobs more than anything. I get most of my tobacco from and . You can find some very inexpensive bulk tobaccos so you can try all different kinds to find your preferences without paying too much money. As for the filters, try it both ways. It's a personal preference and I usually throw away the filters, but many people like them.
  • Cobs are a great way to start, cheep, and can last a very long time (once you learn how to smoke). Nothing at all wrong with starting with a briar, I did. Things to consider would be the fact that briar's and cobs will ghost so you will want to consider at least giving 1 pipe to each genre you are going to smoke (e.g., aromatic, lat., VA) so picking up at least a couple of cobs would be wise.

    As far as the plug goes most would steer a beginner away from it and toward a ribbon cut. You will have to cut the plug yourself and you will be cutting it into flake and from there doing what you want with the flake. VA's will bite if you don't smoke slow and your pick is a VA and BBF did bite me when I was new to the pipe (it no longer does) so be aware of that. SG offers good ribbon Skiff Mixture is a very nice lat. blend that would be a good start, for an aromatic I really enjoy Celtic Talisman too. Not knowing what you might like makes it difficult, however. G&H Kendal KY would be a good start too, especially if you are leaving cigs. Good nic too.

    Clay pipes are okay too but they do get very hot to touch and can smoke hot more quickly IMO than briar will.
  • Thanks chaps. UK based so mysmokingshop should suffice for my needs. I can put a snuff order in at the same time! (Would be silly not to!)
  • 1. I don't know what pipe crystals are. But that looks reasonable priced. Some pipe smokers inhale, I think that who is buying all those filters. I don't use them for that reason if I inhaled every pipe full ,I couldn't breath.

    2. As for plug tobacco ,a personal favorite of mine, They do take a bit of work ,it not something you load and light .But there is where the fun is, cutting the plug; a sharp knife and a block of tobacco. You have control over the whole process, slicing choices ,cubed, flakes for folding or totally rubbed out. And then you have to let it air a bit to dry it, 20 to 30 minutes. SG tobaccos are some of my favorites especially flakes for their burning charistics.

    You may want to start with something that smokes cool . Look for some english or balkan blends .Dunhill makes some nice ones. Aromatics, especial inexpensive ones will bite and scorch your mouth and goop up your pipe , Peterson makes some nice ones. Pipe smoking is not a race it is a journey into pleasure, and you should row, row,row your boat gently up the stream. On the other hand Puff like a loco-motive and pay the piper

    3. That clay pipe is fine, Clays get hot and are easily broken if dropped or mishandled. The other down side is clays are bad for your teeth. To clench I wrap mine with tape and then a rubber bit . Every pipe smoker should own a clay or three. You can get estate pipe cheap on ebay. An expensive pipe is a matter of preference - volkswagen and porsche are both well engineered cars.

    4. The internet some great information. Ask a pipe smoker
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Thanks @basement_shaman.
    Going to wait till payday and get some pipe action on the go.
  • I had to look up what filter crystals are. Apparently they are made out of the same stuff as kitty litter and you put it into your bowl before adding the tobacco. I'm not sure how safe that sounds.
  • Sounds disgusting and think i'll give them a miss!

    This on the other hand sounds lovely. Gawith Pipe Tobacco&ns=Golden Glow&man=326&sec=1331

  • I bought a never-used Falcon straight stemmed pipe from a car-boot sale (I dunno what that equates to in the US - yard sale? Car trunk sale?), because I wanted to be able to point it at Mrs Pufnsnuff when we were having a discussion and look as though I knew what I was talking about. And it looked like a nice piece of precision manufacturing with it's metal stem and screw-in bowl, and it was only a quid.

    About a year later, on a whim, I got some cherry and vanilla tobacco whilst on holiday, from a tobacconist. The lovely landlady of our B&B gave me a box of matches, and then kept nipping out to her windy garden see how I was getting on, and laughing cos I'd used twenty five matches and not got the bloody thing lit yet. :))

    I bought a disposable lighter the next day and had another go that evening, and I've found it's lovely as a very occasional treat.

    This video was handy as a guide to filling and using it:

  • A good way to load a bowl! I like the Frank method, you can check it out on YouTube as well. I will have to try this way too.
  • Breaking in a new pipe ,you only want to fill the bowl a little less than half way; to develop some cake; cake will protect the bowl from burning thru, Too much cake can split your pipe, trim when needed. Allow the pipe to rest between smokes with the stem pointing upwards, It is best to have several pipes but one will suffice . You can put a pipe cleaner down through the stem to absorb moisture while it rest, but not necessary. When you start to get a bitter taste your pipe needs cleaning. I use mouthwash any alcohol spirits will work to dissolve tar build up.

    Some wash out the bowl; I don't, I just trim the cake with a pipe reamer, I only clean the stem with pipe cleaner dipped in mouthwash and then the shank, first with a pipe knife then a piece of paper towel then with the shank brush; all damping with mouthwash; It don't have to be totally free of tar unless you're planning on storing it away, then it should be clean and some wax or stem oil on the stem tennon. I found out the hard way being away from my pipes for 3/4 of last year.

    Any other question just ask
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • I use Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Pipes exclusively. Good to learn on, cool smoking, everything tastes good in them and I don't fret if I forget one at the beach. I have meers and briars and never touch them at this point ( I'll fire up a clay once in a blue moon). Can't go wrong with a cob.

  • mysmokingshop is a good shop, but check out these starter kits, too:

    I like when a tobacconist offers good quality tobaccos, instead of the cheapest possible aromatics, in their starter packs. Inexplicably, some prominent etailers offer complete garbage in their newbie sets. It's as if they wanted to make sure that the aspiring pipeman will fail in his undertaking.

    Oh, here's a well liked UK deal for an affordable pipe:

  • Thanks for all the links and advice. That starter pack sure does look good. May get that instead. Also, those Parkers seem good, maybe for a second pipe if I like it.
  • Parkers are good basic pipes and those prices are very good.
  • So I went ahead and ordered the starter kit.
    I went for the briar pipe with bend.
    Should be here soon so I'll let you know how I get on.
    Thanks again for the links and info.
  • @Pablo - a good choice and interesting assortment of tobacco but then - since Ennerdale is my favourite tobacco - I am probably a bit biased. I have not tried the other tobaccos in that package but they all have excellent reviews so I hope you enjoy them.

    Let us know about your progress.
  • Thanks @chris
  • Also, have to say that the service from GQ was spot on. Would happily use them again.
  • My favorite out of that group is SG St James flake.
    But the Peterson University flake may burn the best/easiest to rub out.
    Since you have one pipe I would save the Ennerdale for last. This will ghost your new Brier
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Okay, first smoke done.
    Gotta say, not sure about this. It was a bit, I'm not really sure how to describe it. Like smoking the very last bit of a cheap cigar! Hot and the flavour wasn't great.

    Now I can put this down to a few things, it's my first time and I don't have a clue what I'm doing.

    Packed the bowl too loose/too tight, tobacco was too moist. I smoked it to hard and it burnt too hot.

    Or it might be that the tobacco wasn't for me. I went for the GQ Balkan mix.

    Will try the Peterson University Flake tomorrow and see how I get on.

    One thing I will say is the whole process was very nice. Taking time to chill and relax after work for 30 mins was great.
  • Did you try a flake first and did you rub it out or fold & stuff? I'm pretty new to pipes as well but I think flakes need a bit more attention as far as drying time, etc. If you did try a flake first, maybe give the Bagpiper's Dream a try next as it is a ribbon cut. Look up the Frank method for loading your pipe on youtube and smoke it nice and slow. If you first tried Ennerdale you'll probably taste it in your next bowl. If you find yourself liking it more I suggest going to corncobpipe dot cob and ordering the 10 Pipe Grab Bag of Smokable Seconds. That way you have some good pipes to practice with for little money.
  • Thanks for the info. I tried the Balkan one first which is ribbon cut. Links are above in a post.
  • @crullers is right about the Frank method for a ribbon cut, it should work great and keep the pack close to right on the first time. You will have to work with it like the videos show but then you should have a good bowl. Balkan's can bite, so it might be a number of things that happened. Try it again, keep it low and slow. No more than 2 puffs with several seconds between each set. If the briar starts to feel warm in you hand put the pipe down and let it cool sip some coffee and then relight. Unlike a cigar, you can relight a pipe as often as you need to. I am not sure how large your bowl is but if it is of any size 30 min. seems a little quick for what its worth.
  • I was told the first four or five smokes won't show the art at it's best as the sugars from the tobacco have to build up in the bowl - another reason for the 'cake', so you should find it improves as it goes. Mine was pretty nice right from the start.
  • The best advice I got starting out was ; Pack it looser than you think you need to, dry it more than you think you need to and smoke it slower than you think you need to. Kinda tough advice to follow, but it works. The pipe is all about slow and steady wins the race.
  • Some pretty good advice and tips going on so thank you.

    The first bowl was only a half so was pretty quick in pipe smoking terms.

    Today I tried the Peterson flake. I rubbed it out (snigger) and let is air for a while (30/45min) loaded up a full bowl following the advised method and it was ok. Not great but but a lot better than before. Smoke was cooler and the flavour of the tobacco was better. I think I prefer Virginias over the Balkan.

    Still not completely sold on it.

    2 down, 3 to go and I think I'll try the aromatic next which is the bagpipers dream.

  • I'm smoking my pipe right now. This must be about the sixth smoke I've had with it since I bought it about the middle of last year (and still the same cherry and vanilla tobacco stored in the fridge!), and the taste has definitely got sweeter. This pipeful's lovely.
  • So tonight is aromatic night.
    I took a bowls worth of the bagpipers dream out to air last night and will give that a go tonight. Will report back.
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