12 July 2012
How to Use a Smoking Pipe Correctly
New smoking pipes should always be broken in. You break in pipes by only filling half of the pipe’s bowl and drawing very gently, in order to char the pipe’s insides as you do, this also allows your pipe to harden. To smoke a pipe properly, it needs to be filled properly. This is done by holding the pipe upright, and slowly letting the tobacco fall from between your fingers, do this until the pipe is filled. Draw on the pipe before lighting, in order to make sure that there are no blockages. If you do not fill the pipe properly, then the pipe may burn too hot, this leads to a ‘tongue bite’, which is a stinging at the top of the tongue.
Light the smoking pipes using a pipe lighter, or a wooden match. Petrol lighters can incur an undesirable taste upon the smoke and tobacco. To begin, char the top part of tobacco, allowing the flame to catch while avoiding burning the bowl of the pipe. This is called the charring light. Tamp this charred tobacco down and then apply another flame, and as you do, puff gently. If the tobacco goes out, relight the pipe. You may hear or taste some moisture in the pipe, and if this is the case, put a pipe cleaner through the flue. Tamp and relight again if you have to.
If a pipe is properly cared for, it can last for years, and even improve with age. In order to ensure that this happens however, you must keep your pipe maintained.
When refilling a pipe, make sure that it is not warm and wait until it cools. Many smokers keep two pipes at hand in order to allow enough time for each to cool while still being able to smoke. When cleaning a pipe, hold it by the bowl, and tip the ash from it, then run a pipe cleaner through its stem, removing any moisture. Do not bash your pipe on the wall, or against your shoe, for this will damage the bowl.
Following the beginning of the pipe’s use, a thin layer of carbon will begin to form, this should never exceed 1.5 mm of thickness, or you will risk cracking the bowl. To manage the layer, use a pipe reamer or a smoker’s knife, do not use a penknife or a pointed object. To use a reamer, insert it and then rotate slowly, this should remove any excess carbon.
When used properly, smoking a pipe can be a very pleasurable experience and in some opinions, superior to any other form of smoking, but care is needed in order to maximize the quality of the experience and to prolong the life of your pipe.