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Einstein said, “I believe that smoking can help calmly and objectively judge the big or small things in the world.” and it’s a belief shared amongst many. Whether it’s tobacco or other herbs, people still find a sincerity that comes from smoking. Smoking is an aged old tradition, being a well sought after medicinal practice to a fashionable trend and all in between. Tobacco and herbs were considered a luxury, with them being hugely rationed during wartime, they were considered the highest of classes for those who could smoke.
Over the years, we have found numerous ways and innovation in what is the “best” way to smoke and even what to smoke. Consumers are moving away from papers and looking for better, more beneficial ways to smoke. With plenty of options to choose from, it can be a stab in the dark deciding which method is the best for you. There are so many things to consider from style, method or even the material used but one of the methods that have been around since the dawn of time is the trusted pipe.
To take a load off your plate, I’ve narrowed it down to the top ten hand pipes out on the market. A selection of different types of pipes; have a read through and you may find the kind that you were just looking for. Doesn’t that sound better than trying to trawl through the various styles for yourself? So what are you waiting for, have a read!
Land of Wood is a standout brand, offering a unique approach to pipes. They have a great stock of various pipes and are so popular, another features further down the list. This is but one of their pipes, they’re a staple in the hand pipe community.
Eco-Friendly, 100% wood
These pipes are made of 100% natural wood which is said to enhance both the scent and taste of the smokeable products within. They claim that natural wood lasts longer than a synthetic product, which makes it an excellent investment for a long term user. All of their pipes are handmade: a nice touch.
A true centerpiece
Measuring at 10 inches in length, it is the largest in the list but is incredibly lightweight. The design is truly unique which makes it a talking point and a decorative piece on any table or shelf. The metal bowl is easy to remove and keep clean whilst protecting the wood from damage with the wooden pipe allowing for a smooth flow of smoke with every hit. The design is like no other and will grab the attention of friends when you use this pipe. Certainly, one to break the ice at parties.
Cost and Value
This pipe retails at a good price, which makes it pretty reasonable for the materials used. Its size, whilst making it iconic, does not make it as portable as you may like so is perhaps preferred for use in one place. The smoke pathway is very narrow also which can lead to some nasty clogging. The parts are removable either, so cleaning may pose a problem. But you get what you paid for, and compared to others, this is not a bad option for the price.
Another heavyweight in the hand pipes arena, Sumjuly have been manufacturing pipes and other accessories for countless years. This little firecracker is a statement all of its own and the first in our series that has detachable parts.
Brass and bold
This pipe is made solidly of brass with a bold high finish of gold coloring. The brass is fantastic for cleaning and keeping rust at bay. All the parts of the pipe are completely detachable and is a very portable, dinky little pipe. Each pipe is packaged beautifully, with a unique box and cleaning cloth; a great gift idea for a smoker or paraphilia collector.
Tiny but powerful
Measuring at a diminutive 3.3 inches, this pipe is the epitome of portable. Small enough to fit into any purse or pocket, it can go wherever you need it to, without drawing any attention. It’s easy to clean and the way the pipe works ensure that no smoke is inhaled into the lungs. Safer than other pipes or methods, whilst still getting the tastes requested.
Cost and Value
Despite its small stature, it does come with a price tag. Retailing at little more than others, it is a tad more expensive than others on the market. But no others are as small and powerful as this little pocket rocket is. That being said, you are buying solid brass which has a great shelf life so may be worth investing a couple of dollars extra to be sure you have a pipe that’ll last a long time.
A bold statement that’ll catch your attention is that it is made of indestructible stainless steel. All their pipes come with a bold design embossed into the steel and make it a pretty striking piece. Another company that specializes in pipe manufacturing, they exclusively make all of their products out of steel and no other material will do.
These pipes are incredibly durable and are bound to last a long time; steel is well known for being one of the strongest alloys so it’s a solid choice when making pipes. However, indestructible doesn’t mean invincible and these pipes are vulnerable to scratches and dents. It’s a good choice for an everyday pipe that you don’t mind getting knocked around a little in the process. Instead of using a resin finish, these have their designs etched and embossed into the steel giving them a clean and distinctive look about them.
The whole package
This particular pipe is dainty in size too, measuring a total length of 5 inches. They’re a great buy for gifts as each comes in its own unique Kraft box, with 2 packs of filters provided as well as a neat black storage bag. A great set that appeals to the first time pipe users or collectors. The steel makes them shatterproof and unbreakable so they are worth their weight in dollars.
Cost and Value
Matching prices with Sumjuly, for the full kit. It’s not bad, considering the material and accessories that come with. It’s an easy pipe to clean too, with all parts easily detachable. It comes with a decent size bowl, so longer lasting hits are a shoo-in. The pipe is large enough to get a smooth hit and it’s simple enough to favor new or infrequent users.
The second smallest in our selection, Mantello have been involved in all things tobacco/smoking for decades. It’s them that bring us this little pipe with claims of being just as powerful as a larger one on the market. Using acrylic resin as its main component, it keeps it sturdy around the metal bowl.
Cheap and cheerful
This little pipe may be small in stature but it has a great draw without needing any screens. It’s a great starter pipe as it requires no assembly and is small enough to keep hidden. It has a fun design feature, that it does not come with a flat bottom. This is love or hate as it can be a novelty or a nuisance; depends on who you ask!
Plastic but fantastic?
The consensus on this pipe is really hit or miss; some love it whilst others hate it. With it being small and not in as many parts as others, it can be difficult to clean and avoid the smoke pathway becoming clogged. The metal around the bowl is untreated which means that rust sadly is inevitable unless you treat it for yourself. As mentioned, it does roll and wobbles so not particularly sturdy if you like to put it down between uses.
Cost and Value
You get what you pay for, and that certainly seems to be the case here. Fab little starter pipe, with a total length of 3.5 inches and its own filter built-in. It’s pretty sturdy, for resin, but it’s difficult to clean so might not be the best option for a long term buy.
Almost space age in look, one of the front runners for the modernization of the hand pipe. This little pipe is designed to look like anything but a pipe, with some innovative little design features to help it along the way.
Buckles and Magnets
This pipe is truly unique in that it uses a buckle and magnet system to keep a lid over the bowl. Slimline with a spoon shape, at first glance it doesn’t resemble a pipe at all. Made from indestructible steel, it’s entirely metal with all the accessories removable. The magnets help to ensure that all the parts fit back together without any sort of fuss.
Insulated spoon design
The metal, as well as the design, is crafted to ensure that it remains insulated and doesn’t risk burning hands. An important feature, considering this nifty pipe is less than seven inches long and fits in the palm of a hand. The lid slides over neatly which means you can load it up, carry it with you and use on the go.
Cost and Value
It’s on the more expensive end of the pipes in this review. They do however come with a neat little black box, a small brush, and a cleaning cloth, so you get a little extra for your dollars. A nice, modern take on the pipe, one that favors discretion above all else.
The first glass pipe in our collection, this one is for serious, frequent smokers. Resembling a more traditional pipe, it adds its own curves to turn it from prehistoric to modern in a heartbeat. Seems aptly named, that this pipe is known as “Artwork”, it certainly turns a head or two.
Glass Pipe Art
Words not often associated together but with this pipe, it’s clear to see why. A strong and bold coloration, it doesn’t appear as glass at first look. A curvaceous design with a full length of 6 inches, it’s small enough to be carried as portable. The glass is sturdy and tempered well; able to within stand long use and any drops or falls.
Filtered, smooth hits
This pipe is incredibly easy to use and in the pathways has good filtering. It’s a little heavier than others and with it being hardened glass, it does not come apart: smashing it is not advised! Can make it difficult to clean but it doesn’t clog as other pipes would.
Cost and Value
Mid-range price on our list. It’s very ergonomic, so ideal for people with stiff joints or difficulty clutching smaller pipes. Easy to use and simple to maintain, it’s worth spending a little more to know that the product is going to last longer than others might.
Very quirky in design but has more features to it than the others do. A conversation piece, this pipe can be a great ice breaker and people will be enquiring about it plenty.
Lighter, Pipe, and Stash
It’s incredibly convenient that this pipe comes with an integrated lighter as well as a little side compartment for any stashes you want to keep with you. An impressive feat, considering this pipe is only 4 inches long. It makes traveling with it so much easier and leaves no mess when it’s all in one place.
Large bowl, small in stature
For a small pipe, it comes with a deep large bowl so it can pack a punch when used. One of the drawbacks of this pipe is that the mouthpiece is made of plastic. And isn’t great quality, with the plastic melting after prolonged use. Not ideal and risks burning the user as well as absorbing nasty chemicals with a hit. The pipe also has been known to leak air and the lighter can be tricky to refill.
Cost and Value
Another mid-range pricing, it’s not bad considering the extra goodies that come with it. Small and light, great for being portable without having to carry anything extra with it. Very unique and a great buy.
The most novel and quirky of all the pipes in our list, this one sure is distinctive in its design. Bearing a striking resemblance to a well-loved cartoon character, this is sure to intrigue people and brings a light-hearted vibe when it comes to lighting up.
Novelty and Glass design
The second and final one on our list that is made entirely of hardened glass. It has a novelty design which is bright, comical and a rarity: makes this piece one for collecting as well as using. A sturdy pipe, that can survive drops and multiple uses.
Small bowl for quick hits
This pipe has a shallow, small bowl which makes it a good option for small or on the move hits. May not be a pipe for regular use, but ideal for being portable. It’s lightweight too, so it’s easy to carry on your person.
Cost and Value
The cheapest of the ten. Not a bad price for a more collectible piece and would make a great gift for those who love cartoons or novelty smoking paraphilia. Not recommended for larger doses but it’s not bad for the good price
A company well versed in making pipes, Meetat provides the ninth on our list with our first zinc alloy pipe. Bright and colorful, it brings a lot of personality to the pipe
Bucket Handle, totally detachable
All the parts of this pipe are completely detachable and easy to clean. It comes with a smart travel case with handy accessories packed in to boot. Super lightweight, great for on the go use.
Keeping it cool
The zinc used helps keep the pipe cool so no burnt hands during use. It’s also incredibly durable, rivaling steel, so it’s pretty unbreakable. The snazzy “oil spill” paint job is just an added bonus.
Cost and Value
A little pricey, but it does come with some extra goodies which can excuse the price. It’s tiny too, just under 4 inches in length. You are buying a good quality product, as Zinc alloy is pretty resilient, all in all.
Ending as we began, we’re back to the eco-friendly company of Land of Wood with their other wooden pipes. This comes as a set of three and as the earlier review stated, this is made of 100% natural wood.
Three for the price of One
This pipe comes as a set of three, with each keeping a traditional pipe look. They come in cherrywood, beechwood, and walnut and each is as striking as the last. The materials used are all-natural to enhance the scent and taste of with every hit.
Traditional still portable
Measuring at just over 6 inches, it’s far smaller than its sister product. It keeps within the traditional look which makes them a good collector’s item as well as being suitable for everyday use. These pipes do not come with any filters so it may be something to consider when purchasing these pipes. These pipes are not treated with any lacquer so no nasty chemicals are going to get caught in your smoke and ruin the taste.
Cost and Value
A little higher in price than others.. Which isn’t bad considering you are getting three pipes and not just one. They are incredibly sturdy and will never rust or ruin due to their organic materials. A good purchase for multiple pipes and must-have for frequent users and the eco-warriors amongst us.
So there we have it, the rundown of the ten best pipes out on the market. People’s opinions differ and I welcome you to write in and let me know what products you like. If you’ve tried any of these and have some feedback, feel free to comment and let me know! It can be difficult to know where to put your money and I hope that this list helps you make a savvy purchase for your next pipe.
Whether you are a novice, expert or simply curious, it’s important to know what you are getting for your bucks. Have a read through and make sure that whatever purchase you make next, is a smart one and will be a pipe that you love to use.
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Smoking pipes have been an aged old tradition, dating as far back as 500BC. The first pipes found in Europe were exactly that and made out of reeds or wooden stems. Most of these were herbal pipes as Tobacco was a product of America.
As smoking pipes became more widespread, pipes changed from reeds to clay and the consumption of herbs and pipe manufacturing increased massively. So popular was smoking pipes, that specialist pipes were created for army use.
Since then, France became one of the first industries focusing solely around pipe manufacturing. Even to this day, some of the most revered names in the pipe world are still made in a sleepy French town, Saint Claude.
I remember my own grandfather smoking when I was a child. Sitting in his pokey living room, sat in his favorite armchair and poignantly puffing away on his pipe. My mother hated that he smoked around us but I loved the scent and it still makes me think of him, to this day.
And I’m not alone. A lot of people have been reaching for the pipes as a way to reminisce and cling to a childhood feeling of nostalgia that cannot be sated in other ways.
Millennials have a hefty influence and love nothing better than rekindling old practice under the fashionable “retro” or “vintage” title. What was once dead, is being revived by younger generations and pipes is one of the lucky few.
Whilst this sudden surge may not save a flagging industry, it certainly helps us change the way it’s looked at. Now, I associated less with my grandfather and his armchair, and more with a new, conventional way to smoke herbs.
Our younger viewers are consumers of media and TV shows such as Sherlock, Game of Thrones (the list goes on!) all show these strapping men puffing happily away on pipes. Emulating a fan favorite, pipes are becoming more commonplace than I had realized.
I’ll admit, I had never heard of pipes being used for anything but tobacco. In fact, when I asked some of my friends, they seemed as baffled as I was. It was then that I decided to look into why people were using pipes for other herbs.
And now it seems so simple. As our lives become fast and chaotic, people are looking for a way to slow things down. Taking a breath and enjoying the slow puffs of a pipe is welcomed in a maddening world. It’s near impossible to smoke a pipe quickly, as it’ll burn the herbs and then your mouth: ouch!
I also realized that pipes seem to lead to smoking less, whilst still enjoying the hit and sensations as normal. A nice practice, in a time-crunched scenario. Things slow down and you feel more yourself! What’s not to love?
People are finding comfort in their calming influence (not just the herbs, either.), with hectic moments becoming something just passing. Very hobbit-like, if you ask me. And who hasn’t watched Lord of the Rings and not found themselves wanting to live a Hobbit’s life?
When herbs that provide this alone are used with this hobby, the serenity it can be is something that just can’t be captured elsewhere. And that on its own, is entirely appealing: even to a novice like me.
Traditionally viewed as the hobby of the refined gentleman, it surprised me greatly that women are flocking to pipe use too. In such a great number, there is even a group known as “Pipe Divas” who are the Beyonces of the pipe world.
The ladies have been welcomed with open arms too, with men happy that women have appreciated the pastime that had previously been male-dominated.
Not only younger, but offering a fresh insight into the use of pipes, even the Gentlemen’s Pipe Smoking Society (Yup, it’s a real thing: I checked.) have women on their board of moderators.
What became very quickly impressed upon me was how serious people take this as a craft. Not just absent-mindedly puff and exhale, rinse and repeat. In fact, there are clubs and guides dedicated on how to get the best hits out of your pipe.
A great pipe goes far beyond a hole at one end, a bowl at the other. In fact, so delicate is pipe craftsmanship that even the slightest error in calculation can make a pipe useless. Position of mouthpiece and chamber wall thickness are all things considered when making a great pipe.
This hasn’t changed in modern days, though better materials mean smaller pipes can pack the power larger ones do. And what does a great looking but poorly executed pipe become? A knickknack.
And when we’ve managed to collect and display pipes dating over 2,000 years ago, it’s hard to deny this as a truth. Whilst a pipe might just be a hole plus a mouthpiece, careful crafting ensure it’ll last a lifetime: or several, by Native American standards.
I think it’s pretty safe to say the pipe is here to stay, though in a more diverse and weird way. The young generations, are to thank for that. The day of packing a son off to college with a pipe-like it was a toothbrush may be long gone, but certainly, there’s a resurgence in the youth.
As we become technologically more advanced and reliant, the need for simplicity is something I can see the appeal for. It’s almost as if time stands still, in those moments, in your own realm of bliss. A brief respite, before it washes away like the smoke you exhaled.
It might be, that the pipe and technology extend olive branches to one another. Seems to be happening with modern alloys used for a device that predates the material.
With e-cigarettes and the like now drawing attention, perhaps e-pipes will feature in the not-too-distant future.
I suppose the question then is, would this ruin the appeal of the pipe? Maybe for the die-hard pipe puritans but it might entice inquisitive minds to dabble. I for one, find myself more curious about this craze. Is it here to stay or merely a pipe dream of the hipsters?
I hope for the former. For the moments of comfort, what more could you want?