All Pipes Considered: How To Pack & Clean Your Peterson System Pipe

On a previous episode of All Pipes Considered, Shane and I discussed the history, components, and potential benefits of Peterson's range of System pipes. One of the main comments we received from that video was a call to share some of our methods for packing and cleaning our own Systems. So that's exactly what we did! On this episode, Shane and I dive back into Charles Peterson's greatest invention and share some of the System techniques we've learned over the years, including packing the pipe at an angle and a few basic maintenance tips you can employ after each smoke.

Vintage infographic concerning how to clean and fill a Peterson System pipe

To all our System fans out there, how to do you pack your System pipe? Got any cleaning tricks you'd like to share? Feel free to tell us more about your methods in the comments section below.


    • Larry Kinser on September 8, 2019
    • Now I know why I've avoided the Peterson pipes.

    • Tom Alu on September 8, 2019
    • I own 2 Peterson System pipes and enjoy both of them extremely well. I will for sure practice this packing technique and thanks for the great tips

    • Astrocomical on September 8, 2019
    • I like Peterson pipes. They are my favorites. However, they have gotten expensive since you guys took over.

    • Daniel Brown on September 8, 2019
    • I bought my first Peterson System pipe over 40 years ago and I still have it. I've added other - the Spigot, and so on. All are well-made and easy. It's funny that the procedures you suggest I have been doing down through all those years. Maybe they are why all of my Petes are in good shape.

    • Mark Irwin on September 8, 2019
    • Andy, Shane: Another brilliant episode. I'll be trying Shane's packing method and Andy, fantastic tutorial on the smoking process itself. Don't tell Sykes, but in some of my restorations, I have indeed seen charring around the back and base of the air hole from time to time, which he believes is due to the bent cant of the System pipe. Shane's packing method should, however, minimize that from happening & keep us happy who love the lighter "moment arm" and comfortable clinch of a well-bent System mouthpiece. And I should hasten to add these are pipes from the 1930s and 40s, so I guess 80 to 90 years' worth of smoking isn't bad for the bend!

    • Cassie D on September 9, 2019
    • @Astrocomical So glad to hear you enjoy the Peterson pipes! I looked into some of the larger Peterson lines(Aran, Donegal, System Standard, etc.) and since Laudisi acquired Peterson, the retail prices on these have actually gone down. Is there a specific line that you were concerned about?

    • Grey Mist on September 12, 2019
    • Thank you both for another helpful video. I'm quite new to pipe smoking but did manage to buy a Peterson about 40years ago. It, and other pipes from other makers, now get smoked much more often. However, I was battling to recognise the pipe Shane was smoking. Was it an XL02 standard system? It seemed to have a nice, wide chamber.

    • Cassie D on September 12, 2019
    • @Grey Mist Shane is smoking a System Premier 03, so similar to the XL02, but just a little smaller!

    • Grey Mist on September 12, 2019
    • @Cassie D: Thanks, Cassie. I'll have to pin that one and the XL02 to my favourites list ... which is getting rather long ... so many pipes, so small a house ...

    • Stan on October 2, 2019
    • Sorry for the late note but Good Job! After 40 years a new way to enjoy packing my Systems.

    • Joe M on November 11, 2019
    • I have a new System pipe (first one) and got to see this video actually before I even smoked it.
      Thanks guys, I have used your advice since the very first smoke.

    • Vince D on September 9, 2020
    • I think the Peterson literature is suggesting to cant the packing toward the side of the air passage. It says "point of finger towards the side of the stem". I'd try both ways to prove what peterson meant.

    • Bill Horton on July 21, 2022
    • I had several pipes prior to my System Standard. It takes little more effort to maintain but the difference in smoking is huge. I love the Petersons, well worth the effort.

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