Canadian Pipe Shapes

Canadians, Lovats, Lumbermans, and Liverpools... they're all (typically) long-shanked variations of the timeless Billiard. Though they can be rendered in any scale, their often elongated shanks make for a striking profile while offering some pretty functional perks, too. That extra length lent to the shank means more absorbent briar between the burning leaf and your lips — resulting in a cooler, drier smoke. But how do you tell the difference between them?

The key lies in the style of shank and stem:


Probably the most common configuration in this range of shapes, the Canadian is a classic design featured across a range of styles and schools. What sets the Canadian apart from its siblings is its combination of oval shank and tapered stem. While there have been more compact, scaled down versions of this design, the Canadian is usually known for its elongated, streamlined silhouette.


Similar to the Canadian, the Lumberman also features an oval shank, yet it differs in its stem configuration. Where the Canadian sports a tapered bit, the Lumberman switches things up with an abbreviated saddle stem. It's one of the lesser seen combinations in the range and can be scaled up or down depending on the style or school.


With its rounded shank and saddle stem, the Lovat is the furthest shape from the classic Canadian in this range of designs. Fittingly, that's exactly how many modern marques handle the design as well, trading the Canadian's lengthy shank for a charming, compact, sawed-off aesthetic.


Not a shape you come across everyday, the Liverpool usually features an elongated, rounded shank set to an abbreviated tapered stem. Just in their streamlined, lengthy silhouettes, it's probably the closest design to the traditional Canadian — just rounded at the shank, rather than oval.

Of course, there are other factors that play into these distinctions as well. Traditionally, for example, the length of the shank comparative to the bowl height was also taken into account when assigning shape names to these designs, but this has fallen out of practice in recent years in large part due to the artisanal pipe movement. Carvers are constantly reinventing and reinterpreting these classics, scaling them up and down to fit their respective styles. The shank and stem style, however, are always preserved — meaning as long as you've got this guide, you'll be able to pick out a Lumberman from a Lovat any day.

Looking for one of these designs? Check out our Pipe Locator Tool to find the perfect one for you. Have a favorite Billiard-based shape? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

Category:   Resources
Tagged in:   Pipe Basics Tips


    • KevinM on August 26, 2015
    • Well, what do you know. The no name "Canadian" that's been in my rotation for nearly thirty years is actually a "Lumberman."

    • pdh on August 27, 2015
    • I have a very old (and very large) 3 dot Brigham Lovat that is one of my nicest smokers. Lovats and Canadians (and variations) are two of my favourite shapes. Funny, when I'm looking at pipes I'm always attracted to these two shapes, even though I have both already. I guess they just suit my style - whatever that is...

    • TonyS on September 14, 2015
    • I am the same way with Bulldogs and Rhodesians either straight or bent. Just something about that shape. I have a Canadian in my midst that at one time when I first bought it, A Charatan second, from a basket for $12.50, around 1970 that at the time I grew to hate it. Looking back it was just too big for my young butt at the time the shank, the stem, etc. . Today, I love it. 40 yrs old and it still smokes fine, rather great!

    • EricG on August 10, 2016
    • I love this shape group. I have always wondered why they were named Canadian. Is it something aboot where it originated or who originated the design?

    • MikeC on September 2, 2016
    • I have a pipe called a Lumberman, but it's actually a Canadian, I believe it's a Jobey. Good smoking pipe.

    • Adam O'Neill on September 6, 2016
    • @MikeC I know the ones. The stem on those is kind of odd, like a bullet shaped stem base but with no step.

    • Jim on September 10, 2016
    • My favorite of these shapes is the Lovat. Anyone know why it's called a Lovat? It doesn't seem to be a nationality or ethnicity (like the Hungarian, which is also called an Oom Paul for :Uncle" Paul Kruger, former President of the South African Republic). One definition of Lovat is a certain rank of Scottish nobleman. Another is a particular shade of grayish green (odd, huh?). Anybody out there know the answer?

    • Bruno on April 6, 2017
    • Hello Jim,

      Pipedia say
      'Lovats appeared well before 1914 and were proposed with the sale by BBB in four different dimensions, of which a series called Highland. Colonel Henry Francis Fraser (1872-1949), Lord of Lovat, must have made the publicity of this form made in his honor and which is always popular nowadays. '

      Best regards

    • Adam O'Neill on April 6, 2017
    • @Bruno Thanks for helping out Bruno!

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