The Two Best Pipes in the World

We all have favorite pipes in our collections. They may change from week to week, they may switch identities, but there are always favorites. Most times I feel that whatever pipe I'm currently smoking is my favorite. Some fall in and out of favor, sometimes repeatedly. When a great pipe delivers a substandard smoke, it's because I packed the bowl wrong, but I blame the pipe nonetheless and give it a time-out to think about what it's done. Generally, it behaves when I come back to it after a week or so. Discipline is hard, but necessary.

The fastest way to figure out exactly what pipes are your favorites is to set your house on fire. Wait for the flames to get enthusiastic, then give yourself 20 seconds to save your most important pipes, after which you can save your dog and your spouse, and maybe the cat, or not, depending on your personal preferences. The cat will get out on its own, anyway, and without a thought about rescuing your pipes.

But the pipes come first. We have moments of intense clarity in emergencies, summoning superhuman powers of triage and assessment. You will have found those pipes most precious to you in only the few short minutes it takes your house to burn to the ground. However, while it's a valuable exercise, I do not recommend arson as a pipe categorization tool. Just to be clear, and in case you need a reminder: Do not burn your house down. Not even once.

We all have favorite pipes in our collections. They may change from week to week, they may switch identities, but there are always favorites.

I'm not criticizing arson. I'm a pyromaniac from youth, always attracted to campfires, bonfires, fireplaces. Our potato field caught fire when I was a boy, when my brother lit some firecrackers, and though I worked awfully hard to extinguish them, those flames were beautiful. I wonder if I became a pipesmoker partly for the excuse to play with fire all day long.

There's sometimes a difference between our favorite smokers and our favorite pipes. They often overlap, but I have pipes that I'll never let go, even though a couple aren't among the best performing pipes I have. I've mentioned that I keep only those pipes that smoke great, but I also have some with sentimental value, and they're more important to me than are the outstanding smoking instruments, though most fall into both categories. If you've been wondering what the best pipes ever made may be, you've come to the right place. Here are the two best pipes in the world, in no particular order. Coincidentally, I own both.

Randy Wiley Canadian

This Wiley is the first straight pipe I ever purchased. I had no interest in straight pipes, but this piece was on display in my local smoke shop in Tampa, and I examined it many, many times. It's the first pipe that haunted me, that wouldn't let me think clearly about anything else until I took it home.

John Sabia owned that smoke shop, and he invited me to the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America trade show in Cincinnati in the summer of 1996, where retailers could browse all the products for their shops. I took only one pipe with me, this Wiley, and a pile of cash, because I intended to buy pipes at the show. But trade shows operate differently than I expected, and any pipes bought were shipped to John's shop back in Tampa. I smoked this Wiley a lot that week.

I had it in my teeth at the show when I met Dayton Matlick, the owner of the publishing company that had just launched Pipes and tobaccos magazine. Two issues had been published and I was eagerly awaiting the next. Unexpectedly, John told him I was a great writer and that Dayton should hire me to write an article.

John knew I was a grad student and writer but had no idea if I was any good. That didn't stop him. He's a natural salesman and Dayton was willing to give me a chance at a freelance article. Since I was smoking the Wiley, and Randy lived near Tampa, I pitched that idea. Dayton looked at my pipe, turning it over in his hands, said he was familiar with Wiley pipes, and gave me a deadline.

It's the first pipe that haunted me, that wouldn't let me think clearly about anything else until I took it home.

After submission, Dayton called to ask if I'd consider forwarding a resume. I took my time, because it was a tough decision. Dayton had to call again a couple of weeks later to convince me. I had an academic career in front of me that I'd been working toward for years, and I was already older than is best for potential tenure track positions (I invested my youth wisely, on having fun and getting in trouble, so I was a late starter). Only my dissertation on Mark Twain's satire was left to write. If I walked away now, I'd be walking away from my last chance at a teaching career. However, I was already bored with teaching composition, professional writing and, heaven help me, technical writing. I liked teaching creative writing and literature, but it was becoming obvious that I liked writing more than I liked teaching others to write, and the politics of academia had started to wither my soul. When the dean of the college pissed me off around that time, I sent the resume, and two months later, despite knowing nothing about magazine publication, I was working for P&T, finishing my degree a few years later when Dayton gave me a month off to write the dissertation before I timed out. Remember that summer issue in 2002 that arrived a month early? That was me, clearing my desk for a grueling month of non-stop scholarly writing. I doubt I'd have finished that degree except for Dayton's support and encouragement.

When I smoke this pipe, I think of the many bowls I smoked from it in John's comfortable tobacco shop, talking with other pipe guys, waiters and lawyers, roofers and academics, doctors and mail carriers, all becoming extended family in an atmosphere of dense, beautiful smoke, with stories told over pipes of briar and meerschaum and cob, each cherished by its owner and therefore by the group. It reminds me of my friendship with Dayton, one of the most influential people in my life, and the good times I had with John, one of the best friends I've known. It reminds me of the interviews with Randy Wiley for that story, and how we became lifelong friends. This pipe is even more than a symbol of friendship and experiences, though; it's a physical manifestation of the concept that lives can shift 180 degrees in a mere moment and send one careening down an unanticipated path. This pipe waved me onto a path I'm privileged to walk. I'd save it in a fire.

Larry Roush Lovat

I think of it as a saddle-bit Billiard, but technically, a Lovat just needs a shank longer than the bowl is high, making this a Lovat. Or a saddle Billiard. I don't know.

I became a fan of Roush pipes when it was too late, after he quit making pipes in 1995. I've always liked silver accents on pipes, and Larry's were the best, intricate and creative, understated and elegant. I picked up an estate Roush at a pipe show, and it was a shockingly good smoker. I'd heard good things, but was surprised nonetheless, and I started looking for more. He has a distinctive style, and many of his pipes were large for me, especially through the shank, but I found some traditional shapes that I still own and enjoy. Roush had made only 394 pipes when he shifted from pipe making back to his primary trades as a jeweler and a machinist, so it wasn't easy to find his pipes, and I finally tracked Larry down and sent him a fan letter urging him to return to pipe making, and included several issues of Pipes and tobaccos to give him an idea of what the hobby was now doing.

Astoundingly, he wrote back. He had loved pipe making, but to get his reputation going and to get pipes into the hands of collectors, he had priced his pipes so aggressively (they were around $95 new back then) that he was making only about a dollar an hour after expenses. But in the 10 years he was gone, his pipes had grown in reputation and appreciated considerably in value. Larry reported that others had also contacted him about making pipes again, and the market seemed more reasonable for sustainability, so he was coming back.

A pipe making hero of mine was returning, and I was in on it. I let him get rolling again, then flew to Ohio for an interview. It was a terrific day. Larry had dozens of his pipes on hand, the most I've ever seen in one place. None of them were his because carvers never have any of their own pipes around (one of the hardest parts of doing feature articles for P&T magazine was finding enough pipes to pictorially represent a pipe maker's work, because pipe makers don't keep finished pipes around; they have to sell those things to buy groceries). No, Larry had borrowed his pipes from a collector, and I was overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of pipes on display by one of my favorite makers. I examined each piece individually like a child unwrapping Christmas presents, each package more delightful than the last. We were emerging from a time when finding even one Roush at a pipe show was a rarity, and they appeared on eBay as infrequently as tote sacks made from the Shroud of Turin, so to see a collection of 60 or 70 Roushes was an impossibility I'd never considered.

An even cooler experience, though, was to watch one of my heroes make a pipe from a raw block. Larry asked what shape I'd like him to demonstrate making, and I told him a Lovat or Billiard, with saddle bit. I like saddle bits and wanted to see him make one. Roush mouthpieces are hand cut, of course, but Larry doesn't particularly like making saddle stems, which may partially account for his particular style, which emphasizes tapering shanks leading into tapered stems. But he did a saddle this time to accommodate me and I had a ball taking photos and asking questions as Larry Roush himself carved a pipe right in front of me. What a day that was.

A couple of weeks after the article was published, this pipe arrived at my home, the very pipe I'd watched him create. It was a surprise that made me sit directly on the floor in lightheadedness. Larry's kind note gifted me the pipe and told me how much he had enjoyed our visit.

That was in 2004, and I've been smoking this pipe a couple of times a week ever since, remembering that trip to see Larry, examining the pipe and remembering exactly where I was standing as he completed a step or modified an element. And becoming friends with someone you've admired only through their work is an experience I'd not trade under any circumstances.

I had a ball taking photos and asking questions as Larry Roush himself carved a pipe right in front of me. What a day that was.

My discovery is that the best pipes in the world are the ones that best resonate with their owners. Shape, size, and construction are each important, certainly, but when a pipe has history, when it's your friend through shared experiences, when it's been there to lend support in times of need and to celebrate momentous life events, then it's the best pipe in the world.

I have dozens of best pipes in the world. You probably do as well. What pipe was there when your kid learned to ride a bike? Which pipe accompanied you to dinner with your future spouse when you realized this was the person you wanted to share your life? What pipe was with you when you met that majestic 14-point buck standing on the hiking trail not 10 feet away? That's the best pipe in the world.

Like me, you probably own several, and I would appreciate learning about them, so please take advantage of the comment section below. Just because you own the best pipe in the world doesn't mean I can't own several myself. We all own them, and their stories help us appreciate our own pipes, and our own stories, that much more.


    • Larry Roush on February 16, 2020
    • Thank you Chuck! This is a wonderful article that shows what pipe smoking and collecting is all about. Not just about wood and tobacco but friends and relationships. I remember my first Dunhill, 06 shape and my first Castello, both were looked at forever and finally put on layaway, in the mid 1980’s and I still have those pipes, and yes, with after market silver. You were not only “in on it” as you put it but were a huge part of my return to pipe making. Every time I tell the story of how I got back into pipe making your name and letter is always mentioned. I cannot say with certainty that I would have returned without your letter. I extend to you my sincere thank you. And by the way, over 2200 pipes later.

    • Smokey on February 16, 2020
    • My very first real pipe is still a favorite. I gifted myself on my 23rd birthday with a trip downtown to Jost, St. Louis oldest and most highly regarded pipe shop. At that time, Harvey Raspberry was in charge of the store and to him I revealed my thoughts about becoming a dedicated pipe smoker. This was November of 1968, I was 23 years old and notably not wealthy. Harvey understood everything I said and after some deliberation, helped me chose a very nice looking Canadian, likely by Comoy's, as they were a major supplier to Jost. After we'd consummated the purchase, he showed me how to properly load the pipe and sat me down in a comfortable chair in the corner but visible to him. I don't recall which tobacco we used but am certain that it was one of Jost's blends and likely a light English. We went through proper lighting and tamping and easy gentle puffing. I don't recall much else about this trial but as I smoked the pipe over a period of weeks while breaking it in, I became attached to it. I purchased others from Jost over time and they were all good pipes. I still have them all. But smoke them rarely, except that first Canadian. Over time I've acquired other similar pipes, many more Jost Canadians, but my first is till my favorite. After all those years it finally acquired the common shank crack at the stem end. I sent it to my favorite repair guys at Briarville with a lengthy explanation about the pipe. They did an amazing restoration which included a silver reinforcing band at the stem end and I had my pride and joy back in good time for reasonable money. It looked better than new but still smoked like my favorite. I suppose it'll be a lifelong treasure. It's still a good smoker although I've relegated it to occasional use to preserve it. Could it speak, it would tell many interesting stories from its 52 years in my collection.

    • Ken Denham on February 16, 2020
    • I just witnessed something. Something important to me, something special. I just read Chuck's article, which pleased me and made me laugh because his sarcasm and distant confrontationalism is hilarious. Then I noticed Mr. Roush commenting back! I don't deserve to speak or write or comment right now. Probably why no one has up to this point. You two just made another "best pipe in the world." The one I have with me right now; the one that was used as a medium to graciously permit me to be in the presence of genuinely good people sharing a bit of humor and wisdom. I'm not even sure what pipe this is...but it's now one of my most favorite.

    • Smokebacca on February 16, 2020
    • This article speaks to the core of the pipe smoking hobby. It IS about the memories and friendships as much as it is about an individual pipe pedigree, perhaps more so. It's about a personal connection that the pipe maker may never have dreamed of or intended to happen but facilitated non the less. This is why the cost of a pipe rarely has anything to do with our own "best pipes in the world". Our connection with a particular pipe is intangible really. You can try to explain it, but few can do as nice a job as Mr. Stanion has here. I always have a hard time answering what is my favorite pipe; what would I save in a fire. There's a smooth two-note Don Carlos that nerely ended my marriage years before it began while we were trying to live paycheck to paycheck. Or the first pipe I bought when, at my same wife's insistence, I decided to be exclusively a pipe smoker twenty years later, but it's just a readily available Chacom Black sandblast. Then there's the Missouri Meerschaum cobs that I cherish because I spent time personalizing them, as if they were an empty canvas. Some friends have said I should sell such custom cobs, but I'd never be able to part with any after spending the time to make them, because it is the personal journey we take with our pipes that endears them to us on a personal level while others may just give a 'meh' shrug at them. I hope every pipe smoker can have at least two pipes they can call the best in the world.

    • Phil Johnson on February 16, 2020
    • You have outdone yourself here Chuck. I have never enjoyed any of your articles more than this one. Kudos

    • Paul Brown on February 16, 2020
    • Great article Chuck! I am new to pipe smoking and have yet to learn what my favorite pipe is. Right now I am kind of fond of a Peterson bent Dublin that I purchased from Smoking Pipes. Maybe someday I will be fortunate enough to find a Larry Roush of my own.
      Thank you for an entertaining article!
      Paul B.

    • Ryan Alden on February 16, 2020
    • All the elements of a Chuck Stanion Classic ! The professer of profound insights on mundane matters, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary and serving it all with a healthy dose of honest to goodness humor. Chuck is a treasure to the community!

    • Terry Wilde on February 16, 2020
    • Great article Chuck! You are a treasure to us!

    • Terry Wilde on February 16, 2020
    • Great article Chuck! You are a treasure to us!

    • Doug Philo on February 16, 2020
    • You are "Top Shelf" Chuck! What a creative writer and story teller you are! LOVE your articles....keep it up.

    • David Zembo on February 16, 2020
    • Hi Chuck,
      You touched a sentimental nerve with this one like no other possibly could. Having read this only moments ago during a pipe smoking break from a Sunday afternoon family dinner gathering, I immediately reminisced about my two favorites. I will circle back later tonight and share my thoughts and feelings there-in.

      Best regards,
      David Zembo

    • Glenn Clemens on February 16, 2020
    • Savinelli gets top billing; Italian and Danish pipes are the vast majority in my collection. I've two Charatans (one Executive, and one Special) and two Wilmer's.

    • Tom Doss III on February 16, 2020
    • My first pipe was,(get this!) a Dunhill Army Billard! The charge of quarters left it on my desk at wing HQ. I didn’t waste any shoe leather tracking him down and never had any inquires about it. Damned thing would almost smoke it’s self!

    • Jim Haun on February 16, 2020
    • Absolutely a fine article. I don't think there's a pipe smoker it didn't take on a mental journey. I've been smoking pipes now a little over 43 years. I've got pipes my wife thinks I spent too much on; don't we all. One of my favorites is the first briar I purchased. It was a $5.00 basket pipe from the Gatlinburler pipe shop in the Smokie Mountains. Every time it's smoked I'm twenty again with that same group of friends I was vacationing there with.

    • Alfredo Baquerizo on February 16, 2020
    • Nice article!! Well, In my years of Pipesmoker I have some favorite pipes on my collection. Some were favs on my first years like Pipesmoker and some are favs today. First a big Oldrich Jirsa bent and a Savinelli Pisa. Both purchased 25 and 21 years ago, Both smokes AAA. Four months ago I purchased some pipes from a guy with zero knowledge abt pipes, in this group were a Caminetto Business KS of 1974 unsmoked and a GBD Straight Grain unsmoked from the seventies too. Both USD$80. The Caminetto is a marvelous pipe, very light pipe, perfect shape and smoke very dry. The GBD Idem but I 'm in love with la pipa dell baffo....

    • Chris Jeffrey on February 16, 2020
    • Neat that you got the first pipe in Tampa, Pretty sure the only pipe shop left here is Edward's.

    • Astrocomical on February 17, 2020
    • I remember my first pipe. A mail order Jacobi. I didn't know much about pipe smoking as I bought it in my teens and smoked the hell out of it. Till it cracked and developed a hole or something.

      Patched it with some chemical glue then I realized I couldn't smoke it because of the chemicals. So I put it away and switched to cigars.

      I didn't know much about tobacco either. All I remember was buying the pouch kind and it said Captain Black or something. Smelled really good. I really liked it.

      Then I quit cigars and pipes for awhile as I got busy with life. Then that fancy hit me again and I started with cigars then pipes and now both cigars and pipes.

      Yes, I'm a walking chimney when I relax.

    • Jerry Burns on February 17, 2020
    • Delightful. Power of the pen to create insight. My collection is viewed with new fondness. Thanks

    • Michael Cherry on February 17, 2020
    • Sir Charles;
      Another great story, as I have come to expect from the master. I have around 50 favorite pipes, but don’t consider myself a collector. I enjoy pipe smoking and have done so about fifty years. I remember where I purchased my first pipe at Wally’s in Ames, Iowa and I still have it. I was a sophomore at ISU. I had a Technical Writing Professor John Holman, a retired Army officer. He smoked a black leather wrapped Billiard Saddle bit. In those days you could smoke anywhere except in classrooms. He was not only a great teacher, but had a sense of humor that made his classes very enjoyable. For the next 50 or so years I searched for a pipe similar to his. I thought like the professor that pipe was really cool. I searched flea markets, pipe shops, eBay and purchased several, but most smoked like the business end of a blow torch. The Savinelli Crickets come close to perfection and I have three. Recently, I was scratching in a bin of old pipes I have tried and rejected and came across a leather covered Caravelle (the name is hard to read) with a ratty bit. I found another pipe that had a bit that fit the Caravelle pretty well and swapped them. I tried the Caravelle again and it is the best smoking pipe I own.
      So now, of all my favorites this old stained leather covered beat-up Caravelli is the champion. I guess the pipe and I are a lot alike.

    • Phil Morgan on February 17, 2020
    • I echo Ryan Alden's thoughts above. As Chuck knows, I have enjoyed reading his articles from the very first time I became aware of them. I always light up one of my favorite cobs in preparation, learning and laughing through the article. At that moment, the pipe I am smoking is my favorite.

    • Neal Osborn on February 18, 2020
    • This is one of the best pie articles I have read (ever). So much said in just dm the right amount of words. Bravo!

    • Neal Osborn on February 18, 2020
    • Pipe (not pie)

    • Dominic Jandrain on February 19, 2020
    • Chuck;
      Man, congratulations on your funny writing skills. Your education has payed off . My two best pipes in the World are a WDC Gold Dot bent billiard, and a very early Nording Dublin. In December of 2000, I was on the road in Champagne IL, and out of curiosity stopped in at Jon's Pipe Shop there. I had never owned any pipes besides the corn cobs I smoked when I was a boy. ( My friend Dan and I hunted squirrels together, and we always paused for a smoke.) Oh! The pipes, the smells, the friendly people! I became enamored with the idea of owning a pipe of artistic and practical beauty. Before me, resting on a shelf of estate pipes, was the WDC bent billiard. Something about the curve of the stem, the smooth bowl and enticing grain, moved me to purchase it. Best $15 I ever spent. The Nording was a pipe you critiqued on Smoking Pipes. I like to think of it as one of Eric Nording's first attempts at creating his own Danish style, though , that is my fantasy and can't be proven. Also, I purchased this pipe for my girlfriend (AKA "The Monster",) who recently got into the game. She has developed a keen sense of spotting quality pipes, and takes your comments to heart. In other words, she trusts you Chuck. It won't be long before her collection eclipses my own.

    • Vito on February 20, 2020
    • The two best pipes in the world are sitting in my pipe cabinet. Well, one of them is, anyway. The other one was stolen years ago in a place called "New Jersey", which somehow manages to still exist, despite years of efforts by generations of politicians to destroy it. I stay away.

      Anyhow, the stolen pipe was a Hickok Premier bent brandy, with a brass band at the joint between stem and shank. I paid $3.50 for it at a Rexall drug store in upstate New York in 1964. The brand has long since vanished. It wasn't the first pipe I ever smoked (I had inherited my Dad's pipe collection), but it was the first one I ever purchased. I was 15.

      I know what you're thinking: "You're biased by sentimentality; you just miss your pipe." Of course I am, and of course I do. But the fact remains that I had numerous pipes at that time, and none of them provided smokes that compared to the Hickok Premier's smokes. Every smoke was a Great Smoke.

      Its cake was built (mostly) from uncounted smokes of Edgeworth Extra High Grade Sliced (EEHGS), made by Larus & Bro. Co. of Richmond...the ambrosia that came in the non-hermetically-sealed two-tone blue tin, and which went extinct when Larus closed their doors in 1974. It has never been duplicated—certainly not by that stuff made in the EU. I once asked Greg Pease why no one simply recreates it. (He would be capable of doing so.) His answer: "It's the tobacco. It's not available any more. It's not even grown any more. The war on tobacco drove the farmers who grew it out of business. It's gone forever." Wah. But I digress...

      Anyhow, that Hickok Premier had something beyond mere sentimentality. I still miss it.

      The other best pipe in the world is my beloved Bauer Calabash. I paid ~$300 for it in 1983, a hefty chunk o' change in those daze, purchased from Ed Kolpin, at the original Tinder Box store on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, CA. Ed said, "I got this from old man Bauer himself on my last trip to Europe..." I didn't care (at the time); I just wanted a high-quality calabash with a real block meerschaum bowl (not one of those jobs with the pressed meerschaum sold by Pioneer). One look at the pipe was enough to tell me, "This is it!"

      There's probably no point in waxing ebullient about the virtues of the Bauer calabash. Those who know Andreas Bauer's craftsmanship immediately recognize the trademark briar ferrule, and understand the quality it signifies. And anyone who has smoked a genuine block meerschaum calabash knows that there is no smoke to match it, because physics. The expansion of the smoke as it exits the meerschaum bowl into the larger volume of the calabash gourd immediately cools it, condensing the tongue-stinging steam into droplets that precipitate onto the absorbent gourd. The result is a cool, dry smoke that no other pipe can deliver.

      Those are the two best pipes in the world...except, of course, the two best pipes sitting in YOUR pipe cabinet or on your pipe rack.

    • tora355 on February 23, 2020
    • Nice Lovat.

    • Aristobulus on February 24, 2020

    • There is Klaus' pipe which I only smoke late at night when I should go to sleep. I cannot sleep, at least I cannot when other people sleep. While I wonder how in the world all those people can go to sleep, easily, when and while I cannot, I smoke Klaus' pipe. It does not contain those huge masses of tobacco like my giant Mario Grandi, or like my huge baroque black Ser Jacopo, or like my awkwardly chunky, orange Lorenzo from 1975 or so which I all smoke in the day.

      Klaus' night pipe is long and slender and fragile, although it's in very good shape, in quasi eternal shape, while the rim is burned. I cannot remove that, it's too deep in the surface. I only polish it with a paper handkerchief to get it shiny again; yes also the burned rim gets shiny black, and the gracile wood gets its paper polish. Carefully. The silver ring gets a polish by my fingers, some finger turns: shiiiny again. Although I don't see it in the night. Of course not. I'm sitting with my keyboard, and with my half ideas floating, and with my strangely floating night, telling my keyboard what's going on or not, and watching the growing letter salad on the screen, while Klaus' pipe smokes me. That's what it does. In the bowl is that 965 tobacco from an ex-Hill or ex-Berg or dune, now it's made by Peter's son or so in Dublin; a deep taste of earth, autumn leeves, and heavy Latakia floating inside my throat and inside the night. So great.

      My other pipe for this tobacco, an old BBK from Switzerland, black as hell and edgy and covered with silver stars and a silver cow, has an other taste. Same tobacco, different taste. No one knows BBK pipes by now, they closed shop decades ago. Great pipes. That one I bought somewhere for twenty dollars, repaired it, since then it smokes glamourously. But Klaus' pipe is different. I don't know why, it's a pipe's character or so, different from any other. When I was a little child and Klaus passed by for a family visit, this pipe was huuuge, I still see the bowl filled with those masses of brown weeds from a huuuge red tin showing coarse white letters on the cover, the writing was a mystery, I couldn't yet read. This was this pipe, Klaus' pipe. Klaus allowed me to carefully stomp the tobacco in. I remember how it smelled. It was funny and somehow important, men's stuff or so. Stuff which must be done this way.

      Klaus has died decades later. It was a hot summer, and there was the open grave with his coffin deep down in an abyss of black earth. I took the shovel from the graveyard workers and buried him, saying Kaddish. Above was the sun and the heat, below was that grave abyss where I stomped the earth in, carefully.

      Later, I asked his widow what would happen with his pipes-?, she didn't know. She gave me one, it was this pipe. I hadn't seen it for fourty years. I smoke it now in the night. It has all the character a piece of wood, life, and time can ever have.

    • Uncle Rich on February 27, 2020
    • I do not really have one favorite pipe, but I prefer larger billiards, and I like saddle bits. I am also on the frugal side so I guess I miss the pleasure of owning expensive pipes, but my best one are Dr. Grabows, and except for poor varnish flaking, the seem to be OK.quality.

    • David M. Watson on February 27, 2020
    • I really enjoyed your article which made me think of my favorite pipes. I have a Scott's Klein pipe I recently purchased along with a Peterson I really enjoy. Based on your article I went on Ebay and found Larry Roush which I just received and looking at I know it will another one of my favorites. Thanks for the insite.

    • Sherman Waters on April 4, 2020
    • I am the proud owner of 5 or 6 Larry Rouch pipes. They are dated 1990 through 1992. One or two of them are double digit. The highest one is I think #192. Looks like they will turn out to be a very good investment. They all smoke wonderful. I have about 50 or 60 pipes that I collected in the late eighties to the early nineties. Makers such as Savenelli, Wiley, Barling, Peterson, Stanwell, Julius Vez(spelled wrong). Autograps pipe of the year 85 thru 91’. Barling silver spigot Christmas pipe the year the factory burned down. I would have to get my collection out for specific details. I am 66 now and don’t and shouldn’t smoke them much anymore. Would consider selling most of them for the right price. Maybe holding on to them and and making the right selections at the time will finally pay off. Contact me if interested. If mot thats OK too. My grandson will inherit them.

    • Cassie D on April 7, 2020
    • @Sherman Waters Wow, it sounds like you have quite the collection! We would certainly be interested in taking a look. I am going to reach out to you via email with more information!

    • Andrew B on January 5, 2021
    • Pipe smoking has always been a “me” thing I’ve done alone, usually in the garden of an evening it’s more of a switch off moment. particularly as i have been a pipe smoker since i was 23 (now 31) no one knows about my hobby with the exception of my wife (and the tobacconist) so unfortunately i’ve never really met anybody that shares the same interests. however my favourite pipe in my collection is my Peterson Derry Rustic, fabulous pipe and smokes well with my favourite aromatic tobacco Samuel Gawith Celtic Talisman. Ta, Andy

    • Rosidi Bin Ibrahim on January 9, 2021
    • How much is the price? 1 unit

    • Cassie D on January 12, 2021
    • @Rosidi Unfortunately, these are Chuck's personal pipes so they aren't for sale!

    • Shaun De Klerk on July 31, 2021
    • What a fantastic article! This resonates with my soul! I was thinking along similar lines just the other day while inspecting my collection.I'd say my best pipes, if I had to choose just two, would have to be; my Peterson 304 standard system and my Jarl pipe.Why are these two my best in the world?The Peterson was given to me by my father. His girlfriend at the time was a hot blooded, temper tantrum throwing 20 something year old who grabbed a bunch of stuff, including my Peterson 999 and tossed it over the balcony on the twelfth floor... The 999 was broken beyond repair.The 304 was aptly christened Piet. Piet has traveled with me from Dubai, to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique all the way up to Tunisia, Turkey and to China.Piet doesn't always perform well, but has been used so much that he is now blackened and no longer has a flat top but a worn rounded top.He performs particularly well with blends like Salty Dogs. The Jarl I actually got here in China. It is an estate pipe. I cleaned it up rather nicely and it performs well with aromatic blends. My other pipes are great, but I keep coming back to these two.

    • William on October 29, 2021
    • Yo how much for the pipes?

    • John Sabia on December 15, 2021
    • I remember that pipe , Chuck :) Im wondering if you still have that Winslow hand made that we grappled over ,lol ?! It was a " tubular " shape with such wonderful cross grain . That was an exceptional show that year . I miss the hell out of you . Cheers

    • John Sabia on December 15, 2021
    • I remember that pipe , chuck ! That was a fun and exceptional show that year ! Miss you , man .. cheers

    • Dave Beers on December 26, 2021
    • I'm a bit late to the fray, having just discovered your article on Boxing day, 2021. No, I'm not in the U.K., but it's a bit more puckish to use the Holiday name rather than the date. I have three (official) Randy Wiley pipes in my collection, and a few I'm fairly confident he created when he apprenticed at Edwards (for whom I worked back in '75-'77) before striking out on his own. They are all among my favorites.

    • J. Haden McCormick on February 6, 2022
    • Chuck, I collect Randy Wiley’s, and would cherish your article on him. My favorite is a big Canadian he carved years ago. Thanks, Haden

    • hans cheak on April 9, 2023
    • my very first real, quality briar pipe was a savinelli 413ks. still my favorite shape from the Italian firm. before that I had a cob and a falcon (still love the falcon but its my knock-around pipe) my second favorite pipe would have to be my shank logo kaywoodie #33 apple. never had a bad smoke out of it and it has a nicer grain than many of their flame grains. when I was newly married, between my wife and I (she was the big money maker) we did very well for our selves and I could indulge my PAD. I got into refurbishing pipes as a way to get darn good wood at a reasonable price. my collection hit 77. of the choicest pipes that caught my eye. my estimated value was around 10k worth of functional art. Then hard times fell, she lost her job, my welding/blacksmithing business went under do to my failing heart and all my pipes were stolen after our house was foreclosed on. So here I am 8 years later and I haven't owned more than 12 pipes at any given time since then. I had a specific pipe for all of the blends I smoke. I knew what pipe would smoke what kind of weed best, and the fact that each pipe would make a blend either better or worse was magic to me, and when wife and I went out on the town I spent longer picking what 4 pipes to bring than she did getting ready (that is a 100% true statement) she would always complain that" no one cared what pipes you bring, as they all looked the same" oh you sweet Sumer child. I joked that our house could potentially be judged on the pipes I brought along if I were to run into another piper out in the wild. (it was 2008 or so so not many were seen in the wild) good times, hard times, our times.

    • Ralph Mcculley on July 18, 2023
    • I have a small collection of 87 pipes. I say small because I see people posting pictures on FB with racks and racks full of pipes on them. I've only been smoking a pipe for 12 years I believe and started out with two Dr. Grabows. I received brand-new pipes as gifts from my wife and my oldest son, they were Savinelli's and Rossi's and one Peterson. I'm not a fan of Peterson pipes, well, at least the one I have. I started casing Ebay and bought a couple estate pipes. Well, that was it, I became obsessed with vintage Dr. Grabows and especially vintage Kaywoodies. Most of my collection are of the two, spanning from 1930s to the early 1980s. I do have a few English made pipes, which are fantastic smokers, but there is two pipes I would save in a fire. One is a basket pipe that turned out to be a Chacom De luxe 121 bent author. That was a mere freak accident that this pipe ended up in the discount pipe rack. I absolutely love that pipe, it clinches great and feels perfect in my hand. Plus it burns tobacco just lovely. It says it's an author but it looks more like a half bent Diplomat. My other pipe would have to be my Savinelli Roma 207 with a lucite stem. That was the first pipe my wife bought me. It's got more tobacco burned through that pipe than any other pipe I own. I'm sure my 1930s and 50s pipes had more burn time but I'm talking about what I smoked personally. I'm a very lucky man, my wife will surprise me time to time with a package delivered to our apartment with tobacco and a pipe.

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