Top 10 Resources For Pipe Smokers

This article was originally published October 25, 2014. It has been updated for accuracy and to reflect current trends.

Top 10 Resources for Pipe Smokers | Smokingpipes.com

Pipe smoking, though quite traditional in some ways, is still an ever-changing hobby. From new tobacco releases, to ultra-rare stamps or shapes, to the latest up-and-coming carvers, there's quite a lot to keep track of. How do we juggle it all? Well, having an extremely knowledgeable staff and great relationships with carvers and blenders alike has allowed us to create some great original content here on the Daily Reader, but sometimes we do consult outside sources — great sites that we would like to share with you. So in no particular order, here are our top ten resources for pipe smokers!

TobaccoReviews.com

With hundreds of blends on the market, how does a new pipe smoker (or even an experienced one) decide which mixtures to try? For nearly a decade, I've turned to TobaccoReviews.com. Currently cataloging over 84,000 reviews, TobaccoReviews offers detailed descriptions, tasting notes, component breakdowns, and other blend-related information in a simple, easy to use format. The reviews themselves are provided by a broad, diverse range of pipe smokers around the globe who designate a review "helpful" or not, with a sorting system that can prioritize the most reliable content, displaying the most recommended reviews first.

PipesMagazine.com

PipesMagazine.com is a comprehensive powerhouse of a resource, focusing on pipe and tobacco related news, ranging from tasting notes and reviews of recently released blends, to interviews with major players in the industry, to editorial articles about the pipe collecting hobby. Kevin Godbee and his team recently redesigned the website to be more mobile friendly and to prioritize content, making each of these articles easy to read (and easy to share).

It's also the home of one of the best pipe-related podcasts in the business: the Pipes Magazine Radio Show, which is now available on the majority of podcast sites and apps for seamless incorporation into your daily commute or walk. After listening to an episode or reading an article, you can keep the conversation going by contributing to the site's robust forums, where enthusiasts discuss everything from beginner tips to historical information to presentations of favorite pipes and tobaccos. With over a million posts and 20,000 members, it's the answer for any question or topic.

The Briar Patch Pipe Forum

If you're in search of a forum in which you can enjoy an easygoing, laidback discussion of pipes and pipe tobacco, the Briar Patch is a great spot. While it's not quite as large as some of the other forums and sites on this list, it has a friendly, communal personality, almost like an online pipe club. Speaking of which, their Pipe Club Directory is a great tool to help you find a local meetup near you. There's also an old-school chatroom where you can hold remote conversations and pipe smoking discussions in real time.

Pipedia.org

Probably the most extensive resource for information on well-known pipe makers and marques (outside of our own site), Pipedia is a user-friendly wiki for all things pipe related. Scott Thile, who's also a well respected pipe maker and all around great guy, manages the site with the dedication of a scholar; myriad editors also work to keep each article accurate and up to date, generally with some great photography, too. As one of Pipedia's contributors, our own content may be found there as well, and in a format that's conveniently organized (you might find one of our interviews appended to a pipemaker's bio or marque's history, for example).

Pipe Smokers Forums

Pipe Smokers Forums has been on our Top Resources list for years now. While some folks experienced difficulties registering in the past, the moderators and admins have done a great job of streamlining the process. Whether you'd like to share what you're smoking this month, ask for recommendations on advanced techniques, read reviews, or participate in secondary topics like food or hunting or fishing, PSF remains an excellent resource for the pipe smoker.

Mark Irwin's Peterson Pipe Notes Blog

Mark Irwin's Peterson Pipe Notes

I can't think of anyone on the planet who knows more about Kapp & Peterson, both past and present, than Mark Irwin. Mark's the Pete Freek Extraordinaire who continues to school me on the ins and outs of the Peterson brand. His recent book, The Peterson Pipe: The Story of Kapp & Peterson, was a best-seller here at Smokingpipes and completely changed my understanding of the System pipe.

While far more specific and targeted than many of the resources on this list, Mark's Peterson Pipe Notes blog is among the first resources I share with those interested in collecting Peterson pipes. His blog even includes articles, photographs, and interesting information that didn't make it into Mark's book.

Pipe Smokers Den

Another great, laid-back forum in this list, the Pipe Smokers Den is like a micro-community of pipe smokers of all vocations, experience levels, and personalities. Among the threads, you'll find a list of current pipe sales and pipe smoking advice via "Ask an Old Codger," as well as what they call "pipe & tobacco bombs," which are essentially beautiful acts of charity and surprise giveaways. Like the Briar Patch, it feels less like a forum and more like an online pipe club, great for building tight-knit relationships with others who share the same interests.

The Ivory Smoking Lounge r/PipeTobacco

If you're prone to spending hours and hours diving deeper and deeper down the reddit rabbit hole, you're going to love the site's "pipe tobacco" sub-category. Completely open source, the Ivory Smoking Lounge is an inclusive and friendly place for beginners to ask questions and receive feedback from more experienced smokers. And quite a lot of them, too. With over 33,000 members, it's one of the largest online pipe smoking communities out there. It's also incredibly user-friendly, with pretty flexible CSS and easy-to-use search bars.

Pipephil.eu

Let's face it; some pipe maker's stamping traditions are less than clear, making dating a certain vintage briar quite difficult at times. Luckily, there's Pipephil, a comprehensive study of logos, stamps, and nomenclature, to help with the process. It's user-friendly setup allows you to search for brands by country, name, or logo — making it much easier to figure out whether your Barling is pre- or post-transition.

The Wood Database

Trying to identify accents, exotic woods, and the like can be a daunting task. The Wood Database offers examples of a variety of exotic and domestic hardwoods you'll find used in pipe making. With its enlargeable photos, detailed characteristics, and descriptions, it's a resource that our copywriters and data entry team use almost every day. How else do you think we can distinguish Wenge from Macassar Ebony in our descriptions? We ask Adam — or check the Wood Database when even he's not sure.

Bonus Resources:

The Gentleman's Pipe Smoking Society Facebook Group

Created in 2008, the Gentleman's Pipe Smoking Society is an extremely active Facebook Group dedicated to the pipe smoking hobby. The group currently has over 18,000 members. It's perfect for starting up discussions or showing off your new pipe, not to mention super convenient, as most of us are already on Facebook.

Cornell & Diehl's Tobacco Selections YouTube Series

If you get tired of watching cat videos or grown men trying to do the "floss" dance, head on over to the Cornell & Diehl page and check out their Tobacco Selection series. In each video, C&D's head blender Jeremy Reeves breaks down one or two grades of tobacco used by the blending house in their mixtures. Aside from an explanation of the leaf itself, Reeves also smokes each component straight, offering tasting notes and tips on how to leverage each component for your own blending experiments.

Mac Baren's Meet the Master Blender YouTube Series

Much like C&D's Tobacco Selections, Mac Baren's Meet the Master Blender is another extraordinary YouTube series dedicated to exploring the subtle art that is pipe tobacco blending. In this series, Mac Baren's master blender Per Jensen, who fathered the uber-popular HH line, explores different types of tobacco used in popular blends and offers insight into what makes a mixture great.

So there you have it: our Top 10 Pipe Smoking Resources (plus a few extra). Each of these resources has helped us immensely, and all are incredibly important for the hobby. But what about you? What are your favorite pipe smoking resources? Feel free to share your go-tos in the comments below.

Comments

    • Vitaliy on October 25, 2014
    • http://smokersmag.com/archive – Pipe Smokers' Magazine in Russian. Pipes and Tobacco manufacturers history, interview with pipemakers, tobacco reviews and much more.

    • Flatticus on October 25, 2014
    • Thanks for the shoutout to reddit's /r/pipetobacco forum, Andrew, all great resources here!

    • pylorns on October 26, 2014
    • Yeah baby, /r/pipetobacco representing!

    • Andrew W on November 1, 2014
    • Vitaliy, that's a really cool site! Thanks for sharing. Flatticus and Pylorns (and everyone else on reddit really), thank you all for helping make the /r/pipetobacco the great resource it is!

    • Jim on November 1, 2014
    • I use Pipedia all the time -- very highly recommended! I'd also point out tobaccopipecollectors.com -- not for the top ten, but I think it deserves honorable mention.

    • Dr. Marcus Mihail on May 17, 2015
    • Thank you for your pipe smokers resources. I'm sure will learn a great deal and am pleased to join your mailing list.
      Dr. Mihail

    • Andrew W on May 18, 2015
    • You're welcome Dr. Mihail! Welcome aboard; we're glad to have you!

    • Luis Carroza on September 7, 2015
    • Do you now some pipes´s website in spanish?

    • Linwood on April 16, 2016
    • Would you all mind if we put a link to this page on the Conclave Of Richmond Pipe Smokers (CORPS) links page? This is a very comprehensive listing! Thank you for it, btw.

    • Adam O'Neill on April 17, 2016
    • @Linwood Not at all! Have you seen our glossary? https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/glossary.cfm

    • Scott J on May 9, 2016
    • I have to disagree with pipesmokerforum.com They seem to restrict membership or can't seem to figure out there scripting issues. Impossible site to register and login to.

    • Adam O'Neill on May 11, 2016
    • @Scott J Huh, that's unfortunate. They're a lovely bunch over there with a trove of information, if you still have issues registering send us an email and I'll see if we can't talk to the admins.

    • Scott J on May 12, 2016
    • "send us an email and I'll see if we can't talk to the admins."

      Sorta what I am talking about. Not a top 10 resource if you have to jump thru a bunch of hoop's to be accepted. I tried messaging them many times, just not worth it with so many other great places with great info. Thanks for trying.

    • Cid on May 12, 2016
    • Hey Scott J maybe when this post went up 20 mos. ago that wasnt the case you know??

    • Scott J on May 12, 2016
    • Just tried to register 3 minutes ago, so sorry Cid:

      Internal Server Error

      The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

      Please contact the server administrator, [email protected] and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

      More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

    • Cid on May 13, 2016
    • Scott J all i'm trying to say is that when this article was written almost TWO YEARS AGO pipesmokersforums was alive and well but your busting SmokingPipes chops like they posted the the article last week with a bad link. just trying to add some perspective here

    • Adam O'Neill on May 13, 2016
    • @Scott J I absolutely agree that if you can't register it's probably not that helpful. As @Cid mentioned, PSF wasn't having these issues at the time, but you're right in that we need to get this updated. We've been looking at updating this anyway to account for A Passion For Pipes being closed, but were hoping to wait and see if the content was going to get a new home before just dropping it off of the list.

      We're looking into other resources for you and will update soon.

    • Eric G on August 10, 2016
    • @Scott J I just wanted to mention that I joined in May and while it wasn't the easiest to join, it does work. I think they make it a little difficult on purpose so they can screen out anti-smoking trolls and the like. I'm not sure of that but that's my assumption from the screening questions they asked. Pipesmokersforum.com is a great forum and was worth jumping through some hoops to get into. I wish you luck!

    • Brian H on September 30, 2016
    • Wow..regarding PSF. I registered and everything was cool for about 3 days. All of a sudden I kept getting errors loading the site and when I tried to login. Can't seem to get it to work now any device...and can't reach any mods. Shame, it seemed like a cool forum.

    • publictakeover on March 9, 2017
    • www.pipes.org

    • Chico on July 21, 2017
    • I have to disagree about PSF. There are some great people there but admin rules with an iron fist and will ban you at the drop of a hat with no explanation, and no chance to talk about it. Not very cool after being a contributing and respected member of the community for over 2 years with thousands of posts, reviews, etc.

    • Fr. Tom on May 29, 2018
    • Give PSF 2.0 a try.

      https://pipesmokersforums.com/

    • Steve H on July 10, 2018
    • Chico, give the "real" New PSF a try at pipesmokersdens.com
      The admin of PSF passed away and the mods moved to Pipesmokersdens. Same web design, same great folks, even better atmosphere.

    • Ronnie Vance on July 31, 2018
    • This needs to be updated. Some forums are gone, and the newer THEBRIARPATCHFORUM.COM is going strong.

    • Roland Hautmann on April 17, 2020
    • For those able to read in German, a very good blog/website is PFEIFENBLOG.DE. Lots of stuff about pipe smoking, tobacco, music and other interests.

    • Sam R Vior on April 17, 2020
    • For Spanish Speaking Pipesmokers...

      El Rincón de la Pipa / Foro http://rinconpipa.foroactivo.com/

      Pipa & Barba Worldwide FB Fanpage
      https://web.facebook.com/groups/1796331747349319/

      Some Countries, Like Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina have clubs and they also, have pages on FB...

    • David Leibow on April 19, 2020
    • The pipe smokers forums on CigarForums.net (formerly know as Puff.com) are are a friendly, informative and active community. I highly recommend them.

      https://www.cigarforums.net/forums/vb/pipe-smokers-forums/

    • Buck McGibbony on April 19, 2020
    • Any tips on getting the lids off of some stored
      tins? My hands are black and blue....
      Best regards,
      Buck

    • Jerry Goldsmith on August 5, 2020
    • Really appreciate HELP.Lovingly collected great variety of pipes in 50's-70's. MD advised me to quit. Want to find new home. Have full list if desired. 100 would consider sell in a few increments. Would also accept tips to accomplish.Jerry

    • Cassie D on August 7, 2020
    • @Jerry Goldsmith We can help with that! I'll send you an email to assist.

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