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Tobacconist University
Accoutrements College

Accoutrements College: Pipe Accessories

 
PIPE ASHTRAYS

While any ashtray can provide a place to put ashes, pipe ashtrays include a knocker to help empty the bowl. Instead of banging the pipe against your hand to help evacuate the char and ash, pipe smokers can knock the bowl rim against the knocker to help empty the chamber. Knockers are usually made from cork since it is soft and will not damage the pipe or its finish.
Pipe Ashtray



PIPE STANDS

Pipe stands are particularly useful since most pipes do not have flat bottoms and they will roll over when placed on a flat surface. Pipe roll-over can be dangerous, if not simply annoying. Pipe stands vary from single pipe holders to multiple pipe configurations. They can be simple and inexpensive or exquisite and ornate. Due to the differences in pipe shapes and sizes, pipe stands should be selected with the pipe in mind: not all stands fit all pipes.
Pipe Stand



HUMIDORS & HUMIDIFIERS

A pipe tobacco humidor can be any vessel, including jars or boxes, which has a humidifier and a tight seal. Pipe tobacco humidors typically have a non-porous interior made from glass or plastic. Since pipe tobaccos are more tolerant to changes in humidity, they require less precise humidifiers than cigar humidors. Small evaporation discs or sponges are common devices used to preserve pipe tobacco humidity. (Learn more about pipe tobacco humidification.)
Pipe Humidor



PIPE POUCHES

Pipe tobacco pouches are functional carrying cases which will help preserve pipe tobacco. They will not add moisture unless a humidifier is placed inside. Most pouches have a non-hygroscopic (i.e. vinyl, plastic) liner inside so they will not absorb moisture from the tobacco. The two most common types of pipe tobacco pouches are zipper and roll up: these names refer to the method used for closing the pouch. A zipper pouch is susceptible to mechanical failure and may lose more humidity through the zipper teeth. Some pipe pouches come with pockets to hold tools and maybe even a pipe.
Pipe Pouch



POKERS & TAMPERS

Aside from the ubiquitous pipe cleaner, these are the requisite instruments for proper pipe smoking:

Poker: A pipe poker is a slender piece of metal that can be used to aerate and loosen tobacco, as well as used to clear the airhole.

Tamper: A tamper is a flat metal surface used to pack, or tamp, the tobacco in the bowl.

Scraper: The third, rarely used, pipe tool is the scraper. It is a beveled, not sharp, spoon-like, metal instrument that can be used to remove excess char from the inside of the chamber. It has the potential to damage the cake and for that reason scrapers are rarely used; instead many pipe smokers prefer to use a reamer.
Pipe Poker & Tamper

Pipe Poker & Tamper



PIPE LIGHTERS

Pipe lighters, above all, are characterized by their traditional flame. Torch lighters should NEVER be used to light a pipe because the extremely high heat will damage the bowl. In addition, a torch lighter's flame will penetrate too deep into the bowl/tobacco and create an uneven light.

Since fire naturally points in the opposite direction of the chamber, a pipe lighter must be able to tilt easily. Most butane lighters have lids or shapes which will make them less than ideal for pipe lighting. The most practical pipe lighters emit their flame horizontally, or out of the side. Horizontal flames make for easy lighting and minimal wear and tear on the lighter and your hands. In addition, many pipe lighters have a built in tamper and/or poker.
Pipe Lighter



PIPE CLEANERS

Pipe cleaners are disposable wicking and scrubbing devices which will help eliminate excess moisture and char from the airhole that runs from the chamber through the stem. Pipe cleaners are typically made from wire and cotton and they are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and "bristliness". The most common pipe cleaners are tapered, regular, and extra bristle, for harder scrubbing.
Pipe Cleaners



POLISHING CLOTHS

Polishing cloths are specially treated fabrics used to clean and buff briar pipes. They help remove scuffs, fingerprints, and soiling as well as shining up the finish of the pipe.
Pipe Polishing Cloth



PIPE REAMERS

Pipe reamers are probably the most technically sophisticated instrument a pipe smokers will ever use. Reamers are designed to be inserted into the bowl when excessive cake has formed. They have shaped metal prongs which conform to the shape of the chamber: the prongs are spread open with equal pressure and the reamer is turned around to remove char and to slightly compress the existing cake. Reamers must be used gingerly in order to not damage the cake or the inside wall of the chamber: proper use will ensure even caking over the long term.
Pipe Reamer



PIPE STEMS

Stems come in seemingly infinite combinations of shapes, sizes, and materials. Finding a replacement stem to fit a pipe perfectly can be difficult. In lieu of rummaging through boxes of random stems and hoping that one fits your pipe, it might be best to have your Tobacconist custom order a replacement from the original manufacturer.

Pipe Stem
Lucite

Pipe Stem
Amber

Pipe Stem
Bent

Pipe Stem
Long

Pipe Stem
Lucite

Pipe Stem
Vulcanite

Pipe Stem
Bent

Pipe Stem
Straight






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