Thursday, June 13, 2024

Breaking In a New Tobacco Pipe

A common complaint of new pipe smokers is the “hot pipe,” and “tongue bite.” Together, we will review a few points which will hopefully result in easing that problem – breaking in a tobacco pipe.

Years ago, it was unheard of, to simply purchase a pipe, fill the bowl and smoke ‘pall mall’, going for broke. That seemed to make the old-timers laugh when they would see that. It had been commonly known throughout the planet where tobacco pipes are encountered, that any, new pipe, or overly reamed pipe, would require it to be broken in. It was called: The Rule of Thirds.

Breaking in Step One – Prep the Pipe

To begin breaking in your pipe, you will begin by gently wetting the bowl. Making sure the pipe is clean, run your finger under water and completely wet the inside of the bowl, without drowning it, of course. Place not more than, 1/3rd of the capacity of the bowl filled with pipe tobacco. Remember, in this case, less, is more. So go easy and pinch your bowl offerings in a way that would make Uncle Scrooge smile with admiration.

gentleman breaking in a tobacco pipe

Breaking in Step Two – Light the Tobacco

Bring your source of flame to where you like it, and get the pipe lit, not a raging forest fire, just lit. Slowly, and easily, gently draw the smoke.

Breaking in Step Three – Draw the Smoke

To properly break in your tobacco pipe, use your hand to make a flue damper on your pipe bowl chimney. You can use a thumb, the first two fingers, or the palm, to regulate the air flow. This is helpful especially if you over pack the tobacco too tight. Breathe with your stomach muscles. Slowly and relaxed. Draw the smoke easy with long volume.

You are now doing a number of things. You are teaching yourself relaxed breathing which will effectively reduce stress, and breaking in your pipe. The carbon will immediately form, from the 1/3rd mark to the heel. By pre-wetting, you reduce the possibility of burnouts.

Breaking in Step Four – Repeat

Breaking in your tobacco pipe requires you to repeat this process a very minimum of three times, better at five, best at ten cycles. Your pipe must rest and cool between smokes, a minimum of a half hour or until dead-cold to your touch. You can hasten the cooling off process simply by placing your pipe into a glass ashtray. Glass is a heat sink. Crystal, being best. Cold absorbs heat, for all the science majors. Next, repeat the process filling to 2/3rds, multiple cycles, then eventually you will reach a point where you can top off the bowl. Bear in mind, you must smoke whatever the loading cargo of pipe tobacco, to the very heel, each time.

Can You Buy a Tobacco Pipe Already Broken In?

Only in recent years has factory pre-lined bowls lessened the need to break a tobacco pipe in, but I don’t know. All these pre-lined carbon offerings have a raunchy taste. A pipe needs to be properly broken in, no matter what.

Check out the rest of our pipe-smoking guide below. Also don’t miss our list of the most popular hobbies for men.

Pipe Smoking Guide

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