Besides these things to look out for, you should be on the lookout for the following characteristics of a well-made pipe:
Grain: The more uniform the grain, and the tighter the grain, the higher the price of the pipe, but overall, this has little to no effect on the smoking quality.
Weight: The lighter a pipe is, everything else being equal, the better it will smoke. Okay, that‘s a pretty bold statement. The truth of the matter is that a lot of folks are looking for a pipe that ‘feels lighter than it should‘ . A lighter pipe is easier to hold in your mouth and therefore less fatiguing. A pipe that is light for its size may also have been cured more thoroughly (moisture removal).
Sandpits: Sandpits happen, and there really isn‘t anything wrong with them, but the fewer of them in a pipe, the better.
Fit and finish: The pipe should look as if it was made with care. There should not be any obvious sandpaper marks, uneven stain, or bald spots without wax. The inside of the bowl should not be stained. The stem and shank should join well.
Draft hole: This should be as close as possible to the center of the bowl, and should align perfectly with the airhole in the stem. It should also terminate in the bottom of the bowl, not partway up the side.
(...to be continued)
Prossimo articolo: How To Select The ‘Right‘ Pipe - part IV