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Pipe smoking can be seen as a bit of a grandfatherly pastime, but there have been a lot of younger people looking to get into pipe smoking lately. However, there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you’re not confident with what you are doing. Having a bad experience with a pipe when you’re just starting out can be enough to make you put down the pipe for good. 

Here at UK Tobacco, we want you to be able to enjoy a fantastic pipe smoking experience, so to help you out – here are some common pipe smoking mistakes and how you can avoid them. 


Packing the Tobacco Too Tight

To smoke a pipe, you need to pack the bowl with pipe tobacco, and this in itself requires a bit of a knack that you will develop as you continue along your pipe smoking journey. Whilst it might be tempting to simply jam in as much tobacco as the bowl can hold, this is a bit of a bad move and it will actually make it harder for the tobacco to stay lit. This leads to combating the poorly-lit tobacco by puffing harder which can then cause the pipe to get too hot and might then cause tongue bite. 


  • How to Pack a Pipe

In order to correctly pack a pipe, you will want to loosely fill the bowl with tobacco, then use a finder or tamper to push it down to being around two-thirds full. The tobacco should not be as squished down as you can possibly get it, it should still have a bit of spring to it. 

On top of this, you should then fill the remainder of the pipe and then press down again with much less pressure. Continue doing this until the bowl is filled, and drawing through the pipe should have a similar feel to drinking through a straw. 

  • If it takes effort to draw through the pipe, then it’s packed too tightly. 
  • If it whistles when you draw through the pipe, then it’s packed too lightly. 


Smoking the Wrong Pipe

If you’ve decided that you want to give pipe smoking a go, then you should check it’s definitely for you before you start shelling out a tonne of money on a super fancy, high-end pipe. However, this is where a lot of novices run into problems. 


  • Briar Pipes

Briar pipes are one of the most popular on the market – they look great, can last a lifetime and can add incredible flavour to the smoke. However, choosing a cheap briar pipe might mean that it hasn’t been cured properly; as this process takes time and adds extra cost onto production. The curing process aims to reduce the tannins, resins and sap that are naturally occurring in briarwood. If the curing isn’t done properly, then it might make the pipe smoke too hot and wet, which can then cause tongue bite and a rather unpleasant taste.

The solution? Try either an Estate Pipe or a Corn Cob Pipe.


  • Estate Pipe

If you want to enjoy a good smoke without having to break the bank straight away, then you might want to look for an estate pipe, which is one that is pre-owned. Most Estate Pipes will be fully refurbished, sanitized and cleaned like now; but will be broken in already and much cheaper than buying a brand new pipe. 


  • Corn Cob Pipe

These pipes are crafted from a corn cob, which makes them a lot cheaper whilst still offering a decent smoke. For a beginner looking to try out pipe smoking, this is a great option as they don’t need to be broken in, they’re robust and offer a great flavour.