It’s not always desirable to spend $50 or more on a tobacco pipe. You may be curious about pipe smoking, but not quite sure if it’s for you. You may want a pipe for a camping or hiking trip, where there is a greater risk of damage or loss. Or perhaps you just need an inexpensive prop for the Halloween party that only comes once a year.
In any of these cases, you may want to try either a clay or a corncob pipe. Both sell for under $10, and are ready to be used right away. A briar pipe is ultimately preferred by most pipe smokers, but this can be worked up to in time.
Below is some information about the types of pipe that City Cigar carries under the retail price of $10. Please let us know if you have any further questions!
Clay pipes are not just for historical re-enactments and stage props. They can also be a serviceable – and very inexpensive – beginner pipe as well.
Generally available for under $6 apiece, many modern ‘clay’ pipes are actually made from porcelain that is poured into a pipe-shaped mold. Although the material is the same in all, these pipes are offered with variety in both size (with stems from 3-5 inches long), and style.
Is there a downside to owning a clay pipe? First, it should be noted that clay pipes tend to burn hotter than any other material. Also, the material is brittle and may impart a bit of unwanted flavour when the tobacco is being smoked.
Still, clay pipes are a popular option for outdoor excursions when a more expensive briar pipe may be at risk of damage. And here’s an interesting trivia note: Contrary to popular belief, it was a clay pipe – and not a briar Calabash – that was favored by Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original short stories.
Corncob pipes are often considered to be the best option for new pipe smokers not wanting to spend a lot on their first pipe. Not only can they be purchased for less than $10, but they don’t require the ‘break-in’ procedure and period that briar pipes do. In other words, they are ready to smoke upon purchase.
All corncob pipes sold at City Cigar are produced by the Missouri Meerschaum company, which was the very first manufacturer of corncob pipes in North America. The manufacture of their pipes is simple: The cobs are dried out for a period of two years, then hollowed out to make the classic pipe shape. The exterior of the bowl is then varnished or lacquered, and the stem attached. Voila! A proper corncob pipe is created.
Primarily, the corncob pipes sold at City Cigar are from Missouri Meerschaum’s Legendseries. These pipes are available with either a bent or straight stem, and all come equipped with a Medico pipe filter. The filter is instrumental in helping to reduce tongue-bite, as well as providing a cooler & drier smoke. And although the filter will need to be replaced every few smokes, the corncob pipes can last a surprisingly long time – some smokers even report carrying the same corncob pipe for decades.
And, by the way, though a corncob pipe may not be the most elegant option of pipes, there is some fine company among corncob pipe smokers. Besides classic characters like Popeye and Frosty the Snowman, the corncob was preferred by esteemed figures like Mark Twain, Norman Rockwell and General Douglas MacArthur.