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24 October
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Contact Info
Synjeco SA
Pipes and Tobaccos
Via Leoncavallo 7
P.O.Box 742
6614 Brissago, Switzerland

Email: info@synjeco.ch
Phone: +41 (0)91 793 1365
Fax: +41 (0)91 793 2716

F.A.Q. - Pipe Smoking

What's the best way to fill a pipe with tobacco?

As with many aspects of pipe smoking, there are several methods. I'll give here the one that is probably the most popular (I use it!). Here it is in steps:

  1. Make sure that there are no little "foreign bodies", such as pieces of stem or wood, in the tobacco
  2. Place enough tobacco into the bowl till it's overflowing
  3. Press down the tobacco, with no pressure whatsoever at this stage (optional check the draw)
  4. Place enough tobacco into the bowl till it's overflowing (Repeat # 2)
  5. This time apply a bit of pressure to cause the first and the second layers of tobacco to make contact (optional check the draw)
  6. Place enough tobacco into the bowl till it's overflowing (Repeat # 2)
  7. Here apply more pressure than in #5
  8. Check the draw (a must, this time). If it's fine, you're set; if not, empty the pipe and start over (you won't regret it)
  9. Optional, you may loosen up a bit the uppermost layer of tobacco so that it accepts the flame better.
    If there is still room after Step #7, the you can add just a bit of loose tobacco

The tobacco should be packed tightly enough to let the air go through with no difficulty and yet elastic. It should feel springy when you press it in the bowl. Good packing is the secret to enjoyable smoking. Don't get impatient: Empty the pipe and start over as many times as needed to get it packed right.

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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What's the right way to light a pipe?

Lighting is always done in two steps: The first is to burn the uppermost layer of tobacco, and the second is to get you going, hopefully till the last shred of tobacco. After having packed the pipe correctly (see the previous question), apply the flame in circular motion to the tobacco till it's burned; this is done while puffing rather fast and in succession. Then, with a tamper (or your thumb!), break down the burned layer and press it down evenly and gently. After that, apply another flame and this time you may apply it to the center of the tobacco or in circular motion, but puff slowly. Once the whole upper layer is lit, stop and start drawing regularly and rhythmically. And you're up for an enjoyable ride!
The first few minutes are crucial, since you need the flame, the tobacco, the pipe, and yourself to settle down. Enjoy!

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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It's hard to keep a pipe lit. Is it all right to relight?

It's absolutely fine. You can relight as many times as your patience and match box/lighter allow you. You should worry about the pipe going out only when you're in a pipe smoking contest (and care about winning)!

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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How can I best clean my pipe? And how often should I do it?

Your pipe should be cleaned after each smoke, regardless whether you'll smoke it again right away or if you'll let it rest for a while. After the pipe has cooled down, remove the mouthpiece (NEVER do this when the pipe is still hot, since this may seriously damage the fit between shank and mouthpiece). Then run a clean pipe cleaner through the shank, with the thinner end head first, and then into the shank, with the thicker end head first. Repeat till the cleaner comes out as clean as it was before use. It's a good idea to fold the cleaner and run it into the shank (try to go all the way if you can). A word of wisdom, do NOT use cleaners sparingly.

The above is the daily cleaning. It's a good idea to thoroughly clean your pipes every few months, depending on how many pipes you have and how often you smoke them. This time, you should wet the cleaner with an alcohol-based solution (they're available in tobacco shops). (I advise against the use of alcoholic drinks, such as Cognac, unless you like to waste your money!) Finally, run as many cleaners as needed, and then use a dry one. Then, let the pipes dry for about 24 hours.

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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Why should I smoke a pipe instead of, say, cigarettes or cigars?
What else do you want to smoke?!

Pipe smoking offers numerous advantages. Let me give you some of them:

  • Health: The rule is NEVER inhale the smoke. There are no studies that have even vaguely proved that pipe smoking (when done with moderation and without inhaling) is dangerous for your health (let alone the health of the people around you). Actually, there are studies that show that the average life span of a pipe smoker is greater than that of non-smokers! To take it a step further, insurance companies in some European countries insure pipe smokers and consider them non-smokers
  • Not all smoke in the air: Unlike other forms of smoking, at the end of a smoke, you're not empty-handed. Your pipe is there with you, ready to give endless hours of pure pleasure. Wide choice: You have access to an incredible array of pipes, tobaccos and other smoke-related items. If you take tobacco alone, you can try a new today every single day of your life (if your pocket allows it, of course). A new tobacco is always a new adventure and experience
  • Cost: I can argue that pipe smoking is the most economical way to enjoy the weed. With a few pipes you can remain a pipe smoker for life. With 50g of tobacco, you can smoke for an average of 20 hours. Normally, the price of an average packet of cigarettes will buy you enough tobacco for 5-7 days
  • Social acceptance: Pipe tobacco smoke in general seems to be more readily tolerated and accepted (if not even praised) by non-smokers. Added to this is the image of pipe smokers: Calm, contemplative, reserved, and thoughtful people. Apart from laws and restrictions in public places, if non-smokers had to have smoke around them, in most cases, they would opt for pipe tobacco smoke
  • Pipe smoking in and by itself: It's well known among pipe smokers, as well as their wives/husbands and friends, that pipe smoking helps the smoker to relax and even think more clearly. Imagine the "calm" smoke rings rise from your pipe while you're sipping on a glass of your favorite drink, reading a book or talking to your companions and maybe even listening to music! No wonder pipe smoker live longer

DISCLAIMER: Please remember that we are not promoting smoking at all: the above advices are intended for a better understanding of pipesmoker's phylosophy and way of life!!

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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What are the most common problems associated with pipe smoking? And how can one overcome them?

Especially people who are new to pipe smoking may encounter some problems that may render pipe smoking less attractive or pleasant. While it's hard to give you a clear-cut approach to solving these problems, you might find the following of help.

Tongue bite. Most likely causes: Tobacco is too dry/You're smoking too fast/Tobacco is not packed right.

Pipe smokes too hot. Most likely causes: Pipe is varnished (it doesn't breathe well)/Tobacco is too dry/You're smoking too fast.

Pipe smokes too wet. Most likely causes: Tobacco is too moist/Pipe is not clean enough/You produce too much saliva (esp. if you're smoking a bent pipe).

Nausea. Most likely causes: Tobacco is too strong and/or you're smoking it on an empty stomach.

Pipe goes out too frequently. Most likely causes: Tobacco is not packed correctly/You're too nervous (or concentrating on other activities).

Enjoyable pipe smoking is the result of experience and patience. Hang in there, and you'll never regret it. The rule is: when you have a certain problem, try and change pipes, tobaccos, smoking techniques and other variables; this way you may be able to figure out the real cause of the problem and then eliminate it.

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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I always insert a cleaner in a pipe after a smoke and leave it overnight. Do you recommend that?

  • Inserting a cleaner in a just smoked pipe and leaving it overnight helps absorb the moisture in both mouthpiece and shank.
  • NOT inserting a cleaner in a just smoked pipe and leaving it overnight lets the air circulate into and out of the pipe.
Which one? Whichever works for you.

I personally believe in the second. (However, inserting a cleaner and taking it out after each smoke, then letting the pipe air, with no obstruction, could be yet a better option than either of the two above.)

If you have a question or a comment, contact Daniel

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