Archive for 9th May 2009

Kirsten Pipe Review Revisited

It’s been a year since my original review of the Kirsten pipe, and I’ve owned it a little longer than that, and I have to tell you…

I’ve come to resent this pipe. It doesn’t like me, and I don’t like it.

The meerschaum bowl rolled off my smoking nook and disappeared into some dark cranny. Which didn’t break my heart, because it was beginning to smell like something foul. Tobacco death.

Fortunately, as it were, Kirsten gave me an extra briar bowl reject (second, rejected for quality standards or discontinued). As a briar, it doesn’t reek to high heaven like the meerschaum bowl eventually did.

But, here’s my key complaints. First, the bowl, while deceptively large looking, is actually exceptionally small. I can get maybe two or three pinches of tobacco in there. The second complaint is that damnable upside-down volcano shape bowl.

Imagine a cup vs. a pitcher. A standard bowl, 3/4’s full, is fairly resistant to dropping embers on you. The Kirsten bowl is already shaped like a tilted pitcher. Tilt a little more, and hot ash comes out of your pipe and usually onto you.

I don’t know which has put more burn holes into my clothing; the cheap matches from India, or the Kirsten. And I’m leaning towards the Kirsten.

Now, I’ve heard of a few people making custom regular-shaped bowls for the Kirsten, but it’d be cheaper as a whole package just to buy a different pipe. I see the custom bowl as some dimwit like me, who didn’t want to admit his mistake, and decided to fix it quietly and not tell anyone.

So, since I can’t come up with an “accidental” way to break this thing as an excuse to replace it, maybe the briar bowl will roll off of my smoking nook (a Sears Craftsman radial arm saw….niiiiice, huh?), and roll into some 7th level of Hell.

Wow, pipe regret. That never happened to me before. Okay, once, but that’s another story for another time.