How to select the right pipe?

Here are a few advices in order to help you find the pipe that suits you!

When it comes to pipes shapes, sizes and styles – there is no shortage! The colour, the shape, the stem material have their own characteristics, which is why there are so many different pipes! You have to take into account all of the pipe's components to make your own choice. Be reassured: you are not alone and we will guide you!
You'll come to find out that a pipe is a very personal thing. The most important factor when purchasing a pipe is that you like it.

Length, does is matter?

Short Pipe

Short Pipe

Medium Pipe

Medium Pipe

Long Pipe

Long Pipe

The smoke will flow through the stummel and the stem before reaching your mouth, this is why the stem lenght has its importance.
The main difference between a long pipe and a short pipe comes down to the warmth of the smoke. The shorter the pipe is, the warmer it will be. In France, the very short pipes are called "Brule gueule" or "mug burner" but we do not recommed these for beginers. The smoke is so hot that you may feel unconfortable. You should rather start with a medium or long pipe.

What about the shape: bent, half-bent or straight?

A bent pipe

Bent pipe

A half-bent pipe

Half-bent pipe

A straight pipe

Straight pipe

In our shop, we are asked about pipe shapes all the time. It may seem obvious to seasoned smokers, but there are very big differences between a bent pipe and a straight one, that are summarized in the table below:

Bent Pipe
  • The draught may be hard.
  • Moisture build-up in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Much easier to clench.
  • Well balanced, you don't have to hold it in your hands.
  • Pleasant to use when on the go.
Straight Pipe
  • The pipe feels heavy when you clench it.
  • Easier draught.
  • Very little or no moist at all.
  • Pipe cleaners will go through the stem and the stummel very easily.
  • Pleasant to use at home.

If you are still wondering about the shape of your next pipe, why not try a half-bent pipe? You will enjoy both straight pipes' and bent pipes' advantages.

The mouthpiece material: ebonite, acrylic or cumberland?


Rubber or Vulcanite or Ebonite





Historically, mouthpieces were made of genuine horn or vulcanite, a material made of sulphur and rubber. Vulcanite is a soft black mat material. Vulcanite mouthpieces are the best choice for those with sensitive teeth however, they tend to slowly become yellow-ish with time. They require polishing maintenance over the years.

Colorful and rarer than vulcanite, cumberland is an interesting alternative to vulcanite, easily recognizable with its madder-red swirled with darker notes to produce a unique faux-wood patern. Comfortable and soft, it also requires polishing maintenance.

Today, most of the pipe makers craft acrylic mouthpieces. Some may consider it as basic plastic, but acrylic is not a random piece of plastic: resiliant, shiny and almost maintenance-free are the material's three characteristics that make acrylic a must. The only downside is that acrylic gives a rocky feel when clenching the pipe.

Two pipes with similar briar may be sold at two different prices because of the mouthpiece: vulcanite is much cheaper than acrylic.

Pipe finishes: natural, waxed or lacquered?

Natural Pipe

Natural finish

Waxed finish

Waxed finish

Lacquered finish

Lacquered finish

Today, colored pipes are standing next to traditional pipes in every pipe shop. New finishing procedures have been discovered. Wax, lacquer, paint, carbon layer, 3D printed parts offer new oportunities if you want a modern looking pipe. These new procedures don't change the taste of briar wood or the wood properties.

The filters:

Metal filters for tobacco pipe

Metal filter

9mm filters for tobacco pipe

9mm filter

9mm adapter for tobacco pipe

Adapter for 9mm filter

There is a wide variety of filters available on the market. Among the most frequently used systems nowadays, there are 3 types of filters: metal filter, 9mm filter and adapter for 9mm filter.

Historically, in France, all pipes came with a metal filter (standard system). Nowadays, more and more pipes come with a 9mm filter, since it is the most efficient way to filter moisture and impurities (nicotine, tars...). These filters ensure a smooth and pleasant smoke. Some pipes come with a hybrid system, which allows you to savor your pipe using a metal filter or a 9 mm one.  

At La Pipe Rit, you'll find a large choice of pipe filters, with different diameters (3, 4, 6 or 9mm) that will fit the shank's piercing. These filters are available in different materials (metal, activated charcoal, meerschaum, absorbing paper, balsa, clay...). 

How to choose the right filter for your pipe? On our online store, for each pipe, we specify which filter can be used with it. To fully enjoy your tobacco, we recommend Vauen's 9mm activated charcoal filters.  

Find the pipe that suits you

Now that you know everything, it is up to you! Feel free to play with our search engine below. You are also more than welcome to contact us, we will be glad to give you further assistance!

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