8 Pipe Smoking Mistakes to Avoid

You can enjoy your herb in many ways. You can cook with it, smoke, or vape the herbs. Each method is great and only your preference should matter.

However, there are not a lot of things that can beat that feeling of sitting back after a long day, legs stretched out, a glass of gin and tonic water close by, and your favorite pipe tucked between your lips as you take a long, deep puff.

To enjoy pipe smoking as a beginner, however, there are certain mistakes that you must avoid. Let’s see some of the mistakes:

1. Buying the Wrong Pipe

Pipes come in different shapes and materials, and their costs vary from the many cheap ones to the more expensive ones. Your first pipe experience will greatly influence how you view pipe smoking. Have a bad experience and you might end up hating it. Pipes are made from glass, clay, silicone, and good old fashioned wood. Clay and corncob pipes are inexpensive unless they have special designs. Some pipes are made of soapstone and oak wood. Briarwood is generally considered the best material for making pipes; you could ask your pipe shop for recommendations.

2. Using Wet Tobacco or Herbs

Herbs for smoking are best enjoyed dried. Dry herbs easily combust completely without flames. Dry herbs are also best for extracting flavors and compounds. If you prepare your herbs yourself, make sure to air-dry them for days before you smoke. You can check the crispness every day until you get the desired dryness. Some people hasten the drying process by using a low heat oven, but that is not advised. Oven-heated herbs do not always produce great flavors and may even be pre-burnt before the actual smoking. You can get special drying equipment if you don’t want to air-dry herbs.

3. Buying Cheap Herbs

Tobacco and other smoking herbs are processed in different ways and therefore have varying costs. Cheap herbs do not contain much flavor and will only produce more smoke when you light up. You don’t want to drag a mouthful and must swallow only smoke. Worse, the smoke will only leave a bland chemical taste that may irritate your throat and tongue, worsening the whole experience. Be ready to pay for good herbs when you want some.

4. Packing the Pot Too Tightly

Air is needed for combustion. Remember that the next time you go smoking. I know that you want to enjoy as much as you can before you must refill but packing the pot too tightly will only result in repeated lighting, or worse, partial combustion. Packing tobacco in is a skill that you will develop over time but from your first try, learn to pack just the right amount, tap on it, and then light up. If you do otherwise, you will need to puff harder to keep up. Most experienced smokers recommend filling the pipe to two-thirds its volume. Allow some space for airflow. Think of it as drinking liquid using a straw. If the pressure is too much, you might not enjoy it.

5. Lighting Up with Short Matches

How you light up is very important, and you should take care not to burn the edges of your pipe as you do. Using short match sticks or lighters may cause burns to the rims of the pipe. Do these constantly for a few weeks and you might need a new smoking pipe. It is best to use long match sticks that can reach into the pipe and stay until you light up.

6. Taking Too Many Puffs in a Short Time Or Deep Drags

Pipe smoking is meant to be enjoyed each time. You should take puffs at regular intervals and not hurriedly. Take your time and go gently. On the other hand, do not allow the fire to die before taking puffs. Leaving it for long may cool the combustion to undesired levels. Another thing to avoid is taking deep drags like with cigarettes. Learn to inhale lightly as you smoke.

7. Poor Maintenance

Your pipe is a device that should get cleaned regularly. It is recommended that you clean the pipe at least daily just before you smoke. But it is best you should clean your pipe after every session. Simply allow the pipe to cool, then clean the pot with a light brush. You can also use alcohol swabs to wipe the mouthpiece regularly to avoid trapping bacteria. The stem and shank may also trap residues of tobacco and smoke, making it a breeding site for germs over time. Those residues may also get absorbed by the pipe material and then alter the flavor of smoke that you inhale. Disassemble the pipe carefully, clean out the insides, and then air dry for some time before reassembling.

8. Poor Herbs Storage

Always store your tobacco and dry herbs in a tight container. An aluminum foil works best. Pack it tightly and make sure there is no leak where air or water can get in through. You will find that tobacco gets better with age. Leave some in for a few months, and you’ll find some great taste when you light up. 


Pipe smoking is one experience that you will love. As a beginner, you can experiment with different flavors until you find the one you love best. You can even mix flavors until you hit the right mix. If you can, blend your herb by yourself. Blending and grinding your herb by yourself is a ritual that you might come to love and enjoy almost as the smoking itself. Avoid those mistakes, learn to enjoy each session, and we guarantee you’d be satisfied with pipe smoking.


Related Blog Post

7 Advanced Pipe Smoking Techniques

What is a Smoking Pipe?

The Different Types of Smoking Pipes

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