The most versatile and simple pipe tool
During and after smoking you will need some tools to handle and clean your pipe.
For everyday use these are a tamper, a scrubber and a pin.
Tamper is used to compress tobacco in the bowl to facilitate burning. Light pressure on tobacco in the bowl with a tamper, compresses it and makes it more difficult for the air to pass into the bowl. This in turn increases the speed of the air flow through tobacco and makes it burn better and faster. Usually, tamper is a metal or plastic handle with a round metal plate attached to it.
Reamer is a tool to remove ash, burned tobacco and buildup from the bowl. This is usually a small spoon, a blade or a half-round rod with sharp edges.
Pick is a thin round rod that can be used in several different ways. You can poke a hole in a too tightly packed tobacco to increase the air flow and to help with draw. You can remove the pipe stem and use the pick to clear an obstructed airway. I also use it to distribute and embed ash into the bowl walls after smoking. This helps to protect the bowl from high temperatures during your next smoke. The round pick is very convenient for this purpose because its smooth surface does not damage or scratch still warm and wet bowl walls.
I have tried several toolsets, but my favourite was and still is a three in one tool shown on the photo below.
Its advantages are:
- Very lightweight.
- Flat and compact – fits into your pocket.
- Full set of all common tools on one ring.
- Easy access to any of the tools without unscrewing, uncapping etc. Just unfold the tool you need, and you are ready to go.
- Pretty cheap.
There is a lot of toolsets of different kinds, shapes, flavours and prices you can choose from, but for everyday use, this one is perfect in all respects.
This tool made in Check Republic is of the best quality. It is made of a good steel, very sturdy, reliable and smooth. The ones made in China are much thinner, with sharp edges here and there, and are made of aluminium. So, if you have a choice, I would recommend the Check version.
I will talk a little more about usage of this tool in the pipe cleaning section.