How many is too many?

Is there such a thing as having too many pipes?
I think I might have too many pipes. Last count, I had 86 of them and I’m nervously searching eBay for old Dunhill’s and de Paja’s. Do I have a problem? Is there something wrong with me? Is it wrong that I absolutely love getting that old, crusty estate pipe in the main, reaming it out, polishing it, buffing the stem an filling it with Gawith Commonwealth? True, I don’t have enough room to store them all, but I HAVE to have them! Is it possible that there is such a thing as having too many pipes? It is possible to upset the Earth’s rotation by concentrating so much heavy briar is one place? Help me out, people! Anyone else with this problem?

12 thoughts on “How many is too many?

  1. crown3

    I don’t think 86 is too many; I happen to have EXACTLY the same number myself. Except that I just ordered 2 more an hour ago from I’ve bought a few estates, but buy mostly new and all on line. I live in Sydney, Australia and there are no pipe shops of consequence here. With a collection of about a dozen different tobaccos, it gives me a heck of a range of colours and flavours to choose from, according to mood. If you’re going to have an addiction, better it should be pipe collecting than any number of others I can think of.

  2. briarboy

    Never too many! For many pipe smokers the act of purchasing pipes, trying different blends and all that goes with it is a passion. A passion that brings relaxing times to us through the simple act of filling a bowl, tampimg it and lighting it. So much pleasure for so litlle work! Each pipe is a creation of beauty with a story to tell if we just take the time to listen. Each estate pipe has it’s very own history and a warehouse of information passed on by the previous owner! All in all a hobby (passion) that is enjoyed by many the world over!!

  3. Myche77

    That’s very interesting, I’ve only been smoking pipes a short while but I found myself with the same feelings. In my humble opinion and in my limited exposure to pipe fellow pipe smokers I’ve found that pipe collecting is quite a popular hobby, albeit an expensive one. While I own a Dunhill, it is the only pipe that I’ve spent several hundred dollars on. I believe it to be a work of art AND a great smoking pipe.

    However,I’m the type of pipe smoker that’s more focused on good affordable smoking pipes than works of art. Also, I’m patiently working on my smoking technique and tobacco selections. After all, what’s the point of owning all these great pipes if you can’t smoke them properly. I guess you could just collect them but like I fine musical instrument I believe they’re meant to be "played".

    You sound like you’re into restoring old pipes, which is another great facet of this hobby. A while back I found myself bidding on every pipe on ebay, I think I was more excited about winning the auctions than the actual pipes themselves! So I had to dial back the bidding for a while.

    In the end, you’re not crazy, just passionate about pipes. As long as you’re not going broke and not buying junk( there are bad pipes on ebay too) then there’s no problem. Lastly, here’s a little fact that I stumbled upon on this very website. There are guys out there with a handful of cobs and $20 worth of good tobacco that are having just as much fun as we are. Peace-Mike

  4. bigterr

    I must agree with an earlier post – there is no such thing as too many. I have approx 150 pipes (see perhaps you can have too many…. to count that is). William Conrad who played the Private detective in the TV show "Cannon" in the 70’s is supposed to have had over 1000 pipes in his collection when he left us for further adventures in pipe smoking in the unknown realm after life as we know it. He lived in California so I do not think your 86 will offset the rotation if his did not. But keep collecting and lets see what will happen besides your having great difficulty each time you try to decide which pipe to smoke next.

  5. M. C. Bate

    When your wife freaks out shrieking "how many pipes do you need? This whole house is covered in blankety-blank pipes, and guess who gets to dust them? You are worse than a woman is about shoes!" Then order two more just to show who’s boss and then quit, that’s enough.

  6. janetta

    I think till you feel ok and comfortable with your collection and still have enough place at home, it is all right! Why not, actually? I am not interested much in collectiing pipes, but watched this video with pleasure – My-pipe-collection-giants-magnums. Is your collection as interesting as this one? Do you have any photos?

  7. William H. Davis

    Rules for a Contented Life:
    You can never be too thin.
    You can never be too rich.
    You can never own too many pipes.
    You can never have too many cats (this last one added at the suggestion of my cell-mate (sole survivor of two) who has just jumped up on the computer desk and is rubbing his head on my arm and purring!)
    HTH –
    – Wil

  8. bill phillips

    to tell you the truth, once you start , its a sickness, you never feel as well as when a new pipe arrives, personally I somehere between 150 and 300, have about 90 of those that were all metal stemmed , when I went to pipeshows I would take my metal collection with printouts of the patents pertaining to the maker or manufacturer, tobacco is another part that just grows as well, until you find what you enjoy, while watching the hobit last night I pulled out an unsmoked kirsten full bent and filled it with some syrian super balkan from 2004, dont know what I will try next have about 30 cans opened cans from many years, all are way to dry but a piece f damp paper towel for a few hour seems to do the trick

    bill in red deer alberta.

    1. William H. Davis

      I add a couple of leaves of baby Spinach in on top of the baccy; it seems to do the job of keeping it moist, although a couple of times I’ve arrived at the end of a tin, and for the life of me, can’t remember what happened to the spinach… HTH – Wil Davis (NH)

  9. Jimmy Muraco

    At 160 pipes I felt that I had “too many”. I still have 30 unsmoked pipes waiting for that first bowl of tobacco. Every now and then I will see a pipe that catches my eye and the temptation is there. One problem with buying so many pipes is that tastes will change over time and pipes that I loved five years ago now do not appeal to me. I look at some of these pipes and think “What was I thinking?” Perhaps it is just to provide some pipes to sell…to make up for the financial cost…so I can buy more things…like more pipes…

  10. Jesse Silver

    Of course it’s possible to have too many pipes, but so what! I definitely have too many pipes by any exercise of logic and continue to enjoy adding to the collection. Mostly I buy estates that will respond to some TLC, and I also commission new pipes as well. I also enjoy learning about the history and lore of our hobby and enjoy collecting catalogs and other forms of tobacciana.

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