For whatever reason, there’s no denying that different forms of smoking have different societal beliefs attached to them. For example, many people instinctively shy away from smoking cigarettes, yet look at smoking both pipes and cigars in a different light.
Perhaps there’s just something that feels more old school about smoking cigars and pipes, which is often why the two are often mentioned together. You don’t inhale into your lungs when smoking either pipes or cigars, so they’re fairly similar, right?
There are quite a few differences between pipes vs cigars. The type of tobacco used is one example. Pipe tobacco is most often processed and cut extremely finely.
On the other hand, high-quality cigars are typically handcrafted from whole-leaf tobacco.
Let’s go over a few of the other key differences between pipes vs cigars.
Pipes vs. Cigars – Cost Differences
When you stop to consider the cost of some premium high-quality cigars, many people believe that taking up pipe smoking is a much more economical approach over the long term.
While this can indeed be true, what it all comes down to is how much you are willing to spend.
You can easily spend over $100 on a single high-quality cigar. Alternatively, you could also spend $10 on a 10-pack of cigars that can be enjoyed pretty much nightly.
Many cigar aficionados have a set smoking budget that they stick to.
Pipe tobacco is admittedly quite cheap when compared to the more expensive cigar options. There are many cheap brands where you can get an ounce or so of pipe tobacco for a few dollars.
With that being said, there are also rare tins and blends available that can easily cost well over $50. One plus that pipe tobacco does have going for it is that there are many different brands and flavors available.
Where the real cost of pipe smoking can come into play is in the pipe itself. For first-time pipe smokers, it’s recommended to stick with a budget-friendly pipe option until you’re certain you enjoy it.
Something in the $30-50 range would be ideal. If you’re sure that pipe smoking is for you, you can just as easily spend hundreds of dollars on a premium handmade pipe option.
Pipes vs. Cigars – Tobacco Differences
We briefly mentioned that one of the key differences between pipes and cigars is the type of tobacco used for each.
Pipe tobacco is available from a variety of different brands in many different flavors. They typically come with two main distinctions – aromatic and nonaromatic (or English).
Aromatic blends typically contain flavors like vanilla, whiskey, cherry, and more. Nonaromatic blends, on the other hand, are usually very earthy or spicy by comparison.
Cigar tobacco consists of dried and fermented tobacco leaves that have been rolled in a large tobacco leaf. There are three main components to a cigar: the binder, the filler, and the wrapper leaf.
The binder holds the fermented tobacco leaves firmly in place while the wrapper leaf (typically the most high-quality part of the plant used) adds the finishing touch.
Pipes vs. Cigars – The Smoking Experience
The most obvious difference between pipes vs cigars boils down to the actual smoking experience involved with both options. Of the two, smoking a cigar is the more straightforward option.
You simply need to cut the cap off the cigar, light it, puff on it a solid 4-5 times (without inhaling) until the cigar starts to produce thick white smoke; then you can sit back and enjoy it.
On the other hand, pipe-smoking involves first packing the bowl of your pipe with your desired blend of pipe tobacco. Properly packing a pipe isn’t quite as straightforward as most people think because you need to find a balance between packing the tobacco too tightly or loosely.
Use a lighter or a match to light the tobacco in the bowl, and then control the airflow with either a pipe tamper or your thumb. This helps regulate the oxygen while your tobacco is lit. As you smoke the bowl, you will also need to make sure to tamp the tobacco down.
It takes a fair amount of patience to get used to properly smoke a pipe, but once you manage to get the technique down, many smokers find that they quite enjoy the whole ritual behind it. It can be a perfect way to relax from time to time alongside a high-quality cigar.
Many cigar smokers enjoy the occasional use of a tobacco pipe. If you’ve never tried a pipe, hopefully, this article gave you enough helpful information to get you started. Our advice would be to find an entry-level pipe that’s affordable and try out a tobacco flavor you think you would enjoy.
Focus on the ins and outs of the smoking experience compared to smoking a cigar and it won’t be long at all to see whether you prefer smoking a pipe to cigars. For us, we tend to follow the age-old adage of ‘why not both?’