Well today in the mail I got a couple hardwood pipes by mm because I had to just try them for myself. There is a lot of love/hate on these pipes so I thought I would take the liberty of reviewing them myself for you all.
first off they cost about 4 bucks and some change which is really a bargain price and about the same size and price for that matter as the mm legend and pride. Both pipes the bent and straight I believe are made of birch but coming in two different stains. The bent one comes in cherry stain and the other in maple. As with all cobs I get the first thing I do is remove the filter and replace the stem with the mm Danish bit because I think it looks better. Since a lot of the problems I have heard with these pipes are related to how hot they get I decided to put that to the test. I selected the straight pipe because the walls of it are obviously thinner especially at the rim so I figured that if I had a heat problem it would come from this one not the other that has much thicker walls. The second thing I did to test this is I smoked anni kake fresh out of a brand new tin in it (I seem to go through this stuff as fast as Jim must go through pa). I figured that one I know what this tobacco tastes like the best because I have smoked it in cobs meer and briar so if anything affected the taste I would probably know about it and two I smoke this because its primary Virginia's that cause a lot of heating up though it does have the cool smoking perique. I also happen to puff fast so we are really testing the heat here.
i love cobs and cob like pipes because of their huge airway and that really helps IMO with tobaccos that pack densely like anni kake.
Upon light I noticed two things one a taste other than anni kake whick I presume to be the pipe and two the rim was pretty hot. However the rim is the thinnest prt of the straight pipe.about 3 min in the temp of bowl was fine and remained that way for the remainder of the smoke. Even with a my rapid puffing and a Virginia heavy tobacco I was fine with holding the bowl the entire time with it never getting above warm. As for the weird taste it did go away about quarter way through though I think this is just a break in thing for sure. I might suggest building a little cake on this bowl but it should be easier than a briar because it is a very grainy wood and the cake looks like it is building very quickly even after one smoke. That being said I think they differ from cobs in a couple of ways one they look way better put a forever stem on these babies and you have a classy pipe indeed. Two I believe these pipes will ghost more than a cob similar to a briar. Three I think these pipes will need to rest like a briar as I think they do not absorb moisture as good as a cob. And four being of hardwood these are not going to burn out.
With all that said the smoke I had in this one was better than most basket briars I have smoke especially for a break in smoke. I think for the price of a cheap briar you could have a seven day rotation of these and cobs bent and straight to find your preference. I like these a lot and I think that I am going to get a few more to keep on hand. Will report back once I have a nice cake to let you know how they continue to smoke.