I have always been intrigued by pipe smoking. I have even thought about giving it a whirl to try it out. However, I don't want to invest a whole bunch of money for something that I may not take up regularly. How much money should I be willing to spend to get started? Then, how much will it cost to continue to smoke if I decide to continue? is it comparable to cigar smoking?
Okay, first let me preface this by saying that I still love to smoke cigars. Much to my wife's dismay I an firmly entrenched in both the slippery slope of cigars and pipe smoking. Not trying to talk anyone out of cigars but just writing this for people who are interested in pipe smoking.
Now that that is out of the way, to answer your last question first and then a little Economics lesson, it is actually a lot cheaper than smoking cigars. This is why there seems to be a resurgence of pipe smoking especially in the younger, college student area. We were all broke once and know how this goes.
Let's dig a little deeper. I think that I have posted this somewhere else but I'll go over it again. The normal average is about 10 bowls of pipe tobacco per ounce of pipe tobacco. Each bowl normally lasts about an hour, similar to a cigar. Now most pipe tobacco tins are around 2 ounces, which is 20 bowls worth or 20 hours of smoking pleasure. Let's say that an average price for a 2 ounce tin of pipe tobacco is $9.00. When you divide that $9 by the 20 bowls that are in there you come out with .45 cents per bowl.
Now lets do the same with one of my favorite cigars. A box of 20 El Rey del Mundo Robustos costs $64 on JR's website which is the cheapest that I can find. Now divde that $64 by the 20 cigars and you get $3.20 per cigar.
As you can see, it is $2.75 cheaper to smoke a bowl of the pipe tobacco than to smoke a cigar. Talk about savings!!
Now let's talk about the start-up cost. Like most hobbies, you can spend as much or as little as you want to get started. If you don't want to invest a lot up front, and I don't blame you, then let's talk about what you really need to get started.
You can buy an expensive briar or what most people do when they get started is buy a few corn cob pipes. They are usually around $5 and you can get them at most drug stores or tobacconists.
There are also a ton, and I mean a ton, of Estate Pipes which are for sale on ebay. What "Estate" means is a formaly smoked pipe that has been cleaned up to sell. These can range in prices but you can usually find a decent one for around $20
Any tobacconist worth their salt will have some house blends available for purchase in bulk. They usually run around $2 for an ounce so you can get a bunch of different ones to find out your preference without dropping a wad of cashola. Once you find out your preferences then you can start exploring the world of pipe tobacco. If you think that there are a lot of cigar manufacturers and blends out there you haven't seen anything until you start researching pipe tobacco blends.
You will need a pipe tool which usually has a tamper, scraper, and a poker all wrapped into one. These are usually about $2.
You will also need a pack of pipe cleaners. These usually run around $1.50 for 40 of them.
And that's all you need to get started. Let's break that down in the cheapest possible way:
$5 - corn cob pipe
$2 - an ounce of pipe tobacco
$2 - pipe tool
$1.50 - pipe cleaners
$10.50 - Total start-up costs.
Probably not as much as you though it would be is it?