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For your first pipe, you'd do well to select one made of [[Materials_and_Construction#Briar|briar]], the [[Pipe Making|pipe-making]] material most commonly used due to its durability, heat resistance, and pleasing appearance. Other materials such as [[Materials_and_Construction#Clay|clay]], [[Materials_and_Construction#Meerschaum|meerschaum]] and porcelain are also used to make pipes, but these materials are fragile and lack the smoking characteristics and ease of use of briar. [[Materials_and_Construction#Corncob|Corncob]] pipes are the least expensive option for a first pipe, and they are a viable alternative to briar; however, they often have very small bowls—the part of the pipe that holds the tobacco—and brittle plastic stems that are quite easy to bite through.
 
For your first pipe, you'd do well to select one made of [[Materials_and_Construction#Briar|briar]], the [[Pipe Making|pipe-making]] material most commonly used due to its durability, heat resistance, and pleasing appearance. Other materials such as [[Materials_and_Construction#Clay|clay]], [[Materials_and_Construction#Meerschaum|meerschaum]] and porcelain are also used to make pipes, but these materials are fragile and lack the smoking characteristics and ease of use of briar. [[Materials_and_Construction#Corncob|Corncob]] pipes are the least expensive option for a first pipe, and they are a viable alternative to briar; however, they often have very small bowls—the part of the pipe that holds the tobacco—and brittle plastic stems that are quite easy to bite through.
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Most briar pipes have stems made of vulcanite (rubber) or lucite (acrylic); either material works fine, and stem material is purely a matter of personal choice. Vulcanite is softer, which many find more comfortable, but lucite is more durable and resists oxidation.
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Most briar pipes have stems made of vulcanite (rubber) or lucite (acrylic). Either material works fine, and stem material is purely a matter of personal choice. Vulcanite is softer, which many find more comfortable, but lucite is more durable and resists oxidation.
    
See Also: [[Materials and Construction]] and [[What Makes a Good Briar Pipe]] by R.D. Field
 
See Also: [[Materials and Construction]] and [[What Makes a Good Briar Pipe]] by R.D. Field

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