Pipe: smoking with or without filter?

Whether you smoke your pipe with or without a filter has always been a matter of debate. There are a number of arguments in favor of both variants. In the end, however, it is up to each pipe smoker to decide for himself. We show you what you should pay attention to in each case and give you tips for the correct use of filters.

It's a question that divides minds: Do I smoke my pipe with or without a filter? Once you have decided on a method, you usually stick with it. As a beginner, it therefore makes sense to try both and form your own opinion. 

It is striking that there are an astonishing number of filter smokers, especially in Germany. Worldwide, the group of filter smokers is clearly in the minority, even though there are no reliable figures on this. Germany is something of an exception that confirms this rule.

Smoking a pipe without a filter: These reasons speak for it

Proponents of filterless pipe enjoyment attach great importance to the original and full aromas of the tobacco. For them, the pipe tastes more intense and is tastier overall. In principle, filterless pipes are better suited to natural tobaccos than to very moist ones. 

A second reason is that the draw of the pipe can be better controlled without a filter. This helps prevent the pipe from smoking too hot.

Smoking a pipe with a filter: The advantages

The variant with pipe filter is very widespread, especially in Germany. The biggest advantage is, of course, the hygienic aspect. A filter retains various pollutants that are released when the tobacco is burned. In addition to tar, this also includes nicotine, for example. 

In addition, the filter also retains the pipe liquid that is produced during smoking. This results in a more pleasant and drier smoking experience. This is another reason why it is more advisable for beginners to start with a filter pipe. Filter pipes also offer the advantage that you can smoke them without a filter if necessary. The reverse is not possible.

Differences in pipe filters

Of course, there are differences in pipe filters as well. An essential one lies in the thickness of the filters. To do this, you should know how large the filter chamber of your own pipe. In the German area, 9 millimeters are common, but there are also variants with 6 millimeters. In addition to the thickness, filters still differ in their type. The three main variants are:

  • Activated carbon filter: the classic variant. This filter is made of granulated carbon and therefore has a large internal surface area. As a result, the activated carbon filter absorbs a large number of pollutants. The disadvantage is that it absorbs only a small part of the condensate (pipe liquid). So the pipe smokes a little wet.
  • Meerschaum filter: Somewhat more unusual is the variant made of meerschaum. Due to its coarse structure, the filter binds moisture like a sponge, which is particularly useful for very soused tobaccos. On the other hand, the meerschaum filter absorbs fewer pollutants.
  • Balsa wood filter: A special version of the manufacturer Savinelli made of wood. The aim here is to make the smoking experience milder and to absorb condensates. Harmful substances are hardly filtered or not filtered at all.
  • Filter granules: The granules can be sprinkled directly under the tobacco in the pipe bowl and are therefore also suitable for filterless pipes. However, their effect is less than with conventional filters.

Pipe filters: What you should look out for

With pipe filters, there are also a few tips to keep in mind. Because you naturally pull harder on the pipe with a filter, there is a risk that it will be smoked too hot and therefore burn through. By the way, you should dispose of your used filter after each pipe and replace it with a fresh one. On the one hand, this is because the filter has exceeded almost all of its filtering capacity after one pipe. In addition, it takes on an unpleasant taste after the pipe has cooled down.

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