A tobacco pipe may seem like a simple tool from afar, but upon closer inspection you'll notice there are many different pieces with their own unique purpose. Each piece of a typical tobacco pipe plays an important role in the overall use of the pipe. If just one of these pieces were missing, it could drastically affect the quality of the tobacco smoke -- or even prevent the pipe from working. This week, we're going to take a closer look at the different parts of a tobacco pipe, revealing their name and purpose.
- Bowl: this is where the tobacco is packed inside. When an individual is ready to smoke his or her pipe tobacco, they will pack the bowl with the appropriate amount of tobacco before lighting it.
- Chamber: the chamber is the larger portion of the bowl. Many people use the terms "bowl" and "chamber" to describe the same part of the tobacco pipe. The only difference between the two is that the chamber is the interior portion of the pipe, whereas the bowl is technically the exterior portion.
- Draught Hole: the draught hole is the hollow tunnel that connects the chamber to the shank.
- Shank: the long, narrow corridor where the smoke of a pipe tobacco travels when being used.
- Mortise: although you can't see it from the outside, the interior tunnel connecting the chamber to the mouthpiece contains a wide area that's known as the mortise. This is necessary to allow for bigger, heavier draws. Without the mortise, draws would be limited to small hits of tobacco smoke. It's also responsible for connecting the tenon.
- Tenon: the tenon is a notched part of the mouthpiece that fits into the mortise.
- Stem: the stem is a long portion of the mouthpiece that's usually made of a different material than the rest of the pipe.
- Bit: the part of the tobacco pipe where you place your lips is known as the bit.
- Lip: this is the very tip of the tobacco pipe.
- Bore: the bore is the interior tunnel at the tip of a tobacco pipe.
As you can see, there are quite a few parts to a tobacco pipe. From the bowl and chamber to the lip and bore, each of these parts play a key role in the pipe's overall function. The next time you sit down to enjoy a smoke session, take a look at your pipe to see what parts you can properly identify.