The Construction of Metal Pipes
Metal is an uncommon material for making tobacco pipes, but they are not unknown. The most common form of metal pipe is a pipe with a stem and shank made of aluminum or fimo, which serves as a heat sink by absorbing and dissipating heat. Mouthpieces are made of vulcanite, Lucite, or rubber. The bowls are removable and usually require a screen. They are made of varying materials to allow the smoker to try different characteristics or to dedicate particular bowls for particular tobaccos. The typical metal pipe may also come with a snuff cover similar to the attached sliding covers seen in wooden pipes. The cover screws into the top of a Metal pipe and allows the user to not only travel with a packed pipe but snuff out their tobacco by simply covering the bowl. Some snuff covers also have a light hole in which the tobacco user can smoke through making windy days or an occasional puff simple and accessible.
The Kiseru, Solo Pipe & Classic Bat
Other metal tobacco pipes include the Japanese Kiseru and the Arabian Midwakh.
Kiseru is an old style Japanese smoking pipe. It is typically made out of metal on the ends (the mouth piece and bowl), with a shaft typically made out of bamboo. Another distinct trait of a kiseru is that the bowl is much smaller than that of many western-style pipes, and if fitted with a fine-mesh metal screen, permits small servings at a low burning temperature.
There are many Kiserus adorned with elaborate artwork and details made by skilled artisans. Made with precious metals, they naturally became a status symbol of the Kiseru owner. The word Kiseru comes from the Khmer word “ksher”. Because the Kiseru is basically a rod with metal ends, longer Kiserus have been employed as weapons, especially by the gangster-like kabuki mono samurai of Edu period Japan.
Tobacco was known in Japan in the 1570s at earliest and by the early 17th century, Kiserus had become popular enough to be mentioned even in some Buddhist textbooks for children. The Kiseru evolved along with the equipment and use of incense associated with the tea ceremony. The kō-bon, an incense tray, became the tabako-bon, a tobacco tray, the incense burner evolved into a pot for tobacco embers and the incense pot became a type of ash tray.
During the Edo period weapons were frequently used as objects with which one could flaunt one’s financial status. Since commoners were prohibited to carry weapons, an elaborate Kiseru carried slung from the waist would often serve a similar purpose. After the Meiji restoration and the abolishment of the caste system, many craftsmen who previously had worked on decorating swords moved on to designing Kiseru and buckles for tobacco pouches. Though mass-production of cigarettes began in the late 19th century, it was not until after World War II that the kiseru went out of style and became an object of tradition and relative obscurity.
Another slender metal pipe known as a Bat is commonly used by the modern smoker as a one hitter or onies. They pack small amounts of tobacco and frequently take the shape of a cigarette themselves. Bats are often seen in Dugouts or used by themselves as a small portable pipe.
The newest of metal pipes out on the market is the Solo pipe. It an easy to use tobacco pipe that also has built-in refillable, adjustable butane lighter. Solo pipe is the world’s first self-igniting pipe. It contains a sliding bowl cover, refillable gas valve and adjustable flame control. The sliding bowl cover allows you to expose the chamber when you’re ready to smoke and also acts as a snuff box. No tobacco will fall out into your pockets.