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Does the Shape Affect the Smoking Characteristics of a Pipe?

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The shape of a pipe can have an effect on the smoking qualities of a pipe, but the degree of the effect is subject of a number of factors. However, there are a few things we can accept as generally true.

The width of the chamber is probably the biggest factor affecting the smoking characteristics. Wider chambers can allow for a bit more flavor, but they will tend to be marginally hotter. Narrow chambers may slightly reduce the taste, but will smoke a bit cooler. That’s why a lot of Virginia tobacco smokers prefer shapes like the stack or chimney, since Virginias usually smoke a little hotter. People who like to smoke wider chambered pipes, such as the pot shape, lean toward English blends or cool smoking aromatics or Burley blends.

Other than that, the shape will mostly impact how comfortable the pipe is while in your mouth. Bent pipes are usually best if you keep the pipe in your mouth, while straights work best when you hold the pipe in your hand, but that’s best left to the individual smoker.
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