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What Is a Proto Pipe?

Proto pipes are used to smoke tobacco products.
smoke image by cherie from Fotolia.com

Proto pipes are American-manufactured tobacco pipes that are made out of solid brass. Tobacco smokers enjoy their all-inclusive design and their lifelong durability. Brass has definite benefits and drawbacks when used to create smoking pipes, but the long-standing quality standard of Proto pipes is the determining factor that makes this pipe one of the most popular metal pipes on the market.


Many smokers purchase Proto pipes because of their compact and efficient design. Practically everything you need is already included with and attached to the pipe, making it completely unnecessary to purchase additional supplies aside from cleaning tools and the tobacco. All Proto pipes include a built in storage chamber to hold the tobacco along with a removable tar trap, a poker that enables you to stir the tobacco and a bowl with a swiveling lid.


The storage chamber twists on or off the pipe. To remove it you must rotate the cylinder to the left, and to re-connect the piece it should be turned to the right. The tar trap is removed by opening the swiveling lid to the bowl and inserting the poker into the bowl. You will then use the poker to push out the bottom. There is a dot on the bottom of the pipe that correlates with a dot on the bottom corner of the tar trap. These dots should be used to line up the trap to the pipe when refitting this piece and pushing it back into the pipe. The poker has a designated slot that it slides into for storage and this mechanism is what locks the pipe together.


Having all of the equipment assembled together and connected to or stored on the pipe prevents the owner from losing all of the small pieces and components which can be difficult to find and costly to replace. It is also an ideal travel pipe for the same reasons. The pipe is relatively small measuring approximately 8.5 cm, which makes it very simple to carry. According to the Copper Development Association, dangerous bacterial pathogens that are spread by touch die in a few hours on brass surfaces; brass has been noted for its strong wear resistance and antimicrobial properties, so many germs will not carry across when smokers share the pipe. Since all of the pieces can come apart, the pipe is also easy to clean, which is important as clogged pipes are very difficult to smoke out of.


Brass is a thermal conductor; therefore, this pipe has a tendency to get very hot through prolonged use or when more than one person is smoking at a time. This condition is worsened when you are smoking in warmer environments. It is important to clean the pipe regularly because the tar trap can get stuck, and once this happens it is very difficult to remove and it will eventually result in clogging.


The poker is used to scrape out the built-up resins and tar on the inside of the bowl and permanent screen slots in the bottom of the bowl. The tar trap should be cleaned with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. If the tar trap is stuck, it may be necessary to soak the entire pipe in boiling water or a bowl of rubbing alcohol for 15 minutes. The storage chamber won't require as much cleaning but may occasionally be wiped with the cotton swab soaked in alcohol as well.

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