Solopipe Self-igniting Tobacco Pipe

Hello all! It’s been awhile but I’ve finally returned to write a new review. For those of you that don’t know me, I wrote my first review for The-Gadgeteer a few years ago. It was the ForYou in-dash DVD player. I’ve actually been behind the scenes at The-Gadgeteer for many years, and I was also one of the main motivational and supporting forces behind the start up of another gadget related website last year. I’m well known for my popular dive watch reviews (my favorite gadgets BTW!) that are located on other spots around the web, and I have a private forum dedicated to all things dive watch related. Well that’s enough blah-blah about me, I sure don’t want to sound bombastic!

solopipe

Let’s get started with the task at hand. Today I’m going to review a cool little gadget called the Solopipe. Julie asked me if I’
d like to review this product because she knew I was a cigar smoker. I’m actually a longtime passionate cigar aficionado, so I jumped at the chance to put the Solopipe through most of its paces. I’ll explain what I mean by that later in the review.

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The butane refill nozzle is on the left, the push button for the lighter mechanism is in the middle, and the lighter element is on the right

I’d never heard of this product until Julie sent me that initial email. Once I received the Solopipe and laid my hands on it, I was instantly gadgetized. I like all things stainless steel, especially hefty butane cigar lighters. So the fact that the Solopipe was a tobacco smoking pipe and butane lighter all rolled into one made it awfully hard to resist.
For those of you that don’t know, the Solopipe is a revolutionary self-igniting smoking apparatus that combines a refillable, adjustable butane lighter with a high quality tobacco smoking pipe. The Solopipe simplifies everything!

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Lighting the tobacco

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The tobacco bowl with sliding cover is on the left and the mouthpiece is on the right

Here are a few facts from Solopipe’s website.

  • Solopipe is perfect for those who want a well designed, easy to use tobacco pipe that also has a built-in refillable, adjustable butane lighter.
  • Solopipe specializes in assisting the ease of tobacco smoking for the handicapped and others inconvenienced by the need for two hands to enjoy their tobacco.
  • Solopipe is the world’s first self-igniting pipe that makes smoking easier and more enjoyable.
  • Sliding Bowl Cover: The sliding bowl cover allows you to expose the chamber when you’re ready to smoke. When you are done you can cover the bowl and be on you way. No tobacco will fall out into your pockets.
  • Refillable Gas Valve: Each Solopipe has a refillable valve that uses any standard fitting refillable butane, ensuring that you can use your Solopipe for many enjoyable years to come.
  • Adjustable Flame Control: Next to the mouth piece is a standard adjustable flame control. You can increase the size of the flame based on your particular needs.

    solopipe
    Size comparison of the Solopipe next to my Canon Power Shot SD1000

    One of the first things I noticed about the Solopipe was its heft and very solid construction. This thing is built to survive a nuclear blast! Hey here’s a thought, maybe I should do an unboxing video on YouTube since that seems to be all the rage! Hmm, let’s not and say I did shall we.

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    The generic packaging

    My Solopipe arrived packaged inside a generic white cardboard box. I’ve since learned that the Solopipe now comes packaged in a nice branded black case and is also available in both copper and black finishes. This device is certainly deserving of nicer packaging. The pipe itself was enclosed in a faux suede drawstring pouch. The box contained a nifty cleaning kit that consisted of three spare bowl screens, and a small brush and the Solostick wire cleaning tool to remove any unwanted tobacco particles and resin.

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    The cleaning kit consisting of brush, three bowl screens and Solostick

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    Here you can see the Solostick cleaning tool inserted into the mouthpiece

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    Using the cleaning brush to remove tobacco particles and ashes

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    The bowl screen is removable so you can clean the tobacco resin inside the bowl

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    Tobacco resin inside bowl

    The pipe is pocket sized and built as such to give the user many years of enjoyment. The Solopipe is primarily designed for right handed users. It can be operated with your left hand however, but it’s a bit awkward. I guess when you’re in a pinch for a nicotine buzz; you do what you gotta do!

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    Zippo lighter on top, Solopipe in the middle, and Samsung SGH-T629 cell phone on the bottom

    The pipe is easy to grasp and operate with only your right hand due to its ingenious design. The edges are smooth and rounded. The trigger mechanism for the lighter is sturdy and easy to engage, as is the sliding bowl cover. You merely slide the bowl cover open, and fill it with the tobacco of your choice. Don’t forget to fill the lighter with butane just as you would any standard lighter. There is a small screw on the same end as the mouthpiece that you can adjust to get the perfect sized flame.

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    There’s nothing like the aroma of fine pipe tobacco

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    Placing tobacco in the bowl

    Once you have the pipe filled with butane and tobacco you’re ready to go. With the bowl cover in the open position, you merely engage the lighter mechanism and take a draw on the mouthpiece. You can pack a nice amount of tobacco in the bowl itself, and could easily have quite a few good smokes depending on your particular weeds; err needs. That’s what I was referring too at the beginning of the review when I said I’d put the Solopipe through most of its paces.

    I’m sure the HighTimes crowd can find gnarly uses for the Solopipe, as it seems that’s who it’s primarily aimed at. Solopipe mentions in their advertising that the handicapped or disabled can use the pipe since it is able to be operated with one hand. I guess I can see a certain medicinal use for this gadget. Especially by cancer patients who suffer from severe nausea and weakness while undergoing chemotherapy. However, I imagine arthritis sufferers would have a tough time trying to operate the Solopipe.

    Say that reminds me, I know of a guy in Houston that would really enjoy this gadget! Especially at 4:20pm everyday, cough-cough. Now I know there are people that have legitimate medical needs for the wacky tobaccy, but he’s not one of them! Ah, but I divagate.

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    Engaging the lighter mechanism

    I found the draw of the pipe to be effortless. During the first few draws or puffs, I did notice a metallic taste, but that went away the more I used the pipe. The flame routinely stayed lit and always did a great job of lighting the tobacco. Even when tilting the pipe to the right to allow the flame to come into full contact with the tobacco that is in the lowest part of the bowl. The bowl is deep and holds a generous amount of tobacco.

    For my particular usage and enjoyment, I purchased some Peterson’s Irish Oak pipe tobacco. It’s imported from Ireland and contains a nice blend of Cavendish, Zimbabwean, Orange, Thailand Burley, and Black Perique tobacco that is matured in Oak Sherry barrels. I spent many hours sitting in the sunroom enjoying our peaceful bayou setting while testing the Solopipe. I also used it while touring the lush grounds of a local plantation home and while attending the VooDoo Fest in New Orleans.

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    My beautiful girlfriend and future wife Regina took this photo of me enjoying the Solopipe and some Irish Oak tobacco

    solopipe

    The way the Solopipe is designed, you can operate it with only your right hand. So if you happened to be outdoors and it was windy, you could use your left hand to shield the flame from the wind. I didn’t encounter any such problems when using the pipe outdoors. The pipe has a nice brushed satin finish on the stainless steel. It doesn’t creek and there are no loose parts and the fit and finish is meticulous. There is a small screw at one end that allows you to disassemble the pipe if needed.

    The pipe has a nice ergonomic design and the mouthpiece protrudes from the case ever so slightly so as not to snag on anything. The mouthpiece is polished stainless steel which is a nice touch. The Solopipe web address is tastefully engraved into the top portion of the pipe. The pipe is larger than your typical Zippo lighter for obvious reasons, but is still easily transportable in your shirt or pants pocket. I took comparison photos of the Solopipe, my trusty Zippo torch lighter, and Samsung SGH-T629 cell phone in order for you to get a better idea of the overall size of the pipe.

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    Samsung SGH-T629 cell phone, Solopipe, and Zippo lighter

    The dimensions of the Solopipe are as follows, Width: 40mm, Length: 86mm (excluding mouthpiece), Length: 92mm (including mouthpiece), Thickness: 17mm, Weight: about 250 grams.

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    solopipe

    I’m very impressed with the design of the Solopipe and find it quite worth the $80 retail price. As is usually the case, it can be found for a bit less on the web. Most high quality butane torch lighters cost at least $50 and can easily run as high as $2,500 a piece. So the fact that the Solopipe is both a lighter and a pipe, and that it also comes with a generous replacement policy makes it an even greater value in my opinion. I like things that are unique and well built, so the Solopipe now has a permanent place alongside all my cigar smoking accoutrements.

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    solopipe

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    The adjustment screw for flame strength is on the left, the mouthpiece is in the center, and the screw to remove the outer shell on the right

    If you happen to be a smoker then you may enjoy the convenience and novelty of this pipe. And if you’re the aforementioned and you also enjoy the “wow factor” of showing off the latest and coolest gadget to all your friends, then I’d say the Solopipe would be a nice addition to your gear bag. Just remember to smoke in moderation and don’t inhale.

    Until next time my fellow Gadgetscenti!

     

    Product Information

    Price:69.99
    Manufacturer:Solopipe
    Retailer:Solopipe
    Pros:
    • Well built
    • Convenient
    • Full replacement policy
    • Ingenious dual purpose design
    Cons:
    • Small tobacco bowl
    • Metallic mouthpiece
  • Posted in: Gear

    20 comments… add one

    • Julie November 8, 2007, 2:04 am

      Post your comments on the Solopipe Self-igniting Tobacco Pipe review.

      http://the-gadgeteer.com/review/solopipe_self_igniting_tobacco_pipe

      Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

    • paulkbiba November 8, 2007, 5:17 am

      Having been a pipe smoker – never smoked a cigarette – for about 35 years, I can testify that this is a really neat idea. I wish it were around when I still smoked.

      However, about 5 years ago my dentist noticed a change in my throat and sent me to an oral surgeon. He said that I had developed the beginning stages of throat cancer but that it was early enough for it to regress if I stopped smoking my pipe immediately. Well I stopped (and it wasn’t easy) and the leukoplakia went away. We caught it in time.

      For anyone who still smokes pipes, or even cigars, please have your dentist check your mouth/throat on a regular basis.

    • huze24 November 8, 2007, 11:42 pm

      Hi paul,

      Yep I agree, the Solopipe is a pretty neat idea. I hear you on the smoking and cancer issue. I might smoke 30 cigars a year on average and have been smoking them since 1996. I just got back from my annual trip to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center today and got the all-clear once again. My oncologist knows I smoke cigars, and he also knows fellow doctors that smoke them too. He’s never suggested that I quit. I did quit drinking booze and eating fatty foods at his request though. As for me personally, I always keep a very close eye out for anything that could be oral cancer. My oxygen levels were 99.99 today, so that was nice to know. ;)

    • Julie November 9, 2007, 2:05 am

      Steve:

      Congrats on the all clear!!! :D

      Hey, here’s a question… I know that smoking cigars isn’t supposed to involve enhaling the smoke into your lungs. What about pipe smoking?

    • huze24 November 9, 2007, 2:52 pm

      Thanks Julie! :D Ya’ know what I always say… You can’t kill a weed! :p That $500,000 life insurance policy is safe for now. :rolleyes:

      I’ve never smoked pipes, but I do believe you are supposed to inhale. ;)

    • npkeith November 9, 2007, 6:37 pm

      No offence folks, but I think you’re delusional if you believe that the Solopipe is made for tobacco. The bowl is too small, and tobacco pipes rarely come with a little cover over the bowl to hold its contents in. Take a look in High Times and you will probably find many pipes with simiar designs….

      -Keith
      (an ex-smoker for 18 years myself)

    • huze24 November 9, 2007, 8:11 pm

      Keith,

      I’d say I touched upon the intended use of the Solopipe quite a few times in my review. Its a cool and clever gadget that Jeff “Aloha, Mr. Hand” Spicoli would have loved. ;)

      Now if I were a pipe smoker and needed a quick tobacco/nicotine fix while out and about, I’d much rather have the compact Solopipe in my pocket all ready to go and loaded with my favorite pipe tobacco. I think that’s better than the alternative. And that is a bulky pipe, a lighter, and a pouch or tin of tobacco all crammed in my pockets. I sure don’t want to lug around all that crap. Take a look at the size of the pipe tobacco storage tin that I used in the review and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not exactly pocket sized, and neither are most pipes. Your mileage may vary though. :cool:

      http://the-gadgeteer.com/assets/solopipe-17.jpg

    • scala May 10, 2009, 7:54 am

      i just bought the solopipe and felt the need to review it. f’in awesome wondered if it would be worth it hell yes if youre interested in this product get it works great love it lighter very solid 2 thumbs up

    • Kevin December 2, 2009, 6:59 pm

      I purchased the Solopipe and worked great for a little. I sent it in for repair and sent in my $10. 3 weeks later I received my replacment. Unfortunalty maybe a month later the same issue arose and it broke again. So I did what I did before sent in my solopipe for repair with another $10 check. 2 weeks later I get the case back and a note saying they don’t do replacments unless it’s under a month old. I told the guy on the phone that I love your product when it works and just want to get a working piece. Well he said I can purcahse a new one and they will use the $10 I sent as credit toward the purcahse of a new one. They decided to not send me my check. They actually thought I would want to purchase a new pipe that could just break on me again. WARNING: THE OUTSIZE OF THIS PIPE LOOKS LIKE IT IS MAKE OF A NICE STRONG MATERIAL. THE INTERNAL PARTS ARE ALL PLASTIC AND TEND TO FAIL…. A LOT. THE MAIN ISSUE I CAME ACROSS WAS THE PLASTIC IGNITGHER HOLDER WOULD CRACK AND BREAK OFF. ALSO THE BUTTON ON THE SIDE GETS STUCK AND DOESN’T WANT TO PUSH IN OR WHEN IT DOES PUSH IN IT WON’T IGNITE.
      This is not an icolated incodent as I have seen this failure on 10 of thier pipes. I have only seen maybe 15 out in public. I used to support this company casue I thought they would always exchange it when it would malfunction. You know … Stand by the product they sell. The guy on the phone laughed at me and said there was nothing I could do. I would never recommend this company to anyone. I personally think they are running it out of a garage. Just want to inform people so they don’t waste the money that I did…. Get the Iolite or the 7pipe. They are way better. the 7pipe uses glass so you aren’t smoking out of cheap alluminum bowls.. which we all know is not good for your lungs or brain. Their are much better products your can spend your hard earned money on. Don’t spend it on something that will break and you are stuck with junk.

    • r wells January 27, 2010, 4:23 pm

      how do i get theegnitor to work again?

    • Jake April 13, 2010, 7:21 am

      Kevin, you posted this exact comment on another forum that I just visited before coming here. As far as I am concerned, spamming kills your credibility. Perhaps if you hadn’t posted it EXACTLY the same word for word I might consider that you actually are an unsatisfied customer trying to stop others from making the same mistake, but since you are effortlessly copying and pasting that paragraph anywhere you see the solopipe being discussed leads me to believe that you are a spammer looking to tarnish solopipe’s reputation.

    • Jake April 13, 2010, 7:24 am

      npkeith,

      Oh, definitely. I agree. This pipe was definitely not intended for tobacco smokers, obviously that’s just a legal front that solopipe (and every other marijuana pipe manufacturers) uses to sell hemp pipes.

    • greg May 8, 2010, 10:29 pm

      shitty pipe wont light anymore. worked good for a week. ignition is a no go. cant figure it out.

    • Vince July 3, 2010, 5:40 pm

      uhhh my ignition stopped working twice the solopipe was awesome for maybe two weeks till it fucking broke so my advice is to not waste ur money yes they r cool but no they r not strong fuck u solopipe company

    • Korsin September 1, 2010, 4:24 pm

      Jake,

      The solopipe also is not made of aluminium

    • Dncn July 12, 2011, 12:00 am

      I bought one the ignighter stopped working after 2-weeks junk.Since I bought it from another wrbsite not thiers they would not give me a replacement junk

    • jeff Baker February 8, 2014, 1:39 pm

      Same damn thing.BUYER BEWARE. ignitor worked for about 2 weeks and hardly used. does anybody have a fix for this problem?

    • Steph May 1, 2014, 3:19 pm

      Bought the set of two directly from the website and 2 days later my husbands has already stopped working. So not worth the money, and I am not sending it back and paying for a new replacement…very disappointed. Such a cool concept :( I just realized why there website has no reviews either. I submitted a one star review that was never posted due to it having to be approved by moderators. They’re probably all 1 star reviews but you would never see them on there website! No wonder they have no reviews!

    • John May 31, 2014, 1:37 pm

      My brother is physically disabled and is a cigarette smoker. He is looking for a lighter he can use, and we’ve found one on youtube but it may still be too difficult for him to use. I’m wondering if what you’re describing might work for him. Can it be used, placed on a table, just to light a cigarette? And would lighting it require much physical effort?

      Thanks.

    • J October 29, 2014, 9:40 am

      Horrible product. Igniter worker for a week and then failed. I tried calling for a replacement but they hung up on me. Appalling device and service, waste of money. Do not buy.

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