Pipe tool


A pipe tool is a small gadget designed to aid in packing, smoking, and emptying a tobacco pipe.

From left: pipe knife, tamper with pick, tamper with reamer in the form of a sword, Czech tool, tamper.

There are three principal pipe tools: the tamper, the reamer, and the pick:[1]

  • The tamper is a blunt instrument, either a simple dowel or shaped like the head of a nail. The flat end is used to tamp down the tobacco while packing the pipe, and to crush the ash together during smoking or relighting. Tampers are often made with a notch or small holes to permit airflow so that tamping the tobacco does not extinguish the flame.
  • The reamer or scoop is a flat instrument shaped like a dull knife blade or a flattened spoon, used to scrape ash and unburned tobacco (dottle) off the sides and bottom of a pipe.
  • The pick or poker is a narrow rod or pin that can be used to clear the shank of debris or aerate tightly packed tobacco. Because it is sharp, it may scratch the bowl of a pipe and so should not be used for scraping.

These three tools can be combined in different ways. Most common is the three-in-one Czech tool, which consists of a tamper, reamer and pick joined together. A pipe knife is another three-in-one tool: the reamer and pick fold into the casing in the same fashion as a pocketknife, while the blunt end is used as a tamper. A pipe nail is a nail-shaped tool with a tamper at one end and a reamer at the other. Tampers and reamers are also made as separate tools.



  1. ^ Charles-Philippe (2020). "How To Properly Pack A Tobacco Pipe: Best Pipe Tools & Loading Techniques". Bespoke Unit. Bespoke Unit, LLC. Retrieved 9 June 2022.