Selecting a pipe is a subtly complex exercise. If you have been in a pipe shop and watched someone buy a tube, you may have wondered what was taking so long. There are myriad factors that go into finding and purchasing the right pipe for yourself, and even more so in choosing a tube as a gift. Unfortunately, very little has been written about how to buy your first (or second, or third) pipe. This guide will examine the factors involved in choosing a tube for yourself, and will hopefully alleviate some of the perplexing questions beginning pipe smokers have. A separate guide Choosing Gifts for Pipe Smokers examines the extra steps involved in buying a pipe as a gift for someone else. A pipeline must meet several requirements to satisfy you. They can be roughly divided into the following categories: Aesthetic, Mechanical, and Financial. Let’s examine each of them, in order of importance. Let’s consider each of them, in order of importance. If you keep these three factors in mind, you’ll walk away with the knowledge and confidence to select a well-made pipe that appeals to you, that you can afford, and that will provide you with years of smoking enjoyment.