You need to aerate your tobacco pipe because it is one of the basic processes of smoking quality tobacco. A pipe depends on an evenly-burning ember and a properly-packed bowl to provide the best tasting smoke. On some occasions, the smoker will be required to adjust the tobacco in the bowl while they are in the process of smoking. Aeration is one of the most basic ways to adjust the temperature and the draw of the tobacco contained in the bowl.
If the pipe is drawing too hard, chances are that the bowl has been packed too tightly. To remedy this, one uses what is called an aeration tool. This tool is usually just a thin piece of metal which is used to poke at the tobacco and to create holes within the pack which allow air to flow more freely. If you have a proper pipe lighter, you may find such a device attached right to the lighter.
All you need to do to aerate your tobacco pipe pipe is take the aeration tool and poke holes in the tobacco. You do not need to stir the tobacco or poke too many holes to restore proper airflow. In fact, it is best to poke a few holes, test the draw and see if more are needed. To loose a pack results in a very hot burning ember which can have a negative effect on the taste of the tobacco.
Pipe smoking is something of an art and a science. Without the proper tobacco packing job, one will most certainly not enjoy the high-quality smoke that they’ve come to expect. While tamping down the tobacco, burning off the moisture and going through the entire lighting process is a big part of this, a little on-the-fly adjustment is often needed. There are other ways to aerate a pipe if one happens to be away from their tools. Most often, this is done with everyday objects.
If you cannot find a proper aerator, then you can safely straighten out a paper clip and use that to perform the same task. Be certain not to use any bladed instrument to perform this task as the blade will likely be too wide and will destroy the pack altogether. The thinner, the better, in most cases.
If you have a lighter with tools attached then you can use the aeration tool on their lighter as a reference.How to Aerate Your Tobacco Pipe by David Sabot