The Peterson P-Lip is a mouthpiece design originally patented by Charles Peterson in 1898. The P-Lip was one of the components intended to be incorporated into Peterson’s revolutionary Dry System pipe design. The primary purpose of the design was to redirect the inhaled smoke away from the surface of the tongue, as is common with the standard fishtail mouthpiece. By redirecting the smoke away from the tongue, it is meant to avoid the problem of tongue bite. While this redirect does serve to reduce the chances of encountering tongue bite, it is not a perfect fix. The P-Lip doesn’t eliminate the problem behind tongue bite, it simply changes the direction of the smoke that is responsible for it.
Many people claim that the redirection of the smoke toward the roof of the mouth can result in tenderness or a feeling of rawness of the hard palate. One of the other downsides that many users point out is the increased level of difficulty when it comes to cleaning the stem. The degree of difficulty varies with the size of the pipe and the curvature of the stem, but in general, it does require a little more effort to clean than the straight shaft of the standard fishtail mouthpiece. However, the extent of the downsides is dependent on individual factors such as the personal technique, the intensity of the draw and the frequency of use.
Peterson P-Lip stems are primarily made of Vulcanite, also often referred to as Ebonite, which is a very hard rubber that is created by the addition of large amounts of sulfur to natural rubber in a process called Vulcanization. The vulcanization process makes the stem durable as well as resistant to absorption of any chemicals in the smoke.
The shape of the Peterson P-Lip stem is often curved in order to reduce the strain of the weight of the pipe on the smoker’s teeth, however, straight P-Lip stems are also available. The curvature of the stem, along with the angle that the smoke takes at it passes out of the P-Lip opening are designed to reduce the possibility of overheating the tobacco, which is one of the leading causes for tongue bite. The P-Lip stem, like anything else, has its positive and negative attributes. There are some people who love it, some who hate it and some who couldn’t care either way. In order to find out if the P-Lip stem is right for you, the best way is to simply try it out.
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