Filtered Pipes: Savinelli balsa system

Filtered Pipes: Savinelli balsa system

Posted by Renia Carsillo on 4th Sep 2014

Savinelli balsa system

Chances are pretty good you’re familiar with the largest tobacco pipe maker in the world, Savinelli. The brand has set the standard for smoking pipes since its creation in 1876 when the founder, Achille Savinelli, opened up his store front in Italy.

Savinelli’s Convertible Balsa System

One of the many things that sets Savinelli apart from other pipe makers is the signature convertible balsa system. Most Savinelli pipes have this feature, although not all, so check your chosen pipe’s product description first.

Convertible refers to the ability to use the filter or remove it and use a spacer piece to smoke your pipe unfiltered.

Why balsa wood filters?

When you hear the word “balsa”, your first thought is probably not about pipes. It’s the same material used to make small 

Buying a Savinelli balsa system

airplanes. Balsa is naturally porous, which allows it to absorb the majority of the moisture and smoke impurities from the tobacco, without the need to use chemical elements or paper. This unique wood can do this without altering the aroma or flavor of the tobacco, which sets balsa filters apart from other pipe filters like charcoal.

Popularly hailed as the most absorbent wood Mother Nature has to offer, Achille Savinelli and his team were clearly inspired in creating the convertible balsa system. The use of this unique material can’t be underestimated. No matter how hot you smoke, the tongue bite is eliminated (although we can’t help you with the hole you might burn in your beautiful Italian pipe). In addition, the gurgle caused by moisture build up many new smokers grapple with is no longer an issue.

Another benefit of balsa wood is it’s apparent ability to help reduce toxins inherent in smoking tobacco. According to tests by the EURATOM Research Center of Ispra, Italy, the filter has the ability to absorb up to 77% of the nicotine and 91% of the tar contained in the pipe tobacco, without altering flavor. This makes Savinelli’s convertible balsa system ideal for smokers who want to cut down on nicotine and tar, without sacrificing the experience they love.


IF committing to a filtered pipe is more than you can handle, fear not. In place of the filter, an adapter can be inserted into the tenon which allows you to smoke your Savinelli unfiltered. This particular feature makes Savinelli a particular favorite among new smokers.

Whether you are an experienced pipe smoker or a newbie, the Savinelli Convertible Balsa System is a perfect choice.