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 Are Castellos Better Than Radices?

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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Are Castellos Better Than Radices?   Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:31 pm

And if so, in what way? Not knocking Castellos; I have two. Or is it three? Anyhow, I just wondered, since they cost about twice as much and I don't have a Radice. (I personally have a fondness for Il Ceppos, as an Italian marque, but that's another subject. Sort of.)
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Are Castellos Better Than Radices?   Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:49 pm

In general? Older vs. older? New vs. new? Speaking year of production wise. I have to ask that because I have not personally owned a Radice made after the early 90s (owned several of those), and I own one newer Castello now, which is a fantastic smoker. All the others were older Castellos. I've never owned a poor smoking Radice. They were all at the top of my collection. I've also never owned a poor smoking Castello, but I have owned several that were consistently ho-hum smokers. My Radices were unusually lightweight wood, while I seemed to run into slightly heavier Castellos. Not all of them, obviously, but it was something I noticed as they came my way in trading etc. I've always thought that had something to do with how they were curing the blocks. None of this is helpful if you're looking to buy a brand new pipe. Sorry about that. I wouldn't hesitate to buy either brand. Radices are probably one of the brands of today that are on the better value scale (overall speaking), especially because I feel some of the pricing for Castellos is outrageous. On the other hand, I have a difficult time finding new Radices that are as appetizing as new Castellos. I see lots of new Castellos, of many variations, that I think are very sharp pipes. Not so much for Radice. I don't see either as better than the other, but they certainly hit different price points.

I should also add that I've owned a few older Il Ceppos. Beautiful pipes, but like my experience with Mastro de Pajas, I never owned one that was an impressive smoker. I personally consider both Radice and Castello to be a few cuts above both of those brands.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Are Castellos Better Than Radices?   Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:31 am

Well stated, Zeno. I'm encumbered by a taste for classic shapes only. Every time I see a Castello that I like, it's $600 or so. The two Castellos I have don't even look like Castellos, a bulldog and a slim billiard. The occasional Radice I see that I like does seem tempting. Plus fishnbanjo likes 'em, and that's saying something, I do believe.
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Blackhorse
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Age : 70
Location : Portland, Oregon Area
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Are Castellos Better Than Radices?   Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:31 am

No Castellos on any of my racks, never had one. One Radice currently. It is a unique...two knuckle faux bamboo, part blasted, twin bore, oil cured, eighth bent “Irish Apple”. It is arguably the best smoking pipe I have ever owned. My precious.



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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Are Castellos Better Than Radices?   Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:47 am

Sounds like love, and not just a passing infatuation. Wish half my pipes weren't one-night stands.
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Sasquatch

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Location : The Garage
Registration date : 2008-12-14

PostSubject: Re: Are Castellos Better Than Radices?   Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:26 pm

Castellos are not twice as expensive as Radices in Italy - try buying direct and you'll feel better about the price point I think.

Anyway, in terms of "quality" I suppose it depends on how you are judging. I think both brands smoke well. Castello's worst stem work and shaping is pretty bad. Their best stem work and shaping is much better than Radice's - Radice does NOT do "classic shapes" really, they do a quick approximation, with a lot of meat left on the bone, so to speak, which partly accounts for the price point. Radice's basic rustication (bark) is not as nice as Sea Rock in any way.

I never see a Radice where I think "Wow that's great shaping, what a pipe." I see a lot of stuff that's.... okay. But if you want a 22 g billiard, yeah, Radice doesn't do that kind of thing, or not often anyway. I see lots of mouthpieces that are hugely wide and awkwardly tapered.

I have about 6 Castellos now and just the one Radice... it's an older oil cured one, heavy as hell. It smokes great. But I'll pay the little extra for some of the details that go into a Castello's "guts".
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