I have ordered and received two of these; a bent stem for my Gondolin pipe and, this time, a straight stem for my mini lazy hobbit. Both were "semi-finished", allowing me to select and control the final finish I desired. My opinion : hold the pipe in your hand; don't try to "clench" the wooden stem in your teeth. For what it's worth, I can't find any evidence of seams in the stems.
I ordered the 16" stem to use with my Wizard pipe and the fit was perfect.