Home-rolled cigarettes?

Hey there - I’m trying to get into rolling my own cigarettes, but I don’t really know a whole lot about it. The tobacco shop near me really specializes in cigars and pipe tobacco, but they maintain a small space in their walk-in humidor (which I previously didn’t know existed!) for cigarette tobacco.

ANYWAY, I bought a couple ounces of “Turkish Export” blend, whatever that is, because the lady said that the lighter the tobacco in color, the lighter in flavor. I’m trying to approximate a mass-market cigarette, but my cigarettes that I’m making take too much effort to smoke, in that I have to inhale too hard. I’m using what seem like standard papers, and a standard rolling machine (the kind with two rollers and the strip of cloth or plastic or whatever) and filters that I drop down inside of it as I’m rolling it.

So, in general, I’m just looking for advice on what kind of tobacco to shop for, general tips for this adventure. My usual smoke of choice are Marlboro menthols, if that helps.

If you are having to work too hard to inhale my only guess is that you are packing the tobacco too tightly. It should be the same effort you use to suck liquid through a straw.

Take the time to learn how to roll by hand. Rolling machines aren’t too great, and roll cigs too tightly unless you get the perfect amount of 'baccy in there. When you roll by hand you’ll develop a ‘feel’ for how much you need. It took me about a week to learn to roll adequately enough for the cig not to fall apart mid smoke, and maybe two weeks to roll a straight-ish cig.
Get cut corner papers, they’re easier to roll with. Swan Green are really good for rolling with, if they’re available near you. Don’t go in for super thin papers, I don’t know why but I’ve always found they require a lot of re-lighting.
And go for tobacco heavy in flavour, ya big cissy :p.

Get a Tops loader. It’s a cheap plastic thing that loads empty tubes. They’re about $5.
Get some empty tubes. They’re about $3 for 200.

Now that the tax has kicked in the majority of the price you pay for tobacco goes to the government so you may as well pay a little extra for premium tobaccos. I don’t know anything about menthol but these people probably do…Evil Smokers

If you like the combination you come up with you can buy a more expensive loader but it isn’t necessary.

Oh, and you’re packing things too tight.

Way back when I first moved to Europe and settled in Berlin, a pack of cigarettes was already outrageously expensive. Everybody there rolled their own and a very nice Dutch woman showed me how.
Have rolled my own ever since.

I prefer DRUM brand…not so dry and crumbly as the American rolling tobacco.
Far easier to roll.
You can buy it in a large can, or in smaller packs - but beware of “old” packs; if you squeeze the pack and it is soft, then it is fresh - but if you squeeze the pack and it crunches, don’t bother paying the money for it as it is totally dried up.

I’ll second this. I left a half finished pouch of tobacco open in a draw in my desk, came back to it a few months later when I was frantically searching for something to smoke and the shops were shut, and learnt this the hard way!
Dried out rolling tobacco is DISGUSTING. You can actually taste the ‘old’ in it!
If you like menthols, why not get menthol filters? They’re a lot more menthol-y than normal menthol cigs too, but you don’t get the weak tobacco, it’s nice.

I have sealed it up with a moist paper towel or piece of apple to make it smokeable again. :slight_smile:

Never considered that, might try it next time the situation arises. Does the apple impart any flavour in the tobacco? That would be ace!

I’ve been rolling cigarettes the way you describe for … thinking … about 20 years. That’s been the only kind I smoke for the last 15 or more.

Probably you’re packing in too much tobacco. That will make them roll too tight.

The amount of tobacco depends partly on the humidity and moisture level of the tobacco. If your tobacco is dampish or you have high humidity, use less. Moist tobacco packs tighter than dry.

It also depends on the tobacco cut. Tobaccos cut for hand-rolling don’t always work well in a cigarette roller. If the tobacco is cut in long, thin strings it tends to compact too much IMO. You want tobacco that’s cut in short, medium-width shreds.

I like the American Spirit (regular) tobacco, but Drum is also pretty good. IIRC, I had more trouble rolling Drum, though, as it’s cut more for freehand rolling. There are some Canadian brands that aren’t bad. It might be worthwhile to visit a tobacco shop with more cigarette tobaccos, to try a few brands. My tobacco shop will recommend brands and often let you sample them.

Then you can either stock up periodically, convince your local to stock your brand, or go online.

For dry tobacco, you can also lightly (LIGHTLY) spritz the top of your tobacco with water, toss to mix, and seal it up for a day or so to rehumidify. Or get a pouch button, which will either humidify or dehumidify your tobacco as needed.

American Spirit Perique blend (black packaging) is excellent cigarette tobacco. I’m a pipe smoker, and I love perique blends myself.

Yes. I never tried liquor to moisten it; you may try that.

The shop I went to didn’t actually sell those brands of tobacco (which I recognize as being available at standard tobacco stores) - these were all in either glass jars or metal tins.

I’ll try to figure out the tobacco amount thing, I’ve been trying to load it to where the filter (which is huge, apparently) and the tobacco are the same level so the paper doesn’t twist. I’d like to stay with this method because the tubes take up a lot more space (and I keep my gear in my smallish messenger bag), and the free-rolling experience for me is a joke, you should have seen me in my pot-smoking days :smack:. Add a filter to that and it either won’t be pretty or won’t get done at all, I’m not sure.

And that message boards site Mongo Ponton linked to has SO much information, I’ll have to take some time and read that at some point.

:slight_smile: Ah yes. I reduced 5 different people to tears in the attempt to teach me how to free-roll, back in the day. I just don’t care for the tube-stuffers. Too big, too much hassle, too hard to find supplies.

And free-rolling with filters, well…we had a contest one weekend with several reasonably experienced free-rollers (because I’d remembered all my gear except the rolling machine). Not work so good, that. I don’t think we got a single smokeable cigarette.

A lot of it is just practice. If you get the cig rolled too tight so it doesn’t draw, try squashing it between your fingers and rolling it back & forth, up and down the length, to loosen it up. (Some tobacco will squish out the end.) I still get mine packed too tight occasionally, particularly when the humidity changes drastically, so I just squish it around a bit until it draws better.

I’m guessing you need to try some other tobaccos with a different cut than what you’ve got. Have you checked convenience stores? Most of 'em around here sell loose tobacco. These days, I don’t even have trouble finding the American Spirit.

Maybe I need to just try some of the other tobacco, I’m almost out of what I bought anyway, I just bought a 2 oz ziplock because I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

We just started rolling our own after the last increase. We use this to roll, get tobacco for $40 a pound (2 1/2 cartons), and get the tubes for $2 per carton. We were using Golden Harvest, but lately we’ve gotten some stale ones. Our tobacco joint returns it, but we’ve switched to McClintock and have found we like it much better. As for the roller, it’s worth the investment - even I can make perfect smokes. At first I packed them too hard too, but the machine helps - if it’s too much tobacco, it’s really really hard to inject the tube so you know you have too much in there.

One of my grandfathers rolled his own with Bull Durham. Is that stuff for sale any more? He rolled his one-handed and he could roll the one-handed behind his back. He taught me how to do it and I rolled my own for years, although I had trouble with the one-handed trick. As mentioned above, getting the right amount of tobacco onto the paper is probably the most important part.

I use regular bugler, regular paper n filters on a lil roller.
I cut those filters in half first all, roll 20 put em in a nice cig case, and have a nice lighter.
Tobacco goes in a humidifier device if I buy more than a package, it will dry up and get pretty harsh fast.
I think Top has menthol…
I just buy the cheap stuff, to me its all the same mostly.
Didn’t care for the expensive stuff.
Takes a lil practice, but I seem to smoke less this way also.

I was gonna start even growing my own, but it the curing process seemed a lil more complicated for general consumption.

then there was making the rice paper and cotton for the filters…bah humbug.

(wish they change edit to 15 min)

I’ve always found rolling with a filter is a hell of a lot easier than rolling a joint. It gives something for the paper to curl around perfectly, and so long as you keep the pressure even at both sides, with the filter as a guide, you should end up with a straight cig. Though with a little time for practice again (I buy marlboro reds or lucky strikes these days, and I ain’t the roller in my circle of friends) I could probably be rolling a cig/joint that straight as a die within a few rolls.
I really would suggest taking the time to learn to roll by hand. Once you’ve picked it up, it takes nowhere near as much time as using a machine.
don’t try reading a guide on the net and look at pictures to learn how to roll. Watch someone. Ask them about it. It’s the best way!

That’s what Sam Spade smoked. :slight_smile: