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How to maintain your Supermatic and Excel Injectors
"Tough - but still a Precision Tool"

The April/July 2002 Issue of RYO Magazine
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    The CTC line of Supermatic and Excel injectors have given a boost to the make your own industry like no other product. CTC's commitment to quality, reliability, and customer service sets a The Premier Supermatic - The Ultimatestandard to be followed by all other accessory manufacturers. But even with all of the above true, some people are still having trouble with these marvelous machines. Since 1995, we have been using, taking apart, tinkering and, making recommendation to the design of these machines and find little left to criticize. However there are some parameters that must be followed in order to have your machine last as long as the ones we use, which is to say effectively for many years. Although some of the following information is already included with the manufacturer's instruction, we felt, knowing most folks hate reading directions, especially regarding products that appear so simple to operate, that a instruction/recommendation sheet from RYO Magazine would aid those who manage to miss the existing directions for use. The following is a sheet that will be included in all future Supermatics and we assure you that if you follow them religiously, you will have few if any problems. Please read carefully what follows:

RYO Magazine Instuction Card

The Premier Supermatic, Supermatic II, and Excel machines are without peer in the world of cigarette tube injectors. However, as robust as these machine are, they, like all precision tools, must be used knowledgeably and with care. By strictly adhering to the following simple recommendations, the trouble-free life of these machines can effectively be extended indefinitely.

1. Read all directions and save them, as well as this card, for future reference.

2. Never allow anyone not trained in the use of these machines to use them. I cannot over-emphasize the fact that the single largest cause of injector failure is its use by someone who has not been trained by the owner of the machine or read the instructions that come with each machine.

3. We have seen first-hand, many people putting downward pressure on the injector handle when injecting. This WILL invariably cause problems. Always use smooth and even force applied horizontally to the machine, never putting weight on the handle during the injection process.

4. Use medium to fine-cut tobaccos of medium to long length, never pipe tobacco type cuts or other very short cut, bulky blends.

5. Never use tobacco that is overly moist, or overly dry. The overly dry category includes the powdery tobacco residue often found at the bottom of tobacco bags. This "Shake" will definitely jam the injector.

6. Finally should your injector become jammed or even require a little more pressure than normal to inject, STOP immediately, open the injector "crank" and clear the tobacco chamber using a non-metallic probe. Follow this up with a few dry injection motions (no tobacco). Forcing the injector when jammed with tobacco is the primary cause of failure in all injectors.

7. These machines have warranties that are a minimum of one year up to a Lifetime warranty on the Premier Supermatic. However, if you follow the above procedures, as well as adhere to the instructions that come with each machine, you will most likely never need to send a machine in for service.
Doug Kennedy
RYO Magazine
 

  Item # 3 above addresses what is considered a relatively new problem but we suspect that this problem may have surfaced previously as a manifestation of the difficulty in holding down the original metal Supermatics. That older model had no rubber base and this fact alone may have contributed to an ergonomic issue for many people who subconsciously exerted downward force when they were cranking the machines in order to keep them from sliding around. The little black grommet/gasket/fitting that rests between the crank handle and the base is made of a hard plastic material that will deteriorate if stressed.  We know that CTC is constantly working to improve their designs and the future may see better gripping points on the Supermatic top. However no matter what you do to improve any design that is meant to do the kind of work that a Supermatic is capable of, one can always find ways to break or damage it. The manufacturer issues a LIFETIME warranty on the big blue guy and while there is some inconvenience associated with returning products for repair even at no cost, considering the savings one achieves in making one's own cigarettes and not to mention the other benefits as well, we frankly feel that much too much has been made of these machines being damaged by SOME folks. While it is true that I broke my first Supermatic seven years ago within a month of getting it, I have owned many, and used MANY more since and they all have performed flawlessly. I learned quickly the machine's capabilities, vulnerabilities, and how best to use it.  For a year and a half, we've had demo machines at the store which were used extensively (but with our supervision) and all of those, without exception, still perform as well as the day they were new. Still, as with any tool, you can screw them up. If you do, the information contained with your warranty will give you a number to call to return the machine or replace damaged parts if you so wish. You can also click on the banner below to go to the CTC Information page to find those contact numbers.

 Click Here To Contact The Clinton Tube Company  - Maker of the Mighty Supermatic

   Now with the dollar savings one gains from making one's own cigarettes, the higher cost of a table top injector really is minimal for most people and is quickly absorbed in the savings that result. Excel Platinum Cigarette Injectors  The less expensive and extremely well made Excel Platinum is, surprisingly enough, easier for some to use than the larger Supermatic and consequently it seems to have fewer problems for certain people. Even though it has some plastic functional parts, the recessed grip at the top of the machine does make it much easier to hold onto and therefore dissuades one from pressing down on the machine during the injection process. We love this little machine and see few returned because of damage. Part of the problem with the larger Premier Supermatic is that it is a robust feeling machine and some fail to realize that a big, all metal machine that is as formidable as the Big Blue could have limits to stress applied. For that reason we recommend that everyone who is serious about sticking with making their own cigarettes own both a Premier AND an Excel as a backup. The smaller silver machine is also great for traveling as it has no sharp edges and has shown itself to be very forgiving when packed amongst delicate items like clothes and electronics. Plus it is a joy to use. And considering the fact that with a little shopping around on-line you can buy both machines for what some retailers charge for the Premier alone, this becomes a cost-effective solution should one or the other of your machines need repair. Places like D&R Tobacco ( www.cigarettetobacco.com ) and ABS Tobacco (http://www.abstobacco.com ) sell these machines at great prices and RYO Tobacco ( www.ryotobacco.com ), though you will find there a slightly higher price for each of these devices, bundles them with significant amounts of tobacco to offset their higher price. The Excel has a one year warranty as compared to the Lifetime warrant on the larger Premier,  but we have yet to break even one of the Excels. The same rules above apply for the Excel as well as the Supermatic (Premier). Follow them with consistency and you will have a rewarding experience that will forever change your attitude about they way you use tobacco.

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HBI's ZEN Cigarette Shooter   The group of machines referred to as hand injectors have a new member and, while it differs little from most others in this category and is not as impressive as either the Maiker from Sixty One/Precision Products, or the new line of Zig-Zag's or Gizeh's, it does have the distinction of being part of a much larger line of products provided by HBI (Herbal Bar Industries) that we have looked at throughout this issue. The ZEN Cigarette *Shooter ( *a term we find amusing) is a nice little injector that comes in a range of colors and is an adequate compliment to the wider line of ZEN Products. It is made in China as are most hand injectors and performs well for what it is. The cutting blades are not particularly sharp so the tobacco chamber must be filled and packed completely with no tobacco hanging out. Most machines with this characteristic have a tamping tool included with them. The ZEN Shooter does not. Nonetheless it works well and seems to be hearty enough to function for a long enough period of time to demonstrate to the user the advantages of making one's own cigarettes. We like what HBI is doing in terms of creating a full line of products with a catchy name like Zen. Everything that contributes to a wider exposure among packaged cigarette smokers of the simplicity, economy, and quality of MYO smoking is welcomed. Much like CHILLS, Zen products are aimed at the cooler, hipper crowd and it has been our observation that that particular group of smokers is more often likely to smoke packaged cigarettes than the more mature, experienced tobacco enthusiast. If people in that younger demographic (22-30) are determined to smoke, it is our opinion that they be exposed to the advantages, both taste and moderation that MYO emphasizes. Perhaps when all is said and done, MYO can cause folks to examine the reasons they smoke. If they truly do not enjoy the flavor of great tobacco, perhaps they will re-examine their need to smoke. Living in a college town, it makes me a bit uncomfortable seeing students choosing smoking over nutrition, cigarettes over food. It is their choice, of course, but no doubt lower cost methods of smoking involving less tainted tobacco products can logically be viewed as a step in the direction of informed choice rather than peer influenced compliance. Pre-Packaged cigarettes, even ones of exceptionally high purity such as American Spirit Cigarettes, encourage consumption. It is our experience, having viewed the habits of large numbers of customers and readers, that those who inject American Spirit tobacco into a tube, smoke less than those who buy the pre-mades even though the pre-mades are far more expensive than their MYO counterpart.


   As a last note, all of the above is written with a huge amount of gratitude that is daily expressed by our customers, our readers, as well as we at RYO Magazine personally, for the efforts of those manufacturers in the MYO industry who, often at great financial risk, continue to provide significantly improved and evolutionary products to help make the case for MYO. The possibility that one's first experience with making their own cigarettes will be a negative one, is quickly dwindling. the ed.

Visit the new Gizeh website


EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children.  We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18,  it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.

 

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1999 RYO Magazine
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