It should be obvious by now that we at RYO Magazine consider tube injectors to be the cornerstone of the emerging RYO Market in the US. Without a good quality well designed injection machine, package cigarette smokers in this country will simply not buy into the concept of RYO smoking. Tubes themselves, while certainly the next vital component are widely manufactured by many different companies and are of relatively equal quality with a few exceptions. Tobacco while certainly the most vital component with regards to the taste of RYO cigarettes, like tubes, is readily available in great variety. It is an often touted fact that in Europe, for instance, hand rolling cigarettes (you know the ones that look like a joint if your a beginner), garner a full 50% of the cigarette market. That is more than ten times the market share experienced by RYO in the US. Americans like a cigarette that looks like a cigarette. They like a well formed filtered stick, men like brown tips and women often prefer white ones, regardless of the strength of the filter. The Gizeh Golden Tip Producter (at right) is among the best of the small non-crank injectors due primarily to the fact that the injector portion of the box is actually built in to the device rather than, like others, a stand alone injector that slips into a slotted base. It also has a storage compartment for tubes or finished smokes.
While the smaller hand injectors are valuable as an introductory device to facilitate the conversion of the packaged smoker to the world of ryo, the larger more functional Supermatics are far more successful in achieving the permanent conversion of the packaged cigarette smoker to ryo. We have tested this concept with hundreds of smokers personally and receive large amounts of e-mail verifying this premise. CTC (the Clinton Tube Company of Canada and New York) makes the Supermatic and Excel machines we will discuss below as well as the Premier and Escort Light tubes discussed further down.
The Original Supermatic, clearly the best injector ever made, is an all metal construct that injects perfect cigarettes with minimal effort and minimal experience. Although plagued with quality consistency a couple of years ago the problem has been remedied and in the last year we have acquired several dozens of these machines from various sources for testing and found them to be incredibly reliable, robust, and consistent in quality and performance. With very little practice one can create a pack of smokes in about 5 minutes. The Supermatic II at right, a lower priced plastic-cased version performs nearly as well and has rubber feet which aids in keeping the machine static during the injection process. All CTC' machines have a 1 year warranty, provide a complete parts list for replacement of every single part and the company is very responsive if repairs are needed. The only real damage to these machines results from over loading them with tobacco and subsequently trying to force the jammed tobacco through. If you avoid this or if it starts to jam (which it won't when the proper amount of tobacco is used) cleaning the injection path with a toothpick or other sharp object will restore the machine to its optimal level of performance. The Excel machine (shown at left) which is CTC's lowest priced model is based on the same mechanism design principle but smaller and has more plastic components. I have found the Excel, while not quite as smooth as the big Supermatics, to be superior (far superior) to any other (than the Supermatics) injector we have tried. All of these machines are a guaranteed first step to making the money saving, taste enhancing RYO experience a success for you. The best prices and availability we have seen online for these remarkable machines can be found at:
Tubes are fairly mundane as stand alone gifts but one cannot overstate their importance if one is to give someone an injector for the holidays. Tubes are not all that easy to find in general merchandise stores and buying them online takes at least a few days for delivery. Although most Supermatics come with a box of tubes it would be prudent (similar to the practice of including batteries with your favorite kid's electronic toys), not to forget the tubes. The injector is a fairly boring toy without them although cats do seem to like them. They are available at most of the online stores mentioned in this Buyer's Guide so order early and shop for best pricing. Plan to buy a case (50 boxes) for the serious smoker.
Rolling boxes are a handy way to roll your own unfiltered cigarettes. There are two prominent brands that we have tested and found to excellent. There are others but as we have not tested them, we can't overtly recommend them. The Gizeh Rolling Box and the Rizla Automatic Rolling Box are both high quality items and really do work well. The Gizeh has a little nicer finish to it with rounded corners and heavier components. It excels at rolling full size filterless smokes about the same diameter as a Camel unfiltered which is rare among any rollers. The Rizla rolls a narrower stick, about the diameter of a Virginia Slim which many people who roll their own prefer as it uses less tobacco and tends to be milder than the fatter sticks. Both can be found online at many outlets but the most consistently low prices we have found at:
While there are literally dozens of hand rollers out there today, our pick for the one that could prove to be the most interesting as a gift is the Rizla 110mm roller. This inexpensive little gem (usually around $5) uses 100mm papers and consistently rolls a perfect 100mm stick. The texture of the blanket (the orange rolling surface) contributes greatly to its ability to grab the paper and wrap it around the tobacco. It works with the same motion as all other hand rollers but better than most especially for those of us with large hands. Be sure to get 100mm papers. There are several out there including Rizla's own brand as well Mascotte Blues. D&R Tobacco (www.cigarettetobacco.com) has both the roller and the papers at a great price, and RYO Tobacco (www.ryotobacco.com) has the roller. Ziggymart (www.ziggymart.com) also has both.
Lighters & Cigarette Cases
Lighters make great gifts. While there are many sites that carry them, few can match Lighters Galore (www.pipeshop.com) for sheer quantity and variety. Cascade Cigar & Tobacco (www.cascadecigar.com) has lighters costing up to several thousand dollars. D&R Tobacco (www.cigarettetobacco.com) has a great deal on inexpensive but well made refillable plastic lighters. D&R, Cascade, and Lighters Galore also have large selections of cigarette cases from the pristine to the elegant, the flamboyant, to the price of a small car (used).
One last item that we found at Lighters Galore (www.pipeshop.com) is an interesting novelty with a practical application. It goes by the name "The Otterbox" (at left) and is a water proof case for your smokes. Touted to preserve your smokes and matches up to a depth of 100 feet (it is unclear to us who would take cigarettes on a dive that deep) this is a pretty cool gift for the smoker who seems impossible to surprise. Don't forget to shop around locally as many shops get interesting low cost items in, specifically for the holiday shopper. Happy Bargain Hunting from RYO Magazine!
|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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