tube injection machines have revolutionized the RYO Market. Using these wonderful devices
and readily available pre-manufactured filtered cigarette tubes, one can create (roll is
not a precisely accurate description) filtered cigarettes that are indistinguishable from
pre-manufactured brand names (except, of course, they don't have the brand name on them,
they taste a whole lot better, and are far fresher).
While there are a number of manufacturers of injection machines, most of which are fairly small hand held simple devices (like the one at left) that can inject tobacco into a filtered (or non filtered, if you prefer) tube, few can rival the sheer efficiency, quality and control of cigarette making that is indicative of the patented Supermatic line by CTC, Inc. (Clinton Tube Company of Plattsburg, New York). These wide based machines rest on the table affording the user a very comfortable control surface environment with an easily manipulated lever for pushing the tobacco into the tube. Most machines load from the top (again, like the one at left) and a "lid" is closed on the filled tobacco compartment, with the tube applied to a nozzle, the user then slides the "lid" or top of the machine to push the tobacco into the tube. The much larger Supermatics (see picture at right - not to scale) are far more sophisticated. Once the tobacco compartment is filled, the lever or handle is pulled down which closes the tobacco compartment and engages a compacting piston to prepare the tobacco for a tight even roll. The next motion is a continuation of the handle motion to then push the tobacco into the tube. Very efficient and requiring little effort, and more importantly, the whole process requires no dexterous skill to "hang" on to the machine during the injection phase of the operation. In tests we have found that after only a few minutes practice one can "roll" a pack of smokes in as little as 5 minutes. Again cigarettes that are indistinguishable from and every bit as high in quality as manufactured brand name cigarettes with the added advantage of choosing one's own superior tobacco blends.
Since this is a review and not simply an advertisement for these machines, it is only fair to note that we have observed some inconsistency in the manufacture of both the Supermatic (the original) and the Supermatic II. While CTC has a good warranty (1 year) and quick turnaround times for low cost repairs, even for those machines that are out of warranty, AND the company supplies a comprehensive parts list (for self repairing/replacement of parts) the mechanism design is complicated enough (at right) that it is difficult to always know, if a malfunction occurs, which part is at fault. The machines need to be used carefully and, likewise, tobacco chosen carefully to avoid causing bends or misalignment of the mechanical pathways and drive components caused by jammed tobacco that binds or sticks. On several occasions we have returned machines to them that either did not work properly from the beginning or stopped functioning due either to original manufacturing weaknesses or to our subsequent negligence in the selection of tobacco for use in them. The consistency of quality and reliability are steadily improving and the problem that existed early on may have been, in part, due to the fact that for some time these machines were out of manufacture. Interestingly enough, the resurgence of RYO cigarettes forced CTC back into making them. The fact is, my first Supermatic, which I purchased from a tobacco shop nearly 2 years ago, had been, according to the salesman, sitting in the back room for several years. He had several dozen of the machines and they had not sold for a long time. Suddenly he was selling them quickly and was concerned whether he could get replacements once his stock was depleted. Using the information on the card I received in my boxed machine, I contacted the company to find out for myself if these machines were still manufactured. They told me they were gearing up for new production and after a couple of months they began in earnest to produce them. As with any new production run, it may have been a case of the first few machines not reaching consistent standards of quality. Any problems, though now seem to have been worked out. We certainly hope so as these are by far the most effective injectors around, and all of the more recent machines we have seen have been outstanding. And, we repeat, it may be that the fault was ours in our initial uses of the machine.
Performance-wise, we found little difference between the all metal, more expensive Supermatic and the newer, hard plastic, lower priced Supermatic II. Both are workhorses and the rubber feet on the Supermatic II are a nice touch.
NOTE: The following may prevent a lot of you from doing damage to these machines as you are getting to know them. There are 3 issue areas which must be addressed for a successful Supermatic experience. If you follow these you will find the Supermatics to be an irreplaceable asset to rolling your own cigarettes.
|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.|
A Publication of
The Andromedan Design Company