The Magazine of Roll Your Own Cigarettes
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The Top Cigarette Hand Rolling Machine
"Handy little devices for RYO to go"

   For many of us who reached puberty in the 60's, rolling up various things to smoke became almost second nature. Few used any kind of mechanical device at all. I remember seeing a few straw rolling mats around . . . at least, I think I remember seeing them, although some of what I remember during that period is subject to a more thorough reality check. I do remember hearing talk of rollers that you could hold in your hand and roll whatever was your pleasure but I never tried or even saw one until a few years ago. What a surprise! They actually work and work well for tobacco though, the results I have been able to attain are mostly 2/3 size diameter unfiltered smokes that are about the size of short Virginia Slims. But they do work and, for the non-filtered smoker, are potentially a handy device especially if one is not adept at hand rolling or one is traveling and can't bring along their larger injection machine (see injectors). You can even buy small filters at some tobacco stores that you can roll with the tobacco in these little machines, but I have never been able to get them to work well. They filter somewhat but the finished cigarette looks pretty bad.

   So why do a monthly review on rollers? Well, the fact is, many people prefer a non-filtered cigarette and when rolled either by hand or one of these type rollers the thinner size of the finished product actually makes for a very mild, albeit short smoke. You get all the flavor but they are mellow and, if you need just a few puffs to float your boat, this is a workable solution. Hence, it becomes important, again especially for those who hand roll poorly or want a bit more "finished looking smoke, to know what is available in these devices and how good they really are. This month we review the "Top" brand roller (from the maker of Top tobacco). We choose this as one of our all time favorites for several reasons. The Top Roller is low in cost (as little as $1.50 to $3.95 street price), it is simple, functional, well made, and looks good. Pretty simple but to the point.Cigarette hand roller diagram

   For those who are unfamiliar with rollers, in general, and their operation, we offer this brief overview. Referring to the diagram at right (Fig. 1) you see the two rollers in the initial position with the vinyl strip hanging down between the rollers. This is where the tobacco is placed. After the Cigarette hand roller diagramtobacco is added (Fig. 2) and the cigarette paper is set edge down, glue at top, the rollers are pushed together and, with both thumbs, a subsequent forward rolling motion creates the cigarette. It really is pretty simple and after only a few tries, mostly to figure out how much tobacco to use to get the correct size, you can roll mini-smokes pretty fast.

Basically most rollers are of a similar design and most work as well. We would avoid more expensive models only because, in most cases, they all accomplish about the same quality roll. We will investigate more rollers in our next issue, some that are able to roll larger smokes and have a few more features.

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 The Andromedan Design Company
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The Andromedan Design Company