The latest introduction to the
MYO market has come from Rizla. This should be seen as no surprise as Rizla has been in
the RYO business literally for centuries. In the past we have reviewed their papers,
rollers and injectors and have found all of the products (with the exception of their
rolling box which even as late as the of the NATO show this year still shows scratches on
its chrome case exterior. We have yet to figure that one out and have mentioned it to the
company an several occasions and the problem as we have seen still exists). However this
is about injectors and the new Rizla "Cigarette Size" injector is the start of
what we hope will be a continuing revolution in product lines that specifically address
the packaged cigarette smoker. This new size, which uses a tube (See Filter Tube
Section this issue) that is slight smaller, exactly the size of most packaged
brands, or about 7.8 mm in diameter. This slightly slimmer tube has quite a bit of impact
on the experience. Not only do you use a bit less tobacco per stick, but the added length
of the filter element actually causes a change in the flavor of the smoke, by further
reducing the size of the smoke particles much like a pre-made. We will go into more detail
in the tube section as to the ramifications of this new size, but let's look at the
We are not big fans of any hand injectors as most are far more difficult to use than the crank style like the Supermatic and Excel and cause enough frustration with those new to MYO that they can be a negative factor to conversion from manufactured cigarettes. However as we have noted from the beginning, these small hand injectors are still often the first experience that those new to MYO have and therefore it is important that they work w3ell for what they are. In general hand injectors work well for those on the go or for those who make only a few cigarettes per day. The better ones we have reviewed in the past, like the Maiker, Zig-Zag, and Gizeh Silver Tip work well enough for those new to making their own to have a chance to see if they like the practice. Some of our readers have had great luck with hand injectors and do stick with them and the brands just mentioned will give the user a robust enough device to make this possible. Still none of them are particularly easy to use everytime. With the introduction of the new Rizla "cigarette size" injector not only has the size of the tube gone down, the quality of the hand injector has actually improved. Now perhaps it has somewhat to do with the narrower tube, but the fact is this injector is the easiest to use of the category, I have yet to see. It has a rubber base as a few of the others that come with extra bases do but this one really works. Even those who hate hand injectors and have difficulty with them were able to inject perfect cigarettes the first time and consistently from then on. We have been unable to break the demos we go a few months ago and would feel comfortable taking them on short trips as our sole injector. Given the difference in the smoking experience between normal MYO tube that are .2 to .3 larger in diameter this may not happen for all. But this is a first quality injector and if you do like the new tube size this is great hand injector, which is fortunate since it is the only one of its kind. We found several other hand and crank injectors could in fact use the smaller tube with a little bit of twisting when the tube is applied. Most those with plastic nozzles including the Excel. But for those that cannot find a fit with their existing injector and the smaller tubes and wish to use these new tubes, this injector will not be a disappointment. This new "system" is available in Starter Kits (sans tobacco) or separately.
When it come to innovation, few companies can match CTC. The fact is, as oft stated here, that their line of crank injectors is responsible for the greater part of the success of the MYO industry. A far larger percentage of those packaged cigarette smokers who try MYO for the first time, stick with it, if their first experience is with one of these larger and easier to use machines. Many of our readers and myself included, like the Platinum Excel almost as much as the top of the line Supermatic, especially given its very ergonomic feel and the fact that it works incredibly well. Its much lower price cannot be discounted either as a deciding factor.
But even with the success of the Supermatic and Excel machine, CTC has not rested on its laurels. It has continued to improve the line and these injectors are getting better and better. CTC is a dynamic company and since they have no real competition in the crank style injector market they could have become complacent. this has NOT been the case. This company is constantly trying to address the needs and suggestions of our readers and their customers with design features that make these machine even easier to use.
Some time ago I was in Montreal, to visit CTC, and saw a prototype of an attachment that addresses one of the most frequent questions that our readers have. That is how to speed up the already very fast process of making ones own cigarettes with a Supermatic. Now in all honestly since it takes me still only 5 minutes to make a pack of smokes, I can't imagine needing to do it faster. However, Americans are particularly interested in speed and ease of use as witnessed by the enormous amount of requests we get for an automated, electric, push button injector. We have traditionally responded with the point of view that the most time consuming part of the injecting process is placing the tube on the nozzle and filling the tobacco chamber. The actual cranking motion is no faster were it to be done with a motor but still there are many who want to further automate the process.
The attachment I saw that I referenced above has now reached the stage of development that CTC is willing to allow me to write about it. It is a bolt on hopper to hold about a pack's worth of tobacco. It has a pusher/plunger at the top of the stack that with two or three light taps fills the tobacco chamber on a Supermatic perfectly each time. This new attachment bolts to the top of an existing Premier Supermatic using the two brass screws that secure the compression assembly. The installation is simple with two new and longer screw supplied to complete the modification. And the thing really works. We have found about a 40% increase in production speed using this "hopper" attachment. Now its still takes a second or two to put the tube on. (it is hard to image that part (tube placement) of the process ever being automated, at least in a machine that is not priced out of the market. The hopper is a logical and effective design addition to the already state of the art Supermatic. We have no pricing as yet and suspect it will be several months before these add-ons show up in the retail chain. Nonetheless we thought you would like to hear about it. Its another great new idea, once again from CTC.
We felt it important to repeat our recommendation for the successful use of these machines (these tips apply to all injectors generally, most especially the crank style). You will find this information once again at the bottom of this page. Before you go there, however, we would like to update you on the new slimmer 6.5mm hand injector (6.5 mm tube diameter - standard is about 8.1mm) we reviewed previously. The basic concept of a slimmer Make Your Own stick has been of interest to us for several years now. The Rizla above addressees this issue as well but less dramatically. As most of you who make your own already have noticed, the make your own sticks are thicker (larger diameter) than any manufactured cigarettes. Traditional cigarette cases often squash your MYO smokes and the fatter stick does not look as elegant as some of the more standard size pre-mades. It also uses more tobacco and the fact that MYO cigarettes burn far longer as a rule than packaged smokes anyway, cause many to think that the diameter could and should be reduced. For reference, the industry standard for manufactured brands is about 7.8 mm, with slims and boutiques like Sherman's, closer to the 6.5 mm mark. The "slim" injector (The Rayo shown above left) was necessary of course for the new slim 6.5mm tube. To date, only this hand-held model exists. Admittedly, there are problems with slimmer sticks when it comes to injection.
First of all, you must be careful how large the tobacco cut is (not really a big problem with most popular roll your own brands of tobacco but to be considered nonetheless). More importantly, the injector components must be scaled down to the point that there is even less room for error in not only the amount of tobacco you use, but also the reduced size of the spoon (the part that actually enters the tube carrying the tobacco with it) makes it potentially a bit more sensitive to manufacturing inconsistencies as well as more prone to bending if stressed. CTC is planning at some future point to introduce a crank style injector (probably an Excel) with a smaller tip and chamber to accommodate these slim tubes. They are also working on the possibility of a longer slim, as the ones that exist today are actually regular (as opposed to King-size) in length. We have had a huge amount of mail on these "slim" injectors and tubes. With few exceptions are readers state that they love the size and the flavor delivered because of this size. They also have indicated that a more robust injector to handle these slimmer sticks is really a necessity if they are to continue to use them.
Now, as promised above, you again will find our recommendations for the care and use of CTC injectors.
The CTC line of Supermatic, Supermatic II, and Excel injectors have given a boost to the make your own industry like no other single product line. CTC's commitment to quality, reliability, and customer service sets a standard 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 recommendations for the design of these machines and find little left to criticize. We share a lot of reader input as well with CTC. 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 an instruction/recommendation sheet from RYO Magazine might further 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:
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. 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 such a robust feeling machine that some fail to realize that a big, all metal machine that is as formidable as the Big Blue could still have limits to the amount of 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 as well as a good hand-injector for travel. The smaller silver Excel 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 ), American Thrust Tobacco ( www.americanthrusttobacco.com ), RYO Tobacco (www.ryotobacco.com ), as well as www.ryocigarette.com sell these machines at great prices. The Premier Supermatic, Supermatic II and Excel all have a one year warranty. The Lifetime warranty initially offered as an introductory promotion on the Premier Supermatic has returned to its normal one year warranty. The same rules above apply for the Excel as well as both Supermatics. Follow them with consistency and you will have a rewarding experience that will forever change your attitude about the way you use tobacco.
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.
|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.|
© 1999 RYO Magazine
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The Andromedan Design Company
is a trademark of The Andromedan Design Company,
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