| The latest in the way of hand injectors are indeed
considerable improvements to decades old designs. Much like the new Rizla Cigarette Size
injector we reviewed last time, these new devices are larger and more robust. However,
the newest ones from CTC and ZigZag have taken even
further strides in an effort to compete with the larger table top injectors like the
Supermatic and Excel series. These new hand injectors are smooth. They have larger surface
areas to grip and the mechanisms are more precise, making their use far easier than their
predecessors. In the case of the ZigZag and Premier "Quick
Fill", both have adjustments to accommodate either King-Sized or 100
mm tubes. The Rizla won't do that. They also function every bit as well sitting
on a table as they do when being held in the hand. Frankly with either of these, I would
feel comfortable on a trip with them as my sole injector. Having said that, let 's not
forget, however, that these types of injectors remain considerably more trouble to fill with
tobacco. They usually need a tamper tool (provided) to get the tobacco packed
sufficiently. They don't cut off excess tobacco nearly as well as a crank style and
therefore production time with these machines is much slower than the crank table-tops.
The point is, though they take longer, at least they consistently make great cigarettes
that are filled evenly at both ends, and that by itself, is a major advance. Even total
novices usually have immediate success with these machines.
The pictures here of the machines are a bit deceiving as the Zig-Zag (www.zigzag.com) model appears a much larger but these photos are not to scale. The machines are almost identical in size and both work in much the same way though they have have completely different methods for switching between King-Size and 100mm lengths. The "switch" that allows the change in tube size on the Premier machine is shown at top right and is a slot which requires a tool of some kind (like a small flathead screw driver) while the Zig-Zag machine's strategy is shown below it. Though different, both of these designs work by either restricting or allowing the slide to move as far as necessary to fill either size tube. They are both rather simple, but elegant solutions for those who want both size tubes in their arsenal. And they work well. Whether they will hold up to a lot of switching back and forth remains to be seen as both have all plastic components. However most people will use either Kings or 100 and probably not use the switch more than a few times during the life of the machine, keeping in mind that only a few packs of make your owns will save you enough money to pay for either of these machines.
The ZEN Quick Shooter from HBI (www.zensmoke.com) is identical to the CTC model (its made for HBI by CTC) but has its own decorative statement. A cool black exterior with a gold thumb pad make this machine by far the most attractive. Being identical beneath the surface to the CTC Quick fill, it uses the same slot based strategy for changing tube size. Three great and portable machines that should last longer than less robust models and provide the novice MYO user with a good idea of the true efficiency possible with the MYO experience. Like most HBI products, distribution will be robust and the price will be highly competitive. We have already received some feedback on these machines and most has been extremely favorable. Let us know as you try them as we are interested in their long term viability and how long you keep them before you switch to a bigger crank injector.
Now the only crank injector to date that is specifically designed to work with both length tubes is the big blue Premier Supermatic. While it remains our recommended machine, it is not nearly as portable and costs several times as much. We think it is worth it and the dedicated MYO enthusiast usually winds up with this very machine. Still smaller units like the Excel and these new, larger hand-helds are certainly more convenient for certain methods of travel and because of their lower cost, do provide incentive for folks to try MYO for the first time. The Excel, in our opinion is more in the class of the Supermatic than these hand-helds. It is a great machine and frankly, I am as efficient on it as I am on the Big Blue. It won't last as long with heavy multiple pack per day use but I have no reason to inject that many smokes at a time. However, and I repeat, I would travel with these new lines of hand-helds, something I would have never done before with any hand held, especially for any extended period of time.
More interesting still is the fact that CTC (www.premiersupermatic.com) didn't stop with simply the creation of a larger more efficient hand-held. Even more innovative still is CTC's new "Double Injector" that was revealed at the RTDA recently. I had to do some serious arm twisting to get one before the show and to have them let me write about it before it was officially introduced. It is even bigger than the three machines discussed above and, though no faster to fill with tobacco, the addition of another tube to fill simultaneously somehow makes the whole process come off even more smoothly. There is a balanced feel to the injection process not unlike carrying one bag in each hand to balance the load rather than trying to carry everything unbalanced in one. This machine comes in the Premier, Rayo and Filterite badging, but they are identical except for color. I really love the look of the Black Rayo machine. These machine are truly at home on the table top and have nice rubber cushions on their bottoms. This is yet another step to making the MYO process as user friendly, efficient and cost-effective as possible and nobody does it better than CTC. They make many injectors for others as private labels so many of your favorite hand injectors of the past may likely have come from the Clinton Tube factory. But these are a whole new ball game and if you really can't afford or are not yet ready to make the commitment to the larger more expensive table tops, these are a great place to start. We have had so many requests for multiple injectors and even electric automated ones, that this first step toward that end will no doubt be gratefully received by a pretty large group of people. These machine really are much easier to use than most hand injectors as their size allows a very firm grip in the sliding mechanism. And, as stated above, though they take more time to load tobacco into than crank style injectors and are less forgiving as far as overfills as well, this particular design speeds things up significantly by making two sticks at once. And the stick are made right with few cigarettes suffering from either the empty end or empty filter side of of the tube. I use one of these quite a lot and though I still much prefer my crank Excels and Supermatics, these have a fun novelty aspect to them that simply refuses to let me put them away entirely. *See a video demo of this machine from the RTDA by clicking here
There really are no other new injectors to cover at this time so we are working on a series video demonstrations of the optimal use of these devices. We will do so very soon as we have already done with the rolling demo video in the roller section. There are many new innovations coming to this magazine and we look forward to bringing you one step closer to the actual experience of using one of these machine before you spend the bucks to own one. As more people go to broadband connection, video demos will become a matter of course. We feel comprehensive video will also enable those who already own these machines to get better and longer use out of them. Until all the video, in addition to the one above, is ready, enjoy what is here and don't forget to read the Archives and patronize our sponsors. - Doug
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.
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 very fair 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.|
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