Concerned about the price and chemical content of your pre-manufactured cigarettes but don't like the look of roll-ups, Tubing may just be the answer. Cigarette tubes are basically empty cigarettes, which you fill with the tobacco of your choice. You decide the strength you decide the flavour and it still looks like as neat and smart as a pre manufactured cigarette.
Experienced users can more or less use any tobacco in their cigarettes/tubes, but if you are just starting out we recommend using a very finely cut, dry tobacco. Specific tubing tobacco is available but it isn’t very popular as to make the tobacco enter the tube easier it is very dry and fine, which can provide a harsher smoke. We generally recommend customers use a good quality hand rolling tobacco. When you first start tubing leave the packet open for a few hours and let the tobacco dry out. This will make the tubing much easier. Then once you have got the hang of tubing you will find you can use damper and coarser tobacco.
The rest is up to you, if you want it mild, strong or even flavoured cigarette you decide!
In the UK the range of Tubing Machines is very limited. If you go abroad to countries such as America where tubing is more established you will see different machines aimed at producing high volumes of cigarettes. Until recently we could only obtain the standard portable machines (like the Rizla concept.) The large table mounted machines that are significantly more effective and easier to use have now been released in the UK. They are more expensive and too big to carry around but they make the job far easier. The idea is you make up a batch at home rather than making them on the move which most smokers do regardless.
Rizla have tried to corner the tubing market with their Rizla concept range. They offer a subsidised machine, which is roughly half the price or all other manufacturers but be warned Rizla are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Their tubes are much more expensive than any other brand and you can only use their tubes! They have purposely made their machines different to the universal size used by every other manufacturer so that you have to use their tubes. Every other brand is a universal size so you can use their machines with any other brand of tubes.
Rizla tubes are substantially more expensive than any other brand. We would therefore recommend not buying the Rizla Concept machine as you will save more money in the long run on your tube purchases.
All though tubing is pretty simple it will take a little practice and patience until you start getting perfect results. We recommend buying a box of 100 and in one night work through the full box of tubes experimenting with different amounts of tobacco. By the time you have made 100 attempts you should be getting very good results every time. Don’t worry the tobacco is not wasted if you make a bad cigarette. If you lick the full length of the tube you can easily break the tube open and re-use the tobacco. All you will lose is the value of one box of tubes and at less than a £1 that’s one cheap training course!
Open up the hinged lid of the machine so you can see a recess for placing the tobacco.
Take a pinch of tobacco and loosen by pulling the strands apart so that the tobacco is springy.
Place enough tobacco into the recess so it is over flowing.
Now compress the tobacco so that it fits into the recess. Make sure there is still some spring left in the tobacco so that it will draw and grip the side of the tube.
Take an empty tube from the box and carefully place over the exit hole on the front of the machine. Be careful not to crease or tear the tube.
Close the lid. The lid on some machines will grip the tube to stop it being forced off. Shake the machine from side to side to make sure the tube isn't loose on the machine.
Slide the handle on the lid. This pushes a plate under the tobacco into the tube, which drags the tobacco with it. In one smooth motion return the handle to the starting position. This will hopefully slide the plate back out and leave the tobacco inside the tube.
Release the grip on the tube and pull the tube from the machine. Is the tobacco inside the tube? Does the cigarette smoke well? If not check below for a few tips and tricks. Don't worry if it was a complete failure another dozen attempts and you will get there.
Use the same method as above but instead of opening the hinged lid simply move the handle to reveal the recess for tobacco.
Place the Tube on the exit hole and pull the handle down again.
If the results aren't great check the tips below.
The hardest part to learn us judging how much tobacco to put in. If you try to put too much in, the cigarette will be too tight and will not draw properly. If the tobacco is too tightly packed in the machine the rod will also pull the tobacco back out of the cigarette. If you don’t put enough tobacco in the tobacco can just drop out or come back out when you retract the rod. It will also burn very hot and harsh when you try smoke it.
Just before you fill the cigarette gently compress the tobacco down. This will let the tobacco slide in easier and after a few minutes as long as you haven't pressed the tobacco too tight it will expand back out and hold itself in place.
If your chosen tobacco has been tightly packed or been sat on in your back pocket you need to break up the tobacco. Pull all the strands and make sure there are no clumps, which will restrict the draw on the cigarette. If it is broken up well the cigarette will burn and draw much better as air can flow through easier.
When you place the tobacco in the machine make sure the tobacco is evenly spread the full length of the cigarette so there are no tight spots to restrict the draw.
If you are struggling to tube or are just starting out we suggest letting your tobacco dry out a little by leaving the packet open. This lets the tobacco slide in the tube easier and stops it catching the rod as it is retracted. You will find that this makes the cigarettes a little harsher than a roll up but nowhere near as harsh as a cigarette. As time passes and you get used to making them you will find you can use damper tobacco, which will smoke cooler and smoother.
As with anything in life you get what you pay for. Generally the more you pay the better the quality. Cheaper tubes like cheaper cigarette papers will have chemical additives to make the cigarette burn quicker making you buy more tubes.
Cheaper tubes will also be made of lower quality paper, which will be damaged easier.