Mulling Things Over


A better cigarette machine

Here’s an overdue update to my post about rolling your own smokes.

After about six months of using the Supermatic II cigarette-stuffing machine, it was getting more and more balky. It would jam frequently, and wouldn’t quite stuff the full length of cigarettes, requiring a lot of tapping to pack the tobacco down to the filter. My wife actually gave up on it completely and used one of the under-$10 plastic machines instead. No amount of adjustment seemed to help. None of the parts seemed excessively worn, but I was contemplating ordering replacements to see if it would help.

After reading a fine review of a competitor’s machine at Roll Your Own Magazine, I decided I’d give it a try. The Top-O-Matic by Republic Tobacco is a bit pricy — around $70 locally — but man, is it nice. It uses exactly the same mechanism as the Supermatic II, but the mechanical parts are all superior, made out of better materials and to tighter tolerances. Very smooth and easy to use. I’ve only had one jam myself, when I obviously overfilled it. My wife had one when she used some particularly dry tobacco. Those are the only two I know of after a month’s worth of frequent use.

The action is smoother and requires less force, and the cigarettes are almost always fully stuffed. We’ll see how it’s performing after a few more month’s of daily abuse.

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