Cigarette Rolling Techniques

Updated February 21, 2017

For the old cowboys out there, nothing is quite as satisfying as using cigarette rolling techniques to role their own cigarettes. The feel of the tobacco, the busy fingers, the taste and the smell; no other smoking experience adds up. Learning is easy and stays with you for a life time, and if you are a long time smoker, you owe it to yourself to learn how to roll your own cigarettes.

Hand Rolling

To hand roll a cigarette, take a piece of rolling paper in your hand and add a pinch of tobacco to the paper. Depending on how thick you like your cigarette, add the required tobacco. Make sure the gum, or the sticky area of your rolling paper is at the top and on the inside of the paper, facing the tobacco. At the left end of your cigarette, you can add a filter or a piece of cardboard called a roach. This keeps the end of your cigarette from becoming wet and not easily smokable.

Roll the tobacco using your thumb, pointer finger and middle finger using the rolling paper. Get the tobacco packed down, rolling the paper down so that it barely covers the tobacco. The paper should be in a J shape. Again using the paper, roll up so that the paper begins covering the tobacco completely. Once the paper is rolled three quarters of the way up, lick the gum of the paper lightly, then close the paper around the tobacco.

Rolling Machine

If you do not have the time or patience for rolling cigarettes, but either like the taste or the economical benefits of rolling cigarettes, you can buy an automatic cigarette rolling machines. Cigarette machines are great if you like to smoke hand rolled cigarettes with filters in them. Some rollers never master the art of adding a filter to their cigarette, and a machine makes it easy. Most rolling machines allow you to add the filter at one end, then fill a tube with the tobacco. You can then roll the tobacco using the tube to pack it down before adding a paper to the equation. You feed the paper in the one end of the tube and use the machine crank to roll the paper around the tobacco. You then have a perfect cigarette.


The rolling paper you select to roll your cigarette makes a big difference in how your finished cigarette turns out. Ultra thin papers smoke shorter than thicker papers and leaves a thicker tobacco taste on the lips. Thicker papers give a more papery taste, and burn longer. If you are in the habit of putting down your cigarette while smoking, thicker papers will go out, allowing you to relight your cigarette later. Some papers have flavors as well. A popular variety are the licorice flavored papers introduced by Rizla. You can also buy papers of different sizes, changing the size of your cigarette.

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