How to Use a Zig Zag Rolling Machine

Written by kurt schanaman
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How to Use a Zig Zag Rolling Machine
A Zig Zag rolling machine may make it easier to roll homemade cigarettes. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Zig Zag rolling machines consist of a vinyl canvas wrapped around two rollers for rolling cigarettes. If you use a Zig Zag rolling machine to roll your own cigarettes, you may be able to reduce the amount of money you spend on smoking if you buy an affordable brand of loose tobacco.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Loose tobacco
  • Cigarette rolling papers (sized to machine, either 70mm or 100mm)
  • Bag of cigarette filter stubs (optional)

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  1. 1

    Pick up the Zig Zag rolling machine, holding the ends with your fingers. Position the machine so that the adjustable roller is facing you. The adjustable roller is connected to the ends of the machine in grooves allowing it to be moved up and forward or back and downward.

  2. 2

    Lift the adjustable roller upward and then back toward you, and then down. This will separate the two rollers from each other, leaving a depression between the two. Press the canvas downward to form the deepest crease as possible between the rollers. This crease is the trough into which the tobacco will be loaded.

  3. 3

    Set a cigarette filter in one end of the trough between the two rollers so that the end of the filter is touching the plastic side of the machine. The addition of the filter is optional. If using filter inserts, be sure they are pressed against the side of the roller to allow adequate room for the tobacco to be loaded into the remaining space. Failure to press the flat end of the filter against the edge can result in a malformed cigarette once the rolling process is completed.

  4. 4

    Remove two or three pinches of loose rolling tobacco from the can or package. The pinches should be between the thumb and index fingers only. Lay each pinch of tobacco into the trough and press down gently. Continue adding pinches of tobacco until the full length of the trough is filled and compacted and the tobacco height is even with the tops of the rollers.

  5. 5

    Move the adjustable roller upward as high as it will go, then press forward as far as it will go, then downward until the two rollers appear to be touching each other, enclosing the tobacco fully.

  6. 6

    Hold the machine between the index fingers of each hand and then use both thumbs to pull downward on the adjustable roller to rotate both of the rollers. Rotate the roller 3 to 4 rotations to ensure the tobacco inside of the canvas is rolled well into cylindrical form.

  7. 7

    Remove a cigarette rolling paper from its package and place it so that the gummed edge is facing up toward the ceiling and the plain edge is facing downward between the two rollers. Press the plain edge between the two rollers and slowly rotate the adjustable roller nearest you to draw the paper into the machine. Rotate until only the gummed edge remains visible. Wet the gummed edge with your tongue along its full length, then rotate the adjustable roller several more times to complete the rolling process.

  8. 8

    Lift upward on the adjustable roller, pull it back toward you, then downward again to separate the rollers and expose the finished cigarette. Remove the cigarette from the machine.

Tips and warnings

  • For a cigarette easier to draw air through, use the index fingers to press upward on the non-adjustable roller while pulling downward on the adjustable roller with the thumbs, both at the same time. This can create a "looser" tobacco compaction action between the rollers when in operation.
  • According to the U.S. Surgeon General, cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health.

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