Differences between hand-rolled and machine-rolled cigars

Daniel Stauffer July 2, 2019
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We all know that the cigars come in different names, sizes, colors, strength, and thicknesses. But another very important aspect when choosing a cigar is whether or not it was machine-rolled or made by hand. There are many aspects that differentiate these two categories, the most obvious being the price tag. We listed some of the main areas where differences occur between these two types of cigars in order to better understand the complex world of cigars.

1. The aspect

Hand-rolled cigars are generally made by professionals that have years of experience and you will notice that all hand-rolled cigars are very smooth and they have a smooth layer of oil on the surface. This is because of the rolling technique and one of the best examples of exquisite hand-made cigars are Cohiba Siglo I. Machine-rolled cigars are much rougher on the surface and you can notice that most of them don’t have such an even surface

Also, machine-rolled cigars have straight edges while hand-rolled often times have curved edges. Also, many machine-rolled cigars can be rather dry in comparison with the hand-rolled ones. There are countless techniques for making hand-rolled cigars and each brand and factory uses a specific one in order to give authenticity for their cigars.

2.The price tag

Machine-rolled cigars are generally found even in supermarkets because they are rather cheap. They are suitable for everyday smokers that don’t want to spend lots of money on cigars. Hand-rolled cigars tend to have a higher price tag thanks to the materials and the rolling technique. There are some hand-rolled cigars that are still in the affordable price range for every day casual smokers but there are also more expensive premium cigars like Cohiba 1966 LE 2011 that is one of the best options on the market.

3. The materials

It is well-known that hand-rolled cigars use premium materials. The tobacco comes from the best farms in order to produce the best filler and the best wrappers. The binder, the part of the cigar that holds the filler together is also made from the best materials. In hand-rolled cigars, the filler is 100% pure and has no stems or other impurities. This is why the hand-rolled cigars are notorious for the premium taste.

Machine-rolled cigars use a combination for the filler. It is composed of tobacco, stems and some other left-overs from the tobacco processing. This is why the burn of these cigars is often uneven and they feature swift changes in taste. Also, the binder used for machine-rolled cigars is attached often times using natural glue because the binder material is not always natural. On the other hand, hand-rolled binders are rolled using just tobacco and they manage to stay in place thanks to the rolling technique.

4. The draw and the smoke

Hand-rolled cigars feature and even draw when they are lighted up and the temperature of the smoke stays constant until the end of the cigar. This is mainly because they are rolled using the best filler that is distributed evenly inside the cigar. The machine-rolled cigars sometimes feature an uneven draw because the filler is usually composed of a mixture of materials, as presented before. Because the binder is usually held into place using glue, the cigar can get very hot often times and so does the smoke. Also, to the end of the cigar, the aroma of a machine-rolled stogie will be quite heavy and the subtle tones will be harder to feel due to the uneven distribution of the filler and the hot smoke.

In terms of flavor, there are many machine-rolled cigars that feature artificial or natural additives in order to achieve a certain taste. On the other hand, hand-rolled cigars are most of the times pure and the aroma comes from the tobacco used and the rolling technique.

Overall, the main differences between hand-rolled and machine-rolled cigars are in terms of the quality of the material and production. For a casual smoker that doesn’t have a very big budget, machine-rolled cigars can do the trick but if you really want to spoil yourself, go for a premium hand-rolled cigar.


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