On August 2, 1919, Bernard Lieberman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a couple partners filed a patent with the U.S. government for what they called a “cigar bunching machine.”
Lieberman had a simple vision: to create an “improved mechanism for rolling a measured quantity of tobacco within a binder to form the cigar bunch ... which will be smoothly rolled and in which the tobacco will be evenly and uniformly distributed throughout the bunch,” Lieberman wrote in his original patent application.
In his roller, ground tobacco or cannabis is spread across a trough. Handles on the sides are pulled forward, pulling the belt and slowly rolling the blunt as the handles are pulled toward the operator. A compression bar between the handles governs the density or how tight the cigar is rolled, while the slack of the belt dictates the diameter.
It’s gloriously simple and since then, no one else has been able to effectively mechanize cigar rolling in a way that replicates the true hand-rolled experience, so cigar manufacturers around the world still use what they call “Lieberman-style” machines to produce their high-quality rolled cigars.
Lieberman cigar rollers produce cigars that are smooth, slow-burning, and create an overall luxurious experience. Its velvety smoke fills up the mouth like a fine brandy or cognac. The smoke swirls around, tantalizing the senses as the experience evolves and matures.
This combination of premium ingredients and value-added processing is precisely why these rollers are great for the cannabis industry, making high-end, beautifully rolled blunts. As cannabis customers become more sophisticated, they are demanding products that more perfectly fit their sense of style and individual taste. Like a fine wine, for many, an expertly rolled blunt is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion.
However, a hand-rolled blunt should never be confused with a pre-rolled joint.
Rolled Blunt v. Pre-Rolled Joint
If premium rolled blunts are like filet mignon, then pre-rolled joints are like a Big Mac.
While premium rolled blunts feature high-quality flower and other value-adds, like kief and distillate infusions, pre-rolled joints are often packed with lower quality cannabis at best and trim at worst. Pre-roll joints are also small relative to a blunt, usually topping out at one gram; whereas blunts can contain several grams of cannabis.
However, the differences between these smokes run deeper than just their sizes. How they are made has a great deal to do with it.
Most pre-rolled joints take ground cannabis and pack it into pre-rolled paper cones. These cones can be made of refined white, unrefined brown, and hemp paper. The cones are placed in cone-filling machines that vibrate to shake the grind down into the cones. Once the tips are folded or twisted, they are ready for packaging.
In contrast, with the Lieberman-style roller you should start with a chunkier grind of quality flower in order to have good airflow throughout the blunt. The roller is adjustable to hone in on the perfect gauge and compression for your blunt.
From there, many companies are buying individual hemp wraps in bulk, which is a costly and time-consuming process because the packages must be opened again and again. We recommend that manufacturers use a hemp bobbin or long spool of hemp wrap to speed up the overall process, as well as reduce frustration when rolling. The hemp bobbin has the same rolled appearance and even-burn as a tobacco leaf but has a smoother flavor with less harshness.
Overall, the pre-rolled joint offers a brief, disposable experience that is not that memorable. The ingredients align with a mass-produced product that is trying to reduce the cost per unit to secure more profit at scale.
The rolled blunt, however, offers a decadent smoke that makes the user take notice and hold up the product in admiration. The ingredients are premium and no expense is spared to deliver the high-end, memorable experience that commands a higher price, driving higher margin.
Tips and Bands
The magic of the blunt is all about the experience. We can’t stress this enough. Your customers are buying an experience as much as they are buying anything else. Therefore, the more the manufacturer can improve the experience with extra touches, the more they can ultimately charge for the blunt.
Rolled blunts offer opportunities for branding, as well as for enhancing the smoking experience itself.
First, let’s start with the branding. When you hold the blunt up and have that moment of admiration, you want your branding or logo to be a part of that memory. For this, you can’t beat a custom cigar band that introduces your brand in a classic cigar-style presentation.
As for improving the smoking experience itself, there are a variety of custom tips that can be rolled into the end of the cigar. The main difference in tips is what they are made of. At Custom Cones USA, we carry wood and glass tips.
All tips are designed to cool down the smoke being drawn through the cigar, which creates a smoother and more pleasant smoke; however, they can also be used as a high-end finish that simply makes the blunt look more upscale.
Something that must be said about all of these machines is that they look like mechanical works of art. From deep wood tones to industrial stainless steel, these rollers have exquisite lines and mechanisms that are a thing of beauty to behold.
To help you begin rolling big, beautiful blunts for your brand, we have four different Lieberman-style rollers that all deliver different sizes and gauges of blunts.
Semi-Automatic Professional Cigar Rolling Machine
We are going to start with the Semi-Automatic Professional Cigar Rolling Machine, which is best for larger cannabis manufacturers that are going to be rolling a significant volume of blunts.
The semi-automatic is our only metal cigar roller, which means it is incredibly durable, precise, and accurate over multiple runs. Even after consistent use, you will be able to roll the same size blunt over and over again with great consistency.
It needs to be installed into a table, so the operator can sit comfortably as they work the roller. From this position, they can easily adjust the slack of the belt to control the diameter of the blunt, as well as adjust the compression bar dictating the tightness of the roll. With this machine, you are able to produce a pre-roll that is up to 12 inches in length with a diameter of up to 27mm (1 inch).
By controlling these two variables, you can create the perfect smoking experience for your customers. If you want a long slow-burning smoking experience you might want to increase the compression to create a tighter pack and therefore a slower burn. If you want a blunt that creates big hits then you may want to reduce the compression and increase the diameter of the blunt to create larger mouthfuls of luxurious smoke.
Wooden Cigar Roller
Unlike the Professional Semi-Automatic, which is made of metal, our large Wooden Cigar Roller is (you guessed it!) made of wood. To be more specific, it is handcrafted from solid walnut with brass handles, knobs, and finishings and the belt is a beautiful mauve tone. From the beautiful appearance of the roller, you can almost tell it was designed to deliver exceptional products.
The Wood Cigar Roller has the capability to roll a whole leaf tobacco but typically rolls cigars up to 9.5 inches long at various densities. It is a little bit smaller than the semi-automatic, as well as less expensive. If you are new to blunts and looking to expand your product line, this is the roller for you. It’s not as big of an investment but still rolls amazing cigars. Also, the wood is not as durable as metal, so you shouldn’t be doing crazy volume with this roller.
The best part about this cigar roller is that it is easy to learn and simple to use. By adding this simple addition to your pre-rolling process, you will be churning out perfectly rolled blunts like a pro.
Tumbleweed Joint Roller
What size blunt is going to be right for your brand?
Not every customer is going to want a 12-inch blunt. Some folks like smooth draw and lower time commitment of a cigarillo-style smoke that maintains all the luxury but in a thinner and shorter package. They are reminiscent of the stubby cigarillos smoked by Clint Eastwood characters in old Italian westerns.
The Tumbleweed looks like the younger brother of the Wooden Cigar Roller with the same high-quality walnut construction with brass knobs. It literally looks like the same high-quality machine just shrunk down to deliver masterfully rolled, smaller cigars.
With the Tumbleweed Joint Roller, you have the ability to adjust it to different sizes. It is able to roll blunts, joints or cigarettes up to 6.5 inches long at various densities, so there is no doubt that you will be able to roll a smoke that is the perfect size for your brand.
Ace Cigarette Roller
The Ace Cigarette Roller is made in the USA and handcrafted from solid mahogany and brass and is perfect for manufacturers who are looking to produce a rolled cigarette that will differentiate their brand by creating a one-of-a-kind smoking experience.
This roller has the capability to roll cigarettes that are smaller than the traditional slim cigarette and up to a cigarette that is 1/2 inch in diameter. It also fits the standard 1 1/4 inch rolling paper and can roll your cigarettes to perfection in mere seconds. While the Ace can work for businesses, it is also great for personal use.
In the pre-rolled joint world there has been a shift toward smaller joints as the price of cannabis comes down and machines help to reduce labor costs. While the Ace Cigarette Roller is the smallest and least expensive on our shelves, it can represent a big opportunity. Brands are carving out niches in the mini pre-roll market to meet these demands. Likewise, there is a similar opportunity to create smaller, rolled cigars that provide bite-size value while still driving large margins.