There are two basic types of cigars: premium hand rolled cigars and cigars manufactured by machines. Understanding the differences between the two types is key to making a good cigar purchase. While many new cigar smokers are attracted to the low prices of machine-made cigars sold at convenience stores, it is important to know that these cigars are generally much lower in quality than the hand rolled cigars sold at cigar shops. Furthermore, it is entirely possible to find very reasonably priced hand rolled cigars at local and online tobacco shops, sometimes even in the one-dollar-per-cigar range.

Machine made vs. Hand rolled cigars

Understanding the difference between handmade cigars and machine-made cigars is simple and easy. Whereas hand rolled cigars are made with 100% tobacco, machine-made cigars often contain paper, preservatives, and other chemicals. The presence of non-tobacco ingredients in machine-made cigars creates a smoking experience that is both potentially less healthy, and likely less enjoyable than the pleasure of smoking a 100% tobacco hand rolled cigar.

Another factor that helps explain the difference between the two cigar types is that hand rolled cigars are often made with imported tobacco from countries like the Dominican Republic, which are known for their fine tobacco. Machine-made cigars, on the other hand, are generally made from the cheapest tobacco available, with little attention paid to quality.

Hand rolled cigars and machine made?

Sometimes, a cigar is marketed as a hand rolled cigar when, in reality, it is actually produced through a combination of both hand and machine work. This is important to know because cigars made in this way can have the same defects as cigars that are entirely machine-made.

To understand how a cigar can be both hand rolled and machine-made, you need to have a rudimentary knowledge of cigar anatomy. A cigar consists of two basic pieces. The inside of a cigar, where most of the tobacco is located, is called the filler. The outside of a cigar, which serves to hold the filler in place, is called the wrapper. What sometimes happens is that a company will call its cigar hand rolled when the wrapper is placed by hand, but a machine bunches the filler. A cigar made this way may have some of the same negative characteristics as cigars that are 100% machine-made.

Why choose hand rolled cigars?

Generally speaking, if you’re looking for quality and a pleasant smoking experience, handmade cigars are the choice for you. Local and online tobacco shops are great places to browse for and purchase high quality hand rolled cigars that will leave you sated and satisfied. If you’re still a skeptic, I recommend purchasing a nice, hand rolled cigar made from imported tobacco and comparing it to a machine-made cigar purchased at your local convenience store. The difference in quality should be quickly become apparent.

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