The Art of Cigar Rolling

The way a cigar burns is affected by how it is rolled. Rolling a stick is just as important as the leaf that is use and the tobacco that fills it. People have been hand rolling them for centuries. A lot of shops hand roll what they sell and you can watch the process. There are different methods for rolling, but the secret to a perfectly rolled stick is to practice. The saying, “practice makes perfect” should be remembered every time you roll one. Here are some tips for rolling a cigar.

The first step is to gather the materials you will need and want to use. You can choose your own blend of tobacco depending on what taste you prefer. You will also need to prepare a leaf to place the tobacco in. Leaves are normally sold dry so you will need to moisten the leaf to make it more pliable, and to do this just place the leaf in a plastic bag with a little bit of water. After about an hour remove the leaf. You will need enough for the filler leaf and the outer binding leaf.

After you have gathered and prepared your materials, you are ready to roll. As mentioned above, there are different methods for rolling. You can try out different methods and find one that you prefer to use for rolling. You then place the shredded tobacco on the filler leaf. Once this is done, you roll your stick. After that is done you place it in a mold or former to produce the shape and size.

Take out the cigar from the mold and place it on the binding leaf. You will need to put some glue or binding on the outer leaf. You can use pectin, egg whites, guar gum, or tragacanth. Place the molded cigar onto the binder leaf and roll the binder around the mold. Roll outwards, away from your body. You should roll your cigar tightly and avoid tearing the leaf. You can cut away the excess binder leaf or curl it up to make a pig tails cigar. Again, how you roll the cigar, the size, and shape you make it is a personal choice.

These are basic steps for a rolling a cigar. You can try out different methods and find the best one that works for your rolling and smoking preferences. Keep practicing and don’t be discouraged if your cigar doesn’t come out perfect the first time you try it. The art of rolling cigars is harder than it looks. You should also try out different types of tobacco, filler leaf, and binding leafs and create a flavor that you like.

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  1. Rob Menaker says:

    I’m interested in learning how to roll the final leaf of a cigar. I do charity fund raising and I have been asked to do it.

  2. Gary Korb says:

    Hi Rob,
    Great question, but this is something that’s really hard to explain. You need a chaveta (special knife for cutting tobacco leaf), and some skill in using it. I would suggest you watch this video, and any others you can find on rolling cigars. There are dozens of them and they all use pretty much the same technique. Here’s the link:

  3. Johnny says:

    When I finish rolling cigars, should I let them dry some before putting them into a humidor, or just go straight into the humidor after rolled?

  4. Gary Korb says:

    To Johnny: You might want to leave them out for a little while; however, after rolling In the factory, they usually are bound into mazos of 50, then placed in the aging room. So you could put your fresh-rolled cigars right in the humidor, but I would have a separate humidor dedicated to aging hand-rolled cigars so they don’t mix with any other cigars.