How to Process Cigarette Tobacco Leaves
1. Make sure you have your tobacco prepped for handling by removing the main stem from the center of the leaf. It is actually easier to remove this stem from top to bottom rather than bottom to top.
2. Lay out as many leaves as you want on a flat surface until they get dry, but not crisp. Moisture content is pretty important when it comes to processing your tobacco. If it is completely dry when shredding, the tobacco will be ground into powder. If the tobacco is too wet, it will shred OK, but it will be sticky and more likley to bind any machines used. Don't worry, it's not as hard as it sounds - it's just something to keep an eye on throughout the process.
3. Now this is the step where you can use a few different items depending your financial situation, time, or desired quality.
Coffee Grinder/ Food Processor
I consider both or these tools the same, as they both cut the tobacco in flakes rather then fine shreds. Something to remember here is that you don't want to grind it too fine or you won't be able to smoke your tobacco. This is only a decent option if you are on a tight budget. You can find these for a resonable price at you local store.
One of the things noticed when processing tobacco with a coffee grinder or food processor is that cigarettes will burn smooth, but your ember can fall off your cigarette because of consistency of the tobacco - it can't hold together well when in flakes rather than shreds.
Leaf Only's Tobacco Shredder
We have used grinders, paper shredders, scissors, and many other items in an attempt to find a decent way to process tobacco leaves. We consider this product to be the holy grail for RYO and MYO cigarettes. It is an affordable, easy to use shredder that was designed specifically for grinding tobacco leaves.
Start by taking the leaf halves you've made by seperarting the center stem from the leaves. Then you have a few options. First, you'll want to run your leaves through at least once. Then, depending on your preference, you'll want to run a portion of it through again. A good rule of thumb for most people is about half of what was first ground. Then, for an even better RYO consistency, you can use your hands to just quickly break up the longer strands that were from the first pass-through. It's something that you will quickly get a feel for and is very easy to figure out.
This is by far the most affordable option there is, but is also the most labor intensive. We have a great movie to view as well on how to do this thanks to our friend Will! To start, take the halves you've made by removing the main tobacco stem. Then take a few and stack them flat then fold them in half. After that roll it up and tuck any excess ends in. What you do next is take your scissors and cut on a 45 degree angle. Make sure when you cut to get as deep in the scissors as you can as it makes a easy cut and more control. Now it's all prefrence on how fine you enjoy it, I recommend 1-2mm. Once you cut all you need to do is make a ball of your cut tobacco in your hand and roll it till it break's those long string up until satisfied.
4. After processing your unmanufactured tobacco into RYO tobacco, you are ready to inject the tobacco into cigarette tubes!
5. Once you decide on which tubes best suite your need, it's time to figure out which Injector for Cigarettes is right for you..
When it comes to these types of cigarette machines, we prefer to use the Top-O-Matic for about $45.00 or Powermatic 2 for about $85.00. These machines roll smooth burning cigarettes with no ember issues, but you roll at a slightly slower pace.
Now these machine can roll a decently smooth burning cigarette, but can have ember's fall sometimes or ash fall more frequently due to the way it packs, but you can roll at a very fast pace.
6. Now your ready to smoke for a fraction of the price!