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It arrived in about 4 days to hawaii. Another vendor which I won't mention arrived a month later or more exact over 5 weeks because they sent it by ship and charged me for first class mail. If someone wants the vendors name I can disclose but have no recourse now after all this time.
As far as the machines go I started with a Topomatic T2 bought from here, it was hit and miss. About a fourth of each ended up not packing and a dud and got very frustrating getting it just right and the right moisture and the right pack and still it made duds after many adjustments. Now i switched to a Powermatic electric injector and no duds at all after figuring out how to pack it right in a few minutes and come out perfect every time. You don't need a moisture meter either because you can tell if it's right just by the feel of it and if too dry put it in a bag with a folded up damp paper towel for a day. If too moist then let it sit on your table spread out to dry a bit.
I buy whole leaf tobbaco which is cheaper because it's not taxed. It does take time to clean it all out the main stem but worth the effort. In the end it ends up about 70 cents a pack and the leaves are organic without a ton of chemicals from tobacco companys added in. And they burn twice as long at least. So in the last year or so I probably saved a couple thousand dollars or more, and the electric shredding machine paid for itself in no time too.
These tubes are easy to pack and fine quality. I switched to regular tubes for this order because the "light" tubes are a bit too porous. They let too much air in with every puff. Once you start buying smooth "pipe" tobacco ("pipe" to avoid the huge tax surcharge on tobacco) I adjusted the taste with the tobacco choice. Modern commercial cigarettes taste harsh because of all the chemical additives so the paper is perforated to "lighten" the taste. With my Top-o-matic injector I make a pack of ciggs in about 10 minutes while watching TV. I use a Virginia tobacco with a small amount of Cavendish blend mixed in for a cigarette that tastes like a Marlboro made in the 50's. Now I make my cigarettes "fresh" daily and I can change the taste whenever I wish- I add a drop of honey flavoring for an after dinner smoke. My average pack costs about $1.25 and is a far superior smoke to anything I could buy. Of course, that makes it tougher to STOP smoking! Switched to the Gambler Tube Cut square metal injector machine when my Top-O-Matic gave out. The Gambler is a better made unit all around, especially with the metal bushing. Have about a year with it now and love it. Found 1839 tobacco for $17 per pound (in Jersey) they taste like 1950's Winston's. I dry my tobacco in the microwave for about 20 seconds per ounce in a seal-able plastic container. Dry tobacco is the secret to easy packing- store the finished ciggs in an old cigar box and they will pick up moisture over time for a smoother smoke. GAMBLER TUBE CUT CIGARETTE MAKING MACHINE - BRAND NEW
Well, they are cigarette tubes, not really a high functioning product. They work great with my Top-O-Matic injector. I fill them with pipe tobacco (just my preference) but previously filled them with cigarette tobacco also. Once in a while there are a couple of crushed tubes, but they are pretty resilient and they easily straighten up and are perfectly usable. I've been using this product for the past 6 years or so and have no intention of changing to any alternative.
First, working with Hometown was great, my order shipped quickly and the tiny mistake they made was immediately fixed.
Secondly, the flavor of the Premier Menthol tubes is great. With the right PLAIN tobacco blend, they can taste like Newport, Kool, Marlboro or Salem. You get a nice menthol hint without being overwhelmed by flaming breathmint.
Thirdly, the price and packaging are also good.
But I can only give them 3 stars because they are a PITA to fill. I have the Premier Powermatic II injector, so I expected that these Premier tubes would work flawlessly. WRONG! If the tobacco isn't a perfect fine ribbon cut with exactly the right moisture content, these tubes do not fill all the way down to the filter and sometimes can't even be tamped down either. If you process your own whole leaf tobacco, or as you get to the bottom of a can, the cut really starts to be an issue; overly moist tobacco jams, overly dry tobacco jams, but even daily/minor changes in relative humidity can have a major impact in the short time between injecting the first and injecting the last cig in a pack.
My husband smokes regulars, and we rarely have this problem with his Premier tubes, even though we use the same tobacco in both. So I can only deduce it is something specific to the menthol tubes. It's almost as if the menthol tubes are a couple mm smaller in diameter than the regular tubes, or the paper isn't as smooth. I'd say out of every 5 menthol tubes injected, 1 fills properly, 2 can be knocked down leaving you with a 3/4 smoke (or you can try stuffing a little more into the end with a chopstick), 1 won't knock down and has to be stripped out or discarded, and 1 gets stuck and the injector spoon rips through. Very frustrating.
I'll be trying different brands of menthol tubes to see if I can find one that is less temperamental. If Premier works out the filling problem, I would definitely have no problem staying with their brand.
Update May 7: I've been able to sample a carton of other menthol tube brands, following are my comparisons against the Premier Menthol King tubes using similar tobacco:
1. Gambler Regular Menthol Cigarette Tubes 5 Boxes: These tubes had noticeably less menthol flavor, in fact, I could just barely taste the difference between the menthol tubes and my husband's Gambler Regular Kings. These did inject easier than the Premiers, but still not perfect; aggressive knocking was required on at least 1/4 of the tubes, but only a few in the whole carton clogged up half-way down the tube or had blowouts. I would recommend these to people wanting just the barest hint of menthol or who have menthol flavored tobacco.
2. Top Menthol Full Flavor King Size Cigarette Tubes (200 Count Per Box) 5 Boxes: These tubes had noticeable more menthol flavor than the Premier and Gambler tubes, and a slightly strange chemical aftertaste (also noticeable in the regular tubes). They also appear to be self-extinguishing, as both the menthol and the regular Top tubes were hard to keep lit if you weren't puffing continuously; this may explain the chemical aftertaste. Both my husband and I noticed mild upper lung discomfort while trialing the Top tubes, so that's something to consider. The Top tubes were by far the easiest to inject, with only 1 or 2 in a pack needing significant knock down; however knocking them down to filter in these cases was nearly impossible. I only had 1 blowout in the whole carton, but I did have to destroy several that clogged during injection and wouldn't knock down. I don't feel the ease of injection quite overshadows the flavor and discomfort, so I wouldn't recommend these over the others.
3. Golden Valley Menthol King Size Cigarette Tubes (1 Box): These tubes are fairly comparable in menthol level to the Premier tubes. They also have similar injection problems, although slightly less frequently. These also have a slightly shorter filter than the other brands; not a deal breaker in itself, you just need to be mindful of it when tapping your ashes. I would certainly recommend these for anyone as an alternative.
Have used these for over a year now. They are a great vessel for hand rollies. I love that I can get 10 at a time at a discount wich saves me money in the long run. I first used "smoking" tubes and they were not nearly as good as these. Btw if you live near Boston I recomend levvit and Peirce they have awesome high quality tobacoo for rolling at great prices. [You can get turkesh tobacco for 42$ a pound]