A Gift Guide for Joint RollersBen AdlinDecember 14, 2018
As one of Leafly’s more talented joint rollers, I’ve put together some of my personal favorites. This list is completely independent and results from more than a decade of experience as a consumer and journalist.
If there’s one way to make rolling a joint easier and more enjoyable, it’s with the addition of a quality grinder. I’ve tried a bunch over the years, and I’ve landed on a few favorites.
Where to buy: herbripper.com
If you’re looking for a grinder that will last, consider paying a bit extra for The Ripper, one of a growing class of grinders made entirely of stainless steel. Designed and manufactured by an Ohio-based machinist, this grinder is currently my favorite on the market. It’s a little heavier than your typical aluminum grinder, but it’s also more durable and less reactive. As long as you don’t lose it, it should give you decades of trouble-free service. If it gets dirty, just toss it in a dishwasher.
Where to buy: Online or at a store near you
If you want a premium grinder but don’t want to spend the coin on a stainless steel version, consider the SLX grinder. It’s a high-grade aluminum grinder that’s been covered in a nonstick ceramic coating to help keep it from sticking. It’s also light, fairly durable, and features a number of other thoughtful design elements.
RAW Organic Hemp
Price: varies, about $2
Not all rolling papers are created equal. For my money, the best on the market today are RAW’s line of organic hemp papers. They come in a variety of sizes and are available in loose papers, uncut rolls, and pre-rolled cones. That wide selection is wonderful, but it can also be daunting if you’re buying the papers as a gift. I recommend starting with the 1 ¼ size, which is a good choice for all-around use, and then adjusting from there. (RAW’s classic, non-organic line also burns beautifully, but I’m not a big fan of the slipperier texture.)
Not familiar with RAW’s obsession with paper? This video by founder Josh Kesselman is a good (if exhaustive) intro.
OCB Organic Hemp
Price: varies, about $2
A lot of paper snobs who don’t use RAW papers opt for OCB. They’re essentially the same thing—thin, clean-burning papers made from organic hemp—but they have a bit different feel in hand that some people prefer for rolling.
RAW Classic Tips
Price: varies, about $1
Many people who roll joints add a stiff paper tip at the end, sometimes called a crutch. It’s surprisingly common to use just about anything for this, from index cards to junk mail to the cannibalized cardboard from a pack of rolling papers. These work, but not always particularly well. A better choice is to go with pre-cut tips.
Which tips to use can be a very personal choice. I prefer the RAW original tips, which are specially made to roll smoothly and not “square” or fold. They’re also the simplest and cheapest option. Friends who roll especially large joints often prefer the wide tips, which are also perforated to help roll the perfect tip. If rolling up a paper tip sounds like too much work, RAW also has pre-rolled options.
Whatever you choose, most tips are pretty cheap. If you’re buying as a gift, I recommend starting with a few kinds to see what works best.
Rolling trays, too, are a very personal choice. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and materials. Some have special grooves, slots, or built-in containers to hold various joint-rolling accoutrements.
As for me, I like simple. I use a large rolling tray made by Leafly’s sister company, Marley Natural. It’s made entirely of black walnut, has just enough of a lip to keep things from spilling, and comes with a scraper that magnetically attaches to the tray. It’s a little pricey at $78, but it’s a beautiful, thoughtfully made piece that should last for years. (There’s a smaller, cheaper version, but everyone I’ve talked to prefers the large size.)
Price: varies, about $6
This simple Swedish product is perfect for anyone who’s given up on trying to learn to roll a joint by hand. It consists of just three plastic pieces that aid with rolling, filling, and packing a cone-shaped joint. Available for around $6, it’s also fairly inexpensive.
I always prefer joint I rolled by hand, but my friend’s joints constructed with the Cone Artist might be the next best thing.
Joints don’t always travel well. Green Jay’s single-joint carrier aims change that. Consisting of a svelte aluminum tube with a water- and child-resistant cap, it’s an elegant (and rather discreet) way of transporting a joint that won’t be smoked immediately.
Most joint rollers I know went through a phase where they thought it’d be really cool to carry joints in a vintage cigarette case. Unfortunately, these rarely work as well for joints as they do for more uniformly rolled cigarettes—and they’re not exactly smell-proof, either. A better option, I’ve found, is a carrying case from Kindtray. They’re made from bamboo, carry about four joints, and come in different lengths to fit the size of your rolling paper. One works well for joints, while another is designed for blunts. The lid stays attached with strong magnets, and the rubber seal does a good job keeping odor inside.
Price: varies, about $2
In terms of disposable lighters, Bics are great for a lot of things. Anyone who regularly rolls joints, though, should at least try a Clipper. They’re made of durable nylon, can be refilled when empty, and in my experience work a bit better in windy conditions than a Bic. But the killer feature for joint rollers is the Clipper’s removable flint system, which doubles as a joint-packing tool.
Price: varies, starts at about $14.95
If buying a disposable lighter as a gift feels cheap to you, consider a Zippo. It’s a classic keepsake and works like a champ in windy conditions, making it great for sparking a joint outside. It’s also available in all sorts of designs, allowing you to personalize your gift, and comes with a lifetime warranty. There are, however, some downsides: Because they use a wick, Zippos tend to be pretty crappy at lighting pipes or bongs. (If you want a more well-rounded cannabis lighter, the the company offers a pipe insert that works pretty well.) Zippo lighter fluid also evaporates fairly quickly—meaning Zippos have to be refilled fairly often—and the fuel has a distinctive smell that some people find offensive.
Price: varies, around $79.99
Looking for a more timeless, refined look? The Kiribi Kabuto is a refillable lighter that offers the look and feel of lighters roughly twice its price. It’s designed as a classic pipe lighter, but it will work just fine for joints as long as it’s not too windy.
A Backup Plan
Price: $29.99 + cost of pod
It’s no fun to get to a friend’s house and start rolling a joint only to realize you’re out of papers—or that you do, but they got rained on and are completely unusable. For those times, I like to keep a Pax Era around as a backup. With its long battery life and nearly leakproof pod construction, it’s an easy thing to toss in my bag and forget about. And at only around $30, it’s not the end of the world if you lose it. Bonus: You can lock the device from your smartphone so kids (or envious co-workers) can’t use it.