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Many cigar smokers have strong opinions about machine-made cigars but they may not know what the key differences are between machine-made and hand-made cigars. Even the experienced cigar enthusiast might be surprised to know the long history of machine-made Cuban cigars and how they came into existence. 

What is a Machine-Made Cigar?

Machine-made cigars are produced by a machine, rather than being rolled by hand. They are often more affordable than hand-made cigars and offer a reliable and consistent cigar perfect for everyday smoking. 

Machine-made cigars contain a short filler which is a chopped leaf rather than a full leaf which keeps the production cost down hence the difference in price compared with cigars that are hand made with a full leaf. 

It is generally assumed that machine-made cigars are a more modern type of cigar, however, this isn’t necessarily the case because some brands still use traditional machinery to produce their cigars. 

A brief history of machine-made cigars

The first cigar-rolling machine was invented in about 1885 by Oscar Hammerstein, however,  Cigar manufacturers only began using machines to mass-produce cigars in the 1920s. In about 1925 cigar-rolling machines were imported into Cuba and manufacturers started to automate their processes. 

Por Larranaga was the first manufacturer to produce machine-made Cuban cigars leading to a significant increase in production and reduction in cost. The move to automation caused strikes by cigar rollers so the machines were eventually returned. 

The key differences between machine-made and handmade cigars

  • Wrapper

Machine-made cigars are usually wrapped in a tobacco leaf combined with synthetic materials. Handmade cigars are wrapped with a full natural tobacco leaf. The reason for synthetic materials being used for machine-made cigars is because the manufacturing process is rougher so a stronger wrapper is needed. 

  • Burn quality 

Machine-made cigars burn more quickly than handmade cigars because they use a shorter filler. Advocates of handmade cigars will also quote this as the main reason for their preference. 

  • Draw

Due to the uniformity of the filler and lack of human error during production,  machine-made cigars deliver a smoother draw than hand-made cigars.

  • Consistency

Machine-made cigars are consistent in flavour and weight and are uniform in size and appearance. Handmade cigars’ lack of consistency, however, is what makes them such high quality and they are carefully blended to create a distinctive flavour profile

  • Price 

If you’re looking for a cheap cigar, then machine-made cigars are the best option and they are generally significantly more affordable than handmade cigars due to the cheaper production costs involved. This opens up cigar smoking to a much wider audience.  

Which should you choose? 

The quality of handmade cigars is generally higher than machine-made cigars but so is the price. Many cigar smokers will agree that there is therefore a time and a place for both cigar types and keeping a combination in a cigar collection is a popular choice.
Visit the Tobacconist Online store for a vast selection of best selling machine-made cigars from popular brands including Villiger, Cohiba, Davidoff and Montecristo, as well as the finest handmade cigars available.

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