Last updated on December 6th, 2017 at 06:49 am
When choosing the right cigar, a significant amount of merit should be given to its creation method. Machine made cigars typically offer a lower price, but by doing so, also usually sacrifice quality. Examples of machine made cigars include Dutch Masters, Swisher, Phillies, etc. When given the choice, you should always choose handmade cigars. The differences in the two methods primarily lie in the “ingredients” used to create the cigars. and the differences are as follows.
The wrapper is the outermost “skin” of the cigar. The machine made cigars usually use a dull, dry wrapper tobacco to wrap the filler. Handmade cigars, on the other hand, use an oily, silky wrapper to wrap the filler tobacco. This higher quality wrapper gives the cigar a higher quality taste.
The filler is the main component of the cigar, which also means that it is the biggest factor in the flavor of the cigar. Machine made cigars typically use short filler tobacco, which consists of stems, chopped leaves, and other scrap pieces of tobacco. Short filler tobacco burns faster, unevenly, and makes a good draw almost impossible. Alternatively, handmade cigars typically use long filler tobacco, which consists of tobacco leaves that run the whole length of the cigar. This long filler tobacco offers better taste, better draw, and more even burning, with a good ash to top it all off.
The binder is what is used to hold the cigar together. Although this is the least important factor as far as taste goes, the difference of binder between handmade and machine made cigars seems to be the most significant. In handmade cigars, the binder consists of a tobacco leaf that is precisely rolled into the cigar to keep the cigar intact. This maintains an “all-tobacco” product for a handmade cigar. Machine made cigars, however, typically use a homogenized tobacco leaf (HTL) as a binder. Homogenized leaf tobacco is made from tobacco scraps that are ground up with combustible agents (like adhesives) and water, then stretched and rolled into a large paper-like sheet. The idea of smoking adhesives does not sound like a good idea.
Overall, handmade cigars offer superior quality in all components of the finished cigar. They do cost a little more, but the quality is more than worth the difference. Machine made cigars have their place; which is on the economy, lower end of the cigar quality scale, but they should never be your first choice. Whenever possible, choose a handmade cigar and you won’t regret it.