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Saturday December 4, 2021

By Matthew Mongelia

joint roller on a rolling tray with weed, rolling papers, and a grinder 420 Culture

AThe humble joint rolling machine is a tool with amazing utility, even for those adept at rolling joints by hand. Though using a joint roller is easy, they can sometimes be intimidating to the uninitiated. How do you get a joint from this strange device? It’s a lot simpler than you might suspect. Read along as PotGuide shows you how to roll with a roller.

We’re going to go into a good amount of detail to make the process as clear as possible, but rest assured, it’s an easy task once you understand the components.

Using a Joint Roller: Step-By-Step

First, assemble your materials:

  • Weed
  • Grinder
  • Rolling Papers
  • Rolling Machine
  • Crutch (optional, but recommended)


    1. Begin by grinding up some flower and rolling a crutch if you plan to use one. Using a crutch is the recommended method, but isn’t completely necessary.
    2. With these prepped, start with the machine in the open position facing towards you. One side should be higher than the other, with room in between the rollers to fill. The lower side is the front and the higher side is the back.
A joint roller with a crutch flush to the end
  1. If you’re rolling with a crutch, insert it into the machine on one side. Make sure that it is flush to one end.
  2. Hold the machine open by gently placing a finger between the rollers. When using a crutch (the ideal method), place your finger on the crutch to hold the machine open.

Filling the Joint Roller

  1. Fill the rolling sheath with cannabis. Be sure to not overfill it; it should be able to close comfortably and stay shut without being held. You can roll a thinner joint.
  2. If you’re unsure how your fill is sitting within the roller, close it up and give it a few spins to roll the cannabis into form, then reopen, and add as needed. Be careful when reopening, the design is meant to pop out your joint when it’s done, so you’ll need to open the rollers slowly, using a finger to keep them open and hold the flower in place.
  3. Once the machine is filled, close it and spin the rollers to shape the joint. You’ll be pulling the front roller downwards towards you, which will spin the sheath. Do not push up on the roller or spin it in the other direction, this will cause your rolling machine to spring open and send weed flying all over the place.

Inserting the Rolling Paper & Rolling a Joint

    1. Position a rolling paper so that it is parallel lengthwise to the machine, with the glue side up and facing towards you. Gently feed the paper into the roller keeping the paper straight as you do. You only need a tiny bit of the paper to catch between the rollers to start the feed. As you get the paper into place, give a small pull on the front roller to get the paper secured. If your paper isn’t straight, hold the roller closed with a finger, gently pull the paper out and start again.
    2. Once you have the rolling paper in position and gripped in the rollers, pulling downwards toward you again to roll the joint. Roll the majority of the paper down into the machine, but not all the way, you’ll want to leave the glue strip exposed to wet it. Be sure to hold the machine closed with one hand as you’re wetting the glue.
the joint roller with the end of the rolling paper sticking out
  1. Lick the glue (or dip a finger in some water and run it along the glue line if you want to be professional and keep your saliva out of the equation). Be careful not to over moisten it, or the glue will stick to the roller as it passes through and tear the paper.
  2. Give the rollers a final roll to close and seal the joint.

Remove and Enjoy!

  1. Remove the joint by opening the rollers. The sheath will help it pop out a bit, so be ready.
  2. You can twist off the end if you prefer to keep everything in place and start with roasting the tip, or you can spark it right away, the open end makes for easy lighting.


If you’re not getting what you want out of your roller, here are a few tips:

    1. Evenly filling the roller is important. When improperly filled, joints will wind up tighter at one end, and will be more difficult to smoke. These joints often canoe as well. Make sure that the amount of cannabis in the roller is even throughout.
    2. Try less or more fill if you’re getting bad joints. One of the most common mistakes is to overfill the joint roller which doesn’t allow for room for the paper to smoothly encompass the cannabis. You want to make sure that the roller can close comfortably without springing open. The cannabis should be contained beneath the rollers completely, and should not bunch or get lodged in the middle. Alternatively, underfilling can also cause tight joints that don’t smoke smoothly.
A joint falling apart
If your joint comes out falling apart, you probably underfilled the joint roller.
  1. The material of the rolling sheath matters a lot. Some sheaths do not have smooth movement, others roll unevenly. Sheaths can get sticky from trichome residue easily, or wear thin and break. Keep these things in mind if your joint roller isn’t performing as it should, and consider an upgrade. Even a really nice roller shouldn’t cost more than $10. I am a fan of the OCB Bamboo rollers.
  2. Make sure your paper is straight. Inserting the paper at an angle can also mess up the uniformity of your joint, and also cause it to be tight or uneven.


Even if you consider yourself above average at hand rolling, it’s useful to know how to use a joint roller. The uniformity, speed, and reliability of joint rollers is tough to match. While they might not be ideal for every occasion (and shouldn’t discourage you from learning how to hand roll), they have their place in any cannabis consumer’s rolling kit. They also act as a great starting point for beginners, and those who might have trouble rolling due to physical limitations.

Using the steps above, you can have a joint ready in just seconds. Happy toking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do People Use Joint Rollers?

Joint rollers can produce uniform joints quickly and efficiently. They are a good option for those still learning to roll, or anyone that finds traditional joint rolling to be difficult as well.

How Much Do Joint Rollers Cost?

Rollers typically sell for between $5-$10.

What is the Best Joint Roller?

We prefer OCB Bamboo rollers.

Why Are My Joints Too Tight?

This can be a problem with over- or underfilling the roller, the result of a faulty machine, or rolling with the paper at an angle. To correct these issues, check the troubleshooting section above.

Do you use a joint roller? If so, what do you like or dislike about it?


Matthew Mongelia Matthew Mongelia

Matthew Mongelia is the Content Manager for He holds an MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA in Creative Writing from CUNY Brooklyn College. He has worked in the industry in numerous roles for over 5 years while covering cannabis content from coast to coast. Like so many in the industry, he first became acquainted with cannabis as a medical patient, and has been a passionate advocate for the plant ever since. He is a writer for the comic Dark Beach, and has previously covered music and cultural content for SOL REPUBLIC.

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