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Old 09-17-2019, 08:27 AM
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Default Newbie with some questions

My first time trying too RYO after 45 years of smoking.Are there certain
brands of tobacco that have less dangerous chemicals in them?Is it better
too keep the tobacco and the rolled cigs in the refridgerator?What is tube
cut tobacco,is it better too use?I have a Powermatic 2 and some Sparrow
mild blend on order,should come in tomorrow.I'm sure I will have more
questions in the future,lol. Thanks in advance for any answers.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by easygoin View Post
My first time trying to RYO after 45 years of smoking. Are there certain brands of tobacco that have less dangerous chemicals in them?
The chemicals produced by burning tobacco will be about the same regardless of brand. Whether the additives used produce dangerous chemicals is another matter. But, IMO, considering the chemicals already in tobacco smoke just from the tobacco itself, I hardly think it makes much of a difference. There are far fewer additives in loose tobacco than commercial cigarettes, though.

If it really matters, there are "natural" or "additive free" blends available ("natural" doesn't necessarily mean 100% additive free -- if the additives used are "natural," then they can still call it "natural"). My experience with these is that they're not worth it -- they will be dry upon opening (because of the lack of humectants) and will also taste bland.

Originally Posted by easygoin View Post
Is it better to keep the tobacco and the rolled cigs in the refrigerator?
IMO, that is not necessary. I've been doing RYO for seven years now, and I have never kept them in the refrigerator. Simply keep the bag sealed; for extra precaution against drying out, you may want to double bag it in a ziplock freezer bag, or keep in a heavy plastic or glass container. Some people like to use mason jars.

If your tobacco becomes too dry, it can be easily rehydrated by placing a lettuce leaf inside the sealed bag for a day.

Originally Posted by easygoin View Post
What is tube cut tobacco, is it better to use?
"Tube cut" tobacco is expanded tobacco. It is tobacco that has been "puffed up" with CO2. It may also contain expanded stems. The cheapest "value" brands use expanded tobacco (Sparrow is one example, btw). You don't want to use it.

Originally Posted by easygoin View Post
I have a Powermatic 2 and some Sparrow mild blend on order, should come in tomorrow.
You made a good choice of machine. There have been many positive reviews here of the Powermatic 2. Btw, pretty much all Powermatics are superior quality machines, so you can't go wrong with a Powermatic.

I've never tried Sparrow, but everyone in this forum who has tried it has reported that it is just about the worst tobacco you can get. You probably won't be happy.

General rule of thumb: avoid brands made by Republic Tobacco.

If you scroll through this forum, and it will mean going past the first few pages, you will find reviews of various brands of tobacco. Some are more helpful than others. Bear in mind that tastes are subjective, so YMMV.

Originally Posted by easygoin View Post
I'm sure I will have more questions in the future, lol. Thanks in advance for any answers.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 09-17-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:59 AM
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My understanding that Tube Cut is Gamblers branding term for their products. Similar or possibly better tubes are widely available depending on preference. Their tobacco since it is formulated and marketed as cigarette tobacco is taxed at the higher rates. My personal choice is to go whole leaf and keep the tax money in my pocket.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:12 AM
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There are a number of popular value tobaccos available.Good Stuff,Golden Harvest and Ohm are just a few.Chances of finding something the tastes exactly
like you have been smoking is probably not going to happen but you should be able to find something similar.I will add that Zen tubes are fairly popular on this site.If you tell us what you have been smoking perhaps someone could point you in the right direction for a similar tasting tobacco.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:27 AM
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"Tube Cut" Gambler tobacco is Republic Tobacco's marketing ploy for expanded tobacco in order to fool consumers into thinking that it's better suited for RYO. If it is really cigarette (Class J) tobacco, rather than "dual purpose" pipe (Class L) tobacco, then it can't be shipped interstate anyway.

Yes, there are also "Tube Cut" filter tubes. The regular Gambler tubes (not "Tube Cut") are okay. I can't comment about the "Tube Cut" tubes as I've never used them. I personally favor Zen tubes.

Boogeyman is correct, you are not going to exactly match the cigarette brand you've been smoking, because the tobacco companies have their own proprietary "recipes" of the tobacco blends and additives used in their cigarette brands, which will be impossible to replicate. The best you can hope for is to get into the right "ball park."

Last edited by masklofumanto; 09-17-2019 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:38 AM
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Sparrow brand does have cavendish in it. Once a guy told me that he loved Sparrow and it was his favorite choice. I think he must have been trying to mess with me.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DancesWithWerewolves View Post
Sparrow brand does have cavendish in it. Once a guy told me that he loved Sparrow and it was his favorite choice. I think he must have been trying to mess with me.
Yes, I've seen that description too. I doubt there's much in it, but aside from the poor quality of the tobacco, perhaps that's one of the reasons why BobbyE, Toney, and others have said it's about the worst? Bobby E's descriptions have been especially colorful!

Here's a few examples:

Originally Posted by BobbyE View Post
Everybody needs to try Sparrow just to see how bad things can get.... You can sprinkle this stuff in your yard and no insects or rodents would ever bother you... Of course the EPA may declare your property a superfund site!!!
Originally Posted by BobbyE View Post
They sell it to use it for pest control... Spread it in your yard and all insects and critters run away. Of course there is one drawback... Your grass will die...
Originally Posted by BobbyE View Post
I would smoke a pound of any of these before I ever smoked another stick of Sparrow Menthol.. skunks run from that stuff.
Originally Posted by BobbyE View Post
In my search I've tried just about everything. My only regret is trying Sparrow Menthol, I still want to puke when I think of that taste....
Originally Posted by BobbyE View Post
I still sample a lot, so I may be near a hundred. I will save you all some time stay away from SPARROW it's foul.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 09-17-2019 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:01 AM
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Btw, if anyone's interested, below is my "Hall of Shame":

Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
Like I said in the Favorite DP Pipe Tobacco thread, I've been doing MYO for five years now. Below is my "Hall of Shame" List of the worst pipe tobaccos I've tried. Bear in mind that tastes are subjective; some of my "worst" might be among the favorites of others here.

Kentucky Select Red, Kentucky Select Turkish: Weird "herbal" aftertaste (others have described it as "metallic") which lingers in your mouth long-term. Apparently all Kentucky Select blends have that aftertaste.

D&R Ryback - To me, absolutely horrid. Another member here sent me samples of Ryback and Ryback Gold. Strong "camp fire" smell; tastes like a weird cross of BBQ and coffee. Ryback Gold is less intense than Ryback, but more intense than PS #83 Amsterdam. Immediately taught me that I detest fire-cured tobacco.

Peter Stokkebye #83 Amsterdam - another fire-cured tobacco blend that another member sent a sample to me, which I felt obliged to at least try. Though less intense than D&R Ryback Gold, what can I say -- it's still a fire-cured blend.

4 Aces Turkish - sent to me as a gift. Horrid, heavily topped. Blending small amounts with other tobaccos just ruined everything to which it was added. I ended up giving it away to my uncle.

Criss Cross Vanilla - I got it with the intention of blending it with other tobaccos, but it had so overpowering a vanilla extract flavor that even at about 5% in a blend its taste was still overwhelming. Gave it away to my uncle, who'd smoke practically anything; even he didn't care for it. Apparently inconsistent: I've heard reports from others who said that the vanilla flavor was barely detectable, while the bag I had was overpowering.

Peter Stokkebye #80 Norwegian - DON'T believe the description given at P&C. It is so heavily topped that it doesn't even taste like tobacco. Maybe a pipe smoker might like it.

Red Cap Regular - PS Norwegian's evil, less expensive, twin! Although not made by Peter Stokkebye, it tastes virtually the same as PS Norwegian ... toppings must be pretty much the same, and equally heavy handed. Another one I gave away to my uncle.

Washington Regular - NCS described it as Republic Tobacco's premium brand. Don't believe it. Bone-dry, brittle, full of tiny stems, shake, and dust. Tastes inoffensive, but forgettable. Worst quality of anything I've ever tried. It wasn't just one "bad" bag. I almost forgot: I'm virtually certain that it's expanded tobacco.
I can also add Cheyenne Red to this list too. Weird taste from some unidentified topping.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 09-17-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:13 AM
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These were my personal favorites:

Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
As of this month, I've been doing MYO (or RYO, SYO - pick your acronym) for five years now, and have tried more "dual purpose" pipe tobaccos than I think I could count. Below is the list of my favorites, though some expressly for blending rather than smoking straight. The last two aren't in my current 'rotation,' but wouldn't rule out buying again.

D&R Three Sails - nice flavor, but needs blending with something milder to tone down its "strength" if it is to be smoked all day.

D&R Windsail - used only for blending; blends nicely with Three Sails and Golden Harvest Robust.

Peter Stokkebye #81 Danish Export - Okay on its own (though a bit too heavily topped), but improved by blending with Talon Regular or Windsail.

Golden Harvest Robust - Good on its own, but "magic" when blended with Windsail.

Talon Regular - Nice taste, with a lemon citrus hint, but less than "full flavor" on its own; blends nicely with PS Danish Export and Three Sails.

Cherokee Original - closer to the taste of Marlboro Red than anything else I've tried straight, but lots of large stems to pick out (i.e. inexpensive for a reason).

D&R Vengeur - pretty typical American blend, not outstanding, but satisfactory on its own; more stems than a premium brand should have.
Btw, my daily blend currently is Golden Harvest Robust (which is now shag cut) and Windsail.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:53 AM
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Wow,thanks for all the quick replies,i have been smoking the cheap decade silvers,19.99 a carton,i cant see spending 40-50 for the major brands.Oh,and I did order Zen tubes.I wish I would have read more on the tobacco posts,I will let you know how the Sparrow was for me,i was just in a hurry too get going with this and had no idea what brand too buy,,,i called the local smokes for less shop and they have tobacco from 9-15 dollars,(15 for 1 lb) and of course no shipping.I also noticed that Tobacco General has the good stuff silver,would this be close too the ultra lite?
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