Cone filling machines need cones. As you read in the post “Why Size Matters” it seems no two papers are the same. Nine holes, eleven papers, four manufacturers, two basic sizes, grams and half grams. I am often asked, ‘what paper do you recommend?’. My response is always the same, “I don’t care.” I build a plate to fit the paper you use. I can cut a hole for any cone. The only paper I can’t cut for is a tube, meaning a cigarette tube. That’s a whole different method of filling and it also requires getting the end user to change away from blunts and I don’t foresee that happening. There’s just something about a blunt … but I digress.
Up to now, no paper manufacturer has shown a willingness to work with me so I have had to go my own way in design and operations. As best I could, I used OEM papers when I developed this machine and took all of my measurements off of this random sample. I feel pretty confident on the 98 Cones and the 98 Raw. As far as I can tell, they are the same size hole. I’ve cut enough of those plates and have a large enough sample set that I am comfortable sending it out no questions asked. Same goes for the 84 Cones which might also be the 84 Futurolla – at least that is what my customer said it was – but I show the “84 Futurolla” as being a totally different hole size. Any pre-roll paper besides the 98 CNZ/R & the 84 CNZ and I will ask you to send me a sample so I can verify my data-set. I’m not willing to send you a machine of an unverified hole size and you don’t want me to either.
I tell you all of this because just here recently, something strange happened. One of my customers called me and told me the Raw 98’s he just got weren’t going in the hole like they used to. He sent me a VDO and sure enough, it wouldn’t go down hole unless pulled and when pulled, it rolled in on itself rendering it useless. I asked him to send me a random handful of these papers so I could examine them and ayup, sure enough, off about .003 of an inch on its top diameter and .002 on the bottom. Now that doesn’t sound like much and it is certainly hard to see w/ the naked eye but when you cut your plate to six decimal places accuracy, the plate finds those anomalies fast.
As we know, both Raw & Cones run out of papers from time to time with back orders until who knows when and partial shipments. They do their best but it seems America has an ever-growing appetite for pre-rolls. It is a market ripe for copies & knock offs. So I go to Raw’s website and sure enough, plastered all over it is the plea to NOT buy anything but True Raw papers. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES~! It seems they are being hacked by bootleggers who look to fill the gap Raw’s own production facilities can’t.
I understand Raw’s position and I understand the producer/processor’s position. There is a market demand for pre-rolls and it needs to be filled. If that means you use bootleg papers, you use bootleg papers and you get by as best you can. But I am here to tell you with absolute certainty that those bootleggers don’t necessarily hold the same standards the OEM does. Sometimes they are a little bigger, sometimes they’re a little smaller, sometimes they are spot on. With the bootleg papers, you just never know.
Me? I’m with the folks at Raw. Stick w/ the real deal and accept no substitutes. The good news is, if your luck of the draw goes south, you are only out $80.