Guide to the Best Pre Roll Machines for 2023

best pre roll machines 2023

Why Even Use a Pre Roll Machine?

The rise of automated pre-roll machines has significantly impacted the cannabis production arena over the past few years. Previously, if you wanted to produce joints in high volumes, to the tune of hundreds or even thousands of pre rolls a day, it was a tedious manual process requiring a dedicated army of personnel from dusk till dawn loading, filling, packing, and carefully closing each pre-roll by hand. An automated pre roll machine will simplify your production process by filling and packing dozens of pre-rolls, maximizing efficiency and capacity.

With the rise of small and large filling and packing machines, meeting large production pre-roll demands is now a reality. These joint-filling machines typically fill between 50 and 500 pre-rolls at a time and are efficient, fast, and cost-effective, saving you time and reducing labor costs. The return on investment (ROI) is usually achieved in a matter of weeks, making them an excellent investment for your operation.

What is a Pre-Roll, and How Are They Made?

A pre-roll is another name for a marijuana or hemp joint which is smoked. Ground cannabis is packed into various types of paper cones. Instead of straight cigarette-style papers, joints use paper cones where the top is wider than the bottom. The filter or crutch is the part you draw from and hold onto during smoking.

Joints used to be rolled by hand or in other ways manually until the Futurola Knockbox 100 came onto the scene and changed the game forever. Instead of having a line of employees manually making joints, the Knockbox could do 100 in a few minutes.

What Type of Business Would Use a Compact Pre Roll Machine?

  • Smaller cannabis production facilities are looking to do a few hundred weekly pre-rolls.
  • Retail and medical cannabis dispensaries that produce their joints in-house.
  • Extensive cannabis production facilities that are looking to do smaller boutique runs.
  • Individuals who like to smoke much weed.

How to Select a Compact Pre-Roll Machine?

The best way to select a pre roll machine is to decide on your budget and needs. Choose a joint rolling machine that will meet your production goals while keeping any future growth and expansion in mind.

Manual systems such as Buddie’s Bump Box, Thousand Per Hour, and even the Knockbox are designed for light-duty production. If you have the staff and your goal is to make a few hundred a day, any of those machines will probably suffice.

However, if you want to scale and grow your production output, you will need to consider a commercial-grade machine at some point. A machine such as the Mini-RocketBox Plus is considered a commercial grade pre roll machine that is durable and can handle the rigorous demands of your production if that is your goal. This type of machine is good quality, sturdy and reliable which will last a long time. The Mini-RocketBox can run continuously if needed.

How Much Do Compact Pre Roll Machines Cost?

Smaller pre roll machines vary in price and tend to range between $2500-6000. The price difference can vary greatly; typically, the higher-priced machines use superior-grade components and have a higher capacity per cycle.

A cycle is defined as a single run in a given machine. When comparing costs, consider what you get in the base packages with your machines. These machines are generally part of a more extensive system, and the extras can add up, making the lower-priced machine less cost-effective.

How Do Compact Pre Roll Machines Work?

All pre-roll machines use some tray or loading system to place the blank cones. The vibration pre roll machine mechanism uses gravity to help fill the cones. Generally, this type of machine works by pouring your material onto the machine as it is running or something similar.

The Futurola Knockbox uses a tamping system that bounces the cones up and down while lightly tapping the crutches of the papers during filling.

The Thousand Per Hour is lightweight and comes with a tray to hold the cones and a fill funnel to pour your material.

The Mini-RocketBox Plus uses a more sophisticated vibration system consisting of nitrogen-filled airbags and a powerful variable vibration motor. The cones free-float in the trays as they vibrate, fill, and pack—no tamping or touching the cones.

How Many Pre Rolls Can a Compact Machine Make?

The Knockbox can fill either 50 or 100 cones approximately every two minutes, depending on which machine you get. The machines and trays are not interchangeable, and you need to purchase separate machines to do either size.

The Thousand Per Hour 128 can fill 128 cones in a few minutes. It is super light and portable. You can use standard trays or buy custom-size trays, which makes this machine quite versatile.

The Mini-RocketBox Plus can fill 143 pre-rolls in 30-45 seconds. Unlike the Knockbox, you only need one machine to do either 143 or 50, depending on how small or large a run you need. There is also an option to purchase the new Mini-50 tray to do smaller runs of 50 with the same machine. The Mini-RocketBox weighs about 35 pounds.

How Portable are these Compact Pre Roll Machines?

The KnockBox is primarily plastic and weighs just a couple of points. The Thousand Per Hour combines stainless steel and plastic and weighs about 10 pounds. The Mini-RocketBox is primarily composed of stainless steel and aluminum, along with commercial components, weighing around 35 pounds.

Do Pre Roll Machines Make Good Joints?

Pre roll machines generally make good quality joints providing you are using good quality papers, have the proper grind size, and are using good quality flower material.

What is the Best Grind for a Pre Roll?

The best grind is not too fine, powder-like, or coarse with stems and seeds. If your grind is too fine (powder-like), your joints will overfill and not have a good smoking experience, as pulling through a densely packed pre-roll will be difficult.

Conversely, a course joint may have air pockets and weak necks, causing an uneven burn and a poor smoking experience. Grinders such as the Futurola Shredders can get the job done quickly. If you want to take more care with your grinding, the STM Revolution cannabis grinders are known for their low heat, low friction grinding technology to preserve your precious terpenes and cannabinoids. This comes at a higher price; however, the results are worth it to some producers.

What Are the Best Pre Roll Paper Cones to Use in a Pre Roll Machine?

There are a variety of pre-rolled cone paper types and sizes. The most common are organic or bio-organic (hemp), regular classic brown hemp, white rice, or flax-type papers. The typical sizes are 84mm (½ gram), 98mm or 98 Specials, and 109mm or King Sized. Crutch sizes vary. However, most standard cones use a 26mm crutch though you will also find 20mm, 30mm, and everything in between.

Raw and Elements brand papers are the most common and have been around the longest. Raw papers date back to the 1990s and are the world’s most well-known brand. Several other good papers are available from The Rolling Paper Company, Hara Supply, and Custom Cones.

What Types of Pre-Rolls are Popular in 2022?

Pre-roll sales have been steadily rising into 2022, and the data shows 50% growth over 2020 despite Covid-19. Joints of all types and sizes are widespread, including your typical pre-roll, infused pre-rolls, and the growth and rise in CBD hemp pre-roll.

Production facilities that diversify and offer several pre-roll options for sale will need to use some automated pre-roll machines to maximize production efficiencies.

How Fast are Small Compact Pre-Roll Machines?

Using a pre-roll machine is much faster than rolling by hand. The Futurola Knockbox fills and packs 50 or 100 (depending on which model you have) in about 2 minutes. The Mini-RocketBox Plus with the 50 or 143 tray fills and packs in roughly 30-45 seconds.

How Accurate are Small Compact Pre Roll Machines?

Most are reasonably accurate, like the Futurola KnockBox and Thousand Per Hour 128. Sometimes, fairly accurate is not close enough, as some states and countries, such as Canada, have strict requirements for pre-roll weights. The Mini-RocketBox can fill and pack with accuracy variance within 10% or less.

What sets the Mini-RocketBox Plus apart from the others is that it utilizes a proprietary Lift Plate to level out the cones during filling and an Adjustable Top Tray to regulate fill volume into the cones. Both of these enhancements allow the Mini-RocketBox to produce results with accuracy.

Furthermore, the Mini-RocketBox can control the vibration motor speed to get that targeted pack. The Mini-RocketBox is much more versatile and can hit the weights you require with no pre-weighing of material, saving you much time.

What is the Best Way to Close or Fold Pre-Rolls?

The best way to close joints is a personal preference. Poorly packed joints may not pull properly, or you can have “canoeing,” which is uneven burning. Closing your joints properly can impact the smoke of the joint.

Some people like to twist the ends, so they have something to light when smoking. The “dimple” or “fold” is the best overall method. This allows you to tightly (but not too tightly) pack the joint while dimpling the end. This makes the joint burn more evenly (no canoeing) and looks much cleaner. Check out this video which shows you how to do the typical twist close and the incredible dimple method.

What is the Best Small Pre-Roll Machine?

The Futurola Knockbox 100 has been the standard go-to pre-roll machine for years. A Knockbox fills 100 joints simultaneously but is not under constant use. It was not made for that purpose. It is a light-medium-duty machine. Likewise, the Thousand Per Hour 128 is a light and capable machine for those on a budget.

If you are seeking a fast and efficient machine built to be a workhorse, look no further than the Mini-RocketBox, which is the best bang for your buck.

The Mini-RocketBox is the absolute best compact pre roll machine for these reasons:

  • The Mini-RocketBox Plus is made of stainless steel and aluminum, making it durable.
  • The Mini-RocketBox Plus only uses food-grade materials and is OSHA-compliant.
  • The Mini-RocketBox Plus uses industrial-grade components and is the only compact commercial joint rolling machine.
  • The Mini-RocketBox Plus is faster and fills a more significant capacity at 143 in 30-45 seconds. Check out STM Canna’s YouTube playlist for the 45-Second Challenge, where people who have never operated the Mini-RocketBox fill and pack 143 joints in 45 seconds!
  • The Mini-RocketBox Plus is more versatile and accurate with a variable motor speed control, Adjustable Top Tray to regulate fill volume, and Lift Plate to level cones for accurate filling. The optional 50 tray adds to this versatility.
  • Finally, the Mini-RocketBox Plus is faster than any other machine available. It is also the simplest to use – load empty cones, add material (no pre-weighing necessary), and in 45 seconds or less, you will have 143 accurately filled pre-rolled cones.

Furthermore, the Mini-RocketBox Plus improves significantly upon 2019’s Mini-RocketBox in speed, quality of pack, and accuracy of weights. The Plus model adds the adjustable Top Tray and the Lift Plate leveling technology and is twice as fast.

At $6000, the Mini-RocketBox Plus is light years ahead of the competition for the reasons above. Once you add the 1-year warranty backed by a special STM Client Services support team, there is only one clear choice – The Mini-RocketBox Compact Pre Roll Machine is the best pre-roll machine for 2023.

Connect with us on Linkedin! We love to hear from prospective customers no matter where you find us!

We also just wrote a recent article discussing pre roll filling machines. Check it out if you have a chance. 

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