Common crutch guide for beginners

This article originally appeared on and has been republished with permission.

Beginners who have already started rolling their joints naturally want to improve their skills. The next level that can enhance your smoking experience is making filters for your joints and spliffs.

Experienced smokers may find this element unnecessary, but it will be a helping hand for beginners who are new to the field. This post highlights the main benefits of using crutches and provides detailed instructions on how to make a filter for a joint at home.

Step-by-step guide to rolling a crutch

You don’t need any origami background or special equipment to make a crutch for joints; However, you may need some basic techniques to do it professionally. Most beginners roll their first crutches by simply rolling paper into a cylinder; However, this spiral construction has some shortcomings:

  • It is not stable and can lose its shape.
  • The large opening in the center of the crutch allows grass particles to get into your mouth and onto your lips.

The best and easiest way to make kerf filters is detailed below:

  • Take paper for your filter and cut out a piece – a rectangle 2.3”-3” long and ¾”-½” wide. The cuts don’t have to be perfect, but it will be easier to roll something congruent.
  • Start folding at one end of the paper, alternating the direction of the fold. Create a zigzag (or accordion) pattern in the shape of a “W” or “M”. Some people opt for a “V” or “N” design. Make the folds as tight as possible, as these folds will catch excess weed blooms. Folding three to four times will do, but feel free to experiment and see what works better for you. Leave at least half of the paper unfolded.
  • Roll the remaining end of the paper around the folded part until it ends. Hold the paper firmly as you roll it up, as the folds are a little springy and may want to expand or curl up. This extra layer of paper acts as a wrapper that keeps the filter from expanding. To avoid clogging, you can cut off excess material.
  • Place your crutch at the end of the rolling paper and roll it into your joint. The filter retains its shape when rolled into a joint, while its elasticity prevents the filter from falling out of the end of the joint.

Now you can enjoy the benefits of your shared crutch during a smoking session. With a little practice, you’ll find your ideal rolling stock and build crutches like a pro.

Also read: What is a marijuana blunt?

What is a joint filter?

A filter and a crutch are interchangeable words when it comes to joint smoking. It’s a mouthpiece that allows smokers to structure their joints open to airflow. It has several advantages; however, it does not filter out tiny weed particles like a cigarette filter. The main concept of using crutches is to improve the overall smoking experience.

Typically they are put into joints and spliffs and are less common in blunts.

How to roll a crutch

Why use a crutch in a joint?

The filter is not a necessary integration into your joints and you can enjoy smoking without tipping. Still, some stoners can count on better experiences when smoking cannabis flower with a filter. Here are some reasons to do the same:

  • A crutch will help create good shape for your joint and make it look better. It becomes robust and stiff and feels comfortable in the hand.
  • A properly formed hinge improves airflow, making it smooth and even. It’s especially helpful in a tightly rolled joint.
  • The crutch paper does not absorb moisture, so you will not be handed a wet cigarette.
  • It prevents lip and finger burns as you near the end.
  • The filter allows you to smoke your weed without waste, leaving no roaches behind.
  • The plant material has no chance of getting into the mouth.

Because filters perform different functions, it can make sense to use them.

Also read: What is a spliff?

Choosing the material for your filter

Filters can be made of different materials, but it is almost always paper. The best crutch options are:

  • business cards
  • Thin cardboard
  • back of your check book
  • index cards
  • postcards
  • On top of a pack of cigarettes
  • Manila File Folder.

It is important to use strong paper. It shouldn’t be too bulky like a cereal box, but not too flimsy like printer paper. Avoid paper with a lot of dyes and ink on it. It should be free of bleach and other chemicals. Make sure you breathe only natural materials that are safe for your health.

As cannabis has gone mainstream, other versions of crutches have emerged. Aside from paper filters, you may come across filters from:

  • corn husk
  • plastic
  • wood
  • pottery
  • Glass
  • silicone
  • metal
  • activated charcoal

Glass filters are becoming increasingly popular. They look like small hollow cylinders. You roll them into the bottom of your joint, similar to rolling paper. These joint filter alternatives are sturdier and can be reused, which is good for the environment. They cool the smoke and filter out ash, but they don’t keep flowers in a cigarette that’s not rolled properly.

Common filter

Ready made vs homemade filters

If you’re not obsessed with making filters yourself, or if that process adds a lot of extra work to your smoking experience, opt for pre-cut or pre-rolled filters, which require zero labor and save time. When you buy a pre-rolled joint, it often comes with a filter attached.

Choose paper ones because they allow you to taste your cannabis better and enjoy the cleanest smoke. Typically, pre-cut filter paper is 2”-4” long and ¾” wide, depending on the manufacturer. Also, ready-made crutches with a visible filter will help get rid of tar.

Pharmacies sell a variety of brands that make fiber paper crutches. They are made on a special mill and are easy to process. Long grain paper is designed to roll up smoothly and hold its shape well.

Homemade crutches vary in size depending on the material and the smoker’s rolling skills.

Also read: What are pre rolls?


Much like rolling a nice looking joint, there is an art to rolling crutches. Depending on your creativity, there are several ways to roll joint tips. You can design your filter as follows:

  • accordion
  • star
  • heart
  • Mercedes icon
  • cannabis leaf.

After mastering basic rolling exercises, you can perfect your technique and impress your stoner friends with your artwork.

Art of the common crutch

This article originally appeared on and has been republished with permission.

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