There’s nothing worse than burning your fingers on the tail-end of a beautifully rolled spliff filled with dank bud. Sure, you could just toss it, but there’s still perfectly good weed and a few good hits that you could get out of it. Yes, you could unroll the joint and put the remaining bud into a bowl or a water bong, but what if you don’t have one handy?
Of course, you could just stamp it out and put it away for later, when you do have access to some other smoking apparatus, but you don’t want to wait until later… you want to smoke it now!
What’s the solution? How can you smoke the tail-end of your joints – the “roach” – without burning your fingertips? By getting yourself a roach clip, of course!
But wait, what is a roach clip? How do they work? Why should you use one? Where do you find them? Are some roach clips better than others? If you’re just learning about this cannabis accessory, keep on reading to find the answers to these questions and more!
What is a Roach Clip?
In order to understand what a roach clip is, first, you need to know what a roach is.
A “roach” is slang term that is used to describe the base or the end of a joint or a blunt. Once a joint or a blunt has reached this point, it has already been smoked almost to the end. For many cannabis users, roaches are discarded, but given the fact that there can still be a pretty decent amount of weed left in it, and that the weed is resonated, as it was already smoked, the THC content tends to be higher, which means that you can get higher if you smoke it.
Since it’s the end of the blunt or joint, however, roaches tend to be small, and holding onto them can be difficult; plus, because they’re small, in order to smoke a roach, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to burn your fingers.
That’s where a roach clip comes in. A roach clip is a tool that is used to assist you with smoking the end or base of a joint or a blunt without burning your fingers. Typically, it’s made of metal, and it looks kind of like a pair of tweezers, which is, pretty lame bruh.
As you can probably guess, a roach clip is designed to not only make holding onto the end part of a joint or blunt easier, but it prevents you from burning your fingertips. It also gives you the chance to smoke every last little bit of precious weed that you rolled into the paper or wrap.
How does a Roach Clip Work?
A roach clip is very easy to use. The manner in which it works depends on the style; however, the vast majority of roach clips are, as mentioned, similar to a tweezer, and in order to use one, you simply open it up, insert your roach, hold the handle, and enjoy! Alternatively, if you think you’re going to smoke the entire joint or blunt during a single session, you could place it in the clip before you start smoking.
The History of the Roach Clip
Given how handy they are, and the fact that nobody wants to burn their fingers or waste their weed, it comes as no surprise that roach clips are an extremely popular tool among cannabis users; however, the history of the roach clip is a little unclear. Heck, even the history of the term “roach” is largely debated.
What is known about roach clips is that they started becoming popular around about the 1960s, when the counter-culture largely popularized marijuana use. Author Charles Willeford published The Ubiquitous Roach Clip, an upbeat easy that highlighted roach clips as practical smoking tools for smoking marijuana “cigarettes“.
It’s suspected that roach clips were likely used long before Willeford published his essay; however, the essay is a nice reminder of the history of what the culture was like during that time period. Lots of stories that pertain to roach clip use that date back to the 1960s have been circulated, as well.
The story of the American woodworker, Garry Knox Bennett, is a great example; in fact, in a video, he discusses how he created his own roach clips out of necessity, as he thought that smoking joints all the way to the end was quite literally a pain.
Bennet explained that his inventions were such a hit that he started to sell them at headshops, and it didn’t take long for things to really take off, as his pieces were both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Different Types of Roach Clips
There are several different types or roach clips. In his essay The Ubiquitous Roach Clip, Willeford described the first kinds of roach clips as matches bend into the shape of a V, and using it to hold the end of a joint, and then holding the ends of the matches while smoking the joint so as to avoid burning the fingers.
Willeford also states that, “The bobby pin was much better, a natural development as women were drawn inevitably into the weed culture. With one flat interior side, and one bumpy side, the bobby pin was an evolutionary milestone, and a far better roach clip than the ordinary office paper clip, The paper clip, however, which can be bent into various forms, depending upon the twisting skills and artistic inclination of the stone-age artist, held it own with the bobby pin for two or three years.”
Gary Knox Bennett popularized the “fashion-forward” roach clips. Before Bennett designed and sold his own roach clips, these tools were really basic and were anything but glamorous. Practicality was the name of the game, as they were solely used to prevent burnt fingers when smoking the end of a joint.
Out of the counterculture of the 1960s, fancier, more fashionable roach clips came about, and from then on, these tools weren’t just used to get the last drags off a joint with minimal hassle, but rather, they were about making a statement; in other words, they were both functional and fashionable. In fact, Bennett’s artistic designs were so aesthetically pleasing that, for the first time, cannabis users had the luxury of choosing a roach clip that spoke to their taste and style; getting the last puffs off of their joints could be a hassle-free experience while making a style statement.
In the 1980s, roach clip designs further evolved, and the designs reflected the styles of the times, as alligator clips with colorful and fluffy feathers – the type that girls often wore in their hair during the glam-rock decade – came onto the scene and were popularized.
Various other tools have been used as roach clips throughout history, as well. Forceps (or hemostats) for example, were a popular choice, as these scissor-like medical tools were small and featured a clam on the end, which made them ideal for holding the end of a joint.
What are the Benefits of Using a Roach Clip?
You’ve probably guess the benefits of using a roach clip by now, but just in case you haven’t – and if you have, just to reiterate – let’s take a look at the advantages of these handy tools, and why you should totally have one (or several) in your arsenal of cannabis paraphernalia.
Avoid Burning Your Fingers
Without a doubt, one of the biggest pains when you get to the end of a joint or a blunt – and we say “pains”, we mean it quite literally – is burning your fingers. The smaller the joint or blunt gets, the less “unburned” paper there is to hold onto, which means that your fingers can easily get caught by the embers, and boy oh boy, does that smart!
When you use a joint roach – whether you attach it once you reach the end of your spliff or blunt, or you secure it before you start your smoking session – you won’t have to deal with those nuisance and painful burns.
It’s Easier Than Smoking Nubs
If you’ve ever tried smoking an itty bitty nub of a joint or a blunt, you know what a hassle it is to handle. If you haven’t trust us when we say that it’s a big hassle. For fear of burning yourself, you can easily drop the little sucker, and even if you aren’t afraid of singing your fingers, holding onto that little thing while taking a drag from it can be downright impossible.
Passing it around a cipher? Forget it! With a roach clip, smoking a roach is a much easier, hassle-free experience. Rather than holding onto the tail-end of your joint or blunt, you’ll hold onto the ends of your roach clip, which makes it easier to maneuver and take a drag from, and to pass around the cipher.
Maximize How Far Your Herb Will Go
Being that you’ll be able to smoke your joints and blunts right down to the bitter end, you’ll save yourself some money when you use a roach clip. If you smoke joints or blunts on a regular basis, think about how much weed you’d waste over the course of a year if you were just to snuff it out or toss it on the ground when it got to small?
When you use a roach clip, you won’t have to waste any of that precious weed you rolled up, which can amount to significant savings.
Add Style To Your Smoking Experience
Roach clips are just fun to use, especially when you take into account that there are so many different styles to choose from. From bedazzled and spangled to vibrant colors and basic metals, there are so many different styles available that you’ll literally be able to showcase your individuality right through your roach clip! Plus, even if it’s the most basic design, you just kind of feel fancy and special when you use a roach clip.
The Best Roach Clips on the Market
Okay, so now that you have some background info about roach clips, now let’s get to the fun stuff! After scouring the Internet and searching high and low, our investigative editorial team narrowed down the options to what we believe are the best roach clips on the market.
From fun and fancy to basic and practical, the following are our top picks for the best roach clips.
Ganganmax 3 Pieces Cigarette Holder Ring
Advertised as a cigarette holder, this super-cool set can totally be used as joint roaches. This 3-piece set features skull claws in black, silver, and cold. All are made of corrosion-resistant copper and have a high hardness for extreme durability. They’re also super easy to use and they can be adjusted to achieve the perfect fit.
Tom’s Wheezes Copper Finger Cigarette Holder Ring Vintage Snake
You’ll totally draw the crowd’s attention with the snake-shaped cigarette holder that can easily be used to secure a roach. Made of corrosion-resistant copper, the tail of the snake wraps around the finger, creating ring, and the mouth stands up and holds the roach in place, allowing you to easily access it so you can enjoy a hassle-free, fashion-forward experience.
XueHao 3 Piece Cigarette Holder Ring Elegant Butterfly and Little Turtle Bee Finger
If you’re looking for something that’s more cutsy, this 3-piece set from XueHao is a great choice. It’s another ring-style cigarette holder, and it comes with three more feminine designs, including a red butterfly, an iridescent bumblebee, and a gold turtle with a turquoise shell.
Lil’ Handy Roach Clip and Bowl Cleaning Nail
The Lil’ Handy Roach Clip and Bowl Cleaning Nail is a handy two-in-one tool that features a fun novelty design. It’s a small hand with two fingers extended that are positioned to hold a joint; just place your roach between the fingers to smoke it down to the very end.
The opposite end of the tool features a cleaning nail, which is the perfect tool for cleaning out bowls. It’s backed by a lifetime free replacement warranty, and is constructed of durable materials.
A2Z Scilab Hemostat Locking Forceps 5” Curved with Full Serrated Jaws
Rounding out our list of roach clips is this basic forceps-style tool. The serrated jaws will firmly grip around your roaches and secure them in place, while the scissor-like finger openings are comfortable and convenient to hold. The rainbow color adds a touch of interest, too.
Herb CEO Summary
Do you NEED a roach clip? Well, not necessarily. If your filters are long enough you don’t have to worry so much about burning, and heck, if you’re out and about it can be a hassle to bring along any more extra equipment than you absolutely need.
All that said, when it comes to blazing at home we have found roach clips not only a practical way to smoke our joints all the way down to the filter as to not waste any flower, but the clips themselves also offer an opportunity to inject a little personality into an otherwise straightforward process.
Just as custom hand-blown glass pipes reflect the users personality and taste in art and expression so can roach holders, albeit on a slightly smaller and probably less intricate scale.
Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API