Cone vs Pinner: How to Roll the Perfectly Shaped Joint

How to Roll the Perfectly Shaped Joint

Whether you prefer a straight, cigarette-style joint or the classic cone, we all strive to roll the perfectly shaped joint. Not only do pearled joints look good, they smoke more evenly than their elbowed counterparts. This step-by-step how to roll a cone joint (or pinner) visual guide will make it easy to roll an photo-worthy joint.

good vs bad joint

First: Use a Joint Rolling Kit

A joint rolling kit is ideal for managing your smoking essentials because you need a few different items!

smoking kit

Before you get started, make sure you have all your supplies: the best rolling papers, a great herb grinder, rolling tips, cannabis, a poker of some kind, etc. If you need a smart system for managing these items, check out our article on smell proof stash cases. If you need to buy a full size two or four piece grinder, we highly recommend shopping with Billowby. They're the premiere online headshop for grinders and glass.

  1. Place the Crutch

    rolling joint tips use a crutch

    Crutches, or rolling tips, provide a perfect cylinder to which the rolled cannabis can be integrated. The crutch establishes the joint’s general shape and size and provides a stable area to hold the joint while arranging the bud. We prefer to let part of the crutch stick out the end of the rolling paper as shown.

  2. Arrange the Bud

    rolling a joint guide

    IMPORTANT: The ground bud must be evenly arranged in the trough of the rolling paper. While this may sound obvious, this step is often overlooked or rushed. If the bud isn't evenly dispersed in the paper prior to rolling, the act of rolling of the joint into the desired shape will be significantly harder.

    joint cone vs pinner

    Thus, if you are attempting to roll a pinner, the ground bud should be set in the paper as shown in the top of the photo. Alternatively, if you prefer cone joints, arrange in a manner consistent with the lower image.

  3. Roll the Paper

    rolling the joint

    Time to actually roll the bud. This step can be the most challenging as it requires a gentle touch that only comes with practice. The goal is to move the paper back and forth between your fingers, shaping the bud into either a straight cylinder (pinner joint) or a cone joint.

    how to roll a joint

    Take your time with this step – if the bud does not hold their cylindrical shape on their own (without your hands pinching the paper), you need to keep rolling, compressing, and shaping. This is arguably the most crucial step in the entirety of the joint rolling process.

    cone vs pinner joint

    Once you have finished shaping the joint, continue to roll the paper between your fingers until the closest flap is oriented as indicated above. Notice that the angle at which the joint is rolled will depend on the desired shape.

  4. Tuck, Lick & Stick

    tucking a joint rolling tips

    These final moves will seal the paper into its cylindrical shape and determine how tightly the joint is rolled. The tighter the roll, the slower and smoother the joint will burn. The tuck should be initiated at the crutch, focusing on eliminating all slack in the rolling paper. If you are having trouble, try using both thumbs and tuck the first inch of the paper while using the crutch for support. This is another tricky step for those new to joint rolling – don’t get discouraged, keep practicing.

    how to roll a joint guide

    If you have successfully tucked the first portion of the papers but are struggling to complete the tuck (because the paper is crinkling), try using one hand to pull the end of the paper as shown above. This will help eliminate crinkles in the paper, resulting in a tighter, more even roll. Once the entire flap is tucked, keep rolling. At this point the joint should be mostly rolled and it's time to lick glue strip and stick it down. Some find it easier to lick the glue on the first half of the paper (closest to the crutch) and stick it down prior to licking and sticking the second half.

    Pro Tip: You can lick through the paper and still activate the glue strip to seal the second half of the joint.

  5. Lock Down the Crutch

    push crutch in joint

    Recall how we left a little crutch hanging out the back of the rolling paper. Now that you're rolled, you can push the crutch in towards the rolled bud, effectively tightening the connection between the crutch and the cannabis. After pushing the crutch in to seal the gap, you can give it a quick lick to adhere the rolling paper to the crutch. This mitigates the likelihood of the crutch falling out of the joint.

  6. Pack the Tip

    rolling a joint guide

    There are a few final touches that will help culminate all of your hard work up to this point. Now that you have a rolled joint, its time to pack it and twist it off. The concept behind packing your joint is similar to packing a cigarette – the goal being a slower, even burning final product. Packing joints also reduce the likelihood of the cherry falling out of the lit joint as the result of a loose roll. There are a variety of methods used to pack joints, we will outline the most common. Note: it is possible to pack a joint too tight! When this happens, it’s nearly impossible to get a proper draw due to lack of airflow.


    muzzle load a joint

    Muzzle loading is a good way to add a little extra size to the end of your joint. The technique involves shoving ground bud into the tip of the joint similar to loading an in-line rifle. It is best performed with some sort of tool – a pen, dabber, scissors, house key, headphone cord, etc. Use a tool of your choice to help push the bud into the cylindrical tip of the joint and compress it down.


    drop a joint to pack

    This packing technique entails dropping the joint (crutch down) onto a hard surface – essentially letting gravity do all the work. We have found that several repeated drops from a few inches above a table (or other hard surface) tends to result in the best pack.


    shake joint

    This method of packing joints uses centrifugal force and your fingertips to compress and pack the joint. This technique only works if you have some rolling paper at the tip of the joint to pinch and hold. Once you have the paper at the tip of the joint secured between your fingers, gently use your wrist to shake the joint back and forth as indicated.

  7. Twist & Seal

    perfect joint

    Give the paper at the tip of your joint a slight twist to seal it and you're done! By utilizing any or all of these rolling techniques, you will produce a superior joint that results in a more pleasurable smoking experience.

    perfect joints

  8. Roll it Inside out for the Perfect Joint

    Truly slow burning, perfect joints are rolled inside out! Learn how to roll a perfect joint with the paper inside out. Many people find that all the same techniques apply and it's easier than rolling the regular way. Did you know that the type of rolling papers you use will affect how your joint rolls, smokes, and tastes? As a rule of thumb; the thinner the paper, the slower the burn. If you have never tried an ultra-thin rice paper, now is the time.

Rolling Like a Pro on the Go

smell proof container

You can carry all your joint rolling supplies and concentrates in the smell proof Safety Case, and by storing extra flower and concentrates in your smell proof containers, you can vape, roll another, and even pack a one hitter on the go. Did you know you can even roll CBD into a joint for medical benefits?


Try CBD in Your Joint