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What is Cigar Glue?

Just fixing my morning cigar for today's enjoyment
Just fixing my morning cigar for today’s enjoyment

What is Cigar Glue? It depends who you ask.

Pectin is produced commercially as a white to light brown powder, mainly extracted from citrus fruits, and is used in food as a gelling agent, particularly in jams and jellies. It is also used in fillings, medicines, sweets, as a stabilizer in fruit juices and milk drinks, and as a source of dietary fiber. It is available in the canning section of most grocery stores. In the cigar industry, pectin is considered an excellent substitute for vegetable glue and many cigar smokers and collectors will use pectin for repairing damaged tobacco wrapper leaves on their cigars.

Though pectin is typically considered a viable alternative for end users to repair a damaged cigar, typically that isn’t exactly what the factory uses though what they do use is very similar.

Each factory typically has their own cigar glue recipe (however the most popular is called Bermocoll 320) , however all of them are similar. The majority of cigar companies use a vegetable based glue as they are easily and cheaply made, and get their adhesive qualities from the natural polymer chains of organic molecules found in plant starches. A patent was filed in 1918 for a ‘new’ way of making Vegetable Glue.

The end result is that Cigar Glue during manufacturing typically means vegetable glue, whereas cigar glue when described by an end user typically means Pectin.

The reason for the discrepancy is that though both do nearly the exact same job, Vegetable Glue typically becomes easier and less costly when used in large quantities (such as a factory making cigars) whereas Pectin is less costly and easier when used for small qualities, such as repairing a few cigars at home.

To use Pectin it typically means mixing a teaspoon or two of powder with water and applying it on the cigar,

When using Vegetable Glue it generally means a much longer process, because you’re making much larger quantities. Making Vegetable glue involves boiling water, mixing in things such as flour or other Vegetable base, tons of mixing, cooling it down and stirring to make sure that it has the proper constancy. IE: it’s a big process for a small cigar repair project and isn’t regarded as the most efficient way to go about repairing a handful of cigars.