If you’ve ever smoked a high-quality pre-roll, you’ve already experienced joint filters. Also known as crutches, joint filters are one of the most important parts of an enjoyable smoking experience for several reasons. For starters, they protect your lips from heat as you smoke the joint down to the filter, and they also help the joint maintain its shape— even when you’re smoking with a group of people who tend to slobber on the joint. The most important thing though is that a crutch helps to prevent you from inhaling scooby snacks, or little pieces of weed inhaled through the end of the joint as you smoke. While you can smoke joints without filters, including one can benefit you in several ways. However, it helps to have a proper joint filter to keep you scoob free and to keep your smoke sesh comfortable. Here’s everything you need to know about how to roll a filter for your joints on your own.

Choosing the right materials for your crutch 

The best material for making a filter is always going to be specially designed filter tips from brands like RAW, since they are the optimal size and thickness, and highly malleable. If you don’t have these to hand, you still have options. You can make a filter out of a few different materials, but it’s important to always use some sort of thin card. You want something thinner than a rigid cardboard cereal box, and something thicker than a regular old flimsy piece of paper. Typically you’ll have good results with index cards, manila folders, magazine subscription cards, the top of a cigarette pack, or the back flap of a checkbook. You should avoid using any card that has a plastic lining, like you’ll find on many business cards. It also helps to avoid rigid papers with lots of ink or dyes on them, but these materials will definitely do you in a pinch. You can also go for reusable crutches or pre-made filters, which we’ll talk more in depth about later.

How to make joint filters: step by step 

If you’re ready to learn how to make a filter for a joint, start by selecting your ideal filter material, and watch the video and follow the steps below.

1. Start by taking a thin piece of paper

how to make joint filter

We recommend using specially made filter tips from brands such as RAW or OCB since they offer perfect thickness and malleability.  However, you can fashion a filter out of various types of thin card. In these cases, rip it or cut it with scissors to approximately 60mm long and 17mm wide, which equates to 2.3” long and about 0.5″ wide. The cuts don’t have to be perfect, but it’ll be easier to roll your crutch with something congruent.

2. Make a few small accordion folds on one end of the paper

how to make a crutch for a joint

Once you have your filter card, you can start folding it into shape. The best way to start is to make a few accordion-style folds at one end of the paper. That just means fold one side towards you and one side away from you. Make the folds on the small side, as you’ll only be folding half of the filter this way. Try not to crease the paper when you’re folding it, as it’ll make the crutch too tight to draw smoke from. You can make as many folds as you like. Some people go with a V shape, while others go for an M or add even more folds, so feel free to experiment to find what you like best.

3. Roll the remaining paper around the folds

how to make a filter for a joint

Your folds will be a little springy. With one hand, you can pinch the folds down gently to hold them in place, and then you’ll roll the remaining paper around the folded part. Make sure you have at least half of the paper unfolded so you can wrap it completely around the crutch.

4. Wrap up all the excess paper

how to roll a filter for a joint

Your crutch should roll into a nice rounded shape between your fingers. Roll all the excess paper around your filter and trim off any excess. Keep in mind that with your springy folds, the crutch may want to unroll or expand. However, that’s nothing to worry about. Once it’s rolled into the joint, it’ll hold its shape and the springiness will keep it locked in place.

5. Roll the crutch into your joint

rolling joint filter

Once you have your finished crutch, you can place it at the end of your rolling paper and roll it into your joint like normal. It helps to leave a little bit of the crutch sticking out during the rolling process, but you can push it in when you’re done rolling your joint to make it flush with the end of the paper. After that you’re all set! You can enjoy all of the benefits of crutches and make them yourself easily.

Best filter tips for joints

If cutting and trimming a piece of cardstock paper seems like a lot of work, you’re right. It totally is.

RAW filter tips for joints
RAW filter tips for joints

That’s why we really like pre-cut crutches, like the ones RAW makes. Their standard tips use long-fiber paper made using a specialized mill, and are unbleached and unrefined. That means they fold and roll more smoothly, and also won’t mess with your flavors or cause any unpleasant side effects of accidentally burning dyes like you might with business cards. RAW’s filter tips are also the perfect amount of rigid, making them a great choice for newbies and for holding their shape in your mouth. Best of all, they’re super cheap.

RAW filter tips


Raw Rolling Papers Perforated Wide Cotton Filter Tips 10 Pack = 500 Tips, 50 Count (Pack of 10)
  • Raw Natural Perforated Wide Cotton Tips
  • 50 Tips Per Pack - 10 Packs = 500 Tips
  • Perforated Sides For Easy Rolling
  • Natural Hemp and Cotton, Chlorine Free
  • Suitable For Vegans

Zen Filter Tips

Zen Roll Your Own Cigarette Paper Filter Rolling Tips (5)
  • Zen Roll Your Own Cigarette Paper Filter Rolling Tips
  • Zen Paper Filter Tips add strength to the end of the cigarette
  • Keeps tobacco dry and helps keep roll-your-own tobacco out of your mouth
  • This listing includes 50 sheets per pack of Zen Paper Filter Tips that are perforated for easy rolling
  • Available in package quantities of 5, 10, 24, and 50

OCB filter tips

1 Box OCB Virgin Perforated Filter Tips 25 booklets x 50 Paper Filters
  • perforated filter tips for easy rolling
  • unbleached paper
  • total 25 x 50 = 1250 paper filter tips
  • size of the booklet : 60 x 18 x 9mm
  • brand new, never used



Reusable crutches are also an option 

Reusable crutch for joint
These reusable joint filters work perfectly and are much better for the environment than paper tips.

If the whole process adds a ton of extra work to your workflow, you can always opt for reusable filter tips. Reusable filter tips are typically made of glass and slide right into your joint. They cost a little more than RAW filter tips, but they’re also better for the environment and can be cleaned and reused time and time again. You can even get pre-rolled crutches to save yourself some time.

All in all, rolling filter tips is such an important part of a joint. Knowing how to roll a filter can elevate your joint game and also protect your lips along with the integrity of your joint, and prevent you from inhaling little bits of weed. Whether you opt for a reusable crutch or roll your own, they’re a necessary part of a quality joint smoking experience. Let us know how it works for you!


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