What is a Roach Clip and is it Worth It

Roach clips first became popular in the 1970s and they have only been evolving since. From their humble beginnings as a paper clip, they became recreated as pieces of artwork. They are now more common than you think. But you also might be thinking, “Is a roach clip worth it?”

by: Amy B. | 04/18/21 1:30PM


You might notice fancy new roach clips popping up all over your social media feed these days. They are one of the trendiest joint-smoking tools right now, partly because of their evolution into being classy pieces made with gold and extra embellishments. You might be wondering - “Will using a roach clip really improve my smoking experience? Is a $40 roach clip really worth it?” While the answers to your questions depend on your personal style and budget, we do have some more information on different types of roach clips available.

What is a Roach Clip?

A roach clip is a classic joint smoker’s tool that first became popular in the 1970s. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a roach clip is defined as “a metal clip that resembles tweezers and is used by cannabis and tobacco smokers to hold a roach.” Realistically, a lot of different objects can be used to hold a joint when it burns down too far, but not all of them look cool to use.

roach being smoked with a roach clip grey background

How to Use a Roach Clip?

You typically use a roach clip when it’s too short to hold. If a joint burns down too far, it could potentially burn your fingertips, and that’s not a great way to end a good smoke session. You can also use a roach clip the entire time you are smoking a joint, to give your session a touch of flair. A roach clip is also a lot easier to pass around a circle of friends too.


What Kinds of Roach Clips Are There?

If you can pinch the end of a joint with something, then you can technically use it as a roach clip. If you allow your imagination and ingenuity to run wild you could come up with some pretty creative roach clips. However, not everything will work well as a roach clip or joint holder. That’s why there are a few common types of tools used as handy clips.

Do it yourself joint clips

DIY Roach Clips

One of the first tools used as a roach clip was a wooden match, with a split down the middle to pinch the joint. Although this worked, chopsticks would have probably worked better but be a bit more difficult to pass around a circle. The next evolution was the paperclip. You simply bent the paper clip into a “V” shape and placed the joint in the crease. Again, although this will work, it is not the best design for holding, passing, and smoking since the joint can slip out. The best ready-made DIY roach clip is probably a simple bobby pin. This basic hairpin is made with one flat side and a ridged side sandwiched together. The ridges not only grip hair well, but they also work as the perfect groove to place the tip of a joint in.

Some artists took these rudimentary designs and added a whole lot of flair to them. One artist in the 1960’s named Garry Knox Bennet, became popular for his ornate roach clip designs. His clips look like mini statues, with artistic insects designed for holding joints. However, these elaborate designs soon gave way to a much simpler device for holding joints.

Alligator Clips

After the use of roach clips rose in popularity, they began to be made with alligator clips. Alligator clips resemble clothespins but are made from metal, which will withstand the heat of a burning joint much better than wood. They are much smaller than a clothespin and perfect for attaching to decorated wires or even peacock feathers. Since these clips can be easily mass-produced and attached to various objects, they are one of the most popular versions of the roach clip yet.



Those who are looking for an even sturdier roach clip should look no further than one made with a hemostat. This tool looks like a pair of scissors, but they aren’t sharp and have the perfect clamping narrow tip to hold a burning joint perfectly. They are also perfect for medical procedures, which is what this tool is normally used for. However, some ingenious smokers decided to use the tool and it is remained popular for its second use. These style roach clips are especially handy when it comes to holding large joints or cigar-sized pre-rolls.

Joint holders from nyvapeshop blue background

Joint Holders

Joint holders are also growing in popularity, and are a recreation of a classic cigarette holder. These elegant holders are now made in a variety of materials, including wood, stone, and medical-grade silicone. They are designed to hold the joint from lighting to roach, with a touch of flair. Some joint holders can even hold two joints at once, while others fit perfectly on your finger for a personal session with style. These handy tools can help keep your fingers safe and fresh, with a proactive layer between you and the burning joint.

If you are looking for a way to deck out your smoking setup, and you enjoy smoking pre-rolls then a cool roach clip is definitely worth a try. There are a ton of options to check out online to fit a variety of styles and budgets. The best part is that they save your fingertips, and you will look stylish while doing it!

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