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Pinching Vs back-of-hand/anatomical snuffbox

JinderJinder Member
edited September 2011 in General
Hi all,
How do you feel about the relative pros and cons of each snuffing approach?

I find back-of-the-hand is great for coarse snuffs and those less likely to cause heavy nose burn, whereas pinching seems to be better for fine snuffs, in my experience.

I have been enjoying Grand Cairo lately, but only when I pinch it-I find I get monumental, galloping nose burn if I take it from the back of my hand/ASB. Is this normal?

Some of my snuffs seem made for the back of the hand (Schmalzlers, President, Hedges, Old Paris,CoC, Anarkali) whereas the more peppery or feisty snuffs seem to fare much better when pinched.


  • howdydavehowdydave Member
    edited September 2011 PM
    I prefer the boxcar method myself (putting your pinch onto your thumbnail.) You don't sweat or excrete body oils out of your thumbnail.

    Method: Wrap your index finger around the end of your thumb. The end of the thumbnail should be resting between the top and middle knuckle of the finger, far enough down to make a little, sheltered hole that is resistant to light winds.

    Sweat and body oils are what make me dead set against sticking fingers into my snuff box. From the time the snuff comes out of the container until it hits my thumbnail, my snuff remains "untouched by human hands."
  • I find that with certain snuffs I prefer different methods of taking said snuff. So for one snuff I may only pinch it but with other I will find it more appropriate to take it off the back of my hand...or it could just me being odd, but at any rate goes with whatever works for you remember it's getting the snuff into your nose that matters.
  • The pinch; more control and very discreet when you are practised at it (should discretion be an issue which it seems to be for a lot of US members)
  • @howdydave

    Urg, I have the same issue with the pinch. Once or twice is OK, but after a few I get it worked into the whorls of the fingerprint. Messy. Do you tap out onto the thumbnail, or do you sort of scoop with your nail?
  • howdydavehowdydave Member
    edited September 2011 PM
    @SudoSnuff -- I tap out.

    Wooden snuff boxes with the lid only opened a crack (aligned vertically) or reusable tap boxes both work well.
  • My experience with off the back of the hand, or its derivatives:
    *sniff*....nothing happens
    *SNiff*...some snuff in the nose..
    *SNIff*....all snuff now in throat/sinuses/where it shouldn't be. Every time. A pinch gets the job done very quickly, but your mileage may vary.
  • I always pinch. I do the one pinch, both nostrils method, where I take a big pinch, then snuff half in the left, then half in the right. 99% of the time it works, everytime... :)

    My experience of back of the hand-ing is exactly as @matsnuffs describes.
  • A dry thumbnail always has the same adhesiveness.
    The adhesiveness of skin is a variable.

    (I was going to say "a sticky issue" but I thought better of it.)
  • One generous pinch split between each nostril.
    I don't need any extra steps getting between me and my tobacco
  • Most of the snuff I use I pinch, for example Hedges and Toque pomegranate but for some reason the finer snuffs I use like WoS Best SP I have to take from the back of my hand. The problem with pinching is that my finger nails gets pretty dodgy and with the back of the hand method if I don't pay attention my mustache ends up sweeping most of it up.
  • If I can pinch it I will. If I have to pour it out I will pour in onto the back of my hand. I'm not going to go out of my way for one or the other so it really just depends on the container it comes in or that I have it in. I have boxes, bottles, jars, tins, bags, and crocks, some with spoons too. I don't recall ever having made a choice of what to put in where so that I will be using a specific delivery method. In fact I think the Patrick Collins Triple Tec would stump me if I used one.
  • @matsnuffs

    Same thing here! Unless it's a Schmalzler, anything finer than medium grind brings some pain. The thing is with the back of the hand method I have to guess where the snuff really is because I can't see what's going on. After a couple of fails most of the time I apply too much power and dang! it hurts the brain!
  • I always use a spoon with the moist and coarse snuffs, and the back of the hand for most others. I find that pinching has become white difficult for me, probably because I'm so out of practice. With Toque Original, however, I find that pinching guarantees a coughing fit and insuffalating it too far into the sinuses. I find that the back of the hand method works best at mitigating this. I still cough pretty often though. Don't know what it is about Toque Original that makes me cough.
  • I'm fascinated by how everyone's experiences vary in this regard.

    I think it's very dependent on snuff and snuffer-I guess we all end up falling into a routine in the end.
  • I'm basically with @Juxtaposer here....I don't go outta my way to get it into a different container...but back of hand or its derivatives just don't do it for me.
  • howdydavehowdydave Member
    edited September 2011 PM
    The boxcar/thumbnail method works well in the discression department if I am using a tapbox.

    Another benefit to the boxcar method should be noted by others with a moustache...

    It is easier to fit a thumbnail right underneath a nostril then it is to use the backhand method. This insures that more snuff actually gets into your nose.

    I suppose that the pinch would be even better, but I still don't want to contaminate the snuff in my snuff box with sweat and skin oil.
  • I'm a pincher. I even pinch from the back of the hand after shaking from one of those wheelie gizmos from Silver Dollar or Ozona.
  • palm is better for pinching you can get a better grip in the snuff. Make a small bowl with your palm stretch you hand out when ready to pinch. Nice and clean compared to pinching from back of hand. Just my opinion snuff however works for you.
  • You're right @bob . I hadn't thought of that (duh). It is better for pinching, but not as good when it comes to snuffing up the residue.
  • I really like howdydave's boxcar method, especially when I am outside and it is windy.
  • I use the boxcar method for HDT and tapbox snuffs, otherwise I use a good old pinch from the tin.
  • I do them all and there is really no rhyme or reason about it.
  • I double-pinch: first I take a pinch in my left nostril with my left hand, then one in the right nostril with my right hand.  
  • Only just tried the boxcar method for the first time. It works a treat! It keeps my fingers and moustache clean. Used to use the pinch for most and a spoon for coarse snuffs, but am a convert now, and am wasting a lot less from the wooden snuffbox. Cheers @howdydave !
  • I just pinch but that boxcar method works well.
  • For me it all depends on the cleanliness of my hands and the windiness of the day. If it's windy/if my hands are mostly clean/if I don't want to draw attention to myself, I pinch. If I'm indoors/don't care what people think/if I have dirty fingers, I take it off the back of my hand. If I have really dirty hands but am indoors, I spoon. If I'm taking a really coarse snuff, I boxcar.  
  • @Bob -- The thing is... your palm is liable to have a lot more sweat and skin oils on it. This causes a lot more adhesion of snuff to your skin (it never gets into your nose.)
  • I almost always use the back of the hand method, however for my drier snuffs i actually prefer to use a bullet. My bullet is my method of choice when im around other people.
  • howdy howdy dave. Yeah but it doesn't have so much hair to get in the way (Yeah I'am a beast)


  • Pinching is my preferred method, as it seems to give the highest degree of control.  However, for snuffing large doses, or for coarse, moist snuffs, back of the hand works best for me.  Using a spoon, or the boxcar method, seems to be more related to specific occasions, such as using the boxcar method outdoors on a windy day (for which it is ideal).
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