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Dipper's Guide to Snus

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    Dipper's Guide to Snus

    Snusdog calling on his dip pups

    I have been meaning to post something like this for a while. It seems that many if not most of the folks hear are x-smokers. I applaud you all in your efforts to become smoke free. However, I have come to snus by a different rout and so I want to share my experiences with all those x-dippers who may be looking at this site for suggestions and direction to get started.

    So quiet in the pound while I go over this and no pissing on the floor.

    The first thing that you will recognize when you switch to snus is the chemical difference between snus and dip. Call it the Swedish purity standard of snus. I dipped a lot (and now I snus a lot). O.K. I chain snus. When I dipped my lip stayed torn up all the time. I was constantly getting that, teeth hurt, gum receding, leathery creasing of the lip (AKA “Dip-Lip”). I have been snusing now for over a year and a half and the inside of my mouth stays smooth and no more dip lip at all. Also, if I went a few hours without a dip, I would get very dizzy and it was pretty hard to concentrate. Now I am not saying that after a few hours without snus that I am unaffected. However, what I realized is that what I thought was a nic fix was in fact a fix of all the other crap that American tobacco puts into their dip. For a couple of weeks after making the change to snus, my lip actually craved the dip (kid you not). Another, indication of the chemical difference is that I could not swallow dip without a great deal of heart burn. Snus is meant to be swallowed (like tea or coffee). For me the purity of snus was a major draw and motivation for me to make the change. This purity is evidenced by the low occurrence of oral cancer and gum disease in Sweden (look it up. It is well documented).

    The second thing that you will notice is the cost. My monthly budget went from ~$42.00 a month for dip to ~$30.00 a month for snus to ~$20.00 a month (now that I order my snus in bulk). These prices are with the shipping expense included. Remember, the average American can of dip has 34g of tobacco. Loose snus has on average 45g. For me, an average American dip lasted about 35-45 minutes. An average snus stays in for about two hours. Also, even the regular strength snus is a good deal stronger in nic than the strongest American dip. Thus, less goes further. I use on average 1 can of snus every three and a half days to four days. With dip, I used 1 can every one and a half days. So in comparing the cost you can’t just compare the price of cans. Start by comparing the cost per gram (include the shipping cost). Next, compare your over all monthly cost. Once you get your rotation set and can order in bulk, the cost will drop even further.

    The third thing you will recognize is the flavor. The move from American dip to snus is like a move from instant coffee to a high grade roasting house blend. In fact, you will look back on your favorite dip with the fondness of flavored pancake syrup- a glob of sweet, over the top, artificial, nastiness.

    However, that said snus is more subtle and refined in its flavor. Initially, you may not be able to taste all the intricacies of the particular snus you are using. Give it time and try a variety. You will eventually find more flavor there than you expect. Which brings me to another point: most dippers have a single dip that they stick to pretty regularly. Not so with snus. Most sunusers (myself included) have several brands that are in their regular rotation. My advice is to hold off at first on ordering rolls at a time. Again pups, give it time and try a variety.

    Here are a few suggestions of the stronger flavors that you might want to begin with (all loose).

    Gotlands gul (yellow)
    Gotlands gra (grey)

    Also, if you were a Skoal or Kodiak fan you might want to try the Offroad Wintergreen (but I do not condone it any more than I would have condoned your berry Skoal over my Copenhagen straight).

    You will probably not be able to taste Ettan, Prima Fint, or Grov at first (I still can’t taste Prima Fint after a year and a half but Grov is one of my favorites. The slow sturdy flavor is delectable). Save Ettan and Grov for your second or third order. You will want to try them just not at first IMO.

    Another thing that you need to know is that most snus is much more finely ground than American dip. All the above recommendations (with the exception of Granit) will have more of the consistency that you are used to with dip. Now this is both a good and a bad thing and leads us to the whole lipping it verses baking it debate (i.e. lower lip verses upper lip). I do both, though I primarily bake. Now be warned pups that lipping it will get you labeled a big ol’ redneck by our Swedish/European counter parts. But a little redneck would probably do em all some good. Here is where I come down on it. There are some times when a man has just got to spit. You can’t say “Well kiss my ass” or “I’d piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help” and end it by baking something they call a pris. There are things in life and utterances to be said that have just got to end with a spit. However, that said, the convenience of not having to spit, of being able to work and snus at the same time, of putting in a pris and having it go strong for 2-3 hours are all great advantages. So when you’re fishing, drinking bear in the back yard, or looking at a busted water line and trying to figure out how to fix it- lip it. For the rest of the time you are going to want to learn to bake (use your upper lip). One more thing, snus will not last as long as dip when you lip it. The finer cut means that more is lost with each spit than with dip.

    To learn to bake a pris watch Zero’s video posted on the forum and start with Granit or Roda. Both are incredibly easy to bake and taste great. One final point. You will not go wrong purchasing a Pris Master to start off with. They are only a couple of bucks and will help you a lot as you get started learning to bake. However as a member of the pound and an x-dipper you will find that you have skills that our x-smoker friends do not possess. You know how to wield loose tobacco. It is in your blood. It is your natural arena of expression. Having this special power, I found that once my upper lip got used to the snus, I no longer needed to bake. Now I just pinch, knock off the excess, place it under the lip, and give one quick adjustment with the tongue and I am good to go- no runs, no mudslides.

    With all that, let me be the first to welcome you to the world of snus. I hope some of the things that I have found may be of help to you. But in the end, as Sagedil has often reminded us, it’s what you like and what works for you. Have fun with it and try a variety.

    ***** Update*****

    rscott22 has found a great video on how to bake a pris. Check it out. You can find the link on page two of this thread ,the first post. Great find rscott22 thanks!!

    Also since writing this post I see that offers a “Try Out Box” containing 10 different types of loose snus per box (they also have a try out box for portions and mini portions so make sure you get the loose one) . This is a great place to begin. I highly recommend that someone new to snus (or loose) begin with the "try out box".


    As I read the forum and try to help answer some questions for those just beginning with los, there seems to be three important point that keep repeating. Therefore I am including them here in this second edit. Here goes:
    1. One of the most important things to do as you begin with los is to give your lip time to adjust to having a pris under it. Give it about 2-3 weeks (depending on how often you use los). Once your lip adjusts, everything gets a whole lot easier.
    2. Second, the mistake that most people make when beginning is to make the pris too big. So, make the pris smaller and work up if you need to.
    3. Third, I think finding the pris placement that works for you is also very important. I’ve seen all the Swedish videos where people put snus under their upper middle lip and for the life of me I cannot fathom why. For me the placement that works best, is more discrete, and is easier to control is on the side about 3 teeth back from the two front (too far back and you will generate more saliva and thus mudslides, too far front and it just did not feel right to me)

    Now as far as playing with the pris with your tongue: I found that letting it set up and kind of mold to the mouth worked best before fiddling with it (a few minutes, until it feels settled). Then play with it all you want. Once it’s compressed and in there, it will be far less likely to break up or have parts pulled away by the tongue.

    Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, the real trick is taking your time and finding what works for you. I think one of the most important aspects of this forum is the sharing of ideas, techniques, and experiences- not as a rule of how it must be done- but as various ideas (things you may not have thought of) that you can try, mix and match, and adjust to fit your own preferences.

    Hope this helps, give it time, and snuson my friends.
    When it's my time to go, I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my uncle did....... Not screaming in terror like his passengers

    This post was long overdo. Thank you foe helping out other folks coming from dip. I know we ex-smokers are the majority. But living in NC for 14 years, I know so many dippers are out there.

    So thank you!!


      Outstanding post, mate. I went from dipping Copenhagen to General Sterk and Skruf Stark portions. Big difference in the two. Found it amazing that a small little portion could give a better nic hit than a big ol' lip of Cope. And being able to swallow the stuff was a huge plus for when I was in class.

      I wasn't able to notice all the intricacies of the different flavors of various snuses at first. It took some time and adjustment. At first it was a lot of saltiness that I tasted and an underlying tobacco/citrus/flowery undertones. After a while I started being able to get more flavors out of it. Hell, I'm still just getting some of the other subtleties in Ettan and I'm really enjoying it.

      I agree strongly on learning how to bake and possibly getting a Prismaster to start out. Being able to have a nice well formed pris is a big plus for when you can't spit. Sure, it's nice to have that familiarity of having a spitter, but sometimes you don't have that option. I.e., in class or in the office. It's a nice perk to have a pris last anywhere from 60-120 minutes depending on what you baked and how well you baked it.

      Cheers, mates.

      ps - This seems like something worth stickying.


        Nice! Well put Snusdog. A must read for all dippers.


          Excellent and very sensible post. I have never tried dip myself, and from all the stuff I've read about it, it doesn't even seem worth the time.

          I second the prismaster recommendation. It's a great and cheap tool that will get you lösing like a pro with little effort.


            oh man, I wish this was around when I made the switch. I just tried to get a bunch of sweet snuses to compare and ended up with garbage


              Hear! Hear!

              I was trying to stop smoking and was looking for an alternative.

              I dipped US snuff for two months before finding Snus.

              US Snuff torn me up real bad in the mouth so I had to wait to heal each time I took it up. Also the saliva would build up at all the wrong times when I needed to spit.

              Very good post and should be a STICKY.


                Nice guide man, very well written. I agree that it would make a good sticky :^)


                  Wow, great post Snusdog! If you have or ever write a book, I want to read it.


                    I've snused full time for 1 and 3 months now. I dipped and chewed for about 4 years before that. The enjoyment level, is absolutely not even close. There's nothing like starting the morning off early with a Lucky portion and a hot cup of black coffee. I will more than likely be snusing for the rest of my days, proudly and happily.


                      What's this doing way down here? ;^)


                        shameless bump


                          This is a great post for dippers like myself. Although still very new to snus,i can relate to a number of things you describe. The chemical difference between dip and snus is quite noticable even after just a few weeks after switching. My gums and lips have started to heal from the damage cause by all the dip, the insides of my lower lip look normal now.My wife has commented that my episodes of dippers breathe have gone away.

                          I agree with you on the "skills" stuff, i yet to experience mud mouth with any snus thus far. What i struggle with is the actual hand baking part, i end up dropping little bits of snus all over the place while hand forming. Once i get it in my lip i'am fine. I have a pris master on the way with next order so see how that goes. If i like, i'll probably end up getting an icetool later when funds allow. And yes, it may not be proper form but sometimes i still just dip the snus and find it enjoyable. Guess old habits die hard.



                            Originally posted by slartie
                            I have never tried dip myself, and from all the stuff I've read about it, it doesn't even seem worth the time.
                            While I've recently come to prefer snus, dip is also a very wonderful thing. It has some historical merits as well, being that it's fire cured, as much snus was before the Swedish government mandated steam curing.

                            Copenhagen Long Cut was my favorite. I suppose it still is. Like I said, I prefer snus, but anything's worth a try. I would suggest that your curiosity procure you some dip, just to see. But stay away from the more sugary flavors like berry and wintergreen. If you try earthy flavors like straight, whiskey, or hickory, you just might like it.

                            This advice applies to all Scandinavians. We had to be open-minded to come to like your shit this well!


                              a well written post. i went to the dip after quitting cigs first, it was muy painful. muy is a spanish word that means much. i was burning the hell out of my mouth when i was given a sample of snus. camel snus. portions. i am still the snus virgin, 2 days until my expected delivery day of real swedish snus. i have some los coming in on that order, and i am gonna share it with some of my beer drinking rednecked buddies at the watering hole. i can hardly wait until they get a taste of this.