Having no handles, they are very much like the French-style rolling pins, except they have completely straight ends. They are essentially a piece of dowel wood.
Usually made out of a wood such as maple, they will vary in length from 25 to 30 cm long (10 to 12 inches), even up to 50 cm long (20 inches). The diameter ranges from 2 to 4 cm ( about 1 to 1 ½ inches).
You can “make” one yourself by specifying the length and thickness of dowel you want cut off at your local hardware store. Actually, once they’ve cut it for you, there’s not much more for you to do except perhaps sand the ends.
To use one, flour the pin or sprinkle some flour on the tortilla dough. Each time you roll, rotate the tortilla dough by one quarter.
Experienced makers of flour tortillas don’t even use a palote; they can just make the tortillas by hand by flipping them in the air. You can also use a tortilla press.