Why Every Cigar Smoker Needs a Good Cigar Cutter

Julie Fulton @ 2021-03-29 11:18:57 -0500

Whether you believe in investing in the right tool for the job or gearing up for any and all hobbies, you’ll want to buy a good cigar cutter. Cigar cases and travel humidors dedicate a pocket or small sleeve for housing a cutter, so why not fill it? Cigars are a lifestyle, so outfit yourself with premium cigar accessories. 

Cut to the Chase: Watch How to Cut a Cigar

Finally! The ultimate how to cut a cigar video with up-close, step-by-step instructions and three main ways to cut a cigar—straight-cut vs v-cut vs punch cut.

Shows how to use a cigar cutter, which end of a cigar to cut, how much of a cigar to cut off and the best cigar cut for the cigars you smoke. See where to cut a cigar so it doesn’t unravel. And learn why you need to cut a cap off of a cigar before you light it.

What Part of a Cigar Should You Cut Off?

A cigar has a head and a foot. Most every cigar sports a cap on its head. A cigar is capped to prevent the cigar wrapper, which is rolled from foot to head, from unraveling. The cap also shows a cigar newbie what end of a cigar NOT to light. The foot of a cigar is made up of the tips and outermost parts of tobacco leaves, which are rich with flavor. You wouldn’t want to cut off the tastiest part of the cigar, right?

Cut the Cap Before You Torch the Foot of a Cigar

Now you know that you need to penetrate the cap of the cigar before you can draw the smoke through it, so what do you use? Just as cigar smokers have their favorite blends, they also have their favorite tools to cut a cigar, including:

  1. Cigar cutter
  2. Cigar scissors
  3. Cigar punch

What Cigar Cut Do You Like?

Straight cut with scissors Old school elegant   – @gebriel_ag

You can cut into a cigar to get your first draw with a cigar punch, cigar scissors or cigar cutter.
Padro Cigar Punch | Davidoff of Geneva Cigar Scissors | Colibri Straight-Cut Cigar Cutter

Some people are good at using a match stick to poke the cap or they may use their fingernail or teeth to cut the cap. You can also use a pocket knife to cut along the cap to remove the leaf coving it. In a pinch, these are good ways to cut a cigar but for a clean, smooth effect, a cigar cutter is a must-have.

“When I  punch or poke a hole in a cigar cap,  I find the oils to build up at the cap,” Box Press podcast host, Rob Gagner explained. “If you get this oil build-up, it’s actually saliva mixed with the tobacco’s oils. Oil build-up can be caused by that restricted cut made by a cigar punch from smoking a cigar too fast, over-humidifying a cigar or having too much saliva on your cigar head.

“I find poking a cigar creates a bitter, off-putting taste that requires me to cut or recut my cigar,” Rob said.

What Cigar Cut Do You Like?

I’ve been enjoying a punch cut lately. When I get a good draw on a punch means the cigar was rolled to perfection!!  – @backyardcigarro

How to remove a cigar’s bitter aftertaste—recut, then relight:

  1. Use a cigar cutter to recut the head of the cigar.
  2. Rest the cigar for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Relight the cigar by holding the lighter to the end of the cigar, then blow out the flame on the foot to purge the cigar of any gas build-up.

Rob said he prefers to use a double-blade cutter. He recommends the Xikar XI2 Cigar Cutter, which is a spring-loaded double guillotine with 440 stainless steel blades. The XI2 cuts 54 to 60 ring gauge cigars and retails for $49.99.

“With a double-blade cutter, I can open up the cigar completely to get all the smoke I need to experience all the flavors,” Rob explained. “ The last thing I want to is to restrict the amount of flavor I get from a cigar.”

If money is no object, then go for the XIKAR XI Dueling Dragons Chasing Flaming Pearl for the $150,000. Set by hand, 1,940 red rubies grace the 18 karat gold body. Now that’s a statement cigar cutter!

A cigar cutter can range in price from $10 to $150,000. A cigar smoker can find this necessary cigar accessory to fit every budget.

What Cigar Cut Do You Like?

Punch on any new stick; then adjust from there. Lanceros most always get a 7mm punch. I try to start with the least amount of draw and then find the sweet spot.  – @cecwoolley

Do You Have to Pay a Lot to Get a Quality Cigar Cutter?

You can pick up a cheap cigar cutter at the checkout of your cigar shop for $5 to $10. A few economy cigar cutters are good to keep on hand. They won’t last a lifetime, but they do get the job done. You can buy a few without breaking the bank to stow in all your favorite smoke spots, like the car, your desk and the garage. And when you inevitably lose, loan or break an econo-cutter,  you won’t be out a lot.

A quality cigar cutter is an investment spending for the cigar smoker. Expect to plunk down three to ten times more for a quality cigar cutter. But as with everything,  you get what you pay for. Using a good cigar cutter, you can get the exact cut you want on those valuable cigars.

How to Spot a Quality Cigar Cutter:

  1. Quality blade
    A cigar cutter is essentially a knife, so the better the blade the better the cut. Sharp blades and double cutting sides are premium options for a good cut.
  2. Quality housing and cutting mechanism
    Spring-loaded cigar cutters that lock shut are high-end and feel great to use.
  3. Manufacturer’s warranty
    Many quality cigar cutters offer a lifetime or limited-lifetime warranty, which often cover material and mechanical defects. Most manufacturers do not warranty cigar cutters for normal wear and tear, scratches or misuse. If you invest in a name brand, save your receipt and familiarize yourself with the warranty.

    If the issue isn’t covered by the warranty, the manufacturer is still your best bet for a repair for a fee. Cigar cutter getting dull? Check with the manufacturer about sending your cigar cutter in for sharpening. Want a cigar cutter you can easily sharper yourself? The Fox Figaro cutter is one of the easiest for DIY service.

What Cigar Cut Do You Like?

Depends on the gauge I’m smoking straight cut for smaller rings and v on the larger. Seems like I get a better draw this way. @matthewhvac76

Don’t Make These Cigar Cutting Mistakes

  1. Cutting past the cap, so the wrapper starts to unravel.
  2. Cracking or tearing the cap and wrapper. This usually happens with a dull cigar cutters or a single-blade cigar cutter. Single-blade cutters can cause pressure on the cap or wrapper and cracking is common if the cigar is dry or fragile wrapper like Cameroon leaf.
  3. Cutting a cigar too high on the head creates a wide opening. This can make drawing on the cigar too easy and cause it to burn hot and fast.

Watch: How to Properly Relight a Cigar

“I just lay a cutter down on the table, put a little pressure, just ever so slight pressure down, snip it off because the width of almost all your cutters are gonna be the right height to clip that off give you a clean straight cut every single time. I’m a professional at this but yet I still want to make sure that I’m giving it a clean cut through the whole cigar.”

– Travis Pappenheim, National Education Manager-Premium Cigars at Altadis USA

What Cigar Cut Do You Like?

Definitely V cut but I’ll use straight cut for torpedoes and small gauges cigars. – @zeropucksgiven

Cigar Hack: How to Quickly Humidify a Cigar

If your cigar is dry and you want to smoke it right away, cut the cap and put it back into your humidifier with your Boveda. Opening the cap will allow moisture to flow into the cigar faster. Cutting the cap allows the water vapor from the Boveda to enter the cigar filler without restriction.

Better yet, condition new cigars in a Boveda Humidor Bag before adding them to your cigar humidor.

Watch: How to Condition New Cigars

“Every time I get a new box of cigars, I’ll throw them in a large Boveda Humidor Bag with FOUR Boveda 69% RH.I store 90% of my cigar collection in Boveda Humidor Bags.”

– Rob Gagner, host of Box Press podcast


What Cigar Cut Do You Like?

Guillotine for me, but I just barely skin the first cap, check the draw and move one from there. @aforgewithnoname


Straight Cut, V-Cut or Cigar Punch Cut—What Each Looks Like

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