Every cigar enthusiast knows that how you cut a cigar can potentially make or break your smoking experience. A bad cut may lead to an unraveling cigar or a infuriatingly tight draw, while the perfect cut allows for the cigar to appreciated in all its majestic glory. Although the type of cut used is a matter of preference, certain cuts are more suitable to particular shapes of cigars. Here is a brief guide to the most common types of cutters available, and the cigars for which they’re most suited.
The most common cigar cutter available is the Guillotine. This cutter consists of one or two sharp blades (guillotine) that cut a significant piece from the cap. The single blade guillotine is the most basic type of straight cutter even though the double blade is more preferable, due to its precision and ability to make the cleanest of cuts.
Getting a perfect cut on a guillotine takes practice. If too much is cut, your cigar wrapper may unravel. If too little is cut, the draw may be unbearably tight. To properly cut your cigar using a guillotine, identify where the shoulder of the piece ends. This is the curved part of the head and where it ends is where you should place your cutter. Use a swift motion and apply as much force as possible to ensure a clean cut.
Guillotine cutters are suitable for parejos or figurados with ring gauges under 60, as many of these cutters are not large enough for anything thicker.
For the slightly more experienced cigar smoker that is comfortable knowing just how much to cut. A smoker that enjoys a medium to loose draw.
Instead of cutting off the head completely, the V-cutter makes a wedged hole due to it’s uniquely shaped blade. Its innovative design allows it to slice from one side, and at the same depth. V-cutters remove the risk of cutting too deep into your cigar, while allowing a large surface area for the draw.
V-cutters are ideal for figurados as the design prevents you from cutting too much of cigar. Box-Pressed cigars are also great candidates for the V-cut as guillotines are circular, which sometimes cause problems for the rectangular shapes. V-cutters also perform well on cigars with small ring gauges.
A smoker who may be somewhat unsure of how much of a cigar to cut. Enjoys a medium to loose draw.
Similar to the V-cutter, the punch does not completely cut the cap off. Instead, a sharp circular blade is used to puncture a small hole in the cap. It has been suggested that this method adds complexity to the flavor, as the smoke must travel through a smaller opening. However, a smaller opening may lead to a build-up of tar throughout the smoke, which may result in off flavours. It may be necessery to purge your cigar when using a punch cut.
Cigars with ring gauges larger than size 40 or those too large to fit in guillotine cutters. Punch cutters work well with Box-Pressed and cylindrical stogies, but not for figurados. Recommended for mixed filler cigars, as the smaller hole may prevent tobacco debris from entering the mouth.
For the beginner cigar smoker. For smokers that enjoy a tighter to medium draw.
The Shuriken Cutter
A recent innovation in the cigar world, The Shuriken Cutter leaves the cap intact and instead uses six blades to cuts slits around the circumference of the cigar’s cap. This method is said to deliver a cooler smoke and a more balanced smoking experience. However, drawbacks include a potential for tar buildup and a tight draw.
The Shuriken is ideal for short filler cigars as the small slits will prevent tobacco debris from entering the mouth.
For smokers that enjoy a tighter to medium draw.
View our selection of Xikar cigar cutters.