A Beginner’s Guide On How To Cut A Cigar

Jeff Miller
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Know the basic parts of the cigar

As a beginner, it is best for you to get an understanding of the cigar before you proceed to cut it. Master cigar smokers would simply need one glance of a cigar to determine its quality. You too can become a great cigar smoker with time and experience. The only way to get there, however, is to learn the differences of the various parts of the cigar.

The Wrapper

It is the outside wrapper of the cigar that is quite noticeable, especially when you are busy enjoying the cigar. To many people, the wrapper alone is enough to determine whether the cigar is good or not. The appearance of the wrapper shows the quality and flavor of the cigar itself.

The Binder

The binder of a cigar holds the filler and the wrapper together. Hence, it is one of the most important parts of the cigar. The most common material used to make the binder is often found in the middle of the leaf. On most occasions, the center or cap leaf is used and this is more so for beginners.

The Wrapper and the Binder

The wrapper and the binder together are called the filler. Both are rolled into the filler with the wrapper being the outermost layer of the filler. The filler tobacco is often used to retain moisture in the cigar.

Invest in the best cigar cutter as quality matters

If you are celebrating a birthday, entertaining business associates or enjoying a romantic night out on the town with a special someone, a good cigar can enhance the occasion like no other. What can take a cigar from ordinary to extraordinary is a perfectly paired cigar cutter.

Cuts Made Differently

A cigar cutter is responsible for creating the first impression. More than just a way to cut the end of a cigar, the cutter you choose can add to the cigar smoking experience by creating a tidy, fresh surface. While different styles of cutters produce different cuts, the most commonly used are the straight cut.

Cigar Cutter Styles

There are five main types of cutters, each producing a different style of cut.

The Guillotine Cutter

Also known as a straight cutter, this is the type of cutter with a single sharp blade that comes down to create an incision. The blade can be placed at multiple angles, and is also able to create a “V cut” without a cap. The guillotine cutter usually creates a straight cut, with the tip and foot of the cigar being square or rectangular. This can be the most diverse of styles, depending on the angle of the blade.

Guillotine or Straight cutter

Cigar cutters are essential in the cigar smoking experience. Without them, it would be very difficult to enjoy your cigar. Cigar cutters are most commonly categorized into two categories: guillotine and straight cut. A guillotine cutter has a knife-like blade designed for cutting to the right of a cigar node.

A straight cut, on the other hand, is used to cut a cigar directly across. Usually, straight cutters are also double-bladed for extra precision. Straight cutters are the usual choice for beginners since they’re more precise.

If you want to cut a cigar, simply hold it between your thumb and forefinger, like a bird. Next, find an appropriate place to cut. You can cut above a small leaf, above an imperfection, or directly through the middle of the cigar. Once you’ve found your spot, hold the cutter at a 45 degree angle and cut the cigar straight through.

Wedge cutter

The main reason you would use a wedge cutter is to remove the cap … hence the name –Wedge” cutter. If you’re opening up a cigar that has a cap, you can use a wedge cutter to remove the cap and expose the filler. The blades on a wedge cutter are made to be perpendicular to the cutting surface with the cutting blades slicing straight down. Some more expensive models can be adjusted to produce the most precision possible, depending on the size and shape of the cap being removed.

One of the advantages of the wedge cutter is that the cap can be removed from the foot and placed aside while the cigar is lit, allowing you to hold the cigar without the cap getting in the way. It also makes for a professional looking cap.

Punch Cutter

Punch cutters have a single pointed blade used to slice off the cap of a cigar. The blade on a punch cutter is perpendicular to the cutting surface, however, it’s not advisable to do any adjustments with one. The blade comes in different sizes and shapes and is used to pierce through the cap. The filler of the cigar can be exposed by removing the cap with the punch cutter. This exposes the filler tobacco and creates a large open area for smoking.

The Hole Punch cutter

When you're first starting out, it's well worth investing in a cutter that isn't a separate hand-tool. In fact, there are many different kinds of cigar cutter … probably the most popular would be the one with a V-shape opening. One of the most popular brands of a V-shape opening is Punch.

It's very simple to use – just place your cigar in the cutter and squeeze the lever. The blades will quickly rotate the cigar and cut off the tip in one swift motion. V-cutters don't give much control over the cut, so a more advanced technique involves using an X-Cutter, which allows you to give your cigars more of an angled cut.

Cigar scissors

When you get some cigars, you are going to need a good cigar cutter to cut the cigars with. There are several types of cigar cutters out there but the best and most common ones are snipping. The reason that most cigar cutters require a snipping motion is that tobacco leaves can be fragile and if you were to simply bend a cigar with normal scissors, you would have tobacco flying everywhere.

Snipping is the best way to keep your cigar in one piece, this way you can have the whole thing, including the cigar band. This also prevents you from having tobacco flying into your mouth while you smoke your cigar. You want your cigar to be one whole piece so you can enjoy it from the start until the finish.

Cutter or scissors?

In reality, cutter and scissors are pretty much the same thing, just one is used for cigars and the other is used for normal scissors. When you get into snipping, you will see that there are even some snippers that you can use for other things such as crafts.

So what is the difference between a snipper and a cutter? Well, unlike snipping, tobacco scissors requires you to make a cutting motion designed to cut a cigar. This will give you a sharp edge that can easily be folded out. Both a snipper and a cutter cuts the cigar, however a cutter is designed to give you a square cut on the end of your cigar.

Making the correct cut

Is essential for good cigar smoke.

Your cigar cutter will determine whether the experience is fantastic or you end up throwing the cigar away. The proper cigar cutter with the correct blade type for the size cigar you have is important. Cigar cutters come in many shapes, sizes, materials and forms. The best tool for your cigar is going to be the one that cuts the best smoke.

Most cigar cutters come with a small hole in the center of the blade called a “scissor hole.” If your cigar cutter has a scissor hole, it’s meant to be used by cutting your cigar from the band to the scissor hole. You never want to cut your cigar any higher than the scissor hole. This is where you will cut the cigar, most of the time, because it provides the best draw.

So, where do you cut your cigar? One way to determine if your cigar has been cut correctly is to examine it. The band has three holes in it. When you cut your cigar directly above the band, you will have three cuts above the band and one on the bottom. This is what most cigar smokers do. Also, if you look at the cap of your cigar, you can see if the wrapper has been damaged. You can always re-cut your cigar if the cigar cutter didn’t go straight through.