Straight Cut, Cigar Punch, or V-Cut: The Differences Explained

Jeff Miller
Written by
Last update:

Cut Options

Most people assume that a one-cut cigar is the simplest way to enjoy a cigar. But don’t be fooled! Could you benefit from a better-tasting cigar? You bet!

A one-cut cigar is cut horizontally, just above the midpoint. People who favor one-cuts say that using a one-cut will enhance the flavor, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You might need to light the cigar twice with a one-cut because when you cut it horizontally you don’t open up the leaves enough to expose the filler.

The real way to enjoy a cigar is by cutting it with an angle. Some cigars are meant to be cut one way but others allow you to choose. So how do you know which to choose? This simple guide is for you.

Here are three of the most popular cigar cut types.

Straight

Cut Vs. Cigar Cutter

When talking about the cut, this has nothing to do with flavor. The cut is actually what type of tool you use to make the "hole" for the tobacco to fill. The most popular methods of cutting a cigar are the straight cut, the cigar punch, and the V-Cut. Each style has its benefits and drawbacks and the right one to choose depends on your personal experience with cigars and your personal tastes.

Advantages of the straight cut are that it’s the easiest to do and the most common. For these reasons, it’s the most likely to be used by someone who has never cut a cigar before. Not to mention, any straight edge blade like a knife, saw, or scissors can be used to create a straight cut.

Those who are new to cigar smoking may give the straight cut a shot, but typically move on to the other two cutting styles pretty quickly. Straight cuts tend to be large which usually leaves room for the filler to move around in the cigar during smoking. This can create an uncomfortable smoke and alter the flavor more than the other two cuts.

This is also the most time consuming cut, because you have to cut the entire length of the cigar in order to draw smoke through it.

Pros

Whether talking about a cigar or talking about an actual cigar cut, you will hear three common terms: “V-cut,” “straight cut,” and “punch cut.” While the first two terms are easy to understand, many smokers aren’t exactly clear on the differences between them, or the benefits of each.

The differences all come down to simplicity and type of cutting tool used to make the hole in a cigar for smoking. With a punch cut cigar, you simply stick a small, sharp tool through the side of the cigar, and then insert the end in your mouth. With a V-cut cigar, a small notch is made on the side of the cigar using a special cutter that looks like a V.

Cons

Have you ever found yourself enjoying a cigar, only to wonder if it was rolled properly? Sometimes a cigar will appear too loosely rolled, with tobacco peeking out at the mouth of the wrapper. Other times, a cigar will arrive with the foot perfectly trimmed, but the body of the cigar looks like it was rolled in a hurry, with bulging veins and deep seams.

These cigars can smoke well, but they’re not what you want to send to a paying customer or to your good friends. In fact, a poorly made cigar can ruin someone’s entire smoking experience. What’s the solution? It’s all about the cut.

If you’re planning to smoke a cigar regularly or occasionally, knowing how to choose a good cigar is a must. There’s a fine line between enjoying a good cigar and smoking a poorly made tobacco worm. This is especially true with fancier cigars that retail for a few dollars per stick. But what does that have to do with the cut? It’s unlikely you’ll go bankrupt if you smoke a poorly made cigar, but why take the risk?

A poorly rolled cigar will smoke hot because it contains too much filler, and the tobacco won’t be evenly packed across the foot.

Use

If you are looking for a cut that produces an even burn while letting you take advantage of the entire width of the cigar, a straight cut is for you. With the straight cut, you simply cut the head of the cigar horizontally, removing the pre-cut cap. If you’re looking for a good burn, this is the cut to use.

When you’re using the straight cut, you can get a clean, even burn by holding the cigar at a 45-degree angle, and slowly push it through the blade. It’s also a good idea to alternate your cuts. Start your next cut with the blade already exposed the same number of mm as your previous cut so you’re not lifting the blade repeatedly while you’re cutting.

Punch

Bowls – Which Do You Prefer?

A punch bowl is a large cup or drinking vessel made of glass, ceramics, or metal. It’s used for preparing and serving large bowls of fruit punch or cocktails to large groups of people. Punch bowls can hold 20 to 40 gallons. They can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are glass, ceramics, and metals.

Its use is generally exclusive to parties or formal occasions. “Punch” usually refers to a non-alcoholic beverage, but can also be used to describe a cocktail. The drink recipe is normally a fruit or tea drink with a mix of alcohol and various flavorings.

There are several ways a punch bowl can be designed. These include: Straight cut, cigar punch, and V-cut. The cut style refers to the bowl’s edges and the punch served in the bowl.

Straight cut bowls are smooth and straight on all edges. The rim is smooth and flat and some may have a lip or an inward curve. The cut is perfect for a straight-sided, rectangular punch bowl.

Pros

Whether talking about a cigar or talking about an actual cigar cut, you will hear three common terms: “V-cut,” “straight cut,” and “punch cut.” While the first two terms are easy to understand, many smokers aren’t exactly clear on the differences between them, or the benefits of each.

The differences all come down to simplicity and type of cutting tool used to make the hole in a cigar for smoking. With a punch cut cigar, you simply stick a small, sharp tool through the side of the cigar, and then insert the end in your mouth. With a V-cut cigar, a small notch is made on the side of the cigar using a special cutter that looks like a V.

Cons

Have you ever found yourself enjoying a cigar, only to wonder if it was rolled properly? Sometimes a cigar will appear too loosely rolled, with tobacco peeking out at the mouth of the wrapper. Other times, a cigar will arrive with the foot perfectly trimmed, but the body of the cigar looks like it was rolled in a hurry, with bulging veins and deep seams.

These cigars can smoke well, but they’re not what you want to send to a paying customer or to your good friends. In fact, a poorly made cigar can ruin someone’s entire smoking experience. What’s the solution? It’s all about the cut.

If you’re planning to smoke a cigar regularly or occasionally, knowing how to choose a good cigar is a must. There’s a fine line between enjoying a good cigar and smoking a poorly made tobacco worm. This is especially true with fancier cigars that retail for a few dollars per stick. But what does that have to do with the cut? It’s unlikely you’ll go bankrupt if you smoke a poorly made cigar, but why take the risk?

A poorly rolled cigar will smoke hot because it contains too much filler, and the tobacco won’t be evenly packed across the foot.

Use

If you are looking for a cut that produces an even burn while letting you take advantage of the entire width of the cigar, a straight cut is for you. With the straight cut, you simply cut the head of the cigar horizontally, removing the pre-cut cap. If you’re looking for a good burn, this is the cut to use.

When you’re using the straight cut, you can get a clean, even burn by holding the cigar at a 45-degree angle, and slowly push it through the blade. It’s also a good idea to alternate your cuts. Start your next cut with the blade already exposed the same number of mm as your previous cut so you’re not lifting the blade repeatedly while you’re cutting.

V-Cut

Pressing down the top of the cigar can cause some of the tobacco to break off inside the cigar cutter. To start, you’ll need to lay the cigar on a hard surface, preferably a wood desk or table. Looking at the cigar head, hold the cigar cutter at a 90-degree angle, so the parallel lines align. Place the cigar cap about 1/2 inch from the end of the cigar cut. Apply light pressure down the length of the cigar. It’s important not to press too hard or you will get loose tobacco inside your cigar cutter. After each cut, flip and repeat on the other side until you reach the halfway point. Flip your cigar over and repeat the cuts on the opposite side. It’s important to cut off the cap cleanly. Any jagged or uneven cuts will affect the way the cigar smokes. Don’t cut down to the cigar but stop about 1/8” from the end. This will leave room to pull the cap off.

Pros

Whether talking about a cigar or talking about an actual cigar cut, you will hear three common terms: “V-cut,” “straight cut,” and “punch cut.” While the first two terms are easy to understand, many smokers aren’t exactly clear on the differences between them, or the benefits of each.

The differences all come down to simplicity and type of cutting tool used to make the hole in a cigar for smoking. With a punch cut cigar, you simply stick a small, sharp tool through the side of the cigar, and then insert the end in your mouth. With a V-cut cigar, a small notch is made on the side of the cigar using a special cutter that looks like a V.

Cons

Have you ever found yourself enjoying a cigar, only to wonder if it was rolled properly? Sometimes a cigar will appear too loosely rolled, with tobacco peeking out at the mouth of the wrapper. Other times, a cigar will arrive with the foot perfectly trimmed, but the body of the cigar looks like it was rolled in a hurry, with bulging veins and deep seams.

These cigars can smoke well, but they’re not what you want to send to a paying customer or to your good friends. In fact, a poorly made cigar can ruin someone’s entire smoking experience. What’s the solution? It’s all about the cut.

If you’re planning to smoke a cigar regularly or occasionally, knowing how to choose a good cigar is a must. There’s a fine line between enjoying a good cigar and smoking a poorly made tobacco worm. This is especially true with fancier cigars that retail for a few dollars per stick. But what does that have to do with the cut? It’s unlikely you’ll go bankrupt if you smoke a poorly made cigar, but why take the risk?

A poorly rolled cigar will smoke hot because it contains too much filler, and the tobacco won’t be evenly packed across the foot.

Use

If you are looking for a cut that produces an even burn while letting you take advantage of the entire width of the cigar, a straight cut is for you. With the straight cut, you simply cut the head of the cigar horizontally, removing the pre-cut cap. If you’re looking for a good burn, this is the cut to use.

When you’re using the straight cut, you can get a clean, even burn by holding the cigar at a 45-degree angle, and slowly push it through the blade. It’s also a good idea to alternate your cuts. Start your next cut with the blade already exposed the same number of mm as your previous cut so you’re not lifting the blade repeatedly while you’re cutting.

Final Thoughts

These three different cutting methods have endless combinations. If you have a specific need, like the ability to cut the end of a cigar to prevent it from unraveling, and you know how to use a cutter properly, the method you choose will not make the end product taste any different.

The only visible difference that you will see is the appearance of the final cut. If you are concerned about appearances and how you roll a cigar, you should choose a style that looks the way you like.

If it is taste and not appearances that matter, all three methods can be used to make a final cut that has a sufficiently exposed leaf and a great flavor.