Cutting a cigar is an essential step that you as a cigar smoker must know about. You cannot smoke a cigar unless you cut it there is no other way around it. Which is why it is important to know how to cut a cigar in the right way to perfectly preserve rest of it and have a good experience.
As much as cutting it is important it’s also equally important to do it correctly. The way you cut the cigar will determine a lot of factors regarding the smoking experience. So it is very important to do it correctly rather then just taking a knife to it.
Importance of knowing to cut a cigar properly
Unraveling – A cigar cut at the wrong place or if its messed around a lot trying to cut properly can make the wrapper unravel which in turn will make the cigar useless. I am sure you don’t want that so keep reading to avoid from that happening.
Bad Airflow – To properly enjoy a cigar right amount of airflow which is unobstructed is important. It’s smoke is not cigarette smoke instead it carries aroma, flavor and texture with it. Cutting it incorrectly means obstructed passage for it to not deliver the right amount of smoke along with aroma and flavor to you. This could in turn mean that you might think that the cigar is not good which won’t be true.
To know how to cut it is also important to know where to cut.
Where to cut a cigar
The part that we put into our mouths to smoke is called head or cap. It is the side of the brand band incase you are confused. This side under the wrapper you will feel a small cap underneath the whole thing, this cap is there to keep the cigar intact and stop it from unraveling. Caps are put in during the hand roll procedure to bring the whole thing together. Right underneath the cap is the shoulders.
We never want to cut the cigar on the shoulder cause if we do the cap that holds the entire thing together will not be part of it anymore and the cigar will unravel.
Ideally the cigar is cut just above the cap’s end but this depends on the type of cutter that you are using. Let’s discuss about different types of cutters that you can use. I have also written my selection of the best cigar cutters which you can check out.
Cut A Cigar With Different Types Of Cutters
They are also called as bullet cutters. They are perfect for those on the move because of there size they are pretty much accessible anywhere. They are so small you get some pretty good ones which can also be used as key chains. You can easily attach them to your normal key chain or attach your keys to it and have a way to smoke your cigars anywhere you like.
A punch is not the most ideal way of doing this but if you have no other choice it is better then nothing or worse using your teeth. It can also not be used on anything more then 50 ring gauge size but on the other hand it is small, convenient and cheap.
It basically pierces a small hole on top of the cap which can be used to smoke a cigar. The hole is quite small which is why it is recommended to do it twice or thrice connecting all the three holes together to get much wider width. The smaller width obstructs the airflow and causing accumulation of tobacco near the cap. But if you are smoking a smaller ring gauge you don’t have to do it multiple times just once is enough.
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How to use a punch
To use it simple push the punch into the cap and pull it out. Clean out the tobacco from the cap and repeat it till you have the wide enough hole to smoke from. Remember to not poke the hole far down but only till the point you can see the filler. If you poke the hole way down into the body the cap will come off.
It is also called as the traditional cutter. One of the most popular type of cutter among the aficionados and even pop culture. A lot of times in the movies or TV if you see someone cutting a cigar it will probably with this type of cutter.
They are so popular for there rightful reasons.They are easy to use and they give a straight sharp cut which provides a good experience. The cut straight across the caps for an even straight line cut which provides more burn and smoke due to the increased airflow. It also causes some tobacco to come in your mouth due to the slice which you can easily clean off.
There are 2 types of guillotine cutters available in the market – ‘Single Blade’ and ‘Double Blade’. They both have there lists of pros and cons which I will talk about. Essentially though the name explains quite a lot, a single blade cutter comes only with a single blade and the same with double blade.
Single Blade – They are designed to cut the cap off in one motion. They can cut upto 56 ring size. They are very popular so it is to find them anywhere you like along with that they are also quite cheap so you can really stack up on them . The only problem with these type of cutters is if you don’t make the motion in tight cut the cap might not cut properly. So when using a single blade guillotine cutter you have to keep in mind to cut right through.
Double Blade – They are essentially the same type of cutter as the single blade only with one difference, it has two blades. It is tougher to cut with them but they provide a more precise cut then the other choice. You will require much more force but will get a more precise and even cut then the single blade in return. They are also not as cheap as the other type but are more quality. There are some in the markets which come with spring mechanism which make them way easier to use.
How to use guillotine.
When cutting with guillotine cutters it is vital that you do not cut beyond the cap and into the shoulder. When doing it just place your cigar cap side into the guillotine and once its nice and comfortable in there you keep pulling it out till its just above the cap line. You can go further away from the cap line just don’t cut it at the curve.
Once you have it at the right spot you want to cut on bring the blades slowly till they are embedded into it and once they are apply pressure and snip it off in one motion.
If you have done it correctly you will have one clean cut and if you see some tobacco just rub it with your thumb and clean it up.
These cutters are not as popular as the guillotine but are definitely loved by many. The difference between a guillotine and a v-cut is that these cutters create wedge into the cigar rather then slicing it off. This wedge has some benefits as the tar and tobacco gets pushed to the sides into the wedge and you get a nice clean smoke experience through the wedge.
Important thing to remember is that v-cut cutters don’t slice off the cap or cut through but instead cut through in a v shape wedge in the head.
The blades are harder to keep sharp because of its design so its always a good idea to get the best one. They work great on smaller cigars so if you smoke small cigars they will be a good choice.
How to use v-cutter
Since v-cutters don’t slice off anything but instead create a wedge in the head it is good to remember not to push your cigar into the cutter like the guillotine. Instead if you are using a good v-cutter it will already have a blocking/holding type of place which will insert the right amount of cigar into it.
You want to push in just the peak of the head into the cutter and then align into a straight position. Once you think it’s straight in swift motion close the blades and you will have a small wedge on the head that will be ready to smoke.
All of the above cutters are only good till a certain ring size such as 54- 58 but if you like smoking really thick cigars you will need something much bigger to handle it. Cigar scissors is what you use then. They work and look like normal cigars except for one small thing, they are designed to cut a cigar.
Just like guillotine they slice off the cap and are designed well so that it can almost be effortless. They come in many different designs but the basic concept is always the same, some are more elegant in there style while some are very rugged.
The only problem with these cutters is that if you don’t buy a surgical quality stainless cutters then they don’t work as good. It is important to remember that if you are thinking of making the purchase.
How to use scissors cutters
They are used just as the guillotine where place the cigar into the blades where you want to cut and in one swift motion you cut through. Nothing complicated about the process just remember the basic rules of cutting cigar.
This was my guide on how to cut cigars and how to use different types of cutters, remember sometimes even professional make mistake and end up cutting in a wrong manner. As you cut more and more you will also develop your own styles and favorites depending on the type of cutter that you want to use.