Be prepared, this topic may get you into a heated discussion in your local smoke shop. Be smart, and welcome all opinions- even if they are wrong.
So, you want to know how to cut a cigar, huh? Well, cutting a cigar is a thing of beauty. There are different types of cutters that you should know about- the first not actually being a cutter, but a “punch.”
Punch style cutters are inexpensive, but I find that they tend to concentrate tar in tightly rolled premium cigars. You will most likely experience a table-top cutter in your store, like the one at the top of this post.
Your cigar store associate will help you with the kind of cut you should use- though they may just tell you “it’s up to you.” I tend to go with big gauge cuts, exposing as much of the cigar as possible. But, what do you do if you’re not in a store? That’s where a standard cutter comes in handy. While you can go ahead and grab a super expensive $500 cutter, I would suggest sticking with a “cheapy” style cutter.
Here’s one that I like and use:
This one is $6.00 on Amazon, but you can get them pretty much anywhere. There is a variation on this type, called a V-Guillotine. I have about 10 of these, and usually only use them when I am on a trip and need extras. The nice thing about them is that you can’t over extend the cutter blades. Unfortunately, they also tend to cost a hefty sum. Here’s what those look like:
Remember that expensive cutter I mentioned earlier? That’s a set of platinum coated, diamond bladed cigar scissors that have been bathed in the waters of Lake Minnetonka. Ok, maybe not that lavish, but they can be pretty pricey. As such, I haven’t actually used these. I am sure I can buy some cheaply, but when you have something that works, why bother changing?
So, you have your cutter. How do you cut the damned thing?Want a handy diagram? Sure. Here ya go:
Every cigar will have at least one cap on it. The image above is actually a triple-cap. See the three distinctive lines? (Not the one that’s not a line, but is actually part of the tobacco) If I am cutting a cigar, I will always cut the very tippy-top of it. It’s always easier to remove more if you need to, but impossible to put any back. Why does it matter? Because if you cut too much off, the cigar can unravel- and there you’ve taken this wonderful thing of beautiful craftsmanship and messed it all up because you didn’t know the right way to cut the thing. Do yourself a favor and be conservative in your cuts. Don’t be foolhardy and think that you can just go hog wild on the thing.
Of course, there is a way to do this without a cutter at all. You can use your teeth. Gently use your two front teeth to loosen the top cap and gently pry the thing off. It’s messier, but it’s also a great way to prevent the thing from unraveling completely. Or, you can go all out like Hannibal from the A-Team and chomp the thing off and spit it at a local bad guy. It’s your choice!
My cutter of choice is the Cuban Crafter Perfect Cutter. It’s a double-blade guillotine with a closed back so that you literally put the cigar in it and it touches the closed back. Takes all the guesswork out of how much to cut because it cuts to the top seam every time on parejos and it has a hole for shaped tips. Works very well, except for that on some shaped tips you have to take multiple cuts to open the draw to your liking as it only goes so far in.
The one I use is the Dos Chabetas model – it’ll handle everything up to an 80 ring gauge. This is what it looks like: https://www.amazon.com/Cuban-Crafters-Perfect-Cutter-Chabetas/dp/B01DPYR4TC.
A bit expensive at $20 but cheaper than a lot of other cutters out there.
I couldn’t agree more. I hardly ever see these nowadays, but this is the best middle-of-the-road solution you can get.