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Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 30 November 2002

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Bowing to popular demand, we check out some cigar accessories.

We took a little detour from the average cigar
review, and by popular demand, turned our
collective heads and ventured a peak at some cigar accessories.

Our first target is the line of cigar accessories from Xikar, Inc., a Kansas City based company with a reputation for innovation and quality.  We planned on only focusing on their cutters, but after seeing their line of "Gentlemen's Knives", we figured you way want to hear about these as well.

For this review we looked at 5 different pieces from the Xikar line, 3 cutters, and two knives.

Xi Cigar Cutter    Grade = A

If your used to the classic two finger cutter, this guy will be a surprise to you.  Heavy in your hand, the Xikar Xi feels like it could cut through steel.  With a retail price of $59.95, you want to make sure your getting your moneys worth.  Well, with every cigar our panelists cut, the love affair with the Xi blossomed more and more.  After using the Xi a few times, the price will become irrelevant, and you'll wonder how you got along without it.  This cutter will become such a part of your cigar smoking routine, that you'll treat it like a family member.  Couple all the above with the fact that if, and we do stress if, the self sharpening blades ever become dull, Xikar will sharpen them for free.

Likes

  • This is the Mercedes Benz of cutters.  From the heavyweight steel construction to the perfect operation, it just feels right.
  • Simple cutting mechanism.  Pop it open, insert cigar, engage piranha sharp blades.  The mechanism locks shut after cutting.  Even Michael Jordan could cut a cigar without risk of finger injury.
  • Ergonomics.  It simply maximizes the pressure transfer from your fingers to the blades.
  • Size. Many mentioned the ability to cut the largest of ring gauge cigars...easily accepting a 52 ring.
  • Cleanliness.  No more watching your cigar get squeezed while your blades begin to break through. This is a perfectly clean cut...period.

Dislikes

  • Messy?  OK, so we're getting a bit anal...but since the cutter locks closed after each cut, you can get pieces of tobacco caught up inside, and you have to click it open and shut a few times to get them out.


 

Xi3 Cigar Cutter   Grade = A

Echo everything we said above, as the Xi3 differs only slightly from the Xi.  In fact the key changes are aesthetic.  With the Xikar Xi3, you have your choice of two finishes, the Xi3 Tech (unavailable at the time of this article) and the Xi3 Redwood.

We tested the Xi3 Redwood, which differs from the Xi by having the stainless steel polished, and the addition of two gorgeous redwood handles.  You almost feel like you should be touring the California wine country in your Jaguar XK8 Convertible, while contemplating which vineyard to buy, while your using this cutter.  What a bonus, gorgeous and works great...and it can make you dream!

As we said, performs as well as the Xi, and adds a bit of flair to the experience as well.  We tested the Xi3 Redwood, which was undeniably a combination of art and science.


 

Xi MTX Multitool    Grade = A-
 

We'll start by pulling a quote right from the Xikar website:

"This lightweight, compact folding cigar scissors also includes a cigar poker, knife blade, screwdriver, and bottle opener. Cigar scissors can cut up to a 54 ring-gauge cigar. Handy for all occasions. Comes with key ring attachment for easy access. Total thickness: .2 inches. Total weight: 1.0 oz!"

Ahhhh, yeah.  How did you do that again?  This puppy is small and thin.  With the looks of a surgical instrument, the MTX Multitool defines cool and gadget.  Able to cut the biggest and baddest of cigars, the MTX Multitool shies away from nothing.  Add the "swiss army" gadgets and you have a world class keychain attachment.  Bonus points for that "James Bond" type of feel when you whip this thing out to cut your cigar.  Be prepared, you will stop any conversation.

Likes

  • Sex appeal.  This is just to damn funky.
  • Major league ring gauge appetite.  Easily cut a 54 ring gauge cigar.
  • Utility.  Really, this is the perfect stocking stuffing all purpose keychain attachment a cigar smoker could get.  Send the wife the weblink...quick!
  • Quality.  Not a surprise from Xikar, but this looks like surgical class.

Dislikes

  • Leverage.  Picky again, but the scissors did want to twist a little bit when cutting the biggest of cigars.


 

Xi 118 and Xi138 Gentleman's Knives  Grade = A

At first the concept of a Gentleman's Knife made us a touch confused.  When you think about it, why would a gentleman need a knife?  Then it hit us...if your using one of these Xikar Gentleman's knives, your probably either disarming a nuclear warhead to ensure world peace, or maybe carving a bust of Michelangelo's David using a piece of 500 year old antique birch you harvested while free diving on the bottom of Lake Superior.

At this point we expected nothing less than the best.  Both of these knives delivered.  The Xi 118 (pictured top right) is a near weightless device at 1.3 ounces.  Our sample had a Chinese Quince wood handle, and looked the part of a "classy Gentleman's Knife" that one would carry to make sure one was always prepared.  If you check out the XIKAR website, you'll see all the other impressive statistics concerning the hardness of the blade, thickness, etc.  Rest assured, if you carry a "Gentleman's Knife"...this is it.

The Xi138 is the larger and more "spy-like" brother of the Xi118.  Weighing in at a mere 1.5 ounces, you wonder how Xikar designed this larger version without adding nearly any weight.  Likely due to the Aircraft Aluminum Anodized 6061 T6 frame, the stainless blade and aluminum frame feel perfectly balanced at their slight mass.

Available in a few different handle colors, and adding a small pocket clip on the side, the Xi138 is technically delicious.  Both of these knives easily live up to the standard for quality that Xikar set in its cigar cutters.


 

Xikar makes some solid products.  Everything we looked at was impeccable.  Some folks may complain they are on the pricey side, but for this quality, we don't think the avid cigar smoker is going to bat an eye.  Everything we tested was worth every penny, and are highly recommended.

The XIKAR website has all their products for sale on-line, and Xikar products are available at most better tobacconists.




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