Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 01 June 2013

User Rating: / 2

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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been telling you all the tips you need to avoid looking like a newbie when you light up a cigar. This week, we’re going to introduce you to one of the most important pieces of equipment for the cigar lover—the cutter. So what is a cigar cutter and why do you need one?




The cigar cutter is a handy little gadget that cuts one end off your cigar before you smoke it. Some cigars are sold already cut on both ends, but most of them come with one end straight and the other covered by a “cap.” This cap consists of small pieces of wrapper pasted to the end of the cigar, and must be cut if you’re going to properly smoke it.

Sure, you can bite off the cap or cut it with a knife, but either is likely to result in a ragged edge that will prevent your cigar from burning evenly. Do you really want to do that to a fine cigar?

OK, we’ve established that you need a cigar cutter, but what kind? There are three basic types of cuts: the straight cut, the wedge or V cut and the hole punch. There is a fourth, less common, cut called the “Shuriken” or multiple slit cut, but it’s still pretty new and not used all that often.

There are several factors in which cut to choose, like size and shape of the cigar, type of filler tobacco and plain old personal preference. There’s a different cutter for each type of cut.

The cutter used for making a straight cut is called a guillotine. Many cigar aficionados like this cut because of the way the exposed cap end allows the most smoke to exit without leaving buildup around the edge. The straight cut is preferred for the smaller ring gauge cigars. The single blade guillotine is the most common, but some cigar smokers prefer the double blade for a cleaner cut. The guillotine is popular because it’s practical, inexpensive and easy to carry around.


The wedge or V cutter looks pretty much like a guillotine except that the blade is shaped to slice a wedge into the cigar’s cap rather than cutting it off. This leaves a clean-looking gash that can penetrate deeper into the filler than a straight cut. That’s why some smokers prefer the wedge cut for the larger ring gauge cigars. A good wedge cutter will slice from one side and at the same depth without cutting too deep, but a cheap one can leave a sloppy cut that gives an uneven burn.


Some smokers prefer the punch cut because its circular blade exposes less of the filler tobacco, minimizing the chance that some of it will end up in the mouth. Others complain that the smaller hole prevents enough smoke from coming out. The three types of cigar punches are the bullet punch, Havana punch and multi-punch.

The bullet punch, not surprisingly, is shaped like a bullet and usually carried on a keychain. While bullet punches tend to be inexpensive and easy to use, they have been known to lose their caps, leaving the blade exposed in your pocket. Obviously, this could be a problem!

A safer option is the Havana punch, which has a recessed blade that pops out when you push a button. The multi-punch can deliver several sizes of punch holes for different sizes of cigars.

The Shuriken cigar cutter is still fairly new. In Japanese, “Shuriken” means “sword hidden in the hand,” and that pretty well describes this cutter that conceals six sharp blades. The advantage of the Shuriken is that it cuts six slits into the cap that allow the smoker to control the draw. This cutter also allows the user to enjoy less expensive short fill cigars without swallowing loose tobacco.

Now that you’re convinced that you need a cigar cutter, how do you go about picking which one to buy? All of them have their good and bad points to consider.

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