THE METHOD YOU USE TO CUT A CIGAR IS LESS IMPORTANT THAN HOW YOU CUT A CIGAR.
Smoking a cigar is a ritual. It’s all about the process. And that process begins with knowing how to cut a cigar the right way.
Plus, the better the cigar you smoke – maybe you sprung for that Behike 52 when you were overseas? – the more attention you’re going to want to pay to make sure you’re giving it a proper cut, which equates to a better cigar smoking experience.
Here is the definitive HSS guide on how to cut a cigar.
Types of Cigar Caps
Before you cut a cigar, you need to know what you’re working with. There are two main kinds of cigar shapes: parejo and figurado.
A parejo is a cigar that has straight sides and a rounded cap. These are the most common cigar shapes you see out there and include sizes like the Corona, Robusto, Toro, Longsdale and Churchill.
A figurado refers to any kind of cigar with a non-standard shape. Most commonly we think of figurados having a pointed cap. Common figurados are the Torpedo, Belicoso, Pyramid and Diadema.
Methods for Cutting a Cigar
Guillotine. The double-blade guillotine is the most common method of cutting a cigar. The cut it delivers is referred to as a straight cut. You can buy them cheaply, but as with anything, you get what you pay for. A poor quality blade will do a literal hack job on your cigar and may even ruin the cap. It’s best to avoid cheaply made plastic and single-blade versions and spring for something a little more solid.
Punch. Unlike a guillotine cigar cutter, which slices off part of the cap, a punch makes about a 1/4″ circular hole in the end of the cap. A cigar punch is very small – the size of a bullet – and can be easier to carry (and lose).
V-Cutter. A v-cutter is one method you don’t see terribly often, but it’s a way to cut a cigar that some people prefer. This kind of cut will expose a lot more surface area of the cigar, therefore making it easier to draw smoke through cigar. One of the negative effects of a v-cut is that it can allow too much smoke through, making the cigar smoke too hot.
Other Methods. There are other ways of cutting a cigar other than the three methods listed above. You will also see special cigar cutting scissors and all manner of round cutters. In a pinch, you can use a sharp knife, a pen or pencil or even your teeth – though it’s best for the cigar and your smoking experience if you use a method listed above.
Which method should you use?
The method you use to cut your cigar is really a matter of personal preference. How you do it is really much more important.
Remember that the objective of any cut is to create a sufficient and smooth opening for smoking without destroying the integrity of the cigar. A proper cut will allow equal draw from the core and rim of the cigar.