The most exquisite cigar in the world can be ruined by a poor cut. Imagine it: the smell – so subtle and spicy – the feel – so supple and moist. Your feet are stretched towards the dancing fire before you, your back leaned so comfortably into the tall, cushioned chair. On the end table beside you, a glass of your favorite beverage and a classic novel that you are excited to delve into. Casually, almost without thinking, you snip off the cigar’s head and then, to your dismay, notice that the wrapper has torn. Now while you smoke the cigar gradually unravels, bits of tobacco ending up on your teeth or stuck to your lips. The draw is too meek or too bold and that perfect balance of flavor is lost. In one clumsy stroke, your extremely enviable scenario has been dismantled.
In this post, we will cover three different types of cutters, as well as the proper usage of said cutters. Each one is decent in its own rite; neither is “better” than another, and each come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
The first method we will cover is probably the most famous and recognized, the guillotine cutter. The straight, even cut provided by this cutter is achieved through lining up the cigar’s shoulder (where the curve just begins to straighten) with the blade and, like a guillotine, slicing it off with a single, powerful stroke. Precision is not exactly crucial here. Slicing off too little, while mildly aggravating, can be easily remedied by a quick trim. The real problem would arise from cutting off too much, for then your draw is too airy and will become very hot, disrupting the taste, and will also cause the wrapper to unwind and flake off. For the most part, though, the guillotine cutter is very easy to use, which is its chief advantage. The cut is clean (if well-preformed) and the draw is enjoyable. A disadvantage might be that a dull blade, like with a kitchen knife, will drag and pull instead of slice, tearing instead of cutting the cigar’s wrapper. Make sure that your guillotine is sharp before using it.
The second cutter is the V-Cutter, which provides a deep, wedge-shaped cut in the cigar’s cap. The v-cutter is a very precise instrument; achieving the proper cut requires much more detailed attention than that required of a guillotine. Insert the cap of the cigar into the opening and, using your dominant thumb and middle finger, press the blade firmly down, thus creating the wedge. Once mastered, this method will leave you with a more controlled draw and a cleaner cut, which are the most distinct advantages of the v-cutter. The cap is left relatively intact, minimizing the risk of an unraveling cigar. A wedge is, however, a much smaller opening than a straight cut, meaning that the draw one gets from a v-cut will be much less than what one gets from a guillotine. Some smokers like this, others do not. It entirely depends on your preference.
The last cutter we will be covering is the cigar punch. The theory is that, like a v-cutter, the punch will leave the cigar’s cap intact by simply punching a small hole in the very top, creating a tight draw and little possibility of flaking. The punch will only work on round-capped cigars; it will be ineffective on torpedoes or figurados, and typically performs best on cigars with a ring gauge size over 40. Also like a v-cutter, however, the small diameter of the whole doesn’t leave very much room for a huge draw, and many smokers might find this restricting.
Obviously, there are a great many other methods for cutting that we didn’t mention, but if you have any questions about them, or about the ones we were able to cover, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d love to answer your questions and help you find the cutter that suits you best!