If you have been smoking cigars for any amount of time then you have certainly heard, or taken part in, the epic debate of “What is the best cigar cutter?”. Of all the accessories out there for the cigar enthusiast, nothing incites passionate defense more than when someone is told that their beloved cigar cutter isn’t the best type. Why? I ask myself this all the time - Why?
At the end of the day all methods of cutting a cigar do that same thing - remove part of the cap on the head of the cigar, which allows the smoker to pull air through the foot of the cigar, which heats up the cherry, which generates smoke, which gets pulled through the cigar, which enters the smokers mouth, which allows the recipient of the smoke to enter a state of euphoria. Simple, right?
Types of Cutters
Guillotine - The most common type of cutter that you will see is the traditional Guillotine cutter. These cutters come with 2 blades - either one stationary and one dynamic, or both dynamic. The blades operate in a hole in which the user places the head of the cigar, then actuates the blade(s), which then makes a cut. Variations include the Perfect Cutter, which has a stop that prevents the user from cutting off too much of the head, and the V-Cutter, which has a triangular shaped blade.
Punch - A punch cutter is a small tool that uses a cylindrical blade. The user “punches” a hole in the head of the cigar by inserting the cylindrical blade while rotating the cigar or cutter. This removes a small, circular portion of the cap.
Less Common Types of Cutters
Scissors - This type of cutter is pretty self explanatory - it's a pair of scissors with the difference from standard craft scissors being that the blade tapers down from thick to thin, so that the blade is reminiscent of a knife.
Knives - Again, this is self-explanatory - it’s a knife. The key here is technique. You want to gently apply pressure to the cap of the cigar and rotate the cigar, or blade, around the head of the cigar. Once you make a full revolution, the cap will pop off.
Types of Cut
Straight Cut - A straight cut is achieved by cutting flat, or straight, across the head of the cigar, removing a section of the cap. This is achieved by any flat bladed cutter option. This is the most common type of cut.
V-Cut - A V-cut is achieved with - you guessed it - a V-Cutter. The triangular shaped blade creates a “V” shaped valley across the head. The “benefit” to this is that it creates better airflow because there is more open area for the smoke to flow through.
Punch Cut - Created using a Punch Cutter, the idea with this type of cut is that you are creating a more concentrated area for the smoke to flow through. It is also a pretty fool proof cutting method for beginners because you don’t have to worry about cutting off too much of the cap.
Now, My Two Cents
So, I will be forthcoming and tell you that I have only ever straight cut my cigars. I have no experience performing or utilizing a V-Cut or a Punch Cut. When I started smoking I got a cheap straight bladed Guillotine cutter. I used it till it got dull, then I got a Perfect Cutter. I used it until about 3 years ago when I went to light up a cigar on the tractor and realized I didn’t have my cutter. I used my pocket knife, and haven’t used a cutter since. The pocket knife was my go-to for about 2 and a half years, because I always had it until I didn’t. When I found myself without my pocket knife, I used my fingernail. I have since not used any other method for cutting my cigar and I have never been in a position where I forgot my fingernails… So it has worked out well so far…
Honestly, My Two Cents on cutters is - do what you want and what works for you. At the end of the day, as with everything else in the cigar world, it comes down to preference. If you like the ease of your method - great. If you like the resulting air flow of your method - great. I use my fingernails because, as I said, I like a straight cut and I like not having to remember my cutter.
My only word of advice is: If you consistently find your cigars unraveling when you use a Straight or V Cut - maybe try a Perfect Cutter until you learn the proper amount of cap, or a Punch Cutter so that you aren’t removing too much of the cap. If you like a Punch cut, but you consistently have tight draws - maybe try adapting to a Straight or V-cut, or make multiple punches in the cap.
Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are and your preferred cutting method. Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, criticisms, or just to talk on Instagram, or contact me through the site here.