Man cutting cigar before smoking while sitting in restaurant

Getting ready to smoke a cigar can be an enjoyable event on its own. The product you will be using is one of quality, so you should reflect on its production before lighting it up. In contrast to cigarettes, you cannot simply light the tip of a cigar and start puffing. Almost all premium cigars have a closed head that must be cut before you can smoke them. Cigars can be cut in a variety of ways; the best way is based on individual taste.

The better in-quality cigars you smoke, the more attention you’ll want to pay to the cut. A bad cut will ruin a cigar.

Choosing the Right Cutter

A dull blade can tear or crush tobacco, ruining your overall cigar experience. For a clean-cut, the blade of your tool must be sharp.

Here are two of the most common types of cigar cutters:


The most common type of cigar cutter. In contrast to a real guillotine, double-bladed blades attack their victims from two directions. You don’t have to spend a lot—stainless steel varieties cost about $10 and are long-lasting.


Looks like a bullet and does exactly what the name suggests: punches a hole in the cigar rather than snipping some off. Punch advocates claim it is less harmful to the cigar and makes it a bit fuller-bodied. There aren’t as many of these, but they are convenient because they can be kept on a keychain and less prone to causing accidental injury.

Preparing the Cut

A close inspection of the cigar’s head will reveal one or more seams around its circumference. There is usually one of these along the curved part of the cigar’s head known as the shoulder, and it covers the end.

When cutting a cigar, one must cleanly remove the cap and leave a strip of flag leaf behind, so the wrapper doesn’t become unraveled.

How to Make a Perfect Cut

1. Locate the cap

Above we mentioned that the cap is just a small piece of tobacco that covers the end and keeps it together. It’s very easy to find. This is all you want to cut—no more.

2. Position the blades right on the cigar, just inside the end of the cap

You will want to position the blades a couple of millimeters in from the end of the cap.

3. Make a quick cut without hesitating

Cut the cigar firmly and quickly to achieve a clean, smooth smoking experience. You may not get it perfectly straight on your first try, but you will soon get the hang of it.

Did you enjoy learning how to cut a cigar? Watch the latest episode of Cigar Conversations to learn more about cigars and become a cigar aficionado.

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