Rupert Macintosh discusses a few of the methods employed to cut a cigar. 


Having enjoyed a few nice cigars so far, I thought it would be a good time to explore the world of cutters and lighters. For the uninitiated, there are generally three ways to cut your cigar (if you exclude the unconventional options such as biting the end off!); guillotine, punch and scissors.

Incidentally, in naming them I have also explained by order of preference. How you choose to cut does have a fairly big impact on what happens to the end of your precious stick.

 I tend to find guillotine (the act of bringing one, but ideally two blades, together in a pincer motion to slice through under an equal amount of pressure) is the best. Xikar are the market leaders at this, in my opinion.

 Next you have the punch, of which bores a small hole, about the diameter of a pencil, out of the cap itself. This is a great tidy cut, and very good for people who are fairly wet smokers, but does mean the nicotine is channelled through a very tight, constricted space so many cigars taste stronger.

Lastly you have the scissors, of which are sadly most likely to be offered to you if smoking out at a hotel or bar. These are by the far the most showy way to cut a cigar, and I tend to find most likely to do a bad job! It takes a lot of expert skill to wield these, such that the pressure applied is actually enough to cut the cap and not tear it, dragging the wrapper along with it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use them, or are wrong if you do, but please be careful deploying them on a £25 Cohiba for the first time.

I’ll be doing a follow-up blog on the market leaders in the guillotine space, Xikar, to put some of their cheaper and more exclusive cutters through their paces, so be sure to watch out for this shortly. 


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