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How To Cut a Cigar Like an Aficionado

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

In the world of cigar aficionados, there's an art to every step of the process, and cutting a cigar is no exception. It's a delicate dance between craftsmanship and technique, where the right cut can enhance the overall smoking experience. In this guide, we're diving deep into the nuances of cutting cigars perfectly – from tools to techniques and even a few insider tricks of the trade.



Exploring the Tools


Before you even touch the cigar, it's crucial to understand the tools at your disposal. Just like a painter chooses their brushes, a cigar enthusiast selects the right cutter for the job. There are three main types of cutters that you should be familiar with:


1. Straight Cutter: This classic choice boasts double blades that provide a clean, straight cut. Regardless of the size or shape of your cigar, a straight cutter is a reliable option that delivers maximum opening.


2. V-Cut: For those seeking a unique approach, the V-cut creates a wedge-shaped opening. This not only enhances the draw but also prevents your lips from making direct contact with the filler tobacco.


3. Punch: When precision is paramount, the punch cutter creates a small, focused hole for a tighter draw. It's the go-to option for those who prefer a controlled smoking experience.



Decoding Cigar Shapes


Cigars come in a dazzling array of shapes and sizes, but when it comes to cutting, there are two main types of end caps to consider: rounded caps and torpedo caps.


1. Rounded Caps: These are the most common cigar shapes, featuring 1 to 3 caps that are glued to the end to prevent the cigar from unraveling. You can confidently use any of the three cutters – straight, V-cut, or punch – to create the opening of your preference. The caps themselves could also serve as a guide for your cut.


2. Torpedo Caps: These uniquely pointed cigars require a little more finesse. While a straight or V-cut works wonders, the punch should be avoided, as it can damage the delicate structure. Torpedo caps also offer a chance to customize your draw, ensuring a smoking experience tailored to your preferences which I'll cover in the next section.


Perfecting the Cut


Now that you're armed with the knowledge of tools and shapes, it's time to master the technique for each.


a. Rounded Caps:

  • Straight Cutter: The key is to trim a sliver off the top, about the size of a dime. This ensures an optimal draw without sacrificing the integrity of the cigar.

  • V-Cut: Align the cutter and make a precise slice, keeping an eye on the end caps to avoid cutting too deep.

  • Punch: Gently position the punch at the center of the cap and twist slowly, preventing any damage to the delicate wrapper.

b. Torpedo Caps:

  • Straight Cutter: When using a Straight cutter on a Torpedo shaped cigar you can customize the size of the opening to an extent. Creating the perfect draw for you! Go about 1/3 of the way from the tip of the cigar to the end cap line and cut. Test the draw to see if you need more airflow. Then you can cut another 2-3 millimeters to open it up some more. Gradually trim until you achieve your desired draw, taking care not to pass the end cap.

  • V-Cut: Similar to the rounded caps, line up and give it a swift slice for a controlled opening.

Achieving the Perfect Draw


Sometimes, even the most seasoned aficionados encounter cigars that are either too loose or too tight. But fear not, there are tricks to remedy this and ensure an ideal draw.


1. Punch, Test, Straight-Cut:

  • Begin with a punch cut and test the draw.

  • Transition to a straight cut for maximum airflow if needed.

2. The Crown Cut:

  • This ingenious technique involves creating a second V-cut on the cigar.

  • It not only enhances airflow but also adds a touch of flair to your smoking ritual.

  • Starting with a rounded cap cigar, perform a V-Cut.

  • If the draw feels restricted, you can add a second V-cut on the cigar perpendicular to the first cut. Creating an "X", or "Crown Cut".

With these insights, you're now equipped to approach cutting cigars with confidence and finesse. Remember, each cigar is a unique experience waiting to unfold, and the cut you make plays an integral role in shaping that experience. Your mastery of the cutting techniques will undoubtedly elevate your cigar journey. Cheers to the art of premium cigars!


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