Even the world’s greatest basketball player has been a victim of a poor cigar cutter.
Yes, that’s right, Michael Jordan cut himself with a cigar cutter in 1999 causing him to miss one game for the Chicago Bulls. Whether it was Michael’s poor form or a poor cigar cutter the fact is, you just can’t overlook your cigar cutting.
Let’s be honest, injuring yourself is unlikely to happen but to make sure you are enjoying your cigar to it’s fullest potential, Better Cigar is here to help.
Our guide will include the different types cuts, how best to cut your cigar, and round it out with product reviews of the best cigar cutters available in 2017. Whether it’s a gift to a fellow cigar lover, or a gift to yourself, let us help.
- 1 Types of Cigar Cutters:
- 2 How To Cut A Cigar:
- 3 Are Cigar Cutters Allowed on Planes?
- 4 Best Cigar Cutters:
Let’s first walk through the basics of cigar cutters to understand what may be best for you.
Types of Cigar Cutters:
This cut is the most common – and probably the one you may be currently familiar with. It’s a clean type of cut that can be a bit hard to execute. Always try to use a premium cigar cutter when making a straight cut, the blade has to be sharp. It’s easy to think that a sharp knife or scissors will do but that’s usually the fastest way to get tobacco remnants in your mouth. The straight cut of a cigar is preferred by many cigar aficionados because it allows the most surface volume on the head of the cigar – which really means more smoke!
The punch cut really is what it sounds like – it’s a cut that creates a small circle at the head of the cigar. You may have seen these cutters before – they are often a lot cheaper than most cigar cutters and are attached to keychains. The big downfall of this type of cut is that it can be easy to clog a cigar with tobacco or saliva. However, some cigar aficionados like it due to it’s decreased chance of getting tobacco pieces in the mouth while smoking and the ability to take it just about anywhere.
The v-cut is mostly used for larger gauge cigars (+60 gauges) or torpedo cigars, especially since these types of cigars take a lot of punches or don’t even fit in your straight cigar cutter. These cuts are normally ones you have to get right the first time – so they aren’t friendly for beginners. Similar to the punch cut, you will also find that sometimes a v-cut can be clogged easily by tobacco or saliva. Lastly, one thing to remember, is to never use a cheap v-cut cigar cutter – if the blade isn’t sharp enough you’ll like end up mutilating the cigar!
How To Cut A Cigar:
Cigar cutting is an art. Well, it’s an art that is a bit hard to mess up but if you butcher a cigar too badly, it can sour an experience with a coveted cigar. Your cigar cutting can effect more than you would expect: the taste, the smoke output, and even the burn. Is there really much else?
In my personal experience, the straight cut cigar cutter is the easiest cutter to start with so we will be using that for our 4-step tutorial:
Step 1: Take your time
The most important thing to remember is to take your time. There’s no rush, especially if you’ve got a bit of an alcoholic buzz going already. Remember the old saying “measure twice and cut once?” Line up your cigar on the left of the “cap” of the cigar. Many times you’ll actually see a line for where the cap starts to make it easy to identify.
Step 2: Don’t cut too far down the head of the cigar
The cardinal rule of cigar cutting is to make sure not to cut your cigar too far down. Not only can you ruin precious inches that you paid for of delicious tobacco, it can create burn and taste issues as well. Double check to make sure your aligned well.
Step 3: Aim for one firm cut
Once your cigar blade is in place, press firmly and aim to cut in one firm cut. Multiple cuts can cause the wrapper to unravel as you smoke it.
Step 4: Practice makes perfect
Enjoy your smoke – keep in mind, with only a few more cuts you’ll be able to perfect the art of cutting your cigar. That is, if you have the right tool!
Are Cigar Cutters Allowed on Planes?
One of the most common questions about cigar cutters is whether or not you can safely bring them onto the airplane. Today, you can never be too sure what will fly (no pun intended).
According to the TSA, cigar cutters are not allowed to be carried onto the airplane. However, I know many who have had no problems with flying with them under the pretense of it being similar to scissors (<4 inch blade). That being said, if you own an expensive cigar cutter, I would recommend buying a less expensive alternative for flying just in case you run into a cranky TSA employee.
Best Cigar Cutters:
We are going to include a cigar cutter that’s a little out of the ordinary… what’s a list of the best cigar cutters without a female friendly one? Hey there’s nothing wrong with going for a smooth cutting Xikar, regardless of the color, but some of us like to stand out with our cigar cutters. For those of us, this one is for you.
- All metal construction – giving a bit of weight and precision with cutting the cigar
- Includes very friendly lifetime warranty – they will send a replacement on a whim
- Includes gift box a very nice gift box with no additional charge
- Some have complained about having an issue with a blade – but I personally feel like mine is very sturdy after a couple of cuts thus far.
- If you are looking for a handmade product – skip this one. However, handmade is hard to find at this price to be fair.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
If rose gold isn’t your thing then I would bet the Xikar Xi2 likely will be. This model is all business and with a name like Xikar, you know it’s quality.
- One of the best cigar cutting brands in the business, Xikar, offers a free lifetime warranty and free leather case if you register for the warranty
- The blades are stainless steel which is grade HRC 57
- Complete protection of blades and ease of transportation in your pocket make it a breeze to use on the go
- The importance of cutting your cigar in one firm cut is very important with this cigar cutter – their is a locking mechanism after cutting it for safety
- The body itself (excluding the steel blades) is a hardened plastic – if you want something with more weight, then you should opt for all steel.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
If you are in the market for a v-cut cigar cutter rather than a straight cutter, this is the one.
- Two year warranty provides a safety net – plenty of time to test your new cutter!
- Stainless steel and heavy weight frame – more sturdy than plastic.
- Price is friendly enough to have as a second cigar cutter whenever a v-cut is ideal
- Normally v-cut cutters like these are difficult to repair since they are quite elaborate in terms of mechanical design
- Similar cigar cutting companies offer lifetime warranties rather than just two year warranties
Overall Score: 8/10
Go big or go home with the Xikar XO cutter. You won’t find another cigar cutter like this on the market – and as you can see the cutter comes from a popular cigar cutter brand here at Better Cigar.
- Patent pending design makes this a great conversational cigar cutter
- Double guillotine design allows pressure to be distributed equally across all sides of the cigar
- Lifetime warranty – with a quick return and repair policy
- Able to cut larger gauge cigars with no problems
- This cigar cutter is a bit bulky – so if you are frequently on the go, you may opt for something smaller or lighter
- The price is a bit on the high side; making this a cigar cutter you can’t afford to lose!
Overall Score: 10/10
If you are the market for a premium punch cutter – then Xikar also makes a fantastic one of these…
- As you may guessed, lifetime warranty is a huge pro with Xikar
- Heavy duty and sharp blade helps with larger gauges; for a smaller gauge cigar (anything less than 60) we recommend the 7mm version
- The keychain makes this one hard to lose and easy to carry on the move
- This cutter has two “depth” settings, allowing you to find your preference
- With a cigar cutter that is so mobile, naturally there is an increased risk of damage
- If you are a bit fat fingered – this unit may be difficult to use
Overall Score: 7.5/10