The Different Types of Cigar Cutters and Cuts
Every cigar enthusiast knows that how you cut a cigar can potentially ruin your premium piece. Besides this, cutting a cigar provides the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the great heritage of tobacco growing, picking, fermenting and rolling. Cigar cutters and cuts are therefore common accessories that every ardent smoker should have. They are basically used to create openings at the head of the stick, to allow the smoke and air to pass through. The head is the part of the cigar that goes into your mouth and can be identified by the cap on it.
You have probably seen in movies where an actor cuts off the head of a cigar using a V-cut cutter, or maybe a rouge character who just bites it off. How the cigar is cut is a matter of personal preference but it is important to equip yourself with skills and knowledge on cutters and cigar cutting generally. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular cigar cutting accessories.
Straight Cutters/Guillotine – the single blade guillotine is the most basic type of straight cutter even though the double blade is more preferable. The latter is embraced by the experienced aficionados owed to its precision and ability to make the cleanest of cuts. The cutting basically applies from both sides simultaneously hence giving it an even edge. The other advantage of cutting your cigar using double bladed guillotines is that the precision in cutting deters the wrapping from getting torn.
To properly cut your cigar using a guillotine, identify where the shoulder of the piece ends. This is the curved part of the head and where it ends is where you should place your cutter. You can close one of your eyes as you place the cigar into the cutter so as to line it up properly at the perfect spot. Make sure that you use as much force as possible in one smooth motion to give it a clean cut.
V-cut/Wedge Cutter – instead of cutting off the head completely, the V-cutter makes a notched hole made by a uniquely shaped blade. Its innovative design allows it to slice from one side, and at the same depth. This not only deletes the risk of cutting too deep into your cigar, but also provides a generous surface area that allows you to draw sufficient air, without exposing the mouth to loose debris. It is always a good accessory ideal for enthusiasts who enjoy small ring gauge brands of cigars.
Cutting with V-cutters can however be tricky as you do not want going deep into the cut. When this happens, the draw will be too good and your cigar will smoke hotter than intended. In essence, you should hold the wedge cutter on the dominant hand and the cigar on the other, and then push the stick towards the cutter as you squeeze both ends together. Wedge cutters come in various sizes and designs ranging from desktop V-cutters to small pocket-sized cutters.
The Hole Punch – similar to the wedge cutter, the punch does not completely cut the cap off. Instead, it creates a hole in the cap using a sharp, circular blade which creates an opening. It is however important to note that the size of the hole made counts a lot and if small, it will interfere with the draw and smoking eventually. If cut properly, the cigar smoker will not have to worry about tobacco accumulating on the mouth from debris.
The cutting process is quite simple where you just choose the appropriate size of punch, and then insert the blade slowly into the cigar’s cap as you rotate it to fully create a hole. These accessories are however ideal for smokers who prefer mixed filler cigars. They generally don’t work well at cutting torpedo brands or small ring gauge cigar brands.
The Shuriken Cutter – this innovative product that resembles a giant capsule with six sharp blades was introduced to the market in late 2011. The accessory simply cuts slits around the cap of the cigar and is particularly effective at cutting short filler cigar brands.
Cigar scissors – they are slightly different from household scissors, and are designed for the specific purpose of cigar cutting. The blades entailed in the special scissors are designed from high quality stainless steel that guarantees clean cuts. If you purchase low quality cigar scissors, you risk damaging the wrapper of the cigar and the whole smoking session eventually.
Biting – you may find yourself without a cutter and in no position of getting your hands on one for a smoke, what do you do? You simply follow the old caveman way of chomping the cap off. This however, may leave you with tobacco debris on your mouth alongside a rough cut that may destabilize the structure. Simply locate where the neck ends and bite off.
Photo credit: Lon Martin via Flickr.com