A Quick Guide to Making Perfect Cigar Cuts


A smooth, well-made cigar is perfect for relaxing after a hard day, enhancing the quality of an awesome afternoon, and/or kicking back with your friends, among many other things. However, when my friends and I were lighting up some stogies about three days ago, we ran into something of a problem; one of my seldom-smoking companions completely destroyed his cigar—its wrapper unraveled and rendered the tobacco unsmokeable—while making an initial cut.

After overcoming some mild frustration, we were able to laugh the incident off, but it reminded me of how significant a good cigar cut is and how difficult this cut can be for new or inexperienced smokers to make. Bad cuts don’t usually ruin your cigar, I’ll admit, but they can do so, and they’ll most definitely take away from the smoking experience.

The following information covers the best ways to cut your cigars and how each of these methods is used.

Let’s take a look!

What You’ll Need

  1. Guillotine Cutter
  2. Punch Cutter
  3. V-Cutter

You won’t need to buy all these cigar cutters (read about the best of them in this  cigar cutter review), but it’s important to remember that some cigars cannot be cut with the punch or v-cutter. Torpedo smokes, for instance, because they’re pointed on the smoking end, simply can’t be sliced with a v-cutter or punch. Besides this consideration, your cutter type can be determined based on preference. Additionally, if you plan to stick with cigar smoking for the foreseeable future, you’ll probably wind up having the three main types of cutters at your disposal; cigar stores and online companies often add them to orders free of charge.

Step One: Cutting with a Guillotine Cutter

The guillotine is the most popular cigar cutter—and for good reason. This type of cutter is easy to use; all you have to do is insert your cigar and gently push the guillotine’s handles together, which will make the blades slice into the smoke and clear a space through which you can draw. However, the biggest potential hang-up of a guillotine cutter is that it’s possible to cut a cigar too low and cause its wrapper to unravel, rendering it unusable; this is what happened to my friend.

When you’re using a guillotine cutter, be sure to sit down in front of a flat surface. Place the cutting-end of the cigar between the blades up to about the cap line, or the small, barely noticeable line that indicates where a cigar’s cap begins; the cap is what’s supposed to be cut off. Generally speaking, a cigar’s cap is about a tenth of an inch up; you should be able to find it if you look closely.

Gently bring the blades together and voila –your cigar is set to enjoy. As a general rule, less is best when cutting with a guillotine; you can always make a second cut if the first doesn’t create enough space (you should be able to draw clearly through the cut).

Step Two: Cutting with a Punch Cutter

The punch cutter is the easiest cutter to use, and it also happens to be my personal favorite. Although it can’t be used on irregularly shaped cigars—torpedo, pyramid, belicoso, etc.—it’s ideal for all other smokes. Simply place the punch’s metal blade against the back of your cigar, gently apply pressure and turn the punch, and watch as a just-right opening is created.

Cigars with especially big ring gauges may require an extra punch to give you a good draw.

Step Three: Cutting with a V-Cutter

The v-cutter isn’t quite as popular as the other listed cutters, but its users swear by it and claim that it gives them a fantastic draw. The cutter also eliminates the figuring associated with guillotine chops, as its cuts are pre-measured. In any event, I prefer to use the v-cutter on larger cigars. Like the punch, it doesn’t work very well on irregularly shaped stogies.

To use the v-cutter, spread its handles apart and gently push your cigar against the back wall (the plastic in front of the blades on the cutter). Then, while maintaining this pressure, slowly bring the handle together; a v-shaped incision should result.

I hope all your cutting worries and concerns have been solved by this guide; I enjoyed writing it, and I’m confident that it can save you a lot of the hassle and inconvenience I encountered when I was new to the wonderful world of cigars. Thanks for reading, and if you know a friend or family member who can benefit from these tips, don’t hesitate to share them. Similarly, please don’t think twice about leaving a comment—I love reading them!

Thanks again, and here’s to perfectly cut cigars!

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