5 Ways to Cut a Cigar: Enhancing Your Cigar Smoking Experience

Written by: Juan Panesso



Time to read 3 min

A well-cut cigar is the basis of a special smoking experience. As cigar enthusiasts know, the cutting process is a crucial step before lighting up and savoring the flavors of your favorite cigar. But, it has to be said that the art of cigar cutting is way more than just opening the closed end; it requires a certain amount of accuracy and method.

Besides, if cutting a cigar perfectly is an art, it cannot be accomplished without having the right tools. Cigar experts have a wide array of cutting devices to choose from - from classic guillotine cutters to punch cutters and V-cutters, meant for different preferences and cigar shapes.

In this guide, we explore five popular ways to cut a cigar and offer tips and insights to help you to enjoy a great cigar experience:

  • Straight Cut

The straight cut is possibly the most common and classic way of cutting a cigar. For this, one uses a single-blade or double-blade guillotine cutter to create a straight and even opening at the end of the cigar. This method provides the largest surface area for drawing smoke, letting you fully savor the cigar's flavors.

Cutting Technique: Hold the cigar horizontally or at a 45-degree angle. Place the cigar between the blades and align it just above the cap line. Swiftly close the blades together in one clean motion to make the cut.

Cigar Cutting Tips: For best results, you have to make sure the blades are sharp, and the cigar is properly positioned before cutting. Of course, do keep your cutter clean and free from tobacco debris, to prevent a clean cut.

  • Cuban Cut for Pointed Head Cigars

The Cuban cut is also known as an angled cut and is specifically meant for pointed-head cigars like Piramides or Double Figurados. Since these cigars have narrower heads, a straight cut would end up in a small opening for drawing smoke, and may lead to a tighter draw.

Cutting Technique: Instead of making a horizontal cut, cut it at a 45-degree angle following the natural curve of the cigar's cap line. This will help create a larger opening for an easier draw while maintaining the cigar's form.

Cigar Cutting Tips: It may call for some practice to adjust to the angle of the Cuban cut but we promise it will improve your smoking experience with pointed-head cigars.

  • Punch Cut

If you want a small hole in the cap of the cigar, then the punch cut is a simple and effective way to achieve that. This will give you an easy draw and minimal exposure to tar and nicotine buildup. This cut is the best option for cigars with ring gauges between 40 and 50.

Cutting Technique: Insert the cigar vertically into the punch cutter and gently twist it to create a circular punch hole in the cap. The punch cut can be easily carried in your pocket for on-the-go use.

Cigar Cutting Tips: Over time, the punch hole may accumulate tar and nicotine, altering the taste of the cigar. If this occurs, consider using a straight cut to remove a few millimeters of the cap for a refreshed smoking experience.

  • V-Cut

The V-cut is also known as a Cat's Eye cut and has become popular of late with cigar enthusiasts. The V-shaped wedge cut exposes a generous surface area for drawing smoke, lending a robust smoking experience.

Cutting Technique: Place the cigar in the V-cutter and align the cap with the V-shaped notch. Press the cutter gently to create the V-cut opening on the cap.

Cigar Cutting Tips: The V-cut is recommended for cigars with larger ring gauges and is known to enhance flavor concentration.

  • Biting or Using Your Fingernail - Last Resort

Though not recommended for regular use, biting off the end or using your fingernail to pierce the cap can be a last resort if you don't have access to a proper cutter. But, let it be said that these methods can result in a ragged finish and may hamper the quality of your smoking enjoyment.

Ways to Cut a Cigar and Final Thoughts

Irrespective of the cutting method you choose, it's important to respect the cigar and handle it with care. Proper cutting of cigars ensures that you can draw smoke easily and enjoy its rich flavors to the fullest.

As with any aspect of cigar smoking, here too etiquette is key. For instance, when in a group setting, avoid pointing the cut end of the cigar towards others, as this can be seen as impolite. And if you are borrowing a cutter from a fellow aficionado, remember to return it promptly and be thankful for their kindness.

Clearly, investing in a good-quality cutter is a smart decision for any cigar enthusiast. A well-maintained cutter will ensure clean and precise cuts for every cigar, preventing any disappointment caused by a bad cut. Personalized and engraved cutters can make an elegant addition to your cigar accessories collection too.

Whether you opt for the classic straight cut, the elegant Cuban cut, the neat punch cut, the popular V-cut, or even the rustic charm of Clint Eastwood-style biting, it will depend on your choice and the type of cigar you smoke. Cut it right and happy smoking!