How To Cut A Cigar Correctly [3 Reliable Ways]

November 29, 2021
by Dan Skewes
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Nothing beats a cigar and nice straight drink on the porch after a hard day at work or enjoyed on a special occasion with friends.

Regardless of the occasion, you will need to know how to cut your cigar for fear of seeming like a rookie.

From biting it with your teeth to using a matchstick, there are many ways to cut a cigar beyond the obvious choice of a cigar cutter.

We've gone through the classics as well as the less common methods on how to cut a cigar for smoking; read on to learn more.

How To Create A Straight Cut

Different cuts create different smoking experiences. Some types of cigar cuts: a straight cut, a punch cut, and a v cut. There are different cigar cutters and tools on the market for different sorts of cuts.

In order to create a good straight cut, you need to know where to cut your cigar. Essentially, the shorter you make your cigar with a straight cut, the easier it will be to draw from.

So you don't want to cut too deep or too short.

One way to judge the straight cut is to look attentively at the 'head' of the cigar, which is the end you are cutting and pulling from.

The curved part of the head is known as the 'shoulder,' which is usually the part you cut.

There are often one or multiple distinct seams along the shoulder of the cigar.

This is known as the cap, and your goal is essentially to remove this cap while keeping the cigar intact.

When making the cigar, the roller will often finish the cigar by using what is called 'flag leaf,' basically a spare piece of tobacco leaf, to seal the cigar and prevent it from loosening or unraveling during transit and transportation.

You want to remove the cap while leaving on some of this flag leaf to keep the cigar intact while you smoke.

You can achieve this simply by not cutting too deep; cut just below the caps end, so there is some leaf still around the opening.

Moisten The Head

Depending on the type of cigar and its freshness, the leaf can sometimes be dry or brittle. If the leaf is brittle, it can snap and break when applying manual pressure to create a cut.

To prevent this from happening, many cigar smokers moisten the cap of head of the cigar so that the blade will cut smooth.

You can moisten the cigar by simply licking your lips and placing the cigar on your lips. You aren't trying to make it wet; merely dampen it.

So don't be licking it and sucking it; the heat and moisture from your mouth should be enough to soften the leaf.

Using A Cigar Cutter

Let us get the obvious method out the way to create a straight cut first so that we can get to the fun ones after. Using a cigar cutter is the easiest and simplest way of opening your cigar.

But, if you aren't a regular cigar smoker, you may not have access to one. If you have just invested in one, here's how they work.

The most common cut is a straight cut, which can be achieved with a simple guillotine cigar cutter.

This operates much like a guillotine does and simply requires manual force from your hand to close the blade on the desired cutting spot, creating a straight cut.

Different cutters can create different cuts on your cigar, but they all operate the same way.

To use a cigar cutter, simply penetrate the orifice with the cigar and match up the blade with your desired place of cutting, apply manual pressure and ensure the blade is sharp, and you should get a pretty clean cut.

Using A Pocket Knife

If you have a pocket knife handy, you can also use this to make a straight cut while also seeming like a hard nut.

Ensure your pen knife is sharp and also not too thick when cutting the cigar, and simply align your blade with your desired place to cut.

This can be achieved with any sharp knife or even a razor blade in desperate situations.

Using Your Teeth

This is one of the coolest ways to cut a cigar and can be a serious power move in any situation. If you don't mind a bit of tobacco in your mouth, this can be a fun method.

Beyond looking cool, this is actually relatively common as you already have the cigar in your mouth to moisten it; these two steps are often done in tandem.

Biting straight through the cigar simply won't work and will crush the tobacco, although some have developed techniques to achieve this.

We suggest simply creating a cut with your tooth in the desired spot and then using your tooth to peel away the cap. Badass!

Similarly, if you have sharp nails, you could achieve this with the same methodology.

How To Create A Punch Cut

Cuban cigars in a wooden box

A punch cut is a super simple and foolproof way to open a cigar. The simple act of puncturing the cap ensures you don't ruin your cigar.

In formal settings, among seasoned cigar smokers, a punch cut may be frowned upon. If you are toking on the go, this is a good method.

Fairly simply, you are simply creating a hole in the cap for smoke to leave through. This can occasionally get blocked or clogged by large pieces of tobacco or oily sediment; You can simply remake the hole if this happens.

Using A Cigar Punch

You can buy a bespoke tool made for creating a punch cut; this tool simply punctures the head of your cigar and pulls a little tobacco with it to create a good hole.

This should create a clean-cut hole that your smoke passes through easily. This will create a smaller hole than a straight cut but will be good for a longer smoking experience.

Using A Matchstick

In emergencies or using matches to light your cigar, a matchstick is useful for creating this punch cut.

The wooden end of the matchstick should be hard enough to puncture the moistened head of the cigar.

We suggest maybe wiggling it around a little to create a slightly larger hole to draw out of. This is pretty simple and works well with any hard, sharp and pointy implement.

Related: How To Open A Wine Bottle Without A Corkscrew [3 Simple Ways]

How To Create A V Cut

A V cut is probably somewhere in between a punch cut and a straight cut. It allows more smoke to pass through than a punch cut, but the V shape helps stop tobacco from getting in your mouth.

A V cut is much more precise than a punch cut or a straight cut.

Using A Cigar Cutter

If this is the type of cut that best serves your preferred smoking experience, then you may want to consider buying a cigar cutter that specifically cuts this way.

The blades on this cutter will sort of protrude from an angle and cut into the cigar's head, creating this wedge-shaped hole. This should work the same way most cigar cutters do with the manual force created by pinching your fingers together.

Using A Knife

In emergencies, you could use a pocket knife to cut a v cut. However, this is a precise cut, so you will need to pay serious attention to where you make these cuts to avoid ruining your cigar.

The usual principles should still be adhered to; just make sure you use a sharp knife.

We suggest reserving this technique for an emergency situation, and if you don't have your trusty V cut cigar cutter, then maybe just go for a straight cut or punch cut.

How to Cut a Cigar Correctly - Final Thoughts

There are several different ways to cut a cigar. We hope that the three most popular ways help you on your next cigar journey. From v cuts to straight cuts and using an old school cigar cutter whatever method you choose, the best way to enjoy a cigar is in good company!

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