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Cigar Cutters: A Guide to the Tools of the Cigar Smoking Trade

Cigar smoking has long been associated with sophistication and celebration. Whether enjoying a fine cigar after a nice meal, or lighting one up to commemorate a special occasion, there is an undeniable air of class and refinement that comes with smoking a good cigar. However, in order to properly enjoy a cigar, having the right tools, especially a quality cigar cutter, is essential.

A cigar cutter, also referred to as a cigar clipper or guillotine, is a small handheld device designed specifically to cut the closed end or cap off the cigar before smoking. While it may seem simple, having the right cut can dramatically impact the smoking experience. Cutting the cigar too shallow can cause uneven burns, tunneling, and an unpleasant draw. Cutting it too deep can ruin the structure of the cigar and negatively affect the flavor. That’s why investing in a proper cigar cutter is a must for any aficionado.

There are a few different types of cigar cutters available, each with their own pros and cons.

The most common is the double or double-bladed guillotine cutter. This cutter uses two opposing blades to make one straight cut into the cap. The double-bladed style offers control and precision, and is easy to use even for beginners. Popular options for double guillotine cutters are brands like Xikar and Colibri.

Single blade cutters, often called a Cuban cutter or Havana cutter, are simple with just one angled blade. This cutter excels at making angled cuts to expose more of the cigar. Single blades require a bit more skill and finesse to master. Brands like Palio and Lotus make great single blade cigar cutters.

Multi-blade cutters have three or more blades and can make different types of cuts.

While versatile, these cutters have small blades that some find harder to use. Well-known multi-blade cutters come from brands like Wolf Viceroy and Prometheus.

Punch cutters are another option, using a circular blade to punch a hole in the cigar cap rather than making a straight slice. This cut leaves the cap on and produces an open draw. Many cigar aficionados prefer punch cutters for big ring gauge cigars. Quality punch cutters are made by Havana Punch, Cuban Crafters, and Xikar.

When selecting the right cigar cutter for you, here are some key factors to consider:

  • Blade Material – Stainless steel blades stay sharp longest. Avoid lower quality metals that can dull quickly.
  • Blade Sharpness – The sharper the blade, the cleaner the cut. Look for cutters designed to stay sharp.
  • Cut Size – Size of cut affects draw and smoke output. Try different sizes to find your preference.
  • Hand Feel – Cigar cutters should be comfortable and easy to handle. Test cutters before buying.
  • Durability – Well-made cutters can last for years. Avoid any that feel flimsy or cheap.
  • Size – Consider if you want a full-size cutter or mini version for portability.
  • Price – Quality cutters start around $20-30. Higher-end versions with elegant designs can be over $100.
  • Design – Select a cutter with an appearance that matches your personal style.
  • Brand Reputation – Stick with established brands known for cigar accessories.

Proper care also keeps cigar cutters performing at their best.

Clean regularly by wiping down with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Occasional oiling of hinges can prevent rust. Store in a protective case or sheath when not in use. Avoid submerging in water or other liquids which can damage the mechanism.

While often overlooked as just an accessory, a good cigar cutter is an essential tool for any cigar aficionado.

Taking the time to select the right cutter helps ensure you get the absolute most enjoyment out of your precious smokes. Whether you prefer a straight guillotine cut or angled slice, single or double blade, go with a high-quality cutter from a trusted brand. Your cigar smoking experience is only as good as the cut that starts it. Invest in the proper cutter and keep it meticulously maintained, and your cigar time will be that much more exceptional.

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