For novice cigar smokers cutting a cigar for the first time can be a bit intimidating because you may not have had the experience or feel of a using a straight cutter. For you first timers having a good cutter and a few basic pieces of information, such as knowing the anatomy of a cigar and types of cuts, can make the experience much less harrowing. Since biting off the head of your cigar is outdated and on most occasions frowned upon, we will show you the most common cigar cuts and how to increase your smoking experience.
First you need a cigar (obviously). Next you need a good quality cutter. The quality of the cutter makes a noticeable different when cutting your cigar, so before purchasing anything else, a cigar cutter should be at the top of your list. You can almost never go wrong with double blade cutters or scissor cutters. Guillotine or single blade cutters are the cheapest but make it a little harder to capture the perfect cut every time.
Now that you have a good cutter, get to know the makeup of the cigar. A cigar has some of the same major parts as a person – a head, shoulders, body, and foot. The head of the cigar (shown in the picture) is the closed end of the cigar. On most cigars, it is the rounded end. If you look closely, the round end has a cap on the top. The point is not to cut the entire cap off. If you do this, it will cause your cigar to unravel so you have to find the shoulder of the cigar. The shoulder is the part of the cigar where the curve in the cap starts to straighten out. That’s where you want to cut.
You’re now ready to make a cut. Take your cigar and place it in between the blades. Then with a quick squeeze cut the cigar at the shoulder. Some people prefer to close one eye while cutting their cigar to make sure that the cut is straight and right at the shoulder. If you cut slowly, you will get an uneven or partial cut the first time. With all cigars, you only want to have to cut once.
For pointed cigars such as torpedos, pyramids, compana, belicoso, etc., my rule of thumb is to cut 1/4 inch of the tip with the same technique because there is no shoulder like a traditional cigar. Once lit if you find that you would like a bigger draw or pull, you can cut a little more off. Also, there are other ways to cut a cigar such as a punch or v-cut, but the straight cut is still the most popular amongst cigar aficionados. Now that you’re armed with the basics you can feel confident in cutting your first cigar and finding the cut that works best for you. Enjoy and happy smoking!