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Cutting Basics

Several cutting devices can be employed to maximize the enjoyment of your Cuban cigar.

The single or double bladed guillotine, fitted with stainless steal or titanium blades, is most popular, providing a cleanly cut drawing area to disperse smoke and avoid “bite.” Guillotines come in different sizes, so make certain that you buy one big enough to fit the size of your cigars.

Another popular cutting tool is a pair of special cigar scissors that make an incision similar to the guillotine. Scissors are typically compact and come with wide handles for the ability to cut big cigars. For balance and an even cut, hold the cigar against one of the blades when you cut. Compared to the guillotine, a little more skill is needed when cutting with scissors.

Some aficionados use a V-cutter, or wedge, to cut their cigars. While similar to the guillotine, V-cutters remove a “V” shape from the cigar tip, which allows for proper drawing and keeps bitter tars from your lips. Some aficionados hesitate to recommend a V-cutter because the device can result in an uneven, jagged cut.

Smokers should never use a match or similar device to poke a hole in the cigar cap. This compresses the filler and obstructs the drawing area.

With cutting device in hand, and using a single slicing movement, make an incision just above where the cap meets the wrapper, or roughly 3 mm from the point of the cigar. This creates an opening big enough to draw freely while leaving intact enough of the cap so that it keeps the wrapper from unraveling. The bottom section of the cap should remain, securing the wrapper leaf without damaging the structure of your cigar.

Now you are ready to light your cigar!