Creating the ultimate smoking experience relies on a few crucial factors. Matching cigar shapes with their appropriate cut style is just as important as how the premium cigar is cut.

Before we jump into proper cutting techniques, aficionados need to identify what cigar shape they are going to smoke. (If you need a refresher on cigar measurements and vitolas, check this out) Parejos are the most popular type of cigar shapes, which are crafted with a rounded cap and a straight body. Common vitolas include Toro, Churchill, Lancero, Robusto and Corona. Cigars in the Figurado category are far less standard in their shapes and feature a pointed cap, like Torpedos, Belicosos and Pyramids.

The four most common methods of cutting a cigar are:
Guillotine Style: This style delivers a straight cut across the head of the cigar’s cap. When purchasing this type of cutter, aficionados will be met with two options, a single-blade and a double-blade. The less desirable single-blade version is not as efficient and tends to be manufactured with cheaper materials. If done properly, double-blade guillotine cutters offer a pristine, even straight cut. Both Xikar and Colibri have an excellent selection of guillotine cutters. Punch: Quite different from a straight cut, Punches create a circular hole in the cap of the cigar. Using a Punch on a smoke with a small ring-gauge or a Figurado’s pointed-cap is not recommended, as it will likely end up ruining the integrity of the cigar. Due to their petite size, Punches are easy to store and equally as easy to lose. To help avoid this dilemma, Xikar designed its top-quality Twist Punch to fit on a key ring, making it much more difficult to misplace. V-Cutter: When used correctly, V-Cuts can elevate a cigar from good to spectacular. Compared to other cuts, much more of the surface area is exposed resulting in a burst of flavorful smoke onto the taste buds with every draw. V-Cutters with a wide angle should not be used on smokes with a very small ring-gauge. Cigar Scissors: This type of cutting method is elegant and adaptable for most any type of cigar shape. In recent years, cigar manufacturers have been releasing bigger, bolder sizes. Unfortunately, Guillotine and V-Cutters are not always wide enough to accommodate the larger ring-gauges, but scissors can. The key to effectively using cigar scissors is to make sure the cap is not cut off, as the cigar will fall apart.

Once you have your premium cigar and desired cutting tool in hand, it’s time to make the perfect cut. Remember not to be over zealous with the amount you are chopping off, since you can’t add it back on.

When using a Guillotine cutter for a Parejo’s rounded cap, aim for where the curvature of the head begins to straighten, which is approximately a half-inch. Although slow and steady often wins the race, cutting a cigar in that manner can lead to ruining the cap and in turn, the entire cigar. Figurados rarely follow a standardized set of rules, so cutting techniques are as equally vague. Personal preference is largely at play since the goal with using a Guillotine on a Figurado is to expose enough of the filler to get a smooth, crisp draw.

To properly execute a Punch cut on a Parejo, press the bladed end against the center of the cap. With a light amount of pressure, gently rotate the cigar until the blade is roughly a half inch inside of the cap. Like oil and vinegar, Figurados and Punches do not mix. If the point is not too angled it may be possible to use a Punch without destroying the cigar, but use discretion.

V-Cuts create an angled divot in the center of the cap that complements both Parejos and Figurados. Place the Parejo’s rounded cap in the center of the V-Cut’s bowl and firmly press the blades together. Figurados can have pointed heads with a tiny diameter, so it is important to pay attention how far the cap is going into the center of the bowl. Instead of making a nice angled cut in your Torpedo, you could end up turning it into a Robusto.

The versatility of cigar scissors accommodates large and small ring gauges of Parejos and Figurados. Aficionados should make sure the blades on the scissors are adequately sharpened before cutting their cigar. Line up the scissors and cap to the desired length, make a light score around the cigar and firmly finish clipping it.

The experience of smoking a cigar is unique for every aficionado. Selecting the perfect blend, vitola and cutting technique relies heavily on personal preference and experimenting. With the never-ending influx of premium blends and top-quality cigar accessories, there is always something new to try here at SeriousCigars.com.

POSTED ON Feb 02, 2018

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