Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cigar Tip #2

Note: This tip is republished from our email newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

How do I cut my cigar and what cutter should I use?

Cutting the head of the cigar is one of the steps needed to start your smoking session. The majority of handrolled cigars do not come cut so the consumer must make sure that there is an opening in order to have a draw (the process of pulling in the cigar smoke to the inside of your mouth). Essentially, as long as there is an opening, the cigar is ready to be smoked.

There are a variety of cutters but realize that each method has its pros and cons. A guillotine cutter provides the largest opening/cut and, as a result, the easiest draw. When using a double-bladed (or single-bladed) cutter, just make sure to cut above the cap (the portion of wrapper leaf on the head of the cigar that is applied by a cigar roller (or torcedor) to cover this area). A double-blade provides equal pressure from both sides of the cigar while a single-blade only applies pressure from one side (not as desirable as the head of the cigar is more likely to see damage).

A punch cutter is basically a blade in a circular shape that (you guessed it) is punched into the cap and a circular cut is made. The benefits of using this style of cutter is that it is easy to see where you are making your incision and that the cap is left more intact than a guillotine. The drawback is that since the hole is smaller, the tars and nicotine of the cigar get built up more as it is smoked and a harsher and bitter smoke can ensue. Try punching the cigar more than once to create a larger opening if desired.

A V-cutter is a style of cutting instrument that creates an angular wedge into the head of the cigar. Similar pros and cons exist in the V-cutter as the punch cutter.

A pair of cigar scissors is another type of cutting tool; these are actual scissors made especially for cutting cigars. They have fallen out of favor in recent years because many are too big and not convenient for the traveling cigar smoker. However, Xikar makes a great pair of cigar scissors that can fold easily for those wanting a compact accessory.

Finally, the last type of cigar cutter are your natural ones: your teeth. Although it doesn't cost you anything to use, your teeth can be used as an emergency cigar cutter when you forget your real cutters and are in a bind. Many of the tobacco farmers and torcedors in Latin America use their teeth but we don't recommend this as your pearly whites are not as sharp as an actual cutting device. Consequently, teeth can rip apart the cap thus ruining your smoke and creating a mess!

Whatever style of cutter you choose, we at Habana Port can lead you in the right direction and we are more than happy to show you in person how each style works. We offer all the different methods mentioned above (except our teeth) at every price range; so come in today and let us show you the world of cigar cutlery!

Until the next post, siempre fumando,

Habana Port

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