Different Types of Cigar Cuts and How to Choose the Right One

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Justin R.

Cigar Enthusiast, Chief Editor

cigar cuts
Table of Contents

Before you light up your cigar, you’ll need to cut off the tip to allow for the flow and taste of the tobacco inside. The type of cut you choose depends on the size and shape of the cigar.

Choose from a straight, wedge/V, punch, or Shuriken cigar cut. Try to avoid the bite cut, which amounts to you biting off the end of your cigar.

If you just began smoking cigars, take a few moments to learn the cigar cuts and how to make them. Using the proper cut for your cigar affords you the best taste and satisfying draws and reduces the amount of tobacco that gets into your mouth.

Types of Cigar Cuts

Each type of cigar cut uses a different kind of cigar scissors, also called cigar cutters. The cutter type makes a specific cut, so if you vary your cigars, you’ll need more than one cutter. The most common of these devices include the following:

  • punch cutter
  • straight cutter
  • guillotine cutter
  • wedge cutter
  • shuriken cutter

While some people do bite the end off of their cigar, this doesn’t produce the best taste or efficacy of draws as special cigar-cutting scissors. It merely offers an acceptable way to remove the tip of the cigar’s head to access its fabulous taste.

Choosing the Right Cut for Your Cigar

You can enjoy a better taste from your cigar by making the right cut. As technology in this area continues to develop, cigar aficionados have come to appreciate better cuts from cutting-edge cutters. Still, you must know the basic types and which cut best serves your cigar.

Cigar Essentials

Every cigar has the same essential parts – the head, shoulder, body, and foot.

You smoke from the head, hold the cigar at the shoulder or between the shoulder and body tip, and smoke the foot and body. Smoke is released from the foot.

You can spot the head easily by looking for a cap if you study your cigar. This end of the cigar also features the band, which carries the brand’s label. The shoulder begins in the area where the cigar’s girth expands.

The method for how to cut a cigar depends on the cigar but when in doubt, use the straight cut, a safe choice for any cigar.

The Essential Types of Cigar Cutters and Cigar Scissors

Making the Straight Cut: Straight Cutters

The straight cut works for most cigars.

It works best for thinner cigars, so you don’t lose much tobacco through the opening.

Make the cut directly before the shoulder in a precise, straight line. Hold the device with your index finger and thumb using a straight cutter, guillotine, or double-blade guillotine cutter. Slip the cigar into the open end of the cutter.

If you’re unsure about the shoulder’s placement, cut off a little less. Cutting too much will ruin the cigar but removing a little less of the tip provides you leeway. Make a quick, decisive cut. This requires a bit of force.

Making the V Cut: Wedge Cutters

Beefier cigars and those with exceptionally flavorful tobacco benefit from a V cut because the smaller airway boosts the cigar’s flavor.

Use a wedge cutter, also called a V cutter, to create a wedge cut. This method of cutting cigars affords you more draw from the cigar by slicing a deeper incision into the cigar’s head.

Slide the cigar’s head into the cutter cavity. Don’t slide it in all the way since you’ll cut into the body and unravel the cigar wrapper. Use a swift motion and cut once to cut off the tip cleanly. Blow into the wedge to remove loose tobacco. Slip the cigar out of the cutter and enjoy.

Making the Punch Cut: The Punch Cutter

The cigar punch uses the least invasive method: punching a hole into the cigar’s head.

Similar to the V cut, this creates a smaller airway which boosts the cigar’s flavor—aligning the cigar in the punch cutter matters even more than the other two more common cuts.

Align the cutter over the head’s center. Twist the punch cutter over the cigar’s head while applying pressure. This creates a smaller hole at the end of the cigar. When you extract the punch cutter, it will still have the punched-out portion of the cigar on its spike. Tamp this off. Blow into the hole in the cigar to get rid of any loose tobacco.

You’ll find more than one type of punch cutter. The most common types of punch cutters include the following:

  • Bullet punch – a small cutter using a circular blade that twists to reveal the cigar’s head
  • Havana punch – safer to use than a bullet punch, the Havana uses a hollow tip to stab the head and remove the plug
  • Multi-punch – offers multiple tips for punching various sizes of holes

Choosing the right type for your cigar becomes your most important decision when choosing to use a punch cutter.

Making the Shuriken Cut: Shuriken Cutters

The latest type of cigar cutter, the Shuriken, uses the cutting pattern of a Japanese throwing star to create six sharp slits into the cigar’s head to allow a controlled draw.

The word shuriken means “blade hidden in hand” in Japanese. The capsule-shaped cutter contains six razor-sharp blades. Once cut, this method lets the cigar smoker decide their draw by applying various amounts of pressure to the cigar.

Push the cigar slowly and entirely straight into the capsule for using the Shuriken. Hold the cigar completely still, and don’t crush the cigar cap. The razors do all the work; unlike other cuts, you do not twist or rotate the cigar.

You simply push it in, then pull it out. Rotate it in your mouth while applying pressure to the razor cuts during your first draws on the cigar. This opens them slightly and lets you determine the appropriate smooth opening to obtain the taste you desire from the cigar.

Becoming Cigar Lovers

Cigars provide a delicious occasional tobacco treat, and your cigar cut can increase enjoyment. Choose the right cut and cigar cutter for the best results. Keep your cutters sharp because a dull blade can ruin your cigar. We’ve got you covered there if you’re unsure on how to hold a cigar.