You’re headed to a friend’s house for a BBQ. You pack your chips and dip, your drink of choice, and your bundle of cigars to share. But, when you pull up to the house you realize you forgot your cigar cutter. No need to panic, there are plenty of different ways to cut a cigar without a cigar cutter. 

Why Cut a Cigar in the First Place?

Cigars need to be cut to create an opening at the end of a cigar, allowing smoke to pass through when the cigar is lit. You’ll want to make the cut on the rounded end of the cigar, known as the cap.

  • Cutting your cigar is important because it determines the amount of air that can pass through the cigar when you light up. 
  • The cut can affect the draw and flavor of the smoke.
  • A poorly cut cigar can make it difficult to smoke.
  • Cigars with too large of a cut can cause the cigar to burn too quickly, affecting the flavor.
  • The way a cigar is cut can also affect the smoking experience. 

Some cigar shapes that are tapered and curved, like torpedoes or figurados, might require a different type of cut to achieve the best smoking experience. There are a few ways to cut your cigars.

Types of Cuts and How They Affect Your Cigar Experience

There are several types of cuts that can be made to a cigar, no matter its shape, and each cut can affect your smoking experience in different ways. Here are a few common types of cigar cuts and how they make an effect.

  1. Straight Cut: This is the most common type of cut and delivers a good amount of smoke output. Yet, if the cut is too shallow, the smoke can be challenging to draw, while a cut that‘s too deep can cause the cigar to unravel.
  2. V-Cut: This type of cut involves making a V-shaped notch in the cap of the cigar. A V-cut can provide a more concentrated smoke output.
  3. Punch Cut: A punch cut involves punching a small hole in the cap of the cigar. This type of cut provides a smaller smoke output and can give the smoker a more concentrated flavor. It’s a nice option because your cigar will last longer. However, the punch cut can sometimes result in a tighter draw, which can make the cigar tricky to smoke.

Ultimately, the type of cut you choose will depend on your personal preference and the characteristics of the cigar you are smoking. Experimenting with different types of cuts can be a fun way to explore the nuances of different cigars and find a smoking experience you enjoy the most.

cigar that needs to be cut
Image by tomch by

How to Cut a Cigar Without a Cigar Cutter Handy

Most importantly, you want to be safe when cutting your cigar. You want to keep your fingers so you can hold your cigar, don’t ya? Kidding aside—nothing kills the mood more than having to get a band-aid for a bad cut. It’s easy to knick yourself when using anything sharp, so just take a moment and be careful…safety first.

With that in mind, you can try cutting your cigar using some of these tricks…

  • Use scissors. One of the easiest ways to cut a cigar without a cigar cutter is to use a pair of scissors. Make sure the blades are sharp and clean to avoid damaging the cigar. Hold your cigar firmly in one hand, and use the other hand to make a straight cut around the cap of the cigar. Be careful not to cut too deeply, as this can cause the cigar to unravel.
  • Punch a little hole through the cap of the cigar. Push a pin into the center of the cap, swirling it gently to create a clean circular hole. Punched cigars tend to have a smaller opening than those cut with a knife or scissors, making them ideal for smokers who like it mellow.
  • Try a razer blade. You can usually find one of these lying around in someone’s shop or craft  drawer. They work great for cutting the cap off your cigar because they’re super sharp and accurate. 
  • Use your fingernail. You always have your finger nails handy! Use your finger nail to create an incision around the cap of the cigar, and peel it off. This is a trusted method of many cigar aficionados.
  • Bite the end off. If you don’t have any tools on hand, you can always use your teeth to cut a cigar. Hold the cigar firmly in your mouth, without smashing it, and use your teeth to bite off the cap. This method requires a bit of skill and practice to avoid damaging the cigar. The best thing about this method is as long as you have a set of teeth you can get your cigar ready to light and smoke.
  • Grab your trust pocket knife. If it’s sharp enough it’ll get the job done properly. The key is to be able to cut the cap of your cigar cleanly. Whether you choose a straight or v-cut is up to you, you can get a well-sharpened knife to do either. 

Cutting a cigar without a cigar cutter is entirely possible. With a little bit of practice, you can achieve a clean and precise cut using household items when you don’t have your cutter on hand. Whether you choose to use a knife, scissors, or your teeth, always be sure to cut the cap cleanly and avoid damaging the cigar and yourself. 

That said, Flying Cigar Co. has cigar cutter options for you. Try one and you will notice the difference—and you can experiment with different cut sizes and styles to affect the draw, flavor, and smoking experience. 

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