Cigar connoisseurs are never more creative than when they forget or misplace a cutter. You might track down a pair of scissors or go with your sharpest knife. Some prefer to pick the cap off with a fingernail. If you’re feeling particularly rugged, you can always use your teeth.

You might look tough–or at least think you do–spitting the cap out onto the ground. That won’t last long once your cigar starts cracking and unraveling. It’s hard to pretend you’re sophisticated when you’re picking shreds of tobacco off of your tongue. It’s hard to enjoy your smoke that way, too.

Three Good Ways to Cut Cigars

There’s a better way to cut your cigar. In fact, there are three better ways to cut your cigar:

1) Cigar Punches 

Whether you call it a punch cutter or a bullet cutter, this is a pocket-friendly option. The tool punches a small hole into the cigar. Beyond being pocket friendly, the main benefit of a punch cutter is that it creates a tight draw. 

The big drawback is that punches don’t work on tapered cigars like Torpedos and Belicosos. You can also crack the cap of your cigar or plug your punched hole if you aren’t careful.

2) Straight Cutters

Also known as the guillotine, this is the most common way to cut a cigar. You can use a straight cutter to cut a cigar of any size or shape. If you smoke ultra-thick cigars, though, it’s important to get a big enough guillotine. 

An affordable straight cutter makes a good backup option for your bag, car, or desk drawer. When you’re ready for a more advanced way to cut a cigar, something like a double-guillotine circle cutter might be more your speed.

3) V-Cutters for Cigars

You can’t talk about “advanced ways to cut a cigar” without mentioning the V-cutter. You might also hear this tool called a wedge cutter or even a cat’s eye cutter. This has become a popular option in cigar bars, basement lounges, and smokey garages in recent years. A top-shelf wedge cutter with an inverted blade is sure to get some attention in any cigar circle.

V-cutters are especially popular among people who used to like punch cutters. Like a punch cutter, the wedge cutter results in a more concentrated draw. The V-cutter can do something a punch can’t, too: Work on any type of cigar. For an easier pull, you can even use the cat’s eye twice to create an X-shaped cut.

Which Type of Cigar Cutter Is Best?

The best way to enhance your cigar experience is by finding out what you like the best. If you prefer a cool, loose draw, the straight cutter might be your best bet. It’s hard to beat a V-cutter if you want to get a tight draw and minimize the risk of your cigar falling apart.

The punch and the guillotine have been popular for years. If you’ve smoked a few cigars before, there’s a good chance you’ve already tried cigars that have been cut in those ways. The wedge cutter is less traditional. If you haven’t used one before, here’s what you need to know.

prepping to V-cut a cigar to smoke
Image by Youst by Getty by

How to Use Your V-Cutter

One of the great things about a cat’s eye cutter is how easy it is to use, so you don’t have to worry so much about messing up your cigar. You can even find an inexpensive V-cutter if you want to make sure you like the style before investing in a better cutter. 

Once you get this versatile cutter, you can use it on just about any cigar that needs to be cut. In fact, it’s one of the preferred ways to cut many types of cigars. The wedge cutter comes in handy for cap styles and shapes that can cause problems for punches or even guillotines.

How to V-Cut a Box-Pressed Cigar

Box-pressed cigars and flat cigars can be notoriously difficult to cut. Some people have even been known to cut the CAO Flathead with a razor blade. What if the idea of messing with a loose razor blade on cigar night doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time?

You guessed it: A V-cutter will be your best bet. The punch cutter is probably the next-best choice for box-pressed cigars and flat cigars. The straight cutter might get you by in a pinch, too, but it can make your life way more difficult than a shallow wedge cutter would.

How to V-Cut a Torpedo Cigar

Some smokers, especially those who are inexperienced with cigars, have reputations for cutting way too much off of their tapered cigars. This applies to any type of figurado cigar shape you can think of. If you cut too deep, the wrapper might fall apart while you smoke.

A guillotine loyalist might use a straight cutter at an angle to prepare a tapered cigar. Until you learn to make the cut consistently, though, you’re likely to end up with an inconsistent draw. You can avoid this frustrating problem by learning to V-cut a torpedo cigar. A deep wedge cutter will be especially effective.

How to V-Cut a Traditional Cigar

The V-cutter also makes an excellent choice for all other cigar types, such as classic Parejos. Most cigar enthusiasts agree that the best practice is to remove as little as possible from your cigar, just enough to remove the cap so you can get enough airflow for your liking.

Choosing the Best V-Cutter for Your Cigars

You could spend years smoking cigars and arguing about the best way to cut them. Fortunately, generations of aficionados have already done that so you don’t have to. Now you know enough to skip straight to the good part where you find your favorite cutter. 

If the straight cutter and punch cutter haven’t blown you away, maybe learning how to v-cut a cigar will help you create the perfect draw every time. It’s definitely worth considering this modern style when you shop for your next cigar cutter.

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