how to cut a cigar
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How to Cut a Cigar


As a cigar enthusiast, learning how to properly cut a cigar is essential in order to enhance your smoking experience. A clean and precise cut ensures a smooth draw and allows the flavors to unfold as intended. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various cutting techniques, tools, and tips to help you master the art of cutting a cigar.

Why is a Proper Cut Important?

A well-executed cut serves two primary purposes:

  • Opening the head of the cigar to allow for an unobstructed draw
  • Preventing the wrapper from unraveling during smoking

By mastering the skill of cutting a cigar, you can fully appreciate the craftsmanship of the tobacconist and indulge in the flavors and aromas of your chosen cigar.

Tools for Cutting a Cigar

Before we delve into the various techniques, let's explore the different tools commonly used to cut a cigar:

  • Cutter: A dedicated cigar cutter with a sharp blade is the most popular tool for achieving a clean cut. There are different types of cutters available, including guillotine cutters, punch cutters, and v-cutters.
  • Scissors: Although less common, a pair of sharp scissors can also be used to cut a cigar. Ensure that the scissors are clean and sharp to avoid damaging the wrapper.
  • Knife: In a pinch, a sharp knife can be used to cut a cigar. However, it requires precision and caution to achieve a clean cut without damaging the cigar.

Common Cutting Techniques

1. Guillotine Cut

The guillotine cut is the most popular and straightforward cutting technique. Follow these steps to perform a guillotine cut:

  1. Hold the cigar firmly between your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Place the guillotine cutter directly above the cap (the closed end of the cigar).
  3. Using a swift motion, close the cutter to make a clean cut.

2. Punch Cut

The punch cut creates a small circular hole in the cap of the cigar, allowing for a focused draw. Here's how to perform a punch cut:

  1. Select a punch cutter with an appropriate diameter for your cigar.
  2. Gently insert the punch into the center of the cap.
  3. Twist the punch to create a clean incision.
  4. Remove the punch and check the draw before lighting.

3. V-Cut

The V-cut, also known as a wedge cut, creates a V-shaped notch at the cap of the cigar. This technique offers a balance between the guillotine and punch cut. Follow these steps to perform a V-cut:

  1. Position the V-cutter on the cap of the cigar.
  2. Align the blades with the desired depth of the cut.
  3. Apply gentle pressure and make a swift, decisive cut.

How to Cut a Cigar: Best Practices

Now that we've covered the different cutting techniques, let's explore some best practices to ensure a perfect cut:

1. Choose the Right Cutter

Investing in a quality cutter that suits your preference is crucial. Consider the type of cut you prefer and select a cutter accordingly.

2. Locate the Cap

Identify the cap, which is the closed end of the cigar, before making your cut. Ensure that the cutter or punch is placed just above the cap.

3. Steady Hand

Hold the cigar firmly and maintain a steady hand while making the cut. A clean and precise cut requires a steady grip.

4. Avoid Overcutting

Be cautious not to overcut the cigar, as this can lead to unraveling and a less enjoyable smoking experience. Practice your cutting technique to achieve the desired depth.

5. Check the Draw

After making the cut, gently test the draw by taking a few pre-light puffs. If the draw feels too tight, consider making a second cut to improve the airflow.


Q: How deep should I cut a cigar?

A: The depth of the cut depends on personal preference and the type of cut you choose. Experiment with different depths to find what suits your smoking style.

Q: Can I use a regular knife to cut a cigar?

A: While it is possible to use a knife, it requires precision and care to achieve a clean cut. It is recommended to use a dedicated cigar cutter for optimal results.

Q: Can I reuse a punch cutter for different cigars?

A: Yes, a punch cutter can be used for multiple cigars. However, ensure that the punch is clean and free from any debris that could affect the draw.


Cutting a cigar is an art that can significantly impact your smoking experience. By selecting the right cutting technique, using quality tools, and following best practices, you can enhance the flavors and enjoyment of your cigars. Remember to experiment with different cuts to find your preferred method, and always savor the moment as you indulge in the rich world of cigars.

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