How Do You Cut?

There are so many ways to cut a cigar, and each one has its advantages. Let’s take a look at the different types of cutters and what they do best.

Guillotines- This category includes single guillotines (uncommon today), double guillotines and “butterfly” style cutters. The biggest advantage to these types of cutter is that they can be used on any shape. They require a certain amount of skill to use. It takes some time to get the feel for how much to cut, otherwise, the cigar can unravel. One type that reduces that problem is the “perfect cut” type which only has an opening on one side. You push the cigar through the opening and press the cap against the cover, which limits how much of the cap you can trim. The only problem is that for pointed heads (torpedos, some perfectos) it will require multiple cuts.

Cat’s Eye or V-Cutter- This type of cutter cuts a v-shaped wedge out of the cap. It’s almost impossible to cut too much with one of these cutters, but they might not work too well with some figurados. Some people dislike this cut because it can collapse if the cigar is turned the wrong way, or can split if you bite down.

Punches- These tubular blades cut a neat circular hole in the cap. They won’t work for pointed heads, and if the hole is too small for the diameter of the cigar the stick will tend to smoke hot, so punches of different diameters would be helpful.

Piercers- These use a needle-like poker to drill a small aperture in the cap. Some people would use a matchstick or a golf tee to do the same thing. These methods can cause two difficulties- they can crack the cap and the small hole can let tars build up around the opening, and can taste pretty foul.

Shuriken- This cutter has six blades inside a domed cap. Pressing the cap on the head of the cigar puts six slits around the perimeter. Some people love them, others don’t. In either case, it’s rather ineffective for figurados.

Once you’ve decided, go to our website to see examples of all of these cutters.

About Russ

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of tobaccos for in Bethlehem, PA. He has been a pipe smoker and blender for over 30 years, and enjoys feedback from the pipe smoking public. You can reach Russ at or by calling 1-800-494-9144.