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How to Correctly Cut a Cigar?

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

how to correctly cut a cigar

Cutting your cigar is the first step before you can smoke it, and it's essential to know the right way to do it, depending on the cigar you are about to smoke. Imagine you are about to light a fantastic Chateau Diadem premium hand-rolled cigar. You don't want to ruin it, right?

Follow this article to learn the different cuts, the proper cut for each cigar, and the tools to perform the best cut to avoid mistakes.

Before you know how to cut your cigar correctly, it's essential that you understand how a cigar is put together. Learn about the anatomy of cigars in this article.

Where to perform the cut?

where to cut a cigar

Most premium cigars feature a cap that you will need to cut before you can smoke it. When you cut a cigar, you want to aim above the shoulder. If you cut lower than that, you risk damaging the wrapper and the binder that holds the tobacco together and end with a mouthful of tobacco which will ruin your smoking experience.

You can aim for the right spot of the cigar when you perform the cut; however, if the tool is not good enough, you can risk damaging your cigar too. You need a quality cigar cutter with a sharp blade or two to get a clean cut and avoid having loose tobacco. The style of these tools also depends on the type of cut you want your cigar to have.

Kinds of cut

Are there different ways to cut a cigar? The answer is yes! Isn't that fun? There are three kinds of cut: punch, straight cut, and a V cut.

Straight cut

straight cut a cigar

A straight cut is the most versatile and common technique to cut a cigar as there are different tools to cut straight, such as scissors, double-blade cutters, and guillotines with a single or double blade.

Guillotines are the most common tool. Most are constructed with a pair of stainless steel blades housed in a sturdy chassis. For most straight cutters, the blades open to reveal an aperture where the head of your cigar is placed. Squeeze the blades above the shoulder, and the cigar’s cap comes off.

Punch cut

punch cut a cigar

Unlike a straight cut, which slices off part of the cap, to punch cut a cigar means to make a circular perforation or hole at the end of the cap.

How to punch your cigar correctly.

  1. Place the bladed end of the punch tool against the center of the cigar cap.

  2. Press the punch cutter lightly as you slowly rotate the cigar. After piercing the cap, insert the blade deeper inside the cigar. Be careful; too much pressure can unravel the cap.

  3. Carefully take out the punch cutter where you’ll be left with the portion cut of the cap. Proceed to remove the excess inside the punch cutter.

V- cut

V cut a cigar

This type of cut allows you to get a deep cut into your cigars. A V-Cut cutter cuts a wedge out of the tip of your cigar. A v-cut cigar feels very different than a normal straight cut as you can get less of a draw than a guillotine cut would.

As a v-cutter penetrates deeper into the filler than straight cutters, the risk of damaging your cigar is higher and can cause loose tobacco with an uneven burn.

Some cigar aficionados prefer them for thicker gauge cigars too.


Cutting a cigar is the first step in the smoking ritual. Cutting cigars properly is indispensable to having the right draw and the perfect smoking experience. Make sure to have the right tool with well-sharpened blades to perform the right cut. Always aim above the shoulder for straight and v cuts and the center to punch a hole.

It’s essentially up to you to choose which cut you prefer, so experiment with them all, and see which one you prefer!

To learn more about cutters, read our article about cigar accessories, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest posts.

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