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Cigars 101

How to Cut a Cigar

The most common type of cigar accessory is a cigar cutter.  Cutters are used to create openings in the "head" of the cigar to allow air and smoke to pass through. Some people insist on a certain method, while others simply use whatever is most convenient. Below you will find today's most popular and well known methods.

Guillotines including both double and single bladed versions, as well as scissors are designed to make a cut across the end of the These are generally the best options. Of the guillotines, the double blade is the better choice if you want a cleaner cut.

A V-Cut makes a notched hole in the end of the cigar. The advantadge is that it can offer you more surface area without exposing your tongue to loose tobacco, and it allows you to draw more air through the cigar. This is a good choice for small ring guage cigars.

A punch cutter is simply a circular razor sharp blade that you push gently into the head of the cigar, which cores out a opening. This is an excellent choice if you smoke mixed filler cigars, as it minimizes the chance of bits of tobacco ending up in your mouth. However, the punch is not a good choice for small ring guauge or torpedo shape cigars.

Cigar scissors are different, of course, from regular household scissors. Cigar scissors are specifically manufactured for the purpose of snipping cigars. Usually made from surgical quality stainless steel, some models such as Xikar is the optimum choice.

When all else fails it seems the ol' caveman route of chomping off the end of your cigar is still the most popular choice. However this can lead to bits of tobacco in your mouth, and can make for a sloppy smoke. If you are really in a bind, carefully look for the seam where the cap is located and use your finger nail to gently pry away the cap. Not the best method but can be effective when in a bind.

How to Light a Cigar

Some will argue that fire is fire , whether it comes from a high-end lighter or a book of matches. But there's no arguing butane fueled lighters burn at higher temperatures, resulting in a clean and efficient flame.  Popular models range from single flame to quad flame, and sometimes even more. Any butane lighter will provide morethan a adequate flame to light your cigar, it really comes down to how much sizzle you're on the market for. Outside of fuel storage capability, a smaller pocket sized lighter can get the job done just as well as a large table model.

Light your cigar the same way you would toast a marshmallow over a campfire. Keep the cigar above and near the flame, but do not let them touch. Burning a cigar directly into a flame makes it too hot. And, as with a marshmallow you will want to rotate the cigar so all parts of its tip are equally heated. Once the cigar is lit, gently blow on the embers to create a rounded ash.