If you are new to cigars, how to cut a cigar is one of the first things you will learn. Cutting a cigar can be a daunting task for the first time. Often, when I am with someone fresh into their love of cigars, the first questions are always how to cut a cigar immediately followed by how to light a cigar. While there are many different styles of cutters, the fundamental goal is always the same: opening up the end or “cap” of the cigar to allow proper airflow while maintaining the structural integrity of the cigar.
There are two main ways to go wrong here, cutting too much and cutting too little. Too small of a cut, and you will not allow proper airflow through your cigar, and you will struggle to pull smoke or keep the cigar lit. Too deep of a cut, and you risk having the outer layer, or wrapper, of the cigar starting to unravel.
For this example, we will look at a traditional cigar head with a straight guillotine cutter. Click here for different cigar styles and here for other cigar cutters. There are two ends of the cigar, the cap, and the foot. The foot is the open end that you light, and the cap is the part that you need to cut before smoking.
Looking at the head of the cigar, you will see a line where the body begins to transition into the cap. That is called the shoulder and this line is critical. Cutting into this line poses the risk of the outer wrapper unraveling and causing a few problems for you.
While staying beneath that line, make sure you stay perpendicular across the cap of the cigar. Try not to angle at all. The goal is a swift clean cut to keep the cigar from fraying and getting bits of tobacco in your mouth. There are a few tricks you can do to ensure an optimal cut. One trick I learned from an informative podcast with Rob from Boveda and Travis Pappenheim from Atladis USA. Place the cutter straight on the table and put the cigar inside. This point is a perfect depth to cut your cigar.
The other trick is to use one of our Perfect Cut Founder Cigar Cutter. This does the same thing by providing you an integrated surface so you can always repeat your cuts.
Check out this great tutorial video from our friends at Classic Mindset, How to Cut a Cigar | What is the BEST way? | Cigar Basics. Josiah Bryant from Classic Mindset breaks down different cigar cutters and any anxiety you might be feeling for, what is the RIGHT WAY to cut a cigar.
That’s it! As long as you stay beneath the shoulder and keep your cut level and quick. You should be in good shape. We all have cut cigars too deep or too shallow. You’ll know right away if the cigar isn’t drawing as easily or as smokey. You might have to give it a second cut to open it a bit more. If you feel the cigar start to become mushy or you’re getting a lot of tobacco in your mouth, you may have cut it a bit too deep.
We hope this helped remove the fear of cutting a cigar incorrectly. Cigars are a place that we can all connect, and we want this process to be as approachable and shareable as possible. Next time you are with friends over cigars, we hope you share this knowledge with someone else to make cigars more enjoyable for everyone.
Founders Cigar Company is a veteran owned cigar brand located in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis. Founders retails their cigars online and through other retail partnerships. A portion of proceeds is used to send cigars to our U.S. service members downrange through a partnership with Operation: Cigars for Warriors. Thank you for supporting a veteran owned business.