For the cigar smoker, a cigar cutter – or, if preferred, a punch – is an item that is essential to have to hand when out and about. Yet, like everyone else, cigar lovers are not infallible, and it is the case that you might forget your cutter! It’s not the end of the world – we will explain below how you can cut a cigar should this happen to you – but it is a nuisance!
This is why many of us have a small cutter or punched on a keyring for convenience. So, let’s say you have accidentally mislaid your favourite cigar cutter, and the spare punch you carry is attached to your other set of keys, and you’re at a fine gathering or out with friends – how do you cut your cigar? Let’s have a look!
What Can You Use if You Don’t Have a Cigar Cutter?
There are a number of emergency measures you can resort to should you find you don’t have your cigar cutter with you, so let’s go through them:
Fingernail – if you have decent length fingernails, this is one of the best ways of cutting a cigar without a cutter. In fact, the thumbnail is probably the best, being the easiest and often the longest. Use to roughly cut the cap – don’t dig too deep or you may damage the cigar – and that should loosen it up enough for you to peel the skin away and create the opening you need.
Slicing – this method uses a blade or knife, so if you either carry one or can find one to hand – or indeed borrow – then you can enjoy a smoke. Don’t chop the cap off, use the blade to slice around and then – as above – peel it away. Or, you can slice a cross into the end of the cigar, and peel the skin away so you can draw through the hole you have created.
Poke a Hole – anything with a sharp end can be used to poke a hole in the end of the cigar, just as a cigar punch would be used for. A small hole can be enlarged slightly and make for a perfectly good smoke. Use a paper clip or the end of a golf tee, perhaps a toothpick or a small screwdriver, or anything you have to hand that you can carefully poke a hole in your cigar with.
Use Your Teeth – take note: this is only ever to be done if you are alone! Never, ever use your teeth to cut a cigar if there is anyone else around! It is uncouth and you should try every other option before biting a cigar! It may be seen in Hollywood movies, often where the ‘tough guy’ bites the end off his cigar as a show of his prowess, but in actual fact it is not tough at all. A real man would casually take his cigar cutter from his pocket, neatly cut the end of his cigar, and smoke away. Biting is the last resort, so be warned!
Do You Have to Cut a Cigar?
The simple answer is yes; if you do not cut the cap of the cigar, you cannot smoke it properly – end of story! The cut enables you to draw on the cigar, which is the very essence of smoking. The flavour from smoking a cigar comes from the air being drawn through it from one end to the other – both being open – so it needs somewhere to enter, and to exit.
Of course, the answer could be more elaborate, as we could say no, you don’t have to cut a cigar: you can in fact choose to punch a hole (as mentioned in the section above). This performs the same function in providing an exit point for the air drawn through the tobacco.
Is there a difference in flavour between a punched and a cut cigar? This is one of those personal choice affairs! Some people say one is more rich and flavoursome than the other, but others disagree; we recommend that if you are relatively new to cigar smoking, you try both, and you can make up your own mind!
Can You Cut a Cigar With Scissors?
You can buy specialist ‘cigar scissors’, which are designed to take the cap away. In truth, these are just another name for a type of cigar cutter, and an effective one too. With ordinary scissors, you could conceivably cut the cap off a cigar, but we would not recommend it unless you have no other option. It’s far better to use the slice technique than to simply cut right through the cigar with an ordinary pair of scissors.
How Do You Cut a Cigar with a Cutter?
Briefly, here’s how it works: a standard type of cigar cutter is akin to a miniature guillotine. It consists of one or more very sharp, small blades. You place the cigar into the cutter, and press either a button or lever to activate the blade. The cap of the cigar is neatly cut – just below the shoulder for maximum effect – and it is ready to use. There is knack to getting it right that includes making sure you have your cutter at the right place on the cigar head, but once you have it, you will be able to perform what is actually a very stylish little move in one go, and impress your friends too!
The above should give you a reminder that wherever you are, if you are carrying cigars with you, you also need to have on your person a cutter or a punch. To be caught without one when in company is not the worst thing in the world, but every man knows that a cigar smoker carries his own cutter! Of course, your friends will be more than happy to lend you one, but they won’t expect you to make a habit of it! Remember your cutter, and attach a spare to your keys, and you will never get caught out again!