The cigar has always represented the elegant side of smoking. Harking back to the days when gentleman would retire to the Drawing Room after dinner, for a cigar and a brandy, the Cuban cigar is still something special, kept back for occasions when you can savour its flavour!
If you are a cigar aficionado, the cigar cutter will certainly be one of your prized possessions. The only question is what type of cutter do you prefer, and what cut do you use? It’s personal choice as to how you choose to cut your cigars.
Cigars are cut in order that the air can pass through, and you can take in the flavours. As seen in the movies, it’s quite a cool thing to do!
Let’s talk about the different types of cigar cutters (we reviewed our recommended 10 cigar cutters here), and why there is such a choice, and how best to sharpen each one.
Guillotine or Straight Cutter
The Guillotine type of cigar cutter is perhaps the most popular choice. It is, after all, simple and easy to use. It comes in two forms – single and double blade – and while the former is the most basic type, for many people a double blade guillotine is the best type of cigar cutter.
A double blade cutter works with two blades, opposed to each other. The simultaneous cutting action of the two blades gives a swift, clean cut, and stops the coating from tearing. It’s a very tidy and effective cutting method.
With the single blade, you have a cut that goes right through. It’s not so easy, but once you get the hang of it is perfectly good, and these are among the cheapest cigar cutters on the market. Make sure you identify the shoulder – this is where the curve of the end of the cigar ends – and cut precisely there, and you have a perfectly cut, ready to smoke cigar!
V-Cutter and Punch Cutter
This is a clever design of cigar cutter that doesn’t cut the head off completely. In one, simple cut, what it does is notch a hole in the head so that the air can get through easily.
This has a number of benefits; it makes for a very clean and effective smoke, and it means you have no debris or tearing. This type of cutter is usually used by those who enjoy a smaller diameter cigar, as it is most effective with these.
There is a knack to getting this sort of cutter to work properly, and it involves ensuring you do not make your cut too deep. Should you do so, the cigar may burn to fast and too hot, which means you won’t get the enjoyment out of it you want.
Similar is the punch cigar cutter; this is a type of hole-punch design that is used on larger cigars, and is favoured by some cigar smokers but not as popular as the guillotine.
These are the standard types of cigar cutters, and you may also wish to carry a set of cigar scissors – specially designed for the purpose – in case you have no cutter to hand – so how do you go about cleaning your cigar cutter? Let’s have a look!
Sharpening and Cleaning
As with all metal blades, that on your cigar cutter – whatever type it may be – will become dull with time. This means you have a few choices.
If you have a cheap throwaway single-blade cutter, then do just that: throw it away, and buy another! That’s what cheap plastic cigar cutters – which do the job – are for, so take heed and don’t waste time on it.
If you have a more expensive cigar cutter – perhaps a double-blade guillotine from a top maker – you should check your warranty. Many of the best are worth paying a little extra for as they come with a lifetime guarantee; simply take it back to where you got it, and the maker will sharpen it for you.
Should you really want to try sharpening it at home, you will first have to remove the case. This should be easy enough to do – there are some good videos online (see below) that give you advice – but bear in mind that you will void your warranty if you start taking it apart.
We recommend that before you do this, you should give your cutter a good clean. Do this by using a cotton swab or a damp cloth. Most of the oil and tobacco debris will easily come off with a few wipes, and that could solve your problem. Or, leave your cutter in a cup of hot water for a while, which should have the same effect.
If you want to go ahead and sharpen, use a small and light burring tool or a very fine file, and carefully file the edges. This may help sharpen your cutter, but in all seriousness, you may be best buying a new one or returning it to the maker.
Investing in a good quality cigar cutter – whether you want one for your desk or for your pocket – is always worth the little extra you will pay.