Cuts and different options
Hey all my cigar buddies! I hope everyone is staying smoky!
Today, I am offering up a little lesson in different cuts, punches, and other such necessities to enjoy smoking whatever cigar you decide to light up.
Most of my followers already have their personal preference and tried and true favorites, but I just wanted to put some of these ideas out here for those who may just be getting into the passion and enjoyment. If you are an experienced aficionado and just wanting to try something different… Check these options out.
The straight cut
For those just starting out, let me start by saying, Welcome to the hobby of cigar smoking!
Most “newbies” are unaware of a proper cutting technique and therefore, I offer this mini training instruction.
First thing you MUST know, A cut can determine how well a “Draw” you will receive with each puff. The “draw” is the amount of air that is pulled through the cigar from the foot to the cap, where you will receive the smoke into your mouth. A very important factor is that you NEVER want to completely remove the cap (the tip that goes in your mouth). If you completely remove it, the cigar will more than likely unravel and become a useless un-smokable cigar. to do a “Straight Cut”, you can use either a guillotine cutter or a sharp pair of cigar scissors. You want to cut just the cap, maybe the size of a fingernail. Do NOT cut below the curve of the cigar where it becomes a part of the body of the cigar, as this will cause the unravelling previously mentioned.
The single punch
A cigar punch is a sharp blade that basically pokes a hole into the cigar. When using one of these, it is important to push straight and firmly without crushing the cap or cigar body. Use a slight twisting method when removing after the initial punch, as this will assist in carving out a nice proper hole for the draw to flow freely.
The Double punch
For my purposes… on occasion I will do a double punch. I use this technique when smoking either a pyramid, torpedo of box press cigar. I place one hole punched on either side (right or left) just BELOW the cap, and then follow with an additional punch opposite of the first, without going all the way through the cigar. This is typically a No-No in the world of cigars. I have found however, that this allows for an excellent draw without any unravelling issues.
The extreme triple punch
For those of you who are bold enough to smoke a 70 + gauge cigar, and understand how sore your jaw can become by trying to get enough draw on these monster sticks… I do a triple punch at the crest of the cap at the draw point. I punch it in a pyramid pattern like holes for a bowling ball. This type of punch is recommended for use only on cigars of 70 gauge sizes or larger.
The Commander Cut
This is a cut using a guillotine cutter and must be done accurately and quickly or it will ruin a cigar. It is recommended on a cigar that is proving difficult to draw or very tight on the inhale, where as it is producing very little to no smoke while puffing. Take your cutter (be sure it is sharp) and while holding the cigar make as an extreme angle as possible from the cap down the side of the body of the cigar, so that you are cutting the cigar almost sideways. While being sure to leave a small portion of the cap in place (VERY IMPORTANT)….. cut quickly in one fast motion, cutting the bulk of the cap and a good portion of the side body off of the cigar. This will produce a steep angled cut making the portion that goes in your mouth almost pointed. It is important that you re-light the cigar completely after making this type of cut, or it will burn unevenly. I also recommend turning or spinning the cigar in your mouth while smoking it, as this will continue to keep the cigar burning at a proper rate and level burn at the foot.
This is a product that has been released in the last two years, that uses 5 blades inside a bullet cap. This type of cutter is more of a fad in my opinion. I have had two of them, and they both dulled out fast. However, to explain what it does it as follows. Pushing it firmly and straight onto the top of the cap, all the way down until it stops, forces 5 razor blades to cut into the cigar while leaving the cap intact 99.9%. It slices it’s way into allowing a draw to come through the cigar while no actual tobacco leaf is exposed to the inside of your mouth. It does work, but only on robusto sizes 50 gauge or smaller. Anything bigger seems to tear the cigar. They typically sell for around $18-$24 each depending on where you purchase.
The razor cut
This in essence works the same as the shurikan, but without the added expense, have a sharp razor knife, or box cutter ?? You can make your own slice into the cap. I recommend this only when other options are unavailable. Just make a single straight cut across the top portion of the cap. Turn the cigar 90 degrees and slice again, creating a crossed pattern in the cut. Squeeze the cap gently to produce a slight opening.
I hope that some of these cut styles prove useful to my readers.
Have a great and smoky day.
Smoke what you enjoy, because YOU like it.