How to Cut a Cigar (6 Ways)

For those who have never done it before, cutting a cigar can seem like an incredibly difficult process. But it won’t be as difficult if you choose the ideal cutter and understand how to cut a cigar correctly.

In addition, there are several cigar cutting tools and cigar shapes and sizes. The proper way to cut a cigar and where to cut it can easily get confused.

Luckily, this extensive article provides a simple primer to the art of cigar cutting that outlines all of the many techniques. Continue reading to find out how to cut a cigar before lighting it.

Cut a Cigar

1. How to trim a cigar?

Using a cigar cutter is the easiest way to trim cigar, always make sure the cigar cutter is sharp:


Identify the Cap: The cap is the small piece of tobacco leaf attached to the head of the cigar to keep it from unraveling. Locate the cap before making any cuts. It usually forms a small rounded bump at the end of the cigar.

Locate the Cap cigar

Moisten the Head: Optionally, you can moisten the head of the cigar slightly with your lips. This prevents the wrapper from tearing when you cut it.

Position the Cutter: Place the blades of your guillotine cutter just beyond the cap line, or about 1/16th of an inch from the head of the cigar. Ensure that the cut will leave about 3-4 millimeters of the cap left to hold the wrapper together.

Make a Quick, Firm Cut: Use a swift and decisive motion to cut the cigar. This action should be quick to avoid tearing the tobacco and to achieve a clean cut.

Inspect the Cut: After cutting, check the head of the cigar to ensure that it’s even and that there are no loose pieces of tobacco that could obstruct the draw.

Related: Best 9 Cigar Cutters

Cut a Cigar

2. The different types of cigar cutters and cigar cuts

Variety is one of the largest aspects of cigar culture. More importantly, if it comes to the choice, a person has millions of cigars and numerous types. And if it comes to the cutting, a person chooses the method that best fits ones preferences! There are several ways to cut a cigar, and a few different types of cigar cutters you can use:

  1. Straight Cutter
  2. Cigar Scissors
  3. Punch Cutter for Punch Cutting Cigars
  4. V-Cutter for V-Cutting Cigars
  5. Blade/Knife
  6. Fingernails/Peeling the Cap

2.1. Straight Cutter

Straight cutters are commonly referred to as guillotines among people who deal with cigars. The basic cutters are used to plug a hole on top of the cigars and then press until it separates cleanly.

Cut a Cigar

However, straights cutters don’t necessarily use one blade. The common alternative cutter is dual or double-blade cutter. Like any other straight cutter, they do work similarly, but this time an extra blade is added to make a cleaner and better cut. It will also assist you in avoiding torn wrappers or uneven cuts that could end up spoiling your day.

2.2. Cigar Scissors

Ordinary scissors are not possible options for cutting the cigar. However, one should use cigar scissors instead of kitchen ones as they also provide good cut of a cigar.

 Cigar Scissors

You are also required to pay attention to the quality of the cigar scissors for this reason. Sharp, good quality steel blades and will cut through the best cigar wrapper without much effort. The more you tear your cigar’s wrapper, the higher are your chances of using low-grade blades, and/or blades from poor blade maintenance.

2.3 Punch Cutter for Punch Cutting Cigars

Not every cigar cutter is created for cutting off the entire piece of a cigar’s head. A punch cutter is a distinct kind of smoking equipment that punches holes through the top without separating it. This is another kind of the cigar cutter.

Cut a Cigar

One of the significant advantages of a punch-cut is the little amount of loose tobacco or fillers that fall into your mouth as you smoke. However, they are just a little easier to operate and there is nothing to worry about while cutting too deep. Moreover, you avoid removing a portion of the wrapping thus reducing your risk of unraveling the wrapper.

The one disadvantage of punch cutters is that it doesn’t suit on the small-size cigarettes. Punch cutters usually result in very narrow circumferences; yet, there is no way this tool can be used on certain thick cigars.

2.4 V-Cutter for V-Cutting Cigars

A V cutter is similar to a punch-cutter except that it does not take away the whole end of the cigar. However, by v-cutting, a tiny V-shape notch is made at the end of the smoker. It makes a cut similar to that of a punch-cut but creates an even smaller and concentrated one.

2.4 V-Cutter for V-Cutting Cigars

A V-cut is very similar to an ordinary punch-cut and has much of the same benefits that come with it. There will be less smoke going down your throat, less loose fillers that would fall on your mouth, and there goes no more of a long slice of cigar from top to bottom.

But a good v cut denies you the privilege of sucking through a narrow gap.

2.5 Blade/Knife

You may opt to cut a small hole in your cigar and use your pocketknife if you are carrying one. However, the idea of using a simple pocket knife to make a hole in the middle of a cigar may seem quite unbelievable to many. However, for this to take place, ensure that your knife is never thick. This is so because a clean cut requires a sharp blade.


2.6 Fingernails/Peeling the Cap

With time, you can also be scrapping off on a very little portion of the small of your cigar’s cap end. It is a very old way of smoking cigars, and the practice has continued among many fans for long. This procedure employs the tips of one’s nails to puncture the top of a cigar.* When your nail enters into the lid, turn your finger and begin drilling. In fact, it is possible even with the shortened fingernails. You now understand why this used to be the most frequent option back in those days.

Fingernails Peeling the Cap

But remember this. You might find it necessary to apply higher pressure when the tip of your nail touches glue between the binder and the wrapper’s outer corner.

3. Step-by-step guide on how to cut a cigar

Here’s how to make the perfect cut:

  1. Locate the Cap
  2. Moisten the Cigar Head
  3. Cut the cigar

3.1 Locate the Cap

A cigar has a top part that is lightened stuck on to maintain the integrity as it is kept until used. Try not to exceed the edges of the cap otherwise you might pierce through the wrapping causing damages like tears or unraveling.

Many times the cap is revealed on cigars as the slightly rounded part of leaf. To this end, it is better to err on the side of a slightly superficial cut rather than on the steeper cut. By doing so, it is also possible to avoid an unfavorable unraveling by leaving a bit of the caps and glues.

Locate the Cap cigar

3.2 Moisten the Cigar Head

You may even get a trick from experts that involve moistening the cap of the cigar in their mouths before cutting. Although it is not an essential requirement but may be helpful in ensuring smooth cutting. During the cutting process, a dried leaf may often crack, making it difficult to obtain the perfect cut despite using the finest knife or guillotine.

Cut a Cigar

Also, there are cigar smokers who appreciate enjoying a mild flavor of the cigar by taking this manner. You don’t have to do it, nor do you do it most of the time. However, it is also beneficial, most likely in case of cheap cigars having improperly positioned cover on the head.

3.3 Cut the cigar

It’s time for the cut, finally. You might be shocked to hear that while cutting a cigar may seem easy, it takes some talent. As you continue to sample various cigars, especially ones with varied leaf kinds and shapes or sizes, your skill at cutting cigars will improve.

Cut a Cigar

You should be able to get a neatly cut cigar cap with just one squeeze, depending on the instrument you’re using. When you’re ready to cut, make the cut with confidence, but remember to spend your time aligning it!

To choose the ideal cutting tool for you, try out a variety of styles.

4. What is the best way to cut a cigar

You can’t simply light up a cigar or even a cigarette and begin inhaling. You should make the best cut in order to ensure that your smoke is smooth. You can take your reference on the following cigar cuts.

The most desirable means is via the straight cut technique, since a variety of cutting instruments are available. Using either a pocketknife, cigar scissors, or even a guillotine cutter will bring the same outcome.

Additionally, you will also have an option of using this technique in both rounded caps and pointed caps.

Cut a Cigar

5. Here are some pointers when doing a straight cut:

  1. Be certain that you end with a cutting motion. In case of prolonged pressure, the wrapper of the cigar may be damaged and you will end up with a bad one to smoke. Hence, a quick cut is required, if you are looking at success.
  2. It is imperative that you grasp your cigar strongly as the knife touches off on the stogie. That way, you have full control and are able to cut the cigar cap end neatly.
  3. If you are making use of a double-edged blade guillotine, put at the other edge of the blade the head of the cigar. It will ensure that your cigar remains at the required position so that you can have a clean and accurate cut.
Cut a Cigar

6. Selecting the Appropriate Cutter

You may choose the ideal cigar cutter based on your own preferences now that you are aware of the various sorts that are available. A simple guillotine is highly recommended if you don’t already have one, as it can be used to cut almost any shape of cigar. The punch is the second most widely used cutter, but be aware that it is only effective on cigars with a larger, more flattened head. Finally, a V-Cut style cutter is what I suggest.

The best course of action is to visit your neighborhood tobacco shop, try handling a few cutters, and determine which one feels the most comfortable.

7. Tips on how to cut a cigar

7.1. Cut Swiftly, Without Hesitation

Just as we said, you should take time during preparation, but the procedure of cutting cigar should be quick and sure. Therefore, if you are a novice in cutting a cigar, then you would probably be asking yourself why? The reason is simple: A trembling cut, which involves stopping to reposition the edge of the blade also gives assurance that the seals will pop open as you tear the wrappers.

Your cigar is not undone; it merely makes your enjoyment less pleasing. Hence, it is advisable to train yourself by snipping fast, straight and tight on a scrap piece of paper before you proceed to make the snip.

Cut a Cigar

7.2. Avoid Shallow/Deep Cuts

Cutting every cigar can become a fine art indeed, especially if one considers that the same principle applies differently depending on the kind and brand of cigar being cut! An important tip when learning to cut a cigar is not to overdo it and go too low beyond the “ideal” cut.

Although it is hard to find the right spot for a cut, deep cuts normally stand out since one has travelled beyond the wrapper and towards the cap. However, very superficial cuts sometimes do not penetrate through the angle of the end-cut and leave you with a shorter or awkward cigar to draw on.

3. Do not bite off on a cigar, head.

Biting into a cigar is usually an inaccurate method of cutting a cigar head, aside from the social awkwardness it may cause. In the best situation, you’ll receive a cut that might have been obtained more quickly and efficiently with a tool or even a knife. In the worst situation, you might rip off the cigar’s wrapper, ruin it, or wind yourself with a mouthful of tobacco and a very untidy cigar!

Cut a Cigar

7.4. Make Sure Your Knives Are Sharp

The characteristic of all bladed instruments is that they will not function properly if they are dull. This also holds true for your cutters. Cigar wrappers don’t fade very soon because of how quickly and readily they may be trimmed. However, monitor your cutter and search for indications that it is wearing down.

8. How to cut a cigar with a knife

Holding the head of the cigar firmly in one hand and the knife in the other, cut approximately 1/16 inch from the top of the cap.

9. How to cut a torpedo cigar

Cut the cigar horizontally to a depth of about 3 -4 mm to ensure that the conical head is intact.

10. How much to cut off cigar

Distance from the end is about one-sixteenth of an inch, two millimeters.

11. How to use a V-cut cigar cutter

12. How far to cut a cigar

From the end about one-sixteenth of an inch, two millimeters.

13. Best Way to Cut a Cigar Without a Cutter

  1. Use Pinch: In some cases, especially when other tools are not available, you can moisten the cap and carefully pinch or twist it off with your fingers. This should be done gently to prevent damaging the cigar.
  2. Use Thumb Nail: If you have strong nails, you can carefully use your thumbnail to make a circular cut around the cap. This method requires precision and may not be suitable for all types of cigars

14. Where to cut a torpedo cigar

where to cut a torpedo cigar

When cutting a torpedo cigar, you want to carefully expose enough of the cigar’s interior to ensure a good draw, without compromising the shape or structure:

Straight Cut: Use a straight cigar cutter, positioning the blade just above the end of the cap—about 3mm-4mm deep—maintaining the cigar’s tapered shape.

Angled Cut: Angle the blade at 35 to 45 degrees while cutting for a larger surface area without cutting too deep, which can help if you prefer a more concentrated draw.

V-Cut: You can also use a V-cutter to make a wedge-shaped cut in the head of the cigar, which can provide a good draw and concentrate the smoke without cutting too much off the cap.


Selecting the ideal spot to cut close to the cap is an essential aspect of cigar smoking. As a result, the majority of cigar lovers find satisfaction not only in the blend of their preferred cigar but also in the way they cut and store it. You can become fairly adept with almost any sort of cutter with a little practice.

Every cigar has the perfect cut, so when you’re enjoying your favorite cigar, use this knowledge properly. It’s not difficult to cut a cigar, even though every cigar has a different ideal location. However, exercise caution when cutting.


There is a small portion of the cap on the head of the cigar that needs to be cut off.

Pocket knives, fruit knives, and kitchen knives are all good for cutting cigars.

There is a cap on the head of the cigar that is curved and this part needs to be cut off.

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