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    How to Cut a Cigar: The Perfect Guide for Beginners

    by Athisham Ulhaq September 08, 2022

    Cutting a cigar may seem intimidating if you have never done it before, but it is quite simple once you get the hang of it.

    This quick guide on how to cut a cigar will show you everything you need to know, whether you are just starting or looking to perfect your technique, with some helpful tips and tricks.

    Before long, you will be enjoying your favorite stogie like a pro!

    How to Cut a Cigar [STEPS]

    How to Cut a Cigar

    Cigars are an experience meant to be savored, but few people have time or patience enough to do it properly.

    Unfortunately, this often leads them to cut a cigar with scissors or another blade and light up. Instead of doing this, why not give yourself the full experience with just a little practice and know-how?

    This step-by-step guide will help you learn how to cut and light up your cigar like a pro!


    Step 1 - Invest in a Good Cutter 

    A cigar cutter is probably the most important equipment you can have. Without one, you will never be able to enjoy your cigar.

    Fortunately, they are not too expensive and come in various styles, shapes, and sizes.

    Start by choosing a style that is right for you: Guillotine or Punch?  

    1. Guillotine Cutters

    Many cutters can be used to cut a cigar. The most popular is the guillotine cutter. Guillotine cutters are best if you try to smoke multiple cigars because they cut faster than punches.

    However, they require more upkeep since they must be sanitized after each use and sharpened periodically.  

    How to Use It

    To use it, take your cutter and place the blade in the center of the cigar’s head. With one hand on top and the other on the bottom, squeeze down evenly all around so that it cuts off an even circle from both ends of the cigar’s head.

    A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least an inch or two for it to stay lit easily.

    2. Punch Cutters

    A punch cutter looks like an oversized, flat head screwdriver. They are typically made of stainless steel and are pretty inexpensive as far as cigar accessories go.

    These can be found in any cigar shop or online store that sells cigars.

    How to Use It

    You can use a punch cutter two ways: scraping the edge of the head with it or pushing down on it.

    Using one is pretty easy. Just take off the cover with your thumb, and there will be an indentation in the cigar.

    Place the cutter against this indentation, and then punch down on it as hard as you can. You should hear an audible ‘crunching’ sound when you make contact.

    If you want to create a cleaner cut, use the scraping technique instead of punching down. Hold onto one end of the cigar and scrape from end to end along its edge, making sure not to go past this line of where the wrapper ends. Continue doing this until you reach the head.

    Then peel back the other side of the leafs so that they lay flat and parallel with the first side before picking up that part of it that is now exposed.

    Start rolling upwards slowly while simultaneously tucking one side over into another.

    Continue tucking until all leaves have been tucked inside, and you are left with a round bunch at either end, representing what was once your cigar’s head.


    Step 2 - Measure Your Ring Gauge (RG)

    A ring gauge (RG) refers to the cigar's diameter and is typically categorized as Thin (thinnest RG), Medium, or Wide. Choosing the correct ring gauge will make for an enjoyable smoke.

    If you enjoy thinner cigars (like Romeo y Julieta Petites), go with a thin RG.

    If you enjoy fuller cigars (like Montecristo Double Edmundos), go with a wide RG.

    After deciding on your ring gauge, cut your end off so that it matches your RG. You want the side that has been cut to be even with the other side, so look at both ends before cutting.

    Make sure not to cut too much off, though, just enough so that it is even on both sides.


    Step 4 - Cut with Care

    Just because you know how to cut a cigar does not mean you know how to do it well.

    Ensure the angle is right and use enough pressure on the cutter. As always, with these things, do not make any big changes in your life based on something like this.

    It may be best to ask an expert for advice if you are unsure about anything involving cigars.

    You might also want to pick up a pack of tips or invest in some lighter fluid so that your cigar does not go out between puffs!


    Step 5 - Go Easy on Yourself

    After using your cigar cutter to remove the cap and peel off any excess wrapper, it is time for the fun part: smoking.

    The first time you smoke a cigar, it may be best to observe others while they are smoking theirs.

    If someone at the table offers you advice on correctly lighting and smoking your cigar, feel free to take their advice or ask them for some pointers. You will most likely find out what not to do and what works best with your smoker type.

    One of the biggest mistakes new smokers make is using too much heat by inhaling too deeply. Doing this can cause coughing fits and set off an already sensitive gag reflex.

    A better way to get accustomed to the taste of a cigar is to breathe in gently through your nose as you smoke instead of breathing in through your mouth.

    For novice smokers who want more flavor than tobacco, try adding honey and brown sugar before lighting up!

    As soon as the sugars melt into the tobacco (during smoking), they caramelize, adding sweetness to every puff.



    We have just learned all the steps you need to cut a cigar. A good tip is to research which type of cigar cutter would be best for you, as this will give you peace of mind and make for an easier cutting experience.

    Now get out there and smoke that awesome cigar you just cut with skill.

    GroovyCigars is the ultimate cigar accessory supplier. Our website sells accessories like cigar holders, butane torches, humidors, cutters, and more. There are tools for every level of a smoker, from beginners to experts.



    What Is the Traditional Way to Celebrate When You Light Up Your First Cigar?

    When you light up your first cigar, tradition says that you should have someone close by who knows what they are doing and give you a hand. It is considered customary for the person cutting the cigar for you to wish you luck before or as they do it. 


    When Would You Choose a Guillotine Cutter over Something Else?

    Choosing a guillotine cutter over other methods is primarily an issue of personal preference. These cutters are generally easier to use so they may be preferable for inexperienced cigar smokers. Some people also find that this type of cutter produces a cleaner cut, with less chance for stray pieces to be pulled out by the clipper.


    Do Some Cigars Come Pre-cut?

    Some cigars come pre-cut, and others do not. If your cigar does not come pre-cut, hold it at its butt end and cut off the excess wrapper by making an angled incision that starts at the foot of the cigar and finishes around 3/4 of the way up.