How to Cut a Cigar Without a Cutter -Comprehensive Guide

Why did we write an entire article about how to cut a cigar without a cutter? We men need a good smoke now and then – that can never be denied. And of course, we may find the ubiquitous pack of cigarettes handy for a satisfactory smoke to easy out the mind, there is hardly anything else that can rival the feeling of a true cigar between your lips: the class, the rarity, the uniqueness all blend into an experience that you just cannot get enough of. Indeed, nothing speaks of class and style more than a cigar between a good old gentleman’s lips.

However, cigars are not as easy to enjoy as cigarettes – you cannot just light them up with your lighter. A part of the experience lies in the effort needed to prepare the cigar for smoking first. We have already provided best cigar lighters. Cigars have all remained the same over centuries, and still require to be cut for allowing air to pass through them so that you can take a good puff out of it.

Now, this job is best done by cigar cutters that were created specifically for this job. It is also easier and much more convenient to cut and enjoy your cigar if you have a nice little cigar cutter handy. However, situations may arise where you do not have a cigar cutter – maybe the busy day made you forget it on your desk back home, perhaps you dropped it somewhere, maybe something else happened because of which you cannot feel your trusty cigar cutter inside your pocket. Whatever the reason may be, it is always good to know a few ways of cutting your cigar without relying on your cutter for these very situations that you may find yourself in. So, we shall talk about a few good ways by which you can cut your cigar without a cutter.

Method 1: Use a cigar punch

Like the paper punchers that you would find in your average office or stationery shop, a punch instead of cutting the cigar punches a hole in the so-called ‘cap’ of the cigar to create a passage for the smoke. Cigar punches are quite small and handy – most can even be fit onto a key-chain; thus, having one handy all the time is not that difficult. Often lighters created specifically for lighting cigars come with a punch. 

However, when a punch is used to create the smoke passageway instead of a regular cutter, it results in a tighter smoke draw as the opening is a bit smaller. Thus the lower volume of air means that oxygen supply within the cigar is limited and hence the cigar may get extinguished periodically. However, the experience provided by a punch over a cutter is quite different, and many people would rather use a punch than a cutter.

The cigar punch consists of tiny blades that are usually of 6mm to 9mm. One must place these blades on top of the cigar cap or the top of it, and then twist it around to make a hole. One must note that if the blades are not adequately sharp, it could potentially spoil the expensive cigar and would cause all the tobacco stuffed within it to spill out. Therefore if you intend to use a cigar punch, you must first ensure its sharpness. 

Method 2: Use a knife

Although using a knife to cut a cigar seems like the most ‘manly’ way around it, generally, the sharpness of a knife does not compare to that of the blades of a cutter or a punch. Therefore, one must use a knife only if it is sharp, because again if the knife is dull it would cause the cigar to spill out its contents instead of achieving a clean cut. There are two methods to do the job with minimal damage to your cigar, as described below.

  • The first method involves slicing the cap like you would do with a cutter, in a single swift motion. It is of utmost importance that the cigar remains perfectly stationary while you are at it, or else you may end up cutting it at an improper place. It is often easier to place the cigar on a table and keep it stable by applying the bare minimum pressure with your fingers on it (excessive pressure will again eject the tobacco from the cigar). The cut must be made in a rapid, single motion to obtain a clean cut.
  • The other method involves carefully making a small hole at the head of the cigar using the tip of the knife, quite similar to the hole that a punch would make. Once that is done, the loose tobacco can be cleaned off. Care must be taken to ensure that the hole thus created is large enough to allow the smoke to flow freely.

Method 3: Use your fingernails

If absolutely nothing else is available, you still have your fingernails with you. However, you must have long fingernails for this method. To cut, you must very cautiously tear off a tiny bit of the wrapper from the cigar’s cap. Once this is successfully achieved without causing any damage to the cigar, you must dig a small hole into the cigar with your nails. This must be done very slowly or else again the cigar may be at risk of getting ruined. Once a small hole is made, remove all the loose tobacco around it and shape it up as best as you can. 

Method 4: Find something that can function as a punch around your home or office

The job can also be satisfactorily accomplished by the means of a small, circular and sharp object that you can find lying around. Pens, needles and golf tees are popular implements that work as an adequate substitute for a cigar punch. If you can make an adequately tiny hole in the cigar head you should be able to smoke it just fine. Although the hole made would never rival that made by a proper cigar cutter or even a punch for that matter, at the very least you can have your smoke.

Note: Many people try making the hole in the cigar with their teeth. Our plain and simple advice is – do NOT do that. Not only will you appear like a complete savage with no etiquette while you are at it, most probably you will only end up completely ruining the cigar – there is a high probability that it would tear off and the cigar will unwrap itself, rendering itself completely useless. And if, by any chance, no calamity befalls you and you manage to successfully create a hole in it, the tobacco would enter your mouth and believe us, it does not have the best taste. 

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