Cigar cutters are an essential for those who wish to smoke cigars requiring cutting. Just because you have seen a gangster film in which a character bites if off with his teeth, I beseech you, please don't try it. Unless you know what you are doing (which I certainly didn't), I would honestly say it is one of life's more.....well..... disgusting expereiences.
Cigar cutters have been in use for a great number of years, these are used in order to remove the cap which is usually at one or both ends of a cigar, and must be taken off if you want to smoke it. this is much more efficient than when someone decides to bite it off or slice it with a knife which can damage the cigar, lose tobacco and cause it to burn unevenly.
This is where the cigar cutters come in, and there are three different types:
• The "Guillotine" or "Traditional" Cut - the best known of cigar cutting techniques, in which the cutter is basically a circular hole with a blade either side. The cigar is inserted into the whole and the blades quicky sliced across, chopping the end off the cigar, like Robespierre's execution. The advantages of this are that it is quick and easy, the disadvantages are that the smoker reccieves the full amount of tar and residue, which may impair the flavour of the cigar, and is also more of a health risk.
• The "Bullet" or "Punch" Cut - A punch or bullet cutter pierces a hole in the end of the cigar, making a clean job. This is often pre-done on many cigars, but is advantageous over guillotine cutting as tar and residue is collected in the curved end of the cigar before it leaves through the hole. It can also restrict the freedom of a draw of smoke.
• The "V" Cut - the king of cigar cuts. V cutters make a v shaped slit in the end of the cigar. It does not restrict the flow of smoke and most of the tar and residue accumulatedon the inside of the 'V', giving a smoke of maximum smoothness and minimum bitterness. However, due to the shape of V cutter blades, it is sometimes difficult to retain their sharpness. Good V-cutters penetrate deep into the filler, creating a nice clean gash rather than removing it totally, However some cheap V cutters can result in an untidy gash, which can result in a somewhat unpleasant experience on account of an uneven burn, by cutting in too deep.
Although there is a relatively wide price margin in cigar cutters, if you only tend to smoke one or two a month, you can stick with a cheap one, or at least, one which does the job satisfyingly. The more up-market cigars are really for those who smoke a lot, or who will gladly part with vast amounts of money.