Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cutting the head of your cigar: The Basics

First, it is very important to make a clean cut so ensure you have a quality cigar cutter. A clean cut made with the right tools and in the right place will decrease your chances of having the cigar unravel, which may make for an unpleasant smoke. A clear and regular cut is key.

At the head of the cigar (the covered end that goes in your mouth), you will see the cap, which is a round piece of tobacco that is glued to the head to keep the wrapper together. This cap is put on the head of the cigar during the hand-rolling process to keep it from unraveling and drying out. You should see a distinct line where the cap ends.

You only want to remove the outer layer of wrapper, not cut off a centimeter of tobacco. To ensure a clean cut and to avoid tearing the wrapper, cut just before the cap leaving 3-4 mm. (Tip: On figurados, just cut off enough so you can see the filler.) For the best results, try making one quick, strong movement. Tip: For bullet punch cutters, insert the punch on the head of the cigar to cleanly cut a small hole. If you prefer lots of smoke, you'll want to cut a bigger hole so you would need to punch several times in that area of the cap. Bullet punch cutters are popular because of their key ring accessibility, but unfortunately, they will not work on a figurado (torpedo, belicoso, perfecto).

The key to a good cigar cut is to be quick and precise. Find your mark and clip it quickly. Using a good quality cutter and cutting quickly will give you the best advantage. Also ensure the blades are sharp so that there is no tearing involved. Cutting your cigar correctly means you will have a better tasting smoke.

Cut Should be Clear and Regular for the best experience.

Tip: Never cut just at the limit of the cap or lower
or you'll risk tearing the wrapper;
you only have to cut off enough so you can see the filler.

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