A little more than two years ago, my wife and I were coming down the home stretch for our wedding. I had purchased a couple of odds and ends as Groomsman’s gifts, but I still wanted to get one more item to finish things off.
Due to my interest in cigars, I wanted to include some sort of cigar related gift. The hitch was that this gift couldn’t be a cigar item first, it had to have some other purpose about it because none of my Groomsman were cigar smokers.
My first thought was to shove them into potentially becoming cigar smokers and getting them an engraved Xikar Xi cutter of some sort. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea. I wound up contacting Mark Neff from Cigarmony to see if he had anything that might fit the bill.
Unfortunately, Mark didn’t have anything on hand for my situation but told me to take a look at the knives that Xikar offered. One knife in particular, the Xikar 744, was precisely what I was looking for. Its primary purpose was to simply be a knife, as a feature it offered a circular cutout in the handle where a cigar could be inserted and clipped.
After the decision was made, Mark went ahead and ordered the knives from Xikar. Before long they arrived at my doorstep and one of them immediately was put to use (you didn’t think I wouldn’t get one for myself did you?) Over the last couple of years I have been able to form a pretty solid opinion of the Xikar 744.
- Small form factor makes it easy to carry around
- Built in belt clip works great when used on the pocket of a pair of jeans.
- Carries Xikar lifetime warranty
- Cutout in handle for cigars is rather small. This was not built with larger ring gauge cigars in mind.
- The clip on this knife is very stiff and might not comfortably fit over a thick leather belt.
- Ugly new packaging
In the end, this is a knife that doubles as a cigar cutter if you ever find yourself in a very desperate situation. I would not use this knife to open a cigar unless it was your absolute last resort. Using the knife like a single blade guillotine cutter is cumbersome and time consuming to get a proper cut.
From the view of a knife alone, I like this tool quite a bit. Its small form factor makes it comfortable to carry around when clipped to your jeans pocket. The edge on this knife seems decent, it won’t remain sharp if your planning on butchering steer, but for light use on odds and ends it performs well.
My biggest gripe about this knife is the change in packaging. When I purchased the originals, they all arrived in the attractive blue Xikar boxes which were suited for presentation. After sending my knife in to be sharpened, I received a brand new knife in an ugly green box. This box really takes away from the visual appeal, especially if you plan on giving this knife as a gift, much like I did.