Mike’s Look at Cutters

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Mike’s Look at Cutters

Cutters - main.jpg

Welcome back once again my friends to another week of me battling this dang cold with a sore throat, cough and taste buds that seem to have been burnt off at the roots.

I am going to talk just a little bit about different cuts on cigars this week. I know most of you will groan but there are a lot of newer smokers or even veterans that have never seen nor tried anything other than the standard straight cut, so this is for you. I will not go into much depth on these cuts as you can ask questions in the comments or email if you wish. I just wanted to give a nice picture of each cut and tell you what I like or dislike about each one so hopefully you can broaden your cigar experiences by giving them a shot yourself.

Straight Cut

Cutters - Straight.jpg

Let us start off with the most common type of cut that most people have used at one point or another in their smoking lifetime.

Basically this cut can be performed with and single blade guillotine, a dual blade guillotine, or even a pair of scissors. You have so many choices for straight cutting a cigar that you could get overwhelmed right up front.

For personal experience with this type of cut you can start off with a cheap plastic job and then progress up through the nicer cutters or you can start off in the higher end if you want, it really doesn’t matter except for the following. I will say the MTX scissors and the Xikar cutters have a bit of a learning curve but Kurt does a great job explaining the use of the Xi series of cutters in this video.

I received both my Xi and the MTX cutter as gifts from a very nice and generous man (whom I still need to bomb the hell out of – I did not forget you my friend, I need to build up some good sticks worthy of a nuclear attack) and they both stay in my pocket at all times.


Cutters - V.jpg

As you can see the V-cutter creates an inward V to get you past the cap(s) but not totally remove it the entire way around the cigar.

I have heard of a lot of people having trouble with this cut as you have to make sure to keep the cigar firmly planted the the inset of the cutter so the notched V cut will evenly remove tobacco the whole way through. I admit, I have to run a cigar through the v-cutter twice sometimes to get it even the whole way across.

I only have experience with the Wolf plastic v-cutter which is okay but dis not last very long for me. I am going to try and get my hands on one of the Xikar VX cutters which is an all metal v-cutter. I think that one will do a much nicer job than the plastic ones.

V-cutters are bulky. No way around it. If you compare the size of a v-cutter to a normal gullotine or the MTX it is 3 to 4 times as deep (yes, I am guesstimating). I do not keep one in my pocket for this reason. I do however have it at the house, on the table right next to my big red comfy chair.


Cutters - Punch.jpg

In my estimation, the punch is the second most common type of cut people use on a cigar. I myself used this cut almost entirely for my first 2 years of smoking cigars. Well smoking cigars that needed to be cut.

By far, this is the most troublesome cut I have ever used. I had tar problems, horrible draw problems, cracked cigars, etc. I would end up straight cutting over the punch at least 50% of the time. It could be because I always used cheap punches but I am leaning more towards the fact that I used smaller gauge punches.

Oh yea, as you read above you can get different sized punches for different ring gauge cigars or even just personal preference.

I still like the punch but the v-cutter would be my second favorite next to the straight cut right now.


As I said in the beginning this was just a simple look at 3 types of cutters, the most prominent ones, just to show everyone a picture of each along with a bit of a personal view on how each has worked for me.

Ask any questions in the comments below about the cutters mentioned above or even what your favorite way to cut a cigar is.

After typing all of this up, I noticed Walt did a much better look at cutters two years ago.

I am just me.

13 thoughts on “Mike’s Look at Cutters

  1. Cool write up. I Similarly to you only used punch cutters for a while but wound up straight cutting most cigars due to tar or draw.
    The V has become my favorite mostly because I tend to chomp on my cigars unknowingly and the V usually doesn’t let too much tobacco stray into my mouth- plus I find it produces more smoke (almost 100% sure that this is placebo though) heh. Cool read 🙂

  2. I never really got much into the punch cutters, though I think I may have 1 or 2 around here somewhere. I started off on the straight cut, and even used the scissors on a Swiss Army knife once or twice in a pinch. The V-cut has become my favorite, though, as it does leave some of the cap there, has a pretty much guaranteed depth, and seems to me the best trade-off between draw and getting stray bits of tobacco in my mouth. I introduced my step-dad to the V-cut (he introduced me to regular cigar smoking), and he seems to really enjoy it now. Even the cheap plastic cutters seem to do a decent job on the sticks I smoke, and I highly recommend folks pick one up (they’re just a few bucks) to try them out.

  3. Good work, Mike, but man, you need to get your ass back to the doctor.

    I use all three methods, but the straight cut is my choice about 90% of the time. The punch comes out when I know (or at least think) that the straight cut will produce too loose a draw or on some mixed fillers. The V-cut gets used more or less on a whim, or when the cap looks a little sloppy.

    Get well!

  4. Cutters are also part of the cigar world I liked this post and it reminded me that I do have a punch cutter around here some where and should break it out. Nice job Mike hope you feel better soon

  5. Mike,
    Funny how different cigar smoking preferences can be….I punch cut everything….smoke density is increases imho. Also just like the way the rolled cap feels when smoking..rather then having filler in my mouth….second would be vcut

    1. I used to punch every single cigar i smoked until I started having a lot of tar problems. I think it was due to temperature change in the house but I just stuck with the straight cut afterwards.

      I really like the v-cutter but the plastic one I have is broke so I am waiting to get my hands on the VX from Xikar to see how a good metal one will do.

  6. decent write-up, mike. i’d be curious to know how you feel about the shuriken (once you’ve used it…assuming you haven’t already). so far i’ve been using it exclusively but the results are better at times and not so great at other times.

  7. Thanx for the review Mikey. I have used them all in the past but several months ago I got the VX from Xikar and I almost use it exclusively now. Love it for the larger ring gauges where I do an X cut with it. Keep up the great work!

  8. I have always used a very sharp knife and cut off the cap. I find this the best way to get a clean cut.

  9. Cool comparison! I love these side by side lists, they’re great for beginners but fun to look at for vets as well! My favorite is the guillotine, the others just seem unnecessary. The good thing about the punch is it’s on the bottom of most lighters.

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