|How to cut a cigar?
Once you have selected your cigar, you will need to cut the closed end. All Havanas have a double cap over the head end - this end goes in your mouth. If you attempt to smoke a cigar the other way around, you will find that half way through it will unravel and take on the appearance of an exploded stick.
The first thing you should do is closely examine the "head" of the cigar - this is the closed end that needs to be clippe. You are looking to see just how far the cap (this is the round of tobacco used to seal the head) extends down the barrel. On a parejo (a parallel-sided cigar), this is typically 1/4"-3/8"; wherever the caps stops you should regard as your limit as to how far down you should cut.The best cut is one above this "cap line," which will open up 75%-85% of the cigar's surface. You want as large an open cut as possible to allow for an easy draw, but you do not want to cut beneath the cap line, as the cigar may start to unravel. Sometimes this means a thin cut of 1/32" is perfect, while other times you may need to cut 3/8" - it depends entirely on each cigar's construction.
For figurados such as torpedos, perfectos, etc., you may have to cut significantly more in order to open the head enough for a sufficient draw. Exactly how far is a personal matter. Typically, people smoke cigars with tapered heads because they like how the narrowing ring concentrates the smoke against the palate, so unlike with a parejo, most figurado smokers want less of the cigar's surface opened by the cut. And because of their shape, figurados seldom unravel, even when cut beneath the cap line, so it really is a judgment call.
the key to a good cut is to be quick and decisive. Once you find your spot, you should not hesitate - just clip it. Quicker cuts tend to be cleaner cuts, however, you must have the right tool to do this well. The prime criterion of any cutter is that it be sharp - the sharper the better.
Most single-bladed guillotine cutters are inadequate, so I suggest you opt for a double-bladed guillotine if possible. Typically, double-bladed cutters work better, as the two opposing blades work together. However, there are exceptions to this rule. There are some single-bladed cutters that are great, and some double-bladed ones that are just plain junk. Single or double, what is important is that the cutter be sharp; if it isn't, you will just end up crushing the head of your cigar.
Another tools use in order to cut the cigar
One that is frequently seen at cigar store counters and in the movies is a pair of cigar scissors. Personally, I would steer clear of these; they look cool, but most of them just plain stink. They are seldom sharp enough and it is very common for the smoker to torque the scissor blades while trying to cut a cigar, resulting in ruined smoke. If you do decide to buy a pair of scissors, buy the best you can afford. And be sure to practice a bit on some very cheap cigars before attempting to use them on a premium cigar.
The punch cutter, also known as a bullet cutter, is the easiest way to cut a cigar. Invest in a sharp one as it will only make your life easier. To cut your cigar with a punch cutter, just gently push and twist the circular blade until it is about an 1/8th of inch deep and then pull it out. If you like a larger opening, you have two options. You can use the Metamorpho punch cutter that comes with 3 different size cutter built into one, or you can use your regular punch cutter and make as many overlapping cuts as you like. Typically two or three is the most you will need.
V-Cut clippers are also available, and a few cigar smokers I know think this is the ONLY way to clip your cigar. You don't have to worry about the caps length using this type of cutter since you rest the cigar against it, and it "automatically" takes out a v-notched shaped bit of tobacco of the same size everytime. Personally I hate this type of cut, I find that it tends to build up tar on the edges and that some cigars tend to burn unevenly when cut this way. These cutters typically work better on some sizes than others, depends on the size of the v-notch blade.
Cigar scissors are elegant, but they are difficult to use in my opinion. Plus they are damn near impossible to carry around.
A sharp penknife can also do an excellent job but, unlike with a cutter, you must slowly and meticulously cut a full 360-degree circle along the head of the cigar. Once done, you can remove the cigar's cap just as you would lift the toupee off a bald guy's noggin.
This very same technique can be applied by using your thumbnail (or teeth) to gently pierce through the wrapper, in a circle, to separate the cap from the cigar. Although a cigar snob would snicker at this practice, this is the most common cutting method used by those who actually farm the leaf and make the cigars. With a little practice, you can become quite deft at doing this quickly and cleanly.
Tips for cutting the cigar
If you lay a guillotine cutter down flat on a table, then insert the head of your cigar so that it rests against the table's surface, then clip, you will almost always take off the right amount on almost all cigars...
If all you have is one of those cheap giveaway cutters, try cutting your cigar while it is still in its cellophane sleeve. This technique will produce a much cleaner cut, with a dull cutter. Don't do this with a sharp cutter though; the cellophane will actually inhibit a clean cut.
No conversation about cigar cutting would be truly complete without mentioning the "Dick Cut." Now stop laughing and let me explain... It is named in honor of its biggest proponent, Joe Dickman, the soon to be retired Fuente-Newman west coast sales rep. This is a straight cut, but done at 45-degree angle. This cut opens a tremendous surface area and directs the smoke down onto the palate - the idea being that it will maximize the cigar's flavor.