The Definitive Guide to Cutting Your Cigar: 11 Methods and Tips for a Great Smoke

Cutting a cigar is an art form. There are many different ways to cut, and all with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we will take a look at the most common methods for cutting cigars, as well as some tips on how to cut your stogie to get the best smoking experience possible!

Anatomy of cigar

The cigar is composed of three parts: cap, band, wrapper, foot. The fillers are made from different types of tobacco leaves mixed to help create a stronger smoke with more flavor. Generally speaking, cigars have four sizes: Robusto (54-64mm), Churchill (72-88mm), double corona (90-120mm), and the triple corona (116-140mm).

Cap: can be one of many shapes but is most commonly round; it covers the head and mouthpiece

Band: wraps around the cigar about halfway up. Made from cedar or other wood pulp paper to seal in flavor

Wrapper: tobacco leaf that is sun-cured over a length of time for greater durability. Wrappers come in a variety of colors, the most popular being Connecticut shade or Maduro.

Foot: the end of the cigar. The filler tobacco is visible here and generally covered by an outer leaf to seal off any loose strands.

Choosing The Right Cutter

There are four top tools for making perfect cutting:

The Definitive Guide to Cutting Your Cigar: 11 Methods and Tips for a Great Smoke

Guillotine Cutter (Straight Cut):

Cuts with a straight edge and is the most common cutter.

How to Use a Straight Cutter:

  • Lightly place the cutter so that it is flush against one side of your cigar.
  • Place fingers on either side of the blade and press down evenly to make a clean cut with no jagged edges, all while holding your body at a 45-degree angle. Use this method if you have experience in terms of cutting cigars because it requires precision

V Cutter

The Definitive Guide to Cutting Your Cigar: 11 Methods and Tips for a Great Smoke

Like the guillotine, it also has a straight cut but at an angle to allow smokers to avoid tobacco particles when making their cut

How To Use A V-Cutter

A V cutter is a tool that has two blades. One blade slices off the head of your cigar, and the other cut down to remove the cap from it. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of how much pressure to apply on each side, they’re easy enough for anyone. To use one, place it flush against your cigar so that both blades are cutting in opposite directions, as shown above. Make sure not to press too hard, or else you risk damaging your stogie with this method–and no one wants that!

Punch Cutter

Punch Cutter (Hole Cut): punches through the cap for an even hole; more difficult to use correctly but creates smoother smoke than other methods

How To Use A Punch Cutter

The Definitive Guide to Cutting Your Cigar: 11 Methods and Tips for a Great Smoke

Place punch about ¼ inch from the end or where wrapper leaf ends. Push firmly into cigar until blade touches filler tobacco inside; remove quickly without twisting motion. This will create a small round opening within which then should be used as the cut.

Cigar Scissors

Cigar Scissors: These scissors are specially designed so that you can snip away at cigars up close without worrying about damaging the wrapper or filler

How To Use A Cigar Scissors

The blade on cigar scissors is specially curved to snip away at cigars up close without damaging the wrapper or filler. To use them, place your thumb in between the blades and press down slightly so that they are cutting through them. Then slide one of the blades forward–as if you were trying to fold paper–and keep moving until you reach where you want to cut off a piece of tobacco.

Before Cutting the Cigar

A few things to consider when preparing the cut:

Just relax

*Don’t rush it. Give yourself enough time and open up your cigar, so you’re cutting from the center of the head, not anywhere else on it. This will ensure that you get an even cut because cigars are sometimes thicker at one end or another, and a rushed job can result in uneven cuts.

Clean The Head

Make sure everything is clean! As mentioned before–and this cannot be stressed enough!–make sure anything touching your cigar is completely clean for optimal smoke enjoyment; dirty napkins, fingers, teeth (eww!), etc., could contaminate your tobacco product which may cause unpleasant tastes throughout the whole stick. And nobody wants that! Wipe off any moisture with a dry cloth or paper towel, and make sure to keep your cutter free of any oils from other foods that you may have used it for in the past.

ASMR Cigar Relaxation

How to cut different cigars?

Traditional Cigar

This is the classic way to cut a cigar, which has been around for hundreds of years. It’s also one of the easiest methods. To do it with an even cut, take your cigar and hold its head in one hand (fingers pointing down) while you make a small incision just past where the wrapper leaves off–about ¼ inch from that point or wherever it ends on your cigar–with either a V cutter or punch/hole cutter as described above. This will create enough space to easily slide out all tobacco after cutting without having any overhang left behind due to uneven cuts.

Seth Geise

Seth Geise
Cigar Expert

Pro Tip: Be sure not to touch anything else below this point because doing so may result in dirtying up what you'll eventually be smoking.

Tapered Cigars

Tapered cigars are a little more difficult to cut because the head is narrower than its body. To ensure an even, smooth cut for these guys, follow all of the same steps as outlined above but make sure you don’t have any air between your fingers and cigar’s head when slicing off what it needs. Otherwise, you’ll end up with tobacco spilling out in different directions, which causes uneven cuts.

Seth Geise

Seth Geise
Cigar Expert

Pro Tip: Be careful not to push too hard (or at all) on one side so that this doesn't happen if using a V cutter or punch/hole cutter! That will result in bulging out on one side since pressure has been applied only from one direction instead of two. And nobody wants that either!

Pigtail Cigars

A pigtail cigar is a longer, thicker specialty stogie with its head wrapped up in twine or thin rope. This wrap also holds it together and keeps the tobacco inside from spilling out after cutting. To trim this guy off at an even cut, follow all previous instructions but be sure not to remove any more than ¼ inch below where you want to cut your cigar because doing so will cause what’s left of the wrapper leaf to bulge out, which can create uneven cuts when lit.

Fantail Cigars

Fantail cigars have a head that looks like the tail of an Indian peacock–hence their name! They’re also traditionally longer and wider than traditional stogies. But what’s even more unique is how they’re cut: instead of slicing off some from the side, you’ll need to remove them in one piece by gently pulling on both ends until it tears in half with minimal effort.

Chisel Cigars

Chisel cigars are shaped like chisel with the head wider than its body and tapered at both ends. To enjoy these specialty stogies, you’ll need to cut off one of those narrower tips on either end to ensure it’s even before smoking. Otherwise, tobacco will be spilling out in different directions, which causes uneven cuts.

Flat Cigars

A flat cigar is one of the most difficult types to cut because they’re so thin and fragile. To avoid damage, make sure you don’t put any pressure on this guy while cutting off its head–otherwise, your pretty wrapper leaf will get wrinkled up or ripped apart!

Many cigar enthusiasts found themselves puzzled by the in-style flat cap. RoMa Craft includes a razor blade in each pack of Neanderthal cigars to cut through this new trend to make things easier. Slice one end of a flat cap with either shallow v-cutter, punch cutter, or a straight cutter – but the difficulty level increases

Other methods

Pocket Knife

If you have a pocket knife on hand, this is the simplest and quickest way to cut off an even cigar head. Place your blade at the neck of the cigar and slice off what needs to be removed–make sure not to apply pressure or push down too hard.

The Definitive Guide to Cutting Your Cigar: 11 Methods and Tips for a Great Smoke

Seth Geise

Seth Geise
Cigar Expert

Pro Tip: Be careful not to touch anything else below the blade on the inside of the cigar because you'll risk cutting your hand or fingers!

Razor Blade

If you happen to have a razor blade on hand, this is the simplest and quickest way to cut off an even cigar head. Place your blade at the neck of the cigar and slice off what needs to be removed–make sure not to apply pressure or push down too hard!


This method is used for those who want to remove the head of a cigar without cutting it. Place your matchstick at the neck of the cigar and punch out what needs to be removed–make sure not to apply pressure or push down too hard!


The worst method of all is peeling off the cap with a fingernail. This method can leave you with an uneven cut and make for a really unpleasant smoke experience–so be sure not to use it!


-This is the most dangerous method of cutting a cigar–so please don’t try it!

You’ll be biting off more than you can chew if you do. Unless that is, you have teeth like an animal or some powerful set of chompers–in which case this might not be as difficult for you. But for everyone else, this is the last resort when all other methods of cutting a cigar fail.

What about cigars with a ring gauge of over 60?

This is the size for those who are experienced smokers. A lot more care goes into these, and it’s recommended that you keep them in their original packaging until ready to smoke if possible–this will ensure they’re as fresh as can be when you take your first puff!

*Some cigar enthusiasts say the best way to cut this type of cigar is by using an X cutter or punch/hole cutter because its blade has been specially designed so that it doesn’t slice too deep, which would then leave behind tobacco (and change flavor). You’ll also want to have two hands on the cigar while cutting: one should hold the head gently without applying any pressure at all; use this hand to guide the X cutter or punch/hole cutter into a straight line and have the other hand on top of where you want to cut off. You’ll then be able to push down until it cuts through gently–this will ensure that both hands are applying equal pressure, so there’s no bulging out in one direction.

You can also use this method with stouter cigars. Still, because more care has been put into these, they need special attention during preparation before cutting: take your cigar out of its packaging and remove any bands around it (if applicable). This should make for an easier time when slicing off what needs to be without tearing up too much tobacco.


Can you cut a cigar and smoke it later?

You can cut a cigar and enjoy it later--it'll just be the same as if you were to smoke one that's not yet been cut. Just make sure not to store your stogie in its original packaging (if applicable) because storing cigars too long without cutting them could change the flavor profile or even end up making them dry out. If you happen to be in a pinch, you can also use aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover the cigar and seal it shut. This should keep most of the moisture in so that when you're ready to smoke, your stogie will still be fresh!

Can I cut a cigar in half and smoke it?

Yes, you can cut a cigar in half and smoke it.

What is the best way to cut a cigar?

The best way to cut a cigar is whichever method you prefer--some people like cutting from the top of the head. In contrast, others may enjoy cutting off what they can get their hands on. No matter how you do it, though, be sure not to tuck your fingers under anything sharp and keep your blades clean! And if you're using any blade, be sure to cut on a flat surface like a table--this will help prevent unnecessary accidents.

Where to cut a cigarillo?

In case you're wondering, cigarillos are much smaller than cigars--so they can be cut anywhere along the length of their head. Some cigarillos don't have closed caps, so you don't need to cut them!


In the end, though, no matter how you do it or what method you use: always make sure not to apply too much pressure and follow our tips for cutting your cigar with the best smoke experience!

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