For cigar aficionados and newbies alike, getting the right cigar cutter is an important part of the craft. The act of cutting the cap off of a cigar has evolved into a sort of ritual. It gives you the chance to appreciate the qualities of your cigar while allowing you to start smoking it.
Beyond tradition, though, there are practical reasons to get a well-made cigar cutter. A badly cut cigar will almost always make smoking it less enjoyable.
Featured below are some of the best cigar cutters available, along with reviews and a buyer’s guide to help you choose.
- Best Cigar Cutter Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
Best Cigar Cutter Reviews
Alaska Bear Cigar Cutter Stainless Steel
Considered one of the highest-rated cigar cutters available, the Alaska Bear Cigar Cutter is a frequent entry of these kinds of lists. Boasting both quality and affordability, this cigar cutter is sure to impress enthusiasts and beginners alike.
For those who’ve only started cigar-smoking, finding the right equipment that won’t break the bank can be a challenge. Fortunately, the Alaska Bear Cigar Cutter is a great midway product that balances both price and quality. This is a great product that offers good value for both connoisseurs and amateurs alike.
Its stainless steel construction gives it a bit of weight that’s handy when trying to cut larger cigars. The double-bladed guillotine design provides better control and precision when removing the cap. Its self-sharpening blades do offer a cleaner cut, though frequent, prolonged use can dull the blade overtime. Even so, for the price, it still offers great value for money.
The cutting holes can accommodate up to 60-ring cigars. As long as you can fit the cigar through the hole, it can easily cut it. This is a versatile cutter for those that would like to try out different varieties of cigars. Plus, its size means you can easily store it in your pocket.
A rather rare problem with the product, however, is that manufacturing errors can sometimes slip through the net. The most frequent complaint is that the blades can often be too loose. The finger holes can also be a bit sharp and can lead to people injuring themselves.
Fortunately, Alaska Bear has great customer service and will replace any defective products as long as you contact them. That willingness to stand by their product is why the Alaska Bear Cigar Cutter rates highly among the available products on the market.
- Able to cut a variety of cigar types
- Great customer service
- Blades can loosen prematurely
- Finger holes can be sharp
- Blades may dull quickly if used frequently
Prestige Import Group – Table Top Guillotine Cigar Cutter
For those searching for a more luxurious-looking cigar cutter, the Prestige Import Group table Top Guillotine Cigar Cutter is sure to impress. With a design made to fit a whole variety of interior décor, it’s certain to be a great conversation starter.
If you’ve ever wanted to find a way to give accents to a den or smoking room, then the Prestige Import Group Table Top Guillotine Cigar Cutter is a great choice. Featuring a walnut wood body along with its chrome-plated cutter and tray, it’s sure to be an ideal addition to any tabletop.
Its push-button lock prevents the blades from moving while not in use. It’s a handy safety feature that is ideal for those that have children running around. The built-in catch tray also makes it easy to clean up any loose tobacco after cutting the cigar.
As it’s a tabletop model, it’s not a cigar cutter that you can lug around with you at all times. It also tends to crush rather than cut larger ring cigars. For the smaller ones, though, it cuts them cleanly every time.
The price can also be a bit off-putting for beginners who would rather invest in more cigars rather than equipment. Still, if your smoking room is missing that focal point for your fellow cigar smokers to converge in, this cigar cutter will surely fulfill that role nicely.
- Very nice design
- Safety lock feature
- Catch tray allows easy cleaning
- Not exactly portable
- Tends to crush larger cigars
- Rather expensive
Colibri V-Cut Cigar Cutter
For those looking for a different style of cutter other than the straight guillotine, then V cutters are the way to go. V cutters give a different type of draw when it comes to smoking cigars, providing enthusiasts a whole new way to enjoy the hobby.
Built with spring-loaded blades to ensure a more precise cutting action, the Colibri V-Cut Cigar Cutter is definitely at the top of its class. Its well-built and sturdy construction is made to handle a variety of cigar types. This gives the Colibri V-Cut quite a bit of heft, making sure that it can cut through the cap effectively.
However, this weight can be a bit of an issue for those that want to have a cigar cutter in their pocket at all times. It’s relatively heavy for a portable cigar cutter, and you’ll feel it in your pockets if you decide to always have it with you.
As it has a V-cut blade, those unfamiliar with these types of cutters may be surprised at how deep it can cut into your cigar. This is how they are designed, as the V-cut is intended to give the cigar a different kind of draw than those with straight-cut ends. Most won’t mind this as it gives variety to enjoying a cigar, but it is more a matter of preference.
The product also comes with a two-year warranty that ensures you’re getting a quality product. The price can be a bit high for those starting the hobby though, as this product was made with aficionados in mind.
- Blades are spring-loaded
- Sturdy construction
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Can make deeper cuts than expected
- A bit heavy for a portable cutter
- Can be a bit pricey
XIFEI Cigar Cutter
A quality offering from XIFEI, their V-Cut type cigar cutter is surely a great accessory for those that want to invest in the hobby. Designed to be operated with just one hand, the XIFEI V-Cut is a great mix of convenience and quality.
With an ergonomic design that allows for easy operation, the XIFIE Cigar Cutter is a great addition to a cigar aficionado’s kit. The V cut gives the smoker a different kind of draw which enhances the enjoyment of smoking. This cutter also comes with a built-in punch, for those that want to smoke cigars that way. With a cap that can be easily opened, the sharp punch is always available for those who want that alternative.
The cutter offers a very sturdy build, that you can feel when you hold it. It does come with a bit of heft and can be rather noticeable when you have it in your pocket. This balance of durability and weight can be an advantage to some if it does come down to a matter of personal preference.
Although it’s priced similarly to most cutters of its type, this means that many beginners may find it a bit steep. Still, if you want a well-made cigar cutter that will perform beautifully, the XIFEI Cigar Cutter offers great value.
- Ergonomic design
- Built-in punch
- Sturdy construction
- Metal finish can scratch easily
- A bit hefty
- Can be pricey for beginners
Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter
Considered one of the best cigar cutters on the market, the Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter offers one of the most precise cuts available. A whole lot of people swear by the Xikar, and this has only established its reputation as a top-of-the-line brand.
Few things inspire more confidence in a product than offering a lifetime warranty, and that’s what the Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter gives its customers. This high-quality cutter is arguably one of the best value-for-money cigar cutters around. Its unique teardrop design makes handling rather simple, and its sharp blades ensure a precise cut every single time.
Available in several colors, there’s surely a Xikar available that will match your taste. It can handle cigars of up to 60 ring gauges, making it a versatile tool for cigar smokers of all types. With its lightweight construction, it can easily be transported around for those who like to smoke cigars on the go. This can be a downside for people used to heavier cigar cutters, as this may make the cutter seem flimsy.
Another downside to the Xikar is that, as it’s of double guillotine design, each of the sides of the blades operates independently. This means that there’s a chance that the blades won’t come together at the same time when you push them together unevenly. This is a bit of a nitpick though, as the blades are sharp enough to make precise cuts even with little effort.
Another big downside to the Xikar is the price, as it’s on the expensive side of the spectrum. This can be a drawback for those on a budget. But if you consider that the product comes with a lifetime warranty, it still offers great value for the price.
- Lifetime warranty
- Unique design
- Very sturdy construction
- Quite expensive
- Blades retract individually
- May feel flimsy to some
For those that are considering getting into cigar smoking, choosing a good cigar cutter is an important decision. Cutting the cap off of a cigar is the first thing that you have to do before smoking it, and a badly cut cigar will affect the experience considerably.
There are several things that you should keep in mind when choosing a cigar cutter. Below are some of the more important qualities that you should look for.
One of the most important qualities to keep in mind is the sharpness of a cigar cutter’s blade. The purpose of the cutter is to remove the cap of the cigar for the smoker to light it evenly. A dull blade makes the end uneven, and it tends to crush the cigar and ruin the construction.
Most high-end cigars are not factory-made. Top-quality cigars are hand-rolled, and are, by their nature, not consistent in their manufacture. This means that you need a very sharp blade to ensure that you don’t exacerbate this quality. You don’t want to ruin an expensive cigar because your blades rip off the actual roll.
If you’re buying a cigar cutter, be sure to check if the blades are sharp, and try to find out how quickly they can dull over time. Knowing how easily the blades can be sharpened or replaced are also a good idea if you want a cutter that will last for a while.
Type of Cut
There are several cut types to consider when buying a cigar cutter. The more popular ones are the V-cut, the straight cut, and the punch. Most straight cut cutters are of the guillotine type and are usually more common than the rest.
As the name suggests, it cuts off the cigar cap with a straight slice, removing a bit of the tip in the process. This allows for an even end, which makes lighting the cigar rather easy.
A cutter type that is quickly gaining popularity is the V-cut design. This single guillotine blade cutter leaves a deep V-shaped incision at the end of the cigar. Although many smokers don’t like this, as it cuts a bit too deep for their tastes, it does offer a different draw than a straight cut.
Another type would be a punch cutter. It opens a small hole at the cap of the cigar. Although it does maintain the integrity of the cigar roll, it makes lighting the cigar a bit awkward.
Each cut type offers a slightly different draw, making smoking even the same cigar with different cuts a varying experience. There aren’t any strict advantages or disadvantages to each type of cut, as it comes down to a matter of taste.
Cigars are classified by both length and diameter. This diameter, or ring gauge as it’s usually called, is measured by its size relative to 64th of an inch. This means that a cigar rated at ring gauge 60 is 60/64 of an inch in diameter. This is important as most cigar cutters are made to function by having the end cap inserted into the part that holds the blade.
Cigars that don’t fit will have their ends badly cut, and this means an uneven light.
Before you buy a cigar cutter, take note of the ring gauge of the cigars that you usually smoke. Although most cutters are made to handle ring gauges of up to 60, if you’re smoking something of a 62 or 64 gauge, then you’ll need a cutter that’s better suited for your needs.
There’s also a tendency of getting uneven cuts for those that smoke smaller ring gauge cigars using larger cutters. Buying a cigar cutter that’s specifically designed to handle your usual brand is something that you should consider.
If you smoke cigars frequently, then buying a cigar cutter that you can use easily is optimal. There are as many cigar cutter designs as there are manufacturers, and some are more ergonomic than others. When choosing a portable cigar cutter, see how it feels in your hand and pocket. Is it uncomfortable to operate? Does the weight seem a bit off, or does it feel perfectly balanced?
Comfort can also come in when buying tabletop cigar cutters, as you have to keep in mind whether or not it’s easy to clean and keep sharp. Having safety features to keep the blades out of the way is also important so that you never have to worry about accidents.
Finally, another quality to keep in mind is the style and design of the cutter. It may simply be more aesthetic than functional, but it does add to the charm of the hobby. A good deal of cigar cutters come in models that are made to fit different tastes. Finding a style that suits your personality is always a great plus when choosing a good cigar cutter.
How to Cut a Cigar
Although it may seem like a simple process, the initial act of cutting a cigar can greatly affect your smoking experience. A bad cut will unravel the roll, and cause an uneven light. The types of cut you make can also affect how much smoke you can initially draw in at a time. Knowing how to cut a cigar properly is a good skill to have for both aficionados and beginners. To properly cut a cigar:
Cutting the cap off of a cigar is pretty much a one-time thing. Once you do it, there’s no turning back. Take your time and make sure that you’re doing it properly. Many cigars come with a line showing you where the cap ends and the cigar begins. Make sure to measure your cut properly so you’re not cutting more off the top than you want, especially for more expensive cigars.
Avoid Cutting Too Deep
Related to the first rule, cutting too far down the cigar wastes tobacco that you would be far off better smoking. This also tends to create an uneven burn that adds a bad taste to your draw.
Try to Make the Cut the First Time
Using multiple cuts increases the chances of the cigar roll unraveling. This ruins the entire cigar and makes for an unsavory smoking experience. Try to make the cut in one fell swoop. Once you’ve properly aligned the cap and cutter, make the cut confidently.
For people who enjoy smoking, cutting the cap off of a cigar is more than a one-time thing. Make sure to learn from any mistakes you make, and keep on practicing. With enough cuts under your belt, you won’t even have to think twice when you’re cutting a cigar.
Here are some of the questions that often crop up when discussing cigar cutters.
Is it Better to Cut or Punch Cigars?
The choice on whether to cut or punch the cap off of a cigar is pretty much a matter of taste. All types of cuts will eventually end up the same as you smoke through your cigar. The shape doesn’t maintain throughout the process, as you burn through the tobacco. Although many swear by one type of cut over the other, it pretty much affects only the initial draw.
The smaller hole made by a punch means a more limited pull in, while straight and V-cuts will allow the smoker to pull in more smoke. This can affect the taste, but unless you smoke cigars frequently, you may not be able to notice the difference.
You also have to keep in mind the shape of the cigar’s cap. Some cigars, like the figurado, have a pointed cap that doesn’t lend to punch cutters well. If you smoke these types, then you’re pretty much limited to cutting the caps. Traditional caps offer more control, so you can choose which type of cutter to use.
How do You Sharpen a Cigar Cutter?
Depending on the type of cigar cutter you have, cleaning can be either easy or very complicated. All cutters will dull over time, and the best way to keep your cutter sharp is to maintain it frequently. There are a few tips and tricks that many have discovered to keep the sharpness of a cigar cutter’s blade, and we’ll outline some of these here:
Regularly soak the cutter in hot water
One of the main reasons for cigar cutter blades dulling is the buildup of dirt, oil, and tobacco residue. Soaking your cigar cutter in hot water allows all that buildup to loosen. Afterward, a good drying with a paper or cloth towel removes the grime that the initial soaking left behind.
Of course, this isn’t an option if you have a cigar cutter that’s made of materials that are prone to rust, and no amount of hot water will remove the gunk that’s already pretty well stuck in the blades.
Using aluminum foil to sharpen the blade
This is more of a temporary measure, rather than a permanent fix. If you roll a sheet of aluminum foil and cut it every few inches or half-inch increment with your cigar cutter, you deburr the blades. This sharpens the blades and improves their performance in the short-term. As said though, this isn’t a permanent solution. It will dull quickly afterward, and the method doesn’t do much for blades that are already very dull.
Sharpening the blades with a grindstone
This does offer a long-term fix but requires disassembling the cutter to get to the blades. Depending on the type of cutter you have, this may be a complicated process. Some blades are spring-loaded, making it very hard to assemble once you’ve taken the cutter apart. Some cutters have screws that aren’t easily accessed and may cause you to accidentally break the cutter.
For cigar cutters that are easily taken apart though, this can be a good way to always maintain their sharpness.
Using the Warranty
If you have a cigar cutter that comes with a warranty, then don’t be afraid to use it. Especially for those that come with lifetime warranties, this guarantees that you get professionals to sharpen the blades for you. It may come at the price of an extended wait time, but sending your cutter in to be sharpened is better than having to tinker with it yourself.
Buying Disposable Cutters
Often, you just want to smoke and don’t want to be bothered with having to maintain a cigar cutter. If so, then there’s always the option to buy cheap disposable cutters.
They’re usually sold in places where you buy your cigars, so you know you can always get one if you want. This isn’t a good investment, as buying a durable cutter will save you money in the long run.
Are Cigar Cutters Allowed on Planes?
Although tobacco and tobacco-related products are generally allowed as carry-on luggage, cigar cutters are a different matter. They’re considered as sharp objects that are only allowed as check-in luggage. Also, they must be securely wrapped or sheathed during transport.
The Transportation Security Administration has a wide latitude to determine if an object is safe for transport or not, so to be safe keep your cigar cutters securely packed.
From all the choices available, the best cigar cutter both for value and performance is the Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter. Sure, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but with the quality, portability, and lifetime warranty, it’s a tough product to beat. If you have the budget for it, it will probably be the last cigar cutter you’ll ever need to buy.
If you’re on a tight budget though, the Alaska Bear Cigar Cutter is a great choice. There’s a reason why it’s a top pick with many online stores and a regular contender on cigar cutter top ten lists. It’s affordable but still offers great value.
If you’re only starting the hobby, getting the Alaska Bear is a must, if you wish to invest in top quality gear, then the Xikar Xi2 is the best cigar cutter around.