Part of the fun in smoking a cigar is the ritual people have before the initial smoke.

Before you get even the softest flame near the cigar, you are going to want to cut it. Here are a couple tips to help you get started.

A cigar has two ends to it. The Foot (already cut) and the Head (uncut) – the end you will be cutting.

There are numerous types of cutters ranging from v-cut to the double guillotine. In essence, they all provide the same function – cutting a portion of the head off the cigar – but they are all slightly different.

In the end, there are three basic types of way to “cut” a cigar.

Guillotine (straight cut)
V-Cut (a small “notch”)
Punch (a small circle).

Although people will weigh in on their favorite method or cut, let’s just start with a basic “double guillotine” cutter.

With a double guillotine, there are blades on two sides. This makes for a nice even cut that does not “pinch” the cigar when cutting.

Hold the cigar in one hand and the cutter in the other.

You focus will be the “shoulder” of the cigar. The shoulder is the point where the curved end meets the straight end of the cigar.

When cutting, you don’t want to cut off the entire shoulder – thereby eliminating all aspects of the curve. You want to leave some of the curve intact.

It may take a couple tries to get it right, but you will get the hang of it in no time.

Remember, your overall objective is to create a smooth opening without damaging the cigar in the process.

Later, once you feel comfortable, experiment with cutting less or more tobacco, cutting at a slant (great for torpedo’s) or even v-cuts.

With proper cutting, you will find that it will enhance (and even change) your cigar smoking experience.