How to cut a cigar: Terry Pomerantz’ tips and tricks!

Just like any cigar aficionado, Terry Pomerantz recognizes the importance of paying close attention to every little detail. Whether it is a small cigar or large cigar, cutting the closed end of your cigar is an important part of the process, one that you should master prior to even thinking of lighting it.

Why and how should you cut a cigar? What type of cigar cutter should you choose? Terry Pomerantz tells you more.

Why cut a cigar?

Apart from industrial cigars with machine-cut tips, the head of a quality cigar is obstructed by what is referred to as the “cap”.

The torcedor can sometimes even roll a triple cap on the cigar head, in order to stop air from circulating throughout the cigar body and thus preventing the tobacco filler from drying out. By closing up the cigar body, the cap helps maintain tobacco flavors intact. This is why you must remove the cap in order to access the subtle flavors it helps maintain. 

Man cutting a cigar using a guillotine cutter.

How to cut a cigar?

Here is how to cut a cigar in order to fully appreciate it:

  • Always use a very sharp blade. The cut must be clean and precise.
  • Never use a cigar cutter if the blades are blunt.
  • Place the cigar as straight as possible between the cigar cutter blades in order to avoid a diagonal cut.
  • Make a quick and decisive cut.

Terry Pomerantz adds: “When you cut a cigar, only remove a small portion of the cap. Only create a small opening for the air to go through when you inhale.”

Different types of cigar cutters

There are several different tools that can allow you to cut off a cigar cap properly. Terry Pomerantz maily uses:

A V shaped cigar cutter (V-cut)

This is Terry’s favorite cigar cutter. “The V-cut will prevent the leaves on the head of the cigar from unraveling. As you are smoking, the tip will become humid and the binder leaf will begin unwinding. You will then end up having to rip off part of the cigar, risking damages. Moreover, the V shape cut will give you enough air circulation to allow for perfect inhalation.”

A V shaped cigar cutter on a stack of cigars.

Punch Cutter

Terry also likes to use a punch cutter. This cutter is recommended for large cigars like the Corona or the Robusto. It will punch a 5 to 9 mm diameter and 1.5 mm deep hole into the cigar head. “The punch is as good as the V-cut. It maintains the cap intact while avoiding undesirable tobacco particles.”

The Guillotine Cutter (or straight cut)

Thirdly, Terry uses a guillotine cutter (or straight cutter) that only cuts off a small piece of the cigar head. “I use the guillotine cutter to cut cigars that end in a point like the Torpedo or the Perfecto. When using a straight cut, you must ensure that the cigar is perfectly perpendicular to the blades in order to avoid making a diagonal cut.”

Man cutting a cigar using a guillotine cutter on the edge of a wooden table.

Tips on cutting a cigar

When you don’t have a cigar cutter on hand, Terry suggests that you use your incisors to cut the cigar. “This is the traditional method! Eat away at the head of the cigar while turning it. After a while, the cap will come off. This is when you try to make a quick and straight cut with your central incisors.”

Cutting a cigar: caution

Terry Pomerantz explains what not to do when cutting a cigar: “Most importantly, do not cut your cigars in advance. This will cause your precious cigars to dry out… And what a pity that would be!”

Man with a guillotine cuts a cigar on a wooden table.

A cigar enthusiast, Terry Pomerantz shares his expert advice on the different brands, types of cigars, and essential accessories to have. Immerse yourself in his recommendations to magnify your experience with each cigar, which you can enjoy in good company, an invitation to take the time to live each moment to the full.