Cigar Clipper

Guillotine Cigar Cutter (Photo credit: Jay Shouldol)

Unlike many smoking products, premium hand rolled cigars are not exactly smoke ready right out of the package.  Because of the unique constriction of a premium hand rolled cigar, one of the ends of the cigar, the smoking end or butt, is closed.

Cutting a Cigar

In order to light and smoke the cigar, the closed end must be opened.  This can be done in various ways.  The most rudimentary way is to bite off the closed end of the cigar.  This is only recommended if no other tool is available.

Biting off the end of the cigar will cause damage to the structure of the cigar and will not likely be pleasant for the biting party either as they may get a mouth full of loose filler tobacco.   The suggested method is using a tool called a cigar cutter.

A cigar cutter is designed to lop off a piece of the butt of the cigar to enable lighting and smoking with no damage to the structural integrity of the cigar.

Types of Cigar Cutters

There are a lot of different kinds of cigar cutters out there.  The cutter that is most popular and most commonly used is a guillotine style cigar cutter.  A guillotine style cigar cutter can have either one or two blades.


The guillotine style cigar cutter and is used by placing a thumb in one outside hole and the fore finger in the other outside hole and opening the center cutter hole then holding the closed of the cigar in the center cutter hole and quickly squeezing the two cutter sides together with your thumb and forefinger.  The popularity of this type of cigar cutter can be attributed to its ease of use as well as its portability.

Illustration of a nineteenth-century cigar cut...

Illustration of a nineteenth-century cigar scissor cutter and holder. English: Illustration : un coupe-cigare. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A cutter can also be a scissor style cigar cutter.  The scissor style cigar cutter functions much the same way as the guillotine style cigar cutter, but the scissor cutter has an open end where the two blades meet.

The blades on a scissor type cigar cutter are usually C shaped rather than straight to protect the cigar from too much pinching from having the blades of the cutter slide off the cigar.  The scissor style cigar cutter is less popular mostly because it is not as easy to use as the guillotine style cigar cutter, and can be a bit dangerous to carry around in ones pocket.


In place of a traditional cutter, some cigar smokers use a punch cutter tool. The punch tool is not strictly a cutter as it puts a small hole in the closed end of the cigar rather than cutting off the end.

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