How to Cut a Cigar in a Pinch

File under “What would Bear Grylls do?” You’re away from home, you brought some of your favorite cigars to enjoy, but you forgot your cutter and you’re nowhere near a cigar store. Had you found yourself minus a lighter or matches, at least you could make a fire, but being able to cut a cigar in the “traditional” way is out of the question. No problem. There are several ways to clip your cigar when you’re stranded without a cutter.

  1. If you usually carry a knife with you, you’re in luck. Simply hold the head of the cigar firmly in one hand, then using the blade of your knife, place it about 1/16th of an inch from the top of the cap. Now, turn the cigar slowly (in the direction of the wrapper) and the cap should start to pop-off about 3/4 of the way around. If the knife is really sharp you can try placing the cigar on a hard flat surface and slice the cap off as you would a slice of bread. Otherwise, you risk cracking the head of the cigar.In lieu of a knife, if you happen to have a single edged razor blade or a box cutter handy, either will work just as well.
  1. If you can find a sharp, pointed tool or a small screw, simply “punch” the head of the cigar. If you’re in a wooded area, you can use a small but firm twig, but use a rock to sharpen the end first.If you’re fishing, try a fishhook. The barb will help open the end a little further for a better draw when you pull out the hook.

    If you’re in an area where there are bushes with long thorns, carefully break one off and you’ve got a piercer provided by Mother Nature.

    If you’re on the beach, try using a sliver of broken shell, which should be easy enough to find.

  1. Even with all the cigar cutting tools available, a lot of cigar smokers use their teeth to “clip” their cigars. Those who do this regularly have usually developed a fool-proof method over time. Take the head of the cigar and place the only the cap section between your four front teeth, as you would with a cutter. (You don’t want to bite-off too much or the cigar could unravel.) Now, slowly, bring your front teeth together. This will help break through the cap. Just as your teeth meet…SNIP! It may look a little sloppy, but it works in a pinch.

Do you have your own “in a pinch” cigar cutting solution? If so, please share it!

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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