Cigars 101

How to Cut and Light your Cigar

You have chosen your favorite stick from the humidor and are ready to smoke, relax, and enjoy the flavors of a well rolled one. If you are new to the culture of smoking, you may not know how to cut and light your stick. It is different than lighting a tobacco pipe or cigarette. You have to cut the tip because it is a closed end, and it needs to be opened for smoking. There is a proper technique for cutting and lighting so that you get an evenly lit smoke. Here are the steps to properly cut and light your cigar.

There are different ways to cut. You can use a cutter to create a V or straight cut or a punch hole. It is a personal preference to the smoker on which they prefer. Unfortunately, if you don’t properly cut the stick, it can be ruined. When cutting it, you want a smooth edge for smoking without damaging the structure of the cigar. If you find yourself without a cutter, you can use a knife or your teeth to bite off the end.

To cut it, you will need cigar scissors, a guillotine cutter, or a punch. A guillotine cutter will provide a straight even cut when held with care and precision. If you prefer a V cut, also called notch cut, English cut, cat’s eye, or wedge cut, you will need to use scissors made specifically for cigars. When you are cutting, you don’t want to remove too much of the wrapper because your stick can start to unravel. A good rule of thumb to follow is to cut where the stick starts to curve. This is usually 2 millimeters in. If you are using the punch, apply a good amount of pressure and twist the punch until you cut through the cap.

After you have made the cut, you are now ready to light and smoke. You can use anything to light a cigar from matches, to butane torch lighters, or a traditional cigarette lighter. However, a butane torch lighter is the best tool to use. Lighting a cigar takes some time and practice. It won’t light immediately like a cigarette does. When you are lighting the stick, never let it touch the flame but keep it near the flame. You should also keep the cigar rotating while you are lighting it. Rotating the stick will keep it evenly lit.

Let the stick brush past the flame, and then put the stick in your mouth and puff on it while lighting it. At the same time you will need to keep rotating the cigar. When you think it is fully lit, blow on the lit end of the cigar and make sure that all parts of it turn red. If it is evenly lit, the end will light up with red embers. If not all parts of the end do this, it isn’t evenly lit. Once, it is you can enjoy your smoke!

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does John even have a beard. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones. All we can say is "You will know him by the mullet he wears."

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