Cigars 101

How to deal with a cracked wrapper leaf

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“How do I Fix a Cracked Wrapper?”

A Cigar Advisor reader named Brian reached out to us not too long ago, wondering if we had tips for dealing with, or fixing, a cracked wrapper. He wondered if some time back in the humidor will help his cigar’s problem. (Unfortunately, no.)

First, the bad news: if you have a cracked wrapper there is really very little you can do to repair it. Like a tear in your clothing that is not along a seam, even if you sew it up, it will look funny, and you certainly can’t do that with a wrapper leaf.

The good news: if the leaf is unraveling it can be fixed with some vegetable gum, which is what cigar rollers use for rolling cigars. One roller I met uses a powdered form and mixes it with distilled water, but I think they sell a premixed version, too. (Using saliva seems like a practical solution, but rarely, if ever, works.)

Even if the crack is tight, smoke will escape through it affecting the burn and the draw. The only solution would be to overwrap the damaged area with another piece of wrapper leaf and vegetable gum (I know smokers who have done this), but there are no guarantees with that either.

I see the logic in using humidification to re-seal the cracked leaf, but it probably won’t work. Moreover, if the cigar gets too much moisture the crack will open even wider.

Suffice it to say, there’s really not much you can do. But since it’s two inches down from the foot, if the cigar is long enough you might be better off cutting the cigar as cleanly as possible just above the crack. (See example above in which the crack runs from the base of the foot.) It will be shorter, but you might still be able to get a decent smoke out of it. I suggest that you use a really sharp and powerful double blade cigar cutter like an XiKAR Xi3 Tech. If the body of the cigar will fit comfortably in the hole and the cutter is very sharp you snap the cutter as quickly as possible for a clean cut. Sometimes you do get a little rough edge, but it’s better than tossing the cigar.

*   *   *

Here’s the follow-up from Brian a few days later: “I managed to cut it with a new, uninstalled utility knife blade (best thing I had). Cut was good except for a little wrapper tear on one side. Managed to fix that while smoking it. It was still a bit dry, but I got the idea of the smoke. It wasn’t bad all things considered.”

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Robert Kern
7 years ago

I have been told that a little chap stick can work but I have never tried it

Diane Cloud
7 years ago

Honey.

Leander McClain
7 years ago

Gary I hate when a wrapper cracks. Just the other day I dropped a brand new Acme…..it was toast after that

JJ Park
7 years ago

A gummy bear and a bit of water. Take the gummy bear, dip it in some water and swirl it around in a plate until it softens. Brush the gummy bear underneath and over the cracks then let dry. You are welcome.

Stan Clinton
7 years ago

The other day I cut the end off a cigar and the wrapper cracked. There was a mixed drink next to my chair so I just dipped the cut end of the cigar in the drink up to the crack and licked the whiskey off. The crack sealed up and we enjoyed our smokes. Not sure it would work everytime but it was a success on this try Plus the cigar had an added flavore to it.

Jerry Engraham
7 years ago

Lick and hold while smoking. In a minute or two it tends to heal over. Otherwise I just smoke it holding it closed. No big problem.

Michael J Dumm
7 years ago

The cracks I get are usually near the head, especially after I peel off the band…not sure what the reason for that is. I just use my finger and saliva as best I can and finish it off.

Greg Martin
7 years ago

Pectin powder works well. Just a pinch in a little bit o water. A small box is cheap and will last forever.

Barry Cole
7 years ago

On the road when you stop into smoke shops that you have no history with and no idea of their humidifcation system, rare is there a sadder sound than walking out, unwrapping the cigar, breaking out the punch, and as you gently start to roll it through the cap, you hear CRACK! I’ll still smoke it, but I know I’m gonna be spitting pieces of tobacco the whole time.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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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