Cigars 101

How to deal with a cracked wrapper leaf

“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.”

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
JJ ParkLeander McClainMichael J DummRobert KernStan Clinton Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Robert Kern
Guest
Robert Kern

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

Diane Cloud
Guest
Diane Cloud

Honey.

Leander McClain
Guest
Leander McClain

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

JJ Park
Guest
JJ Park

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
Guest
Stan Clinton

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
Guest
Jerry Engraham

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
Guest
Michael J Dumm

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
Guest
Greg Martin

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

Barry Cole
Guest
Barry Cole

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, 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.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
#nowsmoking march 27 2019 oliva inferno melt cigar review Cigar Advisor Cover

#nowsmoking: Oliva Inferno Melt Churchill

#nowsmoking: check out our Oliva Inferno Melt cigar review, and why this Maduro is getting compared to all the good things about Perdomo and Henry Clay. Click for the tasting notes on this Churchill and more, delivered in under 2 minutes…

Read More
fan mail cigar questions answered part 26 cacover

Fan Mail: Your Burning Cigar Questions, Answered (Part 26)

More Fan Mail: with more readers’ cigar questions coming in, the Cigar Advisors lighten the load and answer their top 4 burning questions with a trick for cutting cigars, what your cigar’s ash color means, keeping your cigar lit and premium vs. machine made. Watch our videos now!

Read More
onyx esteli cigar review video cacover

CA REVIEW PANEL: Onyx Esteli Cigar Review (Video)

Onyx Reserve cigars have enjoyed a very loyal following; now, this modern classic gets kicked up a few notches with the Onyx Esteli, created by AJ Fernandez. An all-Nicaraguan core gets treated to an almost pitch-black San Andrés wrapper; it sounds tasty on paper…but did Onyx Esteli pass our panel’s taste bud test? Watch now, and find out!

Read More
my father cigars review tasting guide CA Cover

2018 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to My Father Cigars

My Father Cigars are well-known for making cigars that are packed with big, full body and flavor. If you want in-depth coverage of the entire My Father lineup, and want to learn more about this iconic Nicaraguan brand - read this Advisor guide to get reviews, tasting notes and more on 14 of Don Pepin's finest premiums!
Read More