Cigars 101

MORE cutting edge advice

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Q. Can you please tell me how a punch cutter works?
– Kevin C.

A. Punch or “bullet” type cutters are a great alternative to the more traditional double blade guillotine cutter. They take a little more dexterity, but if done right, do a great job. The main difference in the cut is that you’re boring a hole through the center of the cap instead of clipping the cap clean-off. This exposes less tobacco surface on the head, but you get a cleaner cut because the tobacco is recessed below the cut, so there are no frayed ends, etc.

Using a punch cutter is easy. Simply hold the cigar firmly in one hand at the band – usually about an inch below the head. Line-up the circular blade as dead center as you can and push gently through the cap as you twist, then pull out the cutter. The “plug” remains in the cutter, but the better punch cutters have a means for ejecting it. 

You can’t use them on Torpedos or other tapered head cigars, nor are they recommended for rings gauges less than 38. But they do a great job on most cigars, particularly large ring-gauge sizes. They’re also good for “short filler” cigars because the recessed cut helps prevent tobacco shreds from getting in your mouth. So, if you’re a neat freak, they’re especially handy. Some models even come with two different size blades to accomodate cigars of varying ring sizes.

Some cigar smokers prefer having more surface area to rest their tongue on while smoking, which makes the guillotine better for them. But it’s good to have an assortment of cutters around anyway.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
cigar advisor news - Drew Estate Blackened Cigars M81 release - cover photo

Cigar News: Drew Estate to Release Blackened Cigars M81

Learn about the Blackened project between Metallica’s James Hetfield, Master Distiller Rob Dietrich, and Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate Cigars.
Read More

The Cigar Advisor Guide to Tobacco Beetles

Reading Time: 4 minutes If left to run rampant, a cigar beetle infestation will reduce cigars to rubble. Find out what these insatiable pests are, how they got into your humidor, and what you can do to get rid of cigar beetles and stop them from coming back.

Read More
cigar advisor fan mail cigar questions answered part 48 cover

Fan Mail: Even More Burning Cigar Questions Answered (Part 48)

Reading Time: 2 minutes How do you choose the right cutter for your cigar? What is Ligero tobacco? We answer these cigar questions and more, so tune into Cigar Advisor Fan Mail pt. 48!

Read More
cacover top cigar brands

2018 CA Report: Top Cigar Brands You Should Know (And Why)

Reading Time: 13 minutes If someone asked you which cigars you like, what would you tell them? And what would you say if that person asked, “why?”
If you’re on the hunt for a go-to cigar, you should know at least a little something – even one thing – about what makes these cigar brands and their makers special, and why they’ve earned a spot in so many humidors.

Read More