Cigars 101

Toothpick cigar punch

Q. Instead of clipping off the tip of my cigar, I use a toothpick and put about 5 holes in the [head]. I was told that that this is not the correct way to [clip] a cigar. Any opinion on this?
– Larry S.
A. No, it is not the correct (or normal) way to clip a cigar. Maybe if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere like that Man vs. Wild guy and that’s all you had. (Of course, he always has a knife, which would be way better than a toothpick, anyway.) But I digress.

I’m curious as to whether the cap has ever come off while you’re smoking your cigar, since the combination of the toothpick holes, saliva, and the pressure of holding the cigar between your teeth would tend to loosen it up and peel off.

I suggest that you purchase a good double blade cigar cutter and clip the cigar just under the base of the cap as most cigar smokers do. Not only will this expose more tobacco at the head, it will also allow you to taste more of the cigar’s flavors. Punching holes in the cap may give you a decent draw, but you’re also restrainiing the smoke to a certain degree, and may even cause uneven burning.

Whenever I get questions like this, I usually I say, “Whatever works for you,” But by using a toothpick as a cigar punch, I believe you’re missing out on a lot of flavor.

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.

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