The ritual of smoking a cigar begins with the cut. That means slicing off a small portion of the cigar’s cap so that air can flow through it.

"While cigar cutting isn’t difficult, it is important to do it right, because a bad cut can ruin a good cigar. "

Although there are many different ways to make the cut, the most popular method today is the guillotine cut. It removes part of the cap across the entire tip of the cigar. 

Check out these cigar cutting tips

1. Find your mark

First, find the shoulder of your cigar. It’s where the curved end--the end you put in your mouth--starts to straighten. You’ll want to cut right above that, where the curve is still intact. On most cigars, this is approximately one-sixteenth of an inch from the end.

2. Line up your cut

If you’re using a single-bladed guillotine, place the cigar against the far side of the opening--away from the blade--and bring the blade down to touch the cigar before you make the cut. If you’re using a double-bladed cutter, gently bring both blades down to touch the cigar. This will hold the cigar in the right place, ensuring the accuracy of your cut.

3. Cut boldly

Slow, hesitant cuts can tear the wrapper. So cut quickly and confidently—you've got this.

If you or others have tips, tell the community below, or Join a Group.

Join Cigar World Testing Lab


  • Member Avatar


    (12 months ago)

    Remember, if using a communal cutter (especially at a cigar shop, don't lick the end of your cigar before cutting.

  • Member Avatar

    (12 months ago)

    Cutting straight versus V cut versus punch. Why and why not?