We’re back at it this week with the next installment of the Making the Cut blog series, where the Cigar World team breaks down the top cigar cutting styles, and answers some common questions around cutting cigars. That way, any and every smoke session you have will always make the cut.

 For the third Making the Cut topic, we’re going to delve into probably the most commonly known and widely used cigar cutting style: the Guillotine Cut. Enjoy and let us know your favorite kind of cigar cutter in the comments! 

What is a Guillotine cigar cut?

When you think of a guillotine, more than likely the image of a 1700s French Revolution form of punishment pops into your head. Well, a guillotine cigar cutter (aka straight cutter) does basically the same thing, just to the head of your cigars.

Much like the French death machine, a guillotine cigar cutter was designed to deliver an incredibly precise cut right above the cap of your cigar. 

Guillotine cigar cutters are the most commonly used form of cigar cutter. They’re easy to produce inexpensively. They work well. And when kept in good condition, they can last a long time.

  • Typically, guillotine cutters will have either one or two blades that perform said chopping. 
  • They produce a very clean draw when compared to a v-cut or a punch cut because you’ve removed more surface area from the cigar. 

How to Guillotine cut a cigar

Most guillotine cigar cutters are pretty darn foolproof to use. Just insert your cigar’s cap into the opening, put your index finger and thumb into the two finger openings and carefully-but-confidently push them together until you’ve horizontally cut a straight line through the cigar. 

Do not, I repeat, do not push with all your strength if you’re using a somewhat cheap straight cutter, you’ll more than likely pinch your fingers and possibly even break the cutter or your cigar.

The real trick with using a guillotine cigar cutter correctly is making sure you cut your cigar above the cap. If you cut your cigar too deep (or too close to the band) you’ll basically remove the cap, and more than likely the wrapper will unravel, leaving unwanted remnants of loose tobacco in your mouth. 

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

If you enjoy smoking cigars with large ring gauges, make sure you buy a guillotine with a large enough opening to fit them. But, do keep in mind, you don’t have to fit the entire head of the cigar into the cutter. Just enough to get a good draw on your cigar. 

If you’re still sitting there like, “uh, I don’t know where to cut the head of my cigar.” Try this:

  • Set your guillotine cutter flat on a table.
  • Insert the head of your cigar into the cutter.
  • Then push together and cut it.

Tips on cleaning your Guillotine cigar cutter

If used enough, even the most expensive, luxurious cigar cutters will pick up all kinds of debris and residue from your repeated use. Check out the easy steps below on cleaning your straight cutter.

  1. Soak your cigar cutter in a cup of hot water for an hour
  2. After the remaining tobacco has fallen off, dry your cutter thoroughly 

If your cigar cutter is still dirty after an hour in the hot water, try soaking a q-tip in Isopropyl alcohol and cleaning the blades with that.

For tapered cigars, try the Cuban cut 

Many people will say, “don’t use guillotine cigar cutters on tapered cigars.” The heads are too narrow and a straight cut would produce too small of an opening to attain a great draw. 

That’s true if you’re doing a horizontal cut. But for a Cuban cut, you’ll rotate the cuter at about a 45° angle and then make your cut. It’ll produce a relatively tight draw, but it’s a great way to use a guillotine cutter on any of your tapered cigars.

Explore the best Guillotine cigar cutters

Enjoy getting the cleanest straight cut on your cigars with the best rated guillotine cigar cutters.

#1: Lotus Jaws Guillotine Cigar Cutter

Price: $24.99


  • Razor sharp, double action blades 
  • Sturdy all metal housing
  • Cuts cigars up to a 62 ring gauge 

Learn More

#2: Xikar Xi2 Guillotine Cigar Cutter 

Price: $46.74


  • 56 ring gauge limit
  • The hardest, sharpest blade you can buy
  • Heavy-duty, lightweight nylon fiberglass construction

Learn More

#3: Vertigo 80 Ring Gauge Guillotine Cigar Cutter

Price: $4.99


  • Great for the car or travel
  • Cuts up to an 80 ring gauge cigar

Learn More

 #4: Zederkoff Z-Rated Guillotine Cigar Cutter

Price: $29.99


  • Cuts cigars up to a 60 ring gauge 
  • Durable exterior housing

Learn More

Do you use a Guillotine cigar cutter? Let us know in the comments!

Previous Article: Making the Cut: Punch Cut

We’re back at it this week with the second installment of the Making the Cut series, where we’re breaking down the top cigar cutting styles, and answering common questions around cutting cigars. That way, any and every smoke session you have will always make the cut. 

Next Article: Making the Cut: V-Cut Cigar Cutters

At Cigar World, we take pride in obsessing over anything and everything cigars. And we mean every-thing. 

Join Cigar World Testing Lab


  • Member Avatar
    (21 days ago)

    I use all 3 depending on my cigar.

  • Member Avatar
    (21 days ago)

    Great tips!