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.

Today’s Making the Cut topic: Punch Cut. Is it even a cut, technically? That’s for you to judge. Macanudo Brand Ambassador, Laurel Tilley, gives us a step-by-step tutorial on how to make the perfect Punch Cut below. 

What is a punch cut?

A cigar punch cutter is used to push, or punch, a small cylindrical hole through the head or cap of your cigar. It’s even called a bullet cutter in some circles.

How do punch cutters work?

When you’d compare another cut, like a guillotine or scissor cut, to a punch cut, you’ll experience an influx of flavor and heat intensity with a punch cut. 

Why? It’s all about the surface area. When you draw smoke through a smaller, more concentrated opening, you’ll have a tighter draw with a little more umph behind each puff. 

Pro tip: If you like punch cuts but want less intensity when drawing, you can punch the cap of a cigar with a larger ring gauge a couple of times.

How to punch cut a cigar

Never used a punch cutter before? No worries. We’ve compiled some easy-to-follow steps on how to punch cut a cigar. 

Step #1:

Open the punch cutter to reveal your blade. 

Step #2:

Center the blade over the middle of your cigar’s cap.

Step #3:

Gently twist the cutter into the cap of your cigar. Remember, don’t just push the blade into the cap.

Step #4:

Pull out your punch cutter and discard the excess tobacco.

Is it better to punch or cut a cigar?

If you’re trying to decide whether to put a standard cut on your cigar or punch cut it, here’s a few things to think about.

  • If you smoke oily cigars or if you have a tendency to leave a lot of saliva on your cigars, a punch cut may not be the best option as your cigar’s draw can become plugged or goopy. 
  • If your cigar is too dry and needs to be re-humidified, a punch cutter could potentially crack the cap and damage the cigar.
  • Punch cutters have issues cutting torpedo-shaped cigars or cigars that taper at the head. If you enjoy torpedoes and belicosos, you may want to stick with a straight cutter.

The best rated punch cutters

Explore some of the internet’s favorite punch cutters and bullet cutters below.

#1: Lotus Cyclops 11mm Punch Cutter

Price: $27

Features: 

  • Included key ring
  • 11mm round punch
  • Self-cleaning 
  • Limited lifetime warranty

 

Learn More

#2: Xikar 009 Punch Cutter

Price: $55

Features: 

  • Retractable blade 
  • Self-cleaning 
  • Key ring included
  • Durable and stylish

 

Learn More

#3: Raging Bull Punch Cutter

Price: $5

Features: 

  • Pop off cap blade 
  • Attached key ring
  • Durable, rugged design
  • Assorted colors

 

Learn More

Do you like Punch Cuts on your cigars? Let us know!

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Comments

  • Member Avatar
    (14 days ago)

    Definitely prefer a punch but depends on the cigar. For me, it's only to prevent from eating tobacco. Never tried a V-cut.

  • Member Avatar
    (29 days ago)

    I'm a fan. Especially when I want the cigar to last longer than the average for whatever length I am smoking at the time. Also, since it is on my keys I am never without it so, if I get into a bind and don't have my cutters I have my punch.

  • Member Avatar
    (31 days ago)

    I use the punch cut on occasions, and will agree on the heat part. I will also agree on the more flavor part. I do feel with the punch cut I tend to throw away more of the cigar because of the heat. I'll definitely be trying a second hole to cure this problem.

  • Member Avatar
    (32 days ago)

    I use to like to punch them. Haven't in a few years now. But they are very different to use.

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I have never tried the punch cut, but after reading this article I believe I will give it a try.

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I have a Punch but don't use it as much as my perfect cutter

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I’m definitely a punch cut fan. Straight cut can cause unraveling if not triple capped, V-cut opens up to much sometimes leaving the flavor unbalanced, whereas a punch cut provides just enough opening to allow the flavors to come through as intended by the blender and it reduces the chance of unraveling.

    My cut use order:

    Punch

    Straight

    Use fingernail to remove the tip of the cap

    V-cut

    IG: cigarbueno

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    One further note. It seems the bargain cigars do well with the punch. Smaller punch, smaller ring size. Larger rings etc. You can do a clover leaf pattern as well. But if you do that you may be better off with a V cut. Just saying.

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I find them good of the thinner cigars, < 48 gauge. That does not impede the draw, as I start cutting the larger ring size puros, the straight and v cut works better for me (YMMV)... It depends entirely on the cigar. Perdomo are draw friendly, as is Padron, My Father, San Cristobal and many Drew Estates, some need help. For me Fernandez is a v cut cigar. But that's me... Again Your mileage May Vary.

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I use a larger punch, on larger rine cigars, I normally use my deep V cutter for most of my other parejo's, I use a straight cutter on torpedo's.

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I like on smaller cigars

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    I like punch cuts

  • Member Avatar
    (35 days ago)

    The punch is fine

  • Member Avatar
    (36 days ago)

    A large punch cutter leaves even big ring sticks nicely open and clean-cut. 14-15mm seems to be my favorite, especially with 58+ RG.