What to Do if You Don’t Have a Cigar Cutter

January 7, 2020

What to Do if You Don’t Have a Cigar Cutter

We have all been in this situation, especially new cigar smokers — You arrive at a lounge or a hangout and you have brought several nice cigars with you.  Just as you are about to enjoy your fine smokes, however, you realize you have forgotten your cigar cutter.

While it seems like all is lost, have no fear, there are several options for you to be able to enjoy your cigars, even without your trusty cutter.  However, before we begin, let me just state the 100% best way to cut your cigar is with a proper cigar cutter.  These are just some options for those few times a cigar cutter is unavailable.


This is the most common tool to use to cut your cigars and is probably the best outside of a cigar cutter.  Using a sharp knife, such as a pocketknife, you can cut your cigar a few different ways to be able to smoke it.   First, you can gently slice off just underneath he cap, the same spot you would cut with a cutter.  However, if your knife isn’t super sharp, you might risk damaging the cigar.

If I have a knife, I prefer to do a cross-cut.  I will cut two deep cuts into the head of the cigar, basically making an X marks the spot.  Make sure you cut deep enough to cut past the cap.  This will offer you a pretty decent draw without risking too much damage to the cigar.



While this is usually reserved for a cigar punch, there are other ways to poke a hole in the head of your cigar.  Simply using a thumbtack, paperclip or pin should do the trick.  Slowly insert the pin into the center of the cigar head.

If you go too fast or far, you risk mangling the head of the cigar.  Poke about a half-inch or so into the head of the cigar to create a nice, central draw. If you find yourself on the golf course, I have always found a fresh golf T to be a great alternative in this process.


While this is an old fashioned and popular technique for cutting your cigar, I will say it is the least effective and the most likely to ruin your cigar.  However, if you are in an absolute bind you should be able to use your teeth to bite off the cap of the cigar.

This was much more common with older generations when cigars were cheaper, more durable, and easily disposable. With the handcrafted, boutique products we now have, this would definitely not be my first choice for cutting your cigar.


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