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Cigar 101

Beginner Cigar Tools

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

When you’re getting into cigars, you need a few basic tools. Without them, you’ll have to bum a cutter and lighter from one of your pals. That gets old fast. It’s much easier to master the cigar basics when you get your own cigar accessories. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot. There are plenty of affordable options when you need to get reliable cigar gear. Here are the main items every cigar lover should invest in.


You need a cigar cutter. If you asked us which end of the cigar you’re supposed to cut, you wouldn’t be the first. The end of cigar that’s closed is called the head and that’s the end you need to cut. The head on a cigar is covered with a cap. The cap is a small section of the wrapper leaf, roughly the size of a dime, that has been applied by the roller to close the head of the cigar.

A cigar cutter removes the cap of the cigar and opens the head so that air passes through the cigar when you draw on it. “Why can’t I just use a scissors or a steak knife?” you ask. A cigar cutter is designed to cut the end of your cigar without mangling or shredding the end of your cigar. A typical scissors or knife can compromise the integrity of your cigar with a crude cut. The wrapper can unravel and you will get loose tobacco in your mouth.

There are three primary types of cigar cutters: a straight cutter (or guillotine), a punch cutter, and a V-cutter. A straight cutter is the most common and provides the coolest, easiest draw. A punch cutter is a circular blade that removes only the center of the cap, leaving the rest intact. A V-cutter slices out a V-shape from the cap of the cigar. Both a punch cut and a V-cut result in a more concentrated, tighter draw on your cigar, which increases its intensity.


A good cigar lighter is worth its weight in gold to an aficionado. While a basic soft-flame Bic will get the job done, there are tons of cigar lighters to consider. Sporty high-performance torch lighters are made with single, double, and triple jet flames for increased wind resistance.

Some torch lighters feature a built-in cigar cutter and are great for indoor and outdoor use. Xikar, ST Dupont, Colibri, Jetline, Blazer, and Visol manufacture a wide variety of reliable torch lighters. Many models include a lifetime warranty. Don’t forget to grab a can of butane.


Your cigar can make a big mess if you don’t have a proper cigar ashtray. Tamping the ash off on top of an empty beer can is not a good substitute. Cigar ashtrays have deep dishes that can hold plenty of spent cigar ashes. Cigar ashtrays also have cigar rests where you can set your cigar down in between puffs without the worry it will roll off the edge.

Cigar ashtrays come in a variety of materials, including ceramic, glass, crystal, and melamine – a very durable plastic that’s great indoors and out. Choose an ashtray from your favorite cigar brand.


Once you discover a cigar you love enough to buy a full box, it’s time to buy a humidor. If you’re storing your cigars for more than a few days before you smoke them, a humidor is essential for keeping them fresh. Cigars need to be stored at 70 degrees and 70% RH (relative humidity), or they will dry out.

A humidor is a cedar-lined box with a humidification source on the inside that keeps your cigars humidified until you’re ready to smoke them. Humidors typically hold 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 cigars, or more. Humidors vary in price based on the brand, the size, and the materials the box is made from. Check out the selection of humidors from Savoy for a full range of options. If you’re not ready to invest in a humidor, buy a humidor bag to keep your cigars fresh temporarily.

Cigar Carry Case

If you leave the house to smoke your cigars, it makes sense to get a cigar carry case. Most cigar cases hold three or four cigars and can easily slide into your breast pocket. While many are made from leather, you can also get a durable travel case perfect for camping, hunting, or the great outdoors. Check the dimensions of your favorite cigar sizes to make sure they fit.

Cigar Holder

A cigar holder is essential if you love to golf or do yard work while you’re smoking. A cigar holder grips your cigar so you don’t have to set it down in the grass. You can clamp a cigar holder to a wide variety of objects and surfaces when you’re lining up your next shot on the greens.

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