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Cigar 101

Cigar X Cuts

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

X marks the spot when you’re cutting a cigar. An X cut on a cigar is actually a V-cut, but you slice the cap twice in a crisscross pattern to form an X-shaped opening on the head of your cigar. An X-cut is sometimes called a “star-cut” too. If you’re still learning how to cut a cigar, allow us to explain.

Different Cigar Cuts

There are three basic tools to cut a cigar: a straight cut (guillotine), a punch cut (bullet), and a V-cut (wedge or cat’s eye). Because how you cut your cigar makes a difference in its draw, cigar smokers can be finicky about the type of cutter they choose. Each type of cut results in a slightly tighter or more open draw. You might prefer a different cut based on the size and shape of the cigar you’re smoking too. Cutting a big ring cigar requires a cutter with a wider blade and an aperture big enough to surround the cap, the top part of a cigar’s anatomy, for example. And, it’s always easier to cut a cigar when the cellophane is off.

What Does a V-Cutter Do?

A V-cutter is unique because it carves a V-shaped divot out of the head of the cigar. The silhouette a V-cutter leaves behind is deeper than the cigar’s cap, and the cigar’s draw is pulled from a greater surface when you’re puffing area as a result. Most V-cutters, like the Xikar VX V-Cutter, Xikar VX2 V-Cutter, and Jetline Judge V-Cutter are designed with an inverted blade which ensures the cigar’s cap won’t crack when you cut it.

How to Make an X-Cut

An X-cut on a cigar is simply two V-cuts. Position the cigar’s head in the aperture of your V-cutter and collapse the blade to perform the first cut. Then, rotate your cigar 90 degrees, and perform a second V-cut that intersects the center of the first one. Voila! You’ve cut a deep X on the head of your cigar. Why cut a cigar in the shape of an X, though? An X-cut allows you to draw from an even greater amount of surface area than a single V-cut when you’re puffing, but the corners of the cigar’s cap are still preserved. An X-cut works best on cigars that are well made, especially if they’re a bit dense. Performing two V-cuts on a cigar that’s loosely rolled or under-filled will result in a messy draw, and you’re likely to get bits of loose tobacco in your mouth.

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