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Cigar 101

How to Cut a Big Ring Cigar

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Learning how to cut a big ring cigar is easy. How you cut your cigar makes a difference in how it smokes. There have been plenty of times I’ve watched a guy cut an oversized cigar with a cutter that’s way too small. You’re better off removing the cap with your fingernail than marring it with a cutter that doesn’t fit and cracks the wrapper.

Cigar ring gauges have exploded over the past decade. Once upon a time, a 52 ring was considered on the thick side. Now 58, 60, and 70 ring gauges are commonplace. You need a special cigar cutter to cut extra-thick cigars. Here are some tips for cutting fat cigars with the four main types of cutters.

Big Ring Straight Cutters

Nearly every cigar accessory brand manufactures cutters that will accommodate big ring gauge cigars. Xikar makes more than a few. The process is exactly the same as if you were cutting a traditional 50-ring Robusto. Insert the cap of your cigar into your cutter’s aperture, but keep the blades above the shoulder so that you don’t cut it too deep. Gently press the blades together and slice the cap off in one swift motion. Big ring cutters like the Xikar M8 70 Ring, Xikar X8 and the Xikar X875 are designed to cut specific ring sizes with ease.

If you’re stuck with a standard straight cutter, you can try to cut the cap of a big ring gauge cigar as long as you can get the very end of it to fit between the blades. Don’t force it, though. Applying too much pressure on the cigar will only damage it. Gently peel a portion of the cap off with your fingernails instead.

Punch It More than Once

You can buy a punch cutter with an oversized diameter for cutting fat cigars, but it isn’t entirely necessary. You can cut any big ring cigar with a standard punch cutter. The trick is simple: punch the cap multiple times. For a 60-ring-gauge cigar, two or three punches will deliver a sufficient draw. I’ve seen cigar smokers who prefer 70 and 80-ring cigars punch the cap four or even five times to get an extra-loose draw. You can control the smoke production on a fat cigar by the number of punches you drill into the cap. More punches deliver cooler, bigger draws with more smoke.

Cigar Scissors to the Rescue

Cigar scissors offer a tremendous advantage if you like to smoke big ring vitolas, or cigar shapes. You can open them wide enough to get around almost any ring gauge. The Visol Scissors Cutter is sturdy, precise, and affordable. Or, consider the bestselling Xikar MTX Cutter, which folds up to fit in your pocket and on your keychain. The MTX is the first truly pocket-friendly cigar scissors. 

To V-Cut or Not to V-Cut?

Aficionados who love V-cutters (or wedge cutters) can be finicky and often refuse to use another type of cutter. A V-cutter that’s too small is especially ineffective at cutting a fat cigar. You’ll barely nick the cap. Invest in a big ring gauge V-cutter. Xikar’s VX2 V-Cutter can slice into a 70-ring-gauge cigar with ease. Plus, its razor-sharp blade is inverted for added precision and control, and you can lock it in place when it’s in your pocket. Insert the head of your big ring cigar into the concave aperture when the blade is open and gently snap it shut with a touch of pressure. Voila! You’ve got a nice deep V-cut on your big fat cigar.  

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