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Cigar 101

How to Cut a Torpedo-Shaped Cigar

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

We’ve explored how to cut and light your cigar and how the type of cutter you choose can make a difference in how your cigar smokes. When new cigar lovers begin to experiment with different shapes, it’s important to know how different cutters affect a cigar’s draw.

Figurados (or figured shapes) like a Torpedo, Pyramid, and Belicoso taper at the head. Generally, because Figurado-shaped cigars require more skill to roll, they cost a little more than standard Parejos, or non-tapered cigars, like a Corona, Robusto, or a Toro. That’s why you shouldn’t cut a Torpedo too deep. The pointed head is deliberately designed to concentrate the smoke directly onto your palate with more intensity. You’re likely to get more tobacco in your mouth and your cigar’s wrapper can start to unravel if you cut too much off. Smoke a Toro or a Robusto instead. Here are the most effective methods for cutting a Torpedo cigar.

Cutting a Torpedo with a Straight Cutter

A straight cutter is the easiest and most common way to cut a Torpedo cigar. Any kind of straight cutter will work: a single guillotine, double guillotine, or a cigar scissors. The key here is not to cut too deep. Just cut the very tip to start and take a draw from the cigar to see if enough air is passing through it. If not, cut a little more off.

Some guys will lay a straight cutter flat on a table and cut only the tip of the cigar that fits through the blades but is buffered by the table top – that way it’s impossible to cut too much off. Cut just enough of the cap off to get a good draw. If the draw on your Torpedo tightens up from moisture from your mouth or the oils in the cigar, follow our tips for fixing a hard draw.

Should I Cut a Torpdeo at an Angle?

It’s less common, but some guys like to cut Torpedo-shaped cigars at an angle. You can do this by angling the blade at a 35 or 45-degree angle when the tip of the cigar is inserted. This method preserves the cigar’s taper but encourages a slightly bigger or more open draw. The only drawback here is that the cigar may not pull equally when air is passing through it. Monitor the ash to make sure your cigar burns evenly if you cut it an angle.

Can You Cut a Torpedo with a V-Cutter?

Cutting a Torpedo with a V-cutter results in one of the tightest, most constricted draws you can get on a cigar. I’m always a little puzzled when aficionados insist on using a V-Cutter on a Torpedo, but there are plenty who do. Technically, a V-cut (also called a cat’s eye or a wedge cutter) pulls smoke from the top and the bottom portions of the cigar equally and blends the stream directly on your palate for added concentration. The effect is more noticeable with a standard shape like a Robusto or a Toro.

If you do like a V-Cut on your Torpedos, we recommend using a V-Cutter with an inverted blade, meaning the tip of the cutter is reversed and does not arrive at a sharp point. Most V-Cutters are made with inverted blades today. If the blade is not inverted and it comes to a point, beware that it could crack the cap of your cigar when pressure is applied as you cut it.

Can You Cut a Torpedo with a Punch Cutter?

No. Thanks to a few simple geometric principles, the answer to this question should be pretty straightforward. But, in case you need further explanation, the cylindrical blade on a punch cutter is not equipped to drill into a Torpedo or any tapered cigar shape. Doing so will only severely mar the head of your cigar, in which case, you would be better off biting the cap off with your teeth.

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