A Beginners Guide to Cigar Smoking: Cutting and Lighting A Cigar
Cutting A Cigar
Regardless of who you are, or what cigar your smoking enjoying a premium hand made cigar always begins with cutting and lighting the cigar. Every individual has his or her own routine when it comes to doing this. However generally it begins with making some type of cut to the cigar in an effort to remove part of the cap or flag leaf that closes the cigar, while leaving some of it glued around the end to keep the filler leaves together. In my experience it's always better to make a more shallow initial cut, then test the pre-light draw. If the initial cut is too deep the cigar can run the risk of unravelling. Traditionally three types of cuts are used; a straight cut, punch cut or v-cut. For myself personally, and in my experience the majority of smokers select a straight cut, also known as a guillotine cut. Having a quality and sharp cutter makes this cut much easier and reduces the risk of damaging the cigar. Both Xikar and Colibri make some great tools to get the job done. Personally I use a Xikar Xi1 or X8 cutter in my daily cigar smoking routine.They feature 440C stainless steel blades. They will cut a 54 ring gauge cigar in half. Depending on how much cap you cut, they will cut up to a 60 ring gauge cigar with ease. Xikar also offers a great variety of stylish finishes to choose from.
The second type of cut is a punch cut, or bullet cutter. This type of cutter punches a hole in the cigar to create airflow using a circular blade. A cigar punch cutter however will only work with more traditional cigar shapes Torpedo-shaped cigars, or any shapes that taper too dramatically at the head. A punch cut offers a more concentrated and slightly tighter draw. One of my favorite cigars to use a punch cut on is a Padron 1964 Anniversary. The Padron features a boxed pressed shape with a very open draw that presents itself perfectly for a punch cut. The Xikar Twist keychain punch is a great accessory to keep on your keychain as a backup cigar cutter. The third type of cutter is a V-Cutter. A V-Cutter cuts a V shaped notch in the cigar. This style of cut exposes a lot of surface area and makes it easy to draw smoke through the cigar. The Colibri V-Cut is one of the best on the market, offering a deep
Lighting A Cigar
Lighting a cigar is very different from lighting a cigarette. It's essential to take your time and toast the foot of the cigar never exposing the cigar directly to the flame; burning a cigar directly in a flame makes it too hot. The goal should be to equally light the entire foot of the cigar to ensure an even burn throughout the cigar. The way to test this is to gently blow on the foot of the cigar to see if the ember is even. Matches can work well indoors, although a cigar lighter is the easiest way to get an even light; especially outdoors. What makes a lighter a cigar lighter? A cigar lighter uses odorless butane gas, and often larger flame, or even two or more adjacent flame sources, and adjustable flame heights. Brands like Xikar and S.T. Dupont makes some of the best cigar lighters on the market. The S.T. Dupont Defi Extreme is capable of withstanding winds up to 37mph, I also guarantees maximum efficiency in all situations. It has an extraordinarily powerful blue flame torch that will light in any weather conditions provided by nature on a daily basis.