A cigar cutter is perhaps the most important accessory that any cigar aficionado could buy. Even if you smoke cigars infrequently, or only on special occasions, a cigar cutter is integral to the enjoyment of a good cigar. A bad cutter can destroy a good cigar.
Cigars mainly consist of a wrapper, commonly made of dried leaves, and tobacco. However, much contributes to a good cigar. The size and method used to wrap the tobacco significantly affects the smoking experience as well.
In order to understand the need for a cigar cutter, it must be pointed out that a cigar is almost always sold with one flat end of exposed tobacco, which is the end that you light; and a rounded end totally enclosed by the wrapper, the end that you draw on. A cutter is necessary in order to cut a small hole in the rounded end, to create a smooth draw.
If the wrapper of the cigar is damaged in the cutting process, the cigar will not smoke properly and the experience will be unsatisfactory. To the novice smoker, a bad cut may not even be noticeable. However, once you become more experienced with cigar smoking, a bad cut can ruin your cigar.
There are mainly four styles of cigar cutters prevalent today: the guillotine cigar cutter, the scissor cigar cutter, the cigar punch and the "V" cigar cutter.
The guillotine cutter uses either one or two blades to cut a cigar. However, the two-bladed version is much cleaner and provides a better cut.
A scissor cutter puts more even pressure on the cigar and gives a more centered and uniform cut.
The cigar punch is actually not a cutter at all. It punches a small hole in the end of a cigar instead. This method is practical for cigars with a very large diameter but will not work well with unusually styled cigars, such as torpedoes.
Perhaps the least harmful way of cutting a cigar, however, would be by using the "V" cutter. A "V" cigar cutter actually cuts a small "V" shape in the end of a cigar instead of snipping or punching a hole.
Regardless or which type of cigar cutter you choose, be sure to cut your cigar with care and patience. Although you can spend a small chunk of money on a cigar cutter, it is not necessary. Many good cigar cutters can be found for less than $5 (US dollars).