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Tips for Cutting a Cigar without a Cutter

The cigar head is usually sealed with a cap to prevent the tobacco from drying. However, this requires you to cut it off before smoking.

While you will get a perfect cut using a cigar cutter, there are other ways to remove the cap without one. Whether you are out with friends or at home, these tips will help you get a clean cut without a cigar cutter.

Use your Fingernail

This old-school technique comes in handy when you don’t have a cigar cutter. It involves scraping a small part of the cigar cap with your fingernails. The cap is made of a thin wrapper leaf that is easy to remove.

Once you loosen a small section of the cap, rotate your finger to start making a hole. Keep going until the cap is removed from the cigar’s rest. Be gentle to prevent unraveling the wrapper leaf. Also, stay above the cap line when making the first incision with your fingernail to remove the cap neatly.

Use a Pocket Knife

Use a sharp pocket knife to cut off the cigar head. Place it above the cap line and spin the cigar against the blade while applying gentle pressure. Spin the cigar slowly in the direction of the wrapper until approximately ¾ way. Avoid cutting too deep to prevent marring the end of your cigar.

Alternatively, you can place the cigar on a hard surface and cut the cap off using the same technique as cutting bread. Be gentle as you do this to avoid messing with the cigar’s construction, which may ruin your cigar experience.

You can also make a horizontal and vertical cut on the cigar cup to make an X. Ensure the cut is deep enough to go past the cap. This will allow air to pass through the cigar and offer a decent draw without damaging the cigar.

Use a Pointed Tool

Use a pointed tool like a screw, toothpick, paperclip, pin, or a twig to punch a hole through the cigar head. Insert the tool into the center of the cigar head and push it gently to about half an inch. You risk mangling the cigar head or unravelling the wrapping paper if you are too aggressive.

If you are using a thin tool, make several holes to create a perfect central draw. However, if you use a screwdriver, make one large insertion by slowly driving the device deep enough to pierce the cap.

Use Scissors

Using regular scissors to cut your cigar is not ideal. However, you can use them to cut the cigar if you have no cigar cutter. Ensure you use the sharpest pair of scissors and make a firm cut on the cigar head. Don’t go too deep into the head. Instead, cut the tip only to prevent damaging the cigar.

Bite into the Cigar Head

This method should be your last resort should you find yourself without a cigar cutter. It was common back when cigars were less expensive and more durable. However, this technique should not be your first choice with the premium and handcrafted cigars now available on the market.

Bite down on the cap on the spot where you would place your cigar cutter. Once the cap is slightly open, peel the rest with your fingertips. Avoid drenching the cigar head with too much saliva for a cleaner cut. Also, be gentle to avoid having tobacco slivers in your mouth and ruining your cigar.


You can still smoke your cigar even though you do not have a cigar cutter. Using everyday tools and the tips in this article, you can cut your cigar and enjoy a calming smoking experience.


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