What is the best type of cut?


We often get asked the question, “What is the best cut for this cigar.” The answer you get from each one of us is going to be different. The real answer is whatever you like. It’s your cigar and we will cut it however you want. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to certain types of cuts and we are going to cover that in this article.


Punch Cut


The first type of cut we will discuss is the punch cut. The biggest advantage is how small and portable this cutter is. The down side of that is how easy it is to lose. If you are prone to losing small objects, you can always buy a lighter with a punch on the bottom of it and knock out two birds with one stone. The most noticeable difference when smoking a cigar that has been punched is that it will have a tighter and more central draw, which will cause the cigar to burn a bit slower. The myth we hear all the time is that the cigar will burn straighter because you are drawing from the center, or the cigar is stronger when punched because all the smoke comes to the center. This is not true and has no reflection on the burn or strength of the cigar. Another advantage is that you get less loose tobacco in your mouth when smoking because the cap stays in tact. The biggest disadvantage to me is the potential for cracking your cigar when punching it. Some cigars are just not made to punch and will often crack when you cut them. If you want to use a punch cutter make sure it is sharp. Once your punch starts cracking cigars it is time to replace it. If you have a punch with a lifetime warranty then you can usually get it replaced for free.


V-Cut


This has become one of the most popular cuts in the shop over the last year or two. It cuts cigars deeper than the other 2 options and is the middle of the road draw as far as smoke goes. The drawback to this is that because it cuts so deep it is the most intrusive style of cut and has the highest chance of cracking a cigar. It can help remove a blockage in the cigar if it is near the cap and the cutter goes past the knot. There are v cutters that have different depths so you can find the one that suits you the best.


Straight Cut


Finally we are going to talk about the straight cut. This is your most common type of cut and provides the most open draw. The thing you have to remember with a straight cut is that you do not cut to deep. For most cigars you only need to cut less than ⅛”. They have come out with new versions that have a guide on the back so you cannot cut too deep, but they are not made for every cigar. There is no reason to cut an inch off the cigar. You are not only wasting an inch of cigar but when you cut past the cap of the cigar the tobacco can unravel on you. The drawback to this style of cut is that you might get little bits of tobacco on your tongue or in your teeth and no one likes that.


The thing I want you to take away from all of this information is this: the type of cut that’s best for your cigar is the one you like. You are the one that has to smoke it. Cut it the way you prefer and make sure your cutter is sharp. Stay smoky my friends.




Updated: Sep 26, 2018


Strength, Body & Flavor

What is the difference or what do we mean when we describe a cigar with terms like strength, body, or flavor? We get this question a lot and want to give you some insight on what this means. These are terms we use to describe cigars to help you decide what cigar you want to smoke. They represent three different descriptors and we are going to take a look each.


Strength

The strength of a cigar is probably the biggest factor for most people when selecting a cigar, but should it be? The strength of a cigar is what your receptors react to and how they make you feel. The easiest way to describe this is when you first started smoking and you got a cigar that was a little too strong. You get that head rush or woozy feeling in your stomach. A lot of people experience this and stop smoking cigars. The nicotine is the key factor in this reaction. That’s why we recommend new cigar smokers start with a lighter strength cigar and work your way up.


Body

We experience the body of a cigar through the effect the tobacco has on the touch and taste receptors in our mouth and nose. This is the way you feel the cigar on your palate and in your nose, not the way it tastes. We use terms like texture, richness, mouth feel, ect… A lot of people confuse body and strength. When someone says a cigar is full bodied that makes lighter strength cigar smokers shy away. What we mean when we say this is that the cigar has a more dense smoke or will cause your palate and nose to tingle when retrohale. It is similar to smelling spicy food. You can tell without tasting is that it has some sort of spicy flavor that causes the receptors in your nose to tingle and kick your salivary glands into overdrive.


Flavor

Flavor is exactly what it sounds like. The distinctive taste of the cigar. If you have ever read cigar reviews from some online forums you will hear some crazy stuff on flavor. I saw one reviewer describe the flavor to have a hint of yellow highlighter. There are a large range of flavors you can get from a cigar but don’t stress too much about it. If you only taste earthy and leathery notes then that’s what you taste. If you get cotton candy and yellow highlighter then that’s what you taste. Not every person will taste the same cigar exactly as you do. That’s the beauty of cigars. Everyone has their favorite flavors. When we describe a cigar as full flavor we mean that the flavors stand out more than a mild flavor cigar.


Hopefully this will help you in your search for your next cigar and help you better understand what you hear or read when someone describes a cigar to you. As always, stay smokey my friends.

© 2018 WESTENDCIGARS

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