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Differences Between Straight Cut, Punch Cut, and V-Cut’s

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Cigars have a long-standing history draped in tradition and excellence. Even today, many premium cigars are made with the same time-honored techniques used for centuries. While the cigars themselves have stayed relatively unchanged, there have been some more modern-day changes to the way the cigars are smoked. And perhaps the most important change is the way cigars are cut.

Today there are three main ways to cut a cigar to prepare it for smoking; straight cut, cigar punch, or v cut. Each cut has its own unique properties that can help enhance a cigar’s flavor or smoke profile. Despite each being different, they all function in the same capacity – to remove part of the cigar cap so smoke can travel through the body of the cigar.

In terms of popularity, the classic straight cut is still king. But thanks to the wider availability of cigar cutters from online stores, the punch cut, and v-cut are quickly gaining popularity. Also, newer cigar smokers are quickly exposed to punch and v-cuts thanks to many online beginner videos and articles featuring them.

Now that you know what the three different types of cigar cuts are, it’s time to take a closer look at the differences between the three.

Differences Between a Straight Cut, Punch Cut, or V-Cut

Straight Cut

Straight Cut

The straight cut is by far the oldest, and still most popular, cigar cut. Just like the name suggests, a straight cut is a linear cut across the cap of the cigar to create a large area for smoke to travel through. Many cutter types are available and come in many different flavors including a single blade, double blade, and crescent. Although if times get tough and a cutter isn’t near, a sharp knife can be used to cut around the top of the cigar cap to create a workable straight cut.

Pros and Cons

Perhaps the most positive trait of the straight cut is that it works on 99% of all cigar sizes and shapes. From large to small, fat to thin, a straight cut will work. Other benefits include low cost for a cutter and a looser cigar draw. Cigar smokers will also appreciate that a straight cut gives greater area at the cap stopping the build-up of bitter tar.

As for negatives, there are a minor few. But perhaps the largest is that a straight cut can quickly destroy a cigar. Whether it’s a dull blade or a misaligned cut, you could ruin your cigar in one quick stroke.

Who Should Use This Type of Cut?

Every cigar smoker should feel comfortable using the straight cut. Not only is it a reliable cut but it works on almost every cigar on the market. So whether you are new to cigars or an experienced aficionado, the straight cut is for you.

Punch Cut

Punch Cut

As indicated by the name, a punch cut is made by “punching out” a small amount of the cigar cap.

Most punch cuts are in the shape of a small circle about a quarter-inch in diameter.

This concentrates the cigar smoke creating a more intense flavor and a greater volume of smoke. The cutters themselves are also quite small. Most can fit on a keychain and look quite inconspicuous.

Pros and Cons

Affordability, simplicity, and reliability, are the biggest benefits of a punch cutter. Plus never having to worry about whether or not you have a cutter on you can help put your mind at ease.

Despite the simplicity, there are a few negatives. The first is that punch cutters tend to get clogged up with tobacco. Most come with a cleaning mechanism, but cheaper ones usually do not. Another issue is that because of their size they can be easily lost. The final issue, albeit a bit less critical, is that a punch cut does not work on a torpedo or perfecto-style cigars.

Who Should Use This Type of Cut?

Because of the simplicity and ease of use, we recommend the punch cut for first-time cigar smokers. Of course, all cigar smokers should have a punch cutter as it can be taken anywhere you take your keys making for a great backup cutter. But if you find yourself smoking lots of torpedo-capped cigars, the punchcutter will not be your friend.



The controversial V-Cut. A cigar cut that has as many supporters and critics alike. Unlike both the straight cut and punch cut, the V-cut creates a deep “V” shaped cut into the cap of the cigar. Supporters of the V-Cut argue the cut concentrates the smoke and lets the cigar “breath” a bit more.

Critics argue that the cut isn’t all that special and gives a similar smoking experience to a straight cut.

Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, there is no denying that a V-Cut is a stylish way to cut a cigar.

Pros and Cons

While we haven’t done scientific studies, we believe most V-Cuts will result in more concentrated smoke similar to that of a punch cut. So that’s a clear positive if you are looking for more concentrated flavors. This type of cut also allows for an easier draw since it cuts a bit deeper into the cigar.

Downsides include a higher cost for a cutter and the inability to use a V-Cut with a small ring gauge and torpedo-style cigars. Cigar smokers may also find a bit more loose tobacco pieces around the cut when using a V-Cutter.

Who Should Use This Type of Cut?

Anyone can use a V-Cut, but we recommend this style of cut for more experienced cigar smokers with a more developed palate. We feel that newer cigar smokers would not be able to pick up on the difference and should instead save their money.

Bottom Line

In the end, cutting a cigar can be a bit more than just prepping the cigar to be smoked. Because depending on what type of cut you choose, your cigar will smoke and taste different. But how much different? Well, that part is still up to debate. While we can’t say how much of a difference one type of cut is compared to another, there are some differences.

What we truly recommend is to test out the three different cuts and form your own opinion. So if you are someone who has always straight cut your cigars, don’t be afraid to give a punch cut or V-Cut a try. And for those who are hesitant to invest in a V-Cutter, it might be easier to go to your local cigar shop and ask to use a V-Cutter on your next cigar.

That way you get to try the cut before having to shell out the $20+ it costs for a quality cutter. So no matter how you cut it, there are differences between a straight, punch, or V cut. But these differences are mostly cosmetic, with only slight differences in smoke output and taste.

Cigar cutter Prestige Royal
Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson

I have been smoking cigars for 30 years and counting, I started at 18 years old with mild Cubans and worked my way up to medium and now bold. I own 4 humidors, that I try to keep stocked at all times.

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