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How to Cut a Cigar Without a Cutter

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Although we recommend cigar cutters there are times where you may need to know how To Cut A Cigar Without A Cutter. Perhaps you have misplaced your cutter or are out and without it. Here are some alternative methods to cut your cigar.

Before we get into it, I’d like to reiterate that we highly recommend the use of a cigar cutter. If you have used one before there really is no comparison. If you are deciding whether a cutter is worth the investment read on.

You may find these options work but you may prefer to buy a budget cutter and test it for yourself. There is a high likelihood you will ruin your cigar by using anything other than a cigar cutter made for the job.

We have shared the best cigar cutters in a previous post.

How To Cut A Cigar Without A Cigar Cutter

How To Cut Cigar Without a Cutter - CigarCigar Infographic

Using a Cigar Punch

In contrast to a cigar cutter, a punch creates a hole in the ‘cap’ for the smoke to pass through. Cigar punches are transportable, work well, and can fit easily onto a key chain. Many lighters even come with an inbuilt punch.

It has been noted by some that the draw can be too tight when using a punch. If you consider the dynamics you’ll notice less air is able to be drawn through the cigar. This means that less air can be produced and from time to time the cigar may go out.

In saying that there are many people who prefer to use a cigar punch over a cutter. The blades of a cigar punch are generally quite small, measuring from around 6mm to 9mm. You place the blades onto the cap or top of the cigar twisting around and into it to make a hole.

As you can imagine if the blades aren’t sharp this could potentially ruin your cigar and cause an unwanted mess. If you are looking for a cigar punch, ensure it has sharp blades. Our top pick for a cigar punch is the Xikar Pull Out Punch.

Xikar 9MM Punch Gunmetal

Xikar 9MM Punch Gunmetal

Xikar 9MM Punch Gunmetal

Xikar is a very reputable company producing products of very high quality. The pull-out punch is simplistic and very easy to use. It also comes with an easy cleaning mechanism. The key chain makes the Xikar Pull out Punch easy to attach to your keys.

It is also small enough to store in your favorite smoking areas.

How to cut a cigar with a Knife

If you have an extremely sharp knife this is the better choice to go for. Generally, the sharpness of a knife doesn’t compare to that of a cutter or punch so sharpness is key to this option. We know of two methods for using a knife to cut your cigars so as to minimize the potential damage to your cigar.

Method 1 – Slice through the cap in the same way a cutter would. In one swift movement. The important part is that your cigar remains still so you don’t cut it in the wrong place.

If you find it easier, rest it on the table or floor and with as little pressure as possible keep it stable. The key to making the best cut is to do it in one motion so it’s in the one line.

Method 2 –  Using the knife, begin to make a small hole at the head of the cigar.  After carefully making a small hole remove the loose tobacco. The hole needs to be big enough to allow adequate smoke flow.


Try to find someone with long fingernails. Or if you have long fingernails give it a try yourself. What you’ll need to do is with extreme caution take a small part of the wrapper out from the cap. Once you have done this and hopefully not broken the cigar, start to dig a small hole.

Ensure you do this at a slow place so again you don’t ruin the cigar. Once you have created a small hole, tidy around it and remove any loose tobacco. That’s about as best as you’ll be able to get. But hopefully, it is enough.

Punch Like Object Around the Home or Office

This is where you can get crafty. If you can find something small, circular, and very sharp then it should do the job. We have heard of golfers using their golf tees and others using pens to poke a hole.

As long as you can make a small enough hole in the head of the cigar you should be able to smoke it. Of course, you won’t have the same result as a cutter or punch but nonetheless, your cigar will be smokeable.


Please don’t do this. Cutting a cigar with your teeth is going to ruin your cigar along with your tastebuds. The teeth are not sharp enough nor in an exact straight line precise enough to make the cut like those of a cutter.

Not to mention you will probably tear the cigar from the cap and your whole cigar will unwrap. This aside, if you do manage to make a cut you’re tastebuds will be tainted because your mouth is going to be full of tobacco. Please don’t try this method.

The Cuban Cut

Bottom Line

Overall if you don’t have access to a cigar cutter there are other options available. Although we prefer to use a cigar cutter there are times when you need to know the above options. The idea of storing a cigar punch or attaching one to your keys is great, this is a backup solution for many people.

Others rather use a cigar punch over a cutter. In terms of a cigar punch, we recommend the Xikar Pull Out Punch. We hope you found our guide on how to cut a cigar without a cutter useful. Be sure to check out the best golf cigar holder to preserve your cigars on the course.

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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