Cigar lovers will tell you about different factors contributing to every cigar smoking experience with each unique type of cigar.
While cigar brands and types matter, a wide range of cigar accessories, such as cutters and humidors, are also important.
Regardless of what quality cigar you smoke, using a cutter on cigars can efficiently bring out a full-bodied flavor.
That said, what’s the difference between a straight cutter, a well-made V-cutter, and a punch cutter?
Do you know how to use a cigar punch?
We’ll answer all these questions and more.
What Is a Cigar Punch?
If you just discovered the cigar punch, you’re probably wondering what it is and what it does.
Simply put, a cigar punch gently punches circular holes from the cap of cigars while keeping its edges intact.
Another name for the cigar punch cutter is bullet cutter, mainly because of the finely cut perforation it leaves and its usual bullet-shaped design.
Also, know that depending on your preferred cigar cutting method and varying cigar shapes, the style of cigar cutter also varies.
Other traditional cigar cutter styles include the guillotine cigar cutter, the single blade cutter, and the cigar scissors.
Unlike traditional cigar cutters that use a dual blade, a spring-loaded cigar punch uses a retractable cylindrical blade.
The Many Shapes of Cigars
Generally, there are two main classifications of common cigar shapes: the Figurado and the Parejo.
The Hispanic word “figurado” means figurative. In the case of cigars, figurado stogies signify stylized shapes, such as the pointed-capped Torpedos and bulging Perfectos.
Cigar aficionados will tell you that many kinds of cigar shapes, when not perfectly straight-edged, fall under the Figurado category.
Figurado cigars are cut best using a straight cut or a V-cut.
Cigar punch cutters don’t work well with some Figurado cigars, such as the Torpedo kind, because the cap tapers to a point.
Cutting a Torpedo cigar with a cigar punch can be problematic, as it may leave messy bits of tobacco falling from the cap.
On the other hand, the Spanish term “parejo,” directly translated to English, means “equal.”
Parejo cigars are perfectly cylindrical, with one end flat and the other semispherical, called the cigar cap.
A cigar hole punch can leave a clean-cut aperture on almost any Parejo or rounded cap cigar, depending on its ring gauge.
There is almost always no loose tobacco exiting the hole, unless, of course, when using a cigar punch with a poor-quality blade.
You can always find premium cigar punches that cut a perfect draw hole.
Nevertheless, any regular cigar punch can be an essential item for most Parejo cigar smokers.
Why Punch the Cap of a Cigar?
Any cigar cutter is a cigar aficionado’s best friend when it comes to expecting a clean draw.
Cutting a cigar, in any way, including punching the cap, intensifies the draw.
Whereas straight cuts and V-shaped cuts open up a larger cross-sectional area of a cigar, punched holes are usually smaller.
As such, punch cutters are ideal for cigar smokers who enjoy a tighter draw.
With the narrower draw resulting from a small punched hole, the mixture of heat, smoke, and oils intensifies.
It is easier to find a bullet punch for wider cigars than for thinner cigars.
How to Use a Cigar Punch Step-by-Step
Learning how to use a cigar punch is easy, as it only involves these six easy steps:
Step 1. Get Your Cigar Ready
First and foremost, take a clean cigar from its box or humidor.
Be sure it is the right kind to avoid creating a mess of tobacco bits and wasting the fine filler in your cigar.
Remember, Torpedo cigars have a pointy cap, which means a cigar punch doesn’t work well with them.
If you have cigars in different shapes, it would be best to have the right kind of cutter for each type.
Step 2. Have the Right Punch Cutter
Cigar punch cutters come in varying cylindrical blade diameters.
Since cigars have different ring gauge dimensions, you must have the right-sized cigar punch.
Of course, the blade’s diameter should be at least a few millimeters shorter than the ring gauge of your cigar.
Keep in mind that the narrower the punched hole, the tighter the draw, and the greater the aperture, the looser and easier the draw.
Step 3. Open Your Cigar Punch
Once you’re sure you have a round-capped cigar on hand, get your punch cutter ready.
Cigar cutter prep work varies depending on the type of cigar punch you have.
It probably has a cover if your accessory has a fixed cylindrical blade.
Remove its cover and firmly hold its shaft between your thumb and index finger.
On the other hand, if your cigar punch has a retractable blade, grip it like a stick and position your thumb over the mechanical pusher.
Other retractable models have a twist-type mechanism that works like any ordinary lipstick.
Step 4. Penetrate the Cigar Wrapper Gently
Position the cylindrical blade over the central portion of the cigar cap.
Apply light pressure on the blade’s handle and twist the blade using a gentle back-and-forth motion.
Using a swift motion is inadvisable, as the blade could cut bits of tobacco filler instead of just the wrapper.
Step 5. Pull the Blade Out
After making a hole on the wrapper at the cigar cap, pull the blade out gently.
Check that you don’t leave layers of wrapper material after removing the blade.
Step 6. Cover the Blade
Working with and around sharp objects can be hazardous to you and others around you.
Before lighting up your cigar, be sure to retract or cover the blade on your cigar punch.
Step 7. Discard Wrapper Bits
At this point, your hole-punching session is essentially over.
You took the right steps once you see that you only cut the central cap area and only a round piece of wrapper needs discarding.
The only thing left to do is to ignite your cigar and bask in its flavor.
Punch ‘Em With Style
A punch cutter is the perfect cigar gift for those who enjoy round-capped cigars.
It is essential if you like the Sin Compromiso Seleccion No. 5 Parejo.
On the other hand, you’re better off with a different type of cigar cutter if you prefer the JFR Lunatic Loco El Gran Loco.
If you’re looking for a quality cigar punch to use or to give away as a gift, check out the Xikar 9mm Punch Silver.