Step-by-step guide on How to cutting a torpedo cigar like a pro

Whether you’re a seasoned cigar aficionado or just starting to explore the world of cigars, knowing how to properly cut a torpedo cigar is essential. The torpedo shape, with its tapered head, requires a specific cutting technique to ensure an optimal smoking experience. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of cutting a torpedo cigar to perfection.

Step 1: Choose the Right Cutter

Before you begin, it’s important to have the right tool for the job. There are several types of cigar cutters available, but for torpedo cigars, a guillotine cutter or a v-cut cutter works best. These cutters are designed to create a clean, precise cut on the tapered head of a torpedo cigar.

Step 2: Identify the “Shoulder” of the Cigar

The shoulder of a torpedo cigar refers to the point where the body of the cigar starts to taper towards the head. This is an important reference point for making the perfect cut. Take a moment to examine the cigar and locate the shoulder.

Step 3: Position the Cutter

Hold the cutter with your dominant hand and position it just above the shoulder of the cigar. Make sure the blades are fully open and ready for the cut. It’s important to have a steady hand and keep a firm grip on the cigar to ensure a clean and even cut.

Step 4: Make the Cut

With a swift and confident motion, bring the cutter down onto the shoulder of the cigar. It’s important to make a clean, swift cut in one motion to avoid crushing or damaging the cigar. The goal is to create an opening that allows for a smooth draw and an even burn.

Step 5: Inspect the Cut

Once you have made the cut, take a moment to inspect it. The ideal cut should reveal a small opening at the head of the cigar, allowing for a sufficient draw. If the cut is too shallow, you may have difficulty drawing smoke. If the cut is too deep, the cigar may unravel.

Step 6: Toast and Enjoy

With your torpedo cigar properly cut, it’s time to light up and savor the experience. Toast the foot of the cigar with a flame until the tobacco begins to smolder, then take a few slow and steady draws to get the cigar evenly lit. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flavors and aromas of your perfectly cut torpedo cigar.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if your first few cuts aren’t flawless. With a bit of patience and a steady hand, you’ll soon become a master at cutting torpedo cigars and enhancing your smoking experience.

What is a Torpedo Cigar?

A torpedo cigar is a type of cigar that is characterized by its pointed shape at the head. This unique shape gives the cigar a distinctive and elegant appearance. It is named after the torpedo shape of a submarine, as it resembles the tapered front end of the vessel.

The construction of a torpedo cigar is similar to that of a parejo cigar, which is a straight-sided cigar with a rounded head. However, the difference lies in the head of the torpedo cigar, which is tapered to a point. This shape requires a skilled cigar roller to achieve, as it involves carefully shaping the tobacco leaves into a pointed head.

The pointed head of a torpedo cigar has some functional advantages as well. It allows for a more concentrated and controlled draw, which can enhance the flavors and aromas of the tobacco. The taper also helps to concentrate the smoke, resulting in a richer and more intense smoking experience.

Torpedo cigars are typically made in larger sizes, ranging from 5 to 7 inches in length with a ring gauge of 50 to 54. However, there are also smaller torpedo cigars available, known as “petite torpedos,” which are more suitable for those who prefer a shorter smoking time.

Overall, the torpedo cigar is a popular choice among cigar enthusiasts who appreciate its unique shape and enhanced smoking experience. Whether you are a seasoned aficionado or a novice cigar smoker, a torpedo cigar is definitely worth trying to see if it suits your taste.

Pros Cons
Distinctive and elegant appearance Requires skilled cigar roller
Enhanced flavors and aromas Larger sizes may not be suitable for everyone
Richer and more intense smoking experience  

Why Cut a Torpedo Cigar?

When it comes to enjoying a torpedo cigar, the cutting process plays a crucial role in unlocking its rich flavors and delivering an optimal smoking experience. The purpose of cutting a torpedo cigar is to create an opening at the closed end, allowing the smoker to draw air through the cigar and release the flavorful smoke.

Enhanced Draw

A clean and precise cut ensures a proper draw, which is essential for a smooth smoking experience. The tapered shape of a torpedo cigar is designed to concentrate the flavors at the head. By making a clean cut, you allow the flavors and smoke to be distributed evenly throughout the length of the cigar, resulting in a more harmonious and enjoyable smoke.

Controlled Burn

Cutting a torpedo cigar also helps to create an even burn. A properly cut cigar allows for a controlled and consistent burn rate, preventing uneven and lopsided burn that can result in an unpleasant smoking experience. This is especially important for torpedo cigars, as the pointed head requires a precise cut to maintain an even burn throughout the smoking process.

Note: Cutting a torpedo cigar correctly requires some skill and practice to avoid damaging the cigar or affecting the overall smoking experience. It is recommended to use a sharp, cigar-specific cutter or a punch cutter to make a clean and precise cut.

Remember, the way you cut a torpedo cigar can greatly impact your overall smoking experience. Taking the time to cut your cigar correctly will ensure that you fully appreciate the flavors and aromas that the cigar has to offer.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you begin cutting your torpedo cigar, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools. Having the right tools will not only make the process easier but also ensure that you achieve a clean and precise cut.

Cigar Cutter

The most essential tool for cutting a torpedo cigar is a good quality cigar cutter. Choose a cutter specifically designed for this purpose, as it will have a V-shaped notch at the end, allowing for a perfect cut. Make sure your cutter is sharp and clean to avoid damaging the cigar wrapper.

Lighter or Matches

You will also need a reliable lighter or matches to light your cigar after cutting. A butane lighter or wooden matches are ideal, as they provide a clean and consistent flame, which is important for an even burn.

Once you have gathered these tools, you are ready to move on to the next step in cutting your torpedo cigar.

Selecting the Right Cutter

When it comes to cutting a torpedo cigar, selecting the right cutter is crucial to ensure a clean and precise cut. There are several types of cutters available on the market, each offering a different style of cut. Here are a few options to consider:

Straight Cutters:

One of the most common and versatile types of cigar cutters is the straight cutter. This cutter features a straight blade that makes a clean cut across the cap of the cigar. Straight cutters are known for their simplicity and are suitable for most cigar shapes, including torpedos. To use a straight cutter, simply place the cap of the cigar inside the opening and apply pressure to make a swift cut.


Another popular choice for cutting torpedos is the V-cutter. This cutter creates a V-shaped notch in the cap of the cigar, allowing for a more concentrated flow of smoke. V-cutters are often preferred by cigar enthusiasts who enjoy a deeper draw and want to emphasize the flavors. To use a V-cutter, insert the cigar into the opening and press gently to make the cut.

Punch Cutters:

Punch cutters are a unique option for cutting torpedos. These cutters create a small hole in the cap of the cigar, providing a concentrated and controlled draw. Punch cutters are often chosen for their convenience and ability to deliver a consistent cut. To use a punch cutter, simply insert the circular blade into the cap of the cigar, twist it, and remove the cut piece.

Ultimately, the choice of cutter is a personal preference. Some cigar enthusiasts prefer a straight cut for its simplicity and versatility, while others prefer a V-cut or punch cutter for their unique qualities. It’s a good idea to experiment with different cutters to find the one that best suits your smoking style and enhances your enjoyment of a torpedo cigar.

Other Tools You May Need

In addition to a quality cigar cutter, there are a few other tools that can enhance your cigar cutting experience. While these tools are not necessary, they can make the process easier and more enjoyable.

1. A cigar punch: A cigar punch is a small tool that creates a small hole in the cap of the cigar. This allows for a different smoking experience, as the punch creates a smaller opening compared to a traditional cut. Some cigar enthusiasts prefer the punch for certain cigars, as it can provide a more concentrated flavor profile.

2. A cigar scissors: Cigar scissors are an alternative to a cigar cutter. They are specially designed to cut the cap of a cigar cleanly and evenly. Some cigar smokers prefer scissors over cutters, as they believe it provides a more precise cut and minimizes the risk of damaging the wrapper.

3. A cigar draw enhancer: A cigar draw enhancer is a tool used to improve the airflow of a cigar. It is inserted into the head of the cigar and creates a small passageway to help ensure a smooth and even draw. This tool can be useful for cigars that have a tight draw or are packed too tightly.

4. A cigar ashtray: While not directly related to cutting a cigar, having a dedicated ashtray can make the overall cigar smoking experience more enjoyable. A cigar ashtray is designed to hold the ash and cigar securely, preventing any accidental tipping or ash spills. It is typically larger and more accommodating than a regular ashtray.

Remember, these tools are optional and may not be necessary for everyone. However, experimenting with different tools can be a fun way to uncover new cigar smoking techniques and enhance your overall enjoyment.

Step 2: Inspect the Cigar

Before cutting your torpedo cigar, it’s important to inspect it to ensure its quality and condition. Follow these steps:

  1. Check the wrapper: Examine the wrapper leaf for any visible imperfections such as discoloration, tears, or bumps. A high-quality cigar should have a smooth, seamless wrapper without any major flaws.
  2. Squeeze the cigar: Gently squeeze the cigar to test its firmness. A properly rolled cigar should be firm but not too hard or too soft. Avoid cigars that feel mushy or unevenly packed, as this might affect the draw and burn.
  3. Smell the foot: Take a moment to smell the foot of the cigar, which is the end you’ll be lighting. A properly stored and cured cigar should have a pleasant aroma, free from any moldy or musty smells.
  4. Feel for any lumps: Run your fingers along the length of the cigar to check for any lumps or irregularities. A well-constructed cigar should have an even consistency throughout its body.
  5. Inspect the cap: Look at the cap, which is the closed end of the cigar that you’ll be cutting. The cap should be neatly applied and secure. Avoid cigars with loose or poorly attached caps, as this may indicate a lower quality construction.

By inspecting the cigar before cutting, you can ensure that you have a high-quality cigar that will provide an enjoyable smoking experience.

Checking for Quality

Before cutting your torpedo cigar, it’s important to inspect it for quality. This step ensures that you have a well-made cigar that will provide an enjoyable smoking experience.

1. Examining the Wrapper

Start by examining the wrapper, which is the outermost leaf of the cigar. Look for any tears, cracks, or discoloration. A high-quality wrapper should be smooth, evenly colored, and free of imperfections.

2. Inspecting the Band

The band is the piece of paper or fabric that wraps around the cigar. Check that it is properly affixed and in good condition. A well-made band should be straight and not loose or wrinkled.

Note: Some cigar enthusiasts prefer to remove the band before smoking, while others leave it on. It’s a matter of personal preference.

3. Feeling the Cigar

Gently squeeze the cigar between your fingers to assess its firmness. It should be slightly springy and have an even density throughout. Avoid cigars that feel too soft or hard, as they may not burn properly.

4. Smelling the Cigar

Bring the cigar close to your nose and take a sniff. A well-made cigar should have a pleasant, earthy aroma. If you detect any musty or unpleasant smells, it may be an indication of improper storage or a low-quality cigar.

Note: It’s normal for a cigar to have a slightly strong smell due to the tobacco, but it should not have any foul or overpowering odors.

5. Checking the Construction

Inspect the cigar for any lumps, soft spots, or irregularities. A well-constructed cigar should have a uniform shape and be packed evenly throughout. It should not have any rips or holes.

Note: Keep in mind that handmade cigars may have slight variations in their construction, which can add to their charm and character.

Quality Indicator Characteristics to Look For
Shape Straight and uniform
Color Even and consistent
Firmness Springy when squeezed
Aroma Pleasant and earthy
Construction Evenly packed with no rips or holes

By checking for quality before cutting your torpedo cigar, you can ensure a pleasurable smoking experience and get the most out of your cigar.

Examining the Wrapper

One of the most important aspects of cutting a torpedo cigar is understanding and examining its wrapper. The wrapper is the outermost layer of the cigar, and it plays a crucial role in both the appearance and flavor of the cigar.

There are several factors to consider when examining the wrapper of a torpedo cigar:

1. Color:

The color of the wrapper can indicate the type of tobacco used in the cigar. Common wrapper colors include claro (light brown), Colorado (reddish-brown), and maduro (dark brown). The color can also give you a hint about the strength and flavor profile of the cigar.

2. Texture:

The texture of the wrapper can vary from smooth to rough, depending on the type of tobacco and the way it was processed. A smoother wrapper is typically a sign of higher quality.

3. Veins:

Veins are natural imperfections in the tobacco leaf and can be more prominent in some wrappers than others. While some veins are normal and do not affect the smoking experience, excessive veins can impact the burn and draw of the cigar.

By examining the wrapper of a torpedo cigar, you can get an idea of its overall quality and potential flavor profile. It’s important to handle the cigar with care during this step to avoid damaging the delicate wrapper.

Wrapper Color Typical Flavor Characteristics
Claro (light brown) Mild, smooth, creamy
Colorado (reddish-brown) Medium-bodied, rich, nutty
Maduro (dark brown) Full-bodied, bold, chocolatey

The wrapper is just one element of a cigar, but it can provide valuable insight into the smoking experience you can expect. By carefully examining the wrapper of your torpedo cigar, you can enhance your enjoyment of the cigar.

Step 3: Find the Cap

Once you have examined the cigar and familiarized yourself with its shape and size, it’s time to locate the cap. The cap is the rounded end of the cigar that is sealed shut to keep the tobacco filler in place.

To find the cap, look for a small, circular piece of tobacco leaf located on the head of the cigar. This leaf will be darker in color and may have a slightly different texture than the rest of the wrapper leaf.

Identifying the cap is important because it will determine where you make the cut on the cigar. Cutting below the cap can damage the structure of the cigar and may cause it to unravel while smoking.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble finding the cap, gently squeeze the cigar near the head and look for where it compresses. This is likely where the cap is located.

Once you have located the cap, you’re ready to move on to the next step: cutting the cigar.

Locating the Cap

Before cutting a torpedo cigar, it is important to locate the cap. The cap is the rounded end of the cigar that is sealed with tobacco leaf. It is essential to find the cap because that is the part you want to cut to ensure a smooth draw and prevent the wrapper from unraveling.

To identify the cap, inspect the cigar carefully. Look for the end where the wrapper leaf meets the tobacco filler. The cap is generally darker in color and can sometimes be slightly raised or have a small bump. You may also see a thin strip of tobacco leaf that is attached to the cap, known as the flag.

Check for the cap line

In addition to visual cues, another way to locate the cap is to feel for the cap line. Run your finger along the length of the cigar, starting from the head towards the foot. The cap line is a small ridge or line that you can feel on the wrapper. It indicates where the cap ends and the body of the cigar begins.

Once you have located the cap, you are ready to move on to the next step, which is selecting the right cutting tool.

Q&A: How to cut a torpedo cigar

What are cigar scissors, and how are they used to cut a cigar?

Cigar scissors are specialized cutting tools designed to precisely trim the cap off a cigar before smoking, ensuring a clean and even cut.

What is the significance of cutting a premium cigar properly?

Cutting a premium cigar properly ensures an optimal smoking experience by allowing for a smooth draw and even burning, preserving the flavor and aroma of the cigar.

What is the recommended way to cut the end of a cigar?

The recommended way to cut the end of a cigar is using a sharp cigar cutter or scissors at a 45-degree angle to create an ample opening while preventing unraveling.

Are there different types of cuts for cigars, such as figurados and belicosos?

Yes, figurados and belicosos are cigar shapes with tapered or pointed ends, requiring specific cutting techniques to maintain their intended design and smoking characteristics.

How does the surface area of the cut affect the smoking experience?

The surface area of the cut determines the draw resistance and airflow through the cigar, influencing the intensity of flavors and overall smoking satisfaction.

Why is it essential to cut the end of a cigar at a precise angle?

Cutting the end of a cigar at a precise angle ensures an adequate opening for airflow while minimizing the risk of unraveling or damaging the wrapper leaf.

What role does the palate play in cigar smoking?

The palate, or sense of taste, is crucial in experiencing the nuanced flavors and complexities of different cigars, influenced by factors such as blend, construction, and aging.

How does the method of cutting a cigar affect the exposure of the filler tobacco?

The method of cutting a cigar determines the size and shape of the opening, directly impacting the exposure of the filler tobacco to the smoker’s palate and senses.

Are there any specific techniques for cutting cigars with pointed ends, such as belicosos?

Cigars with pointed ends, like belicosos, require careful cutting to preserve their shape and prevent unraveling, often involving a straight or V-cut method to maintain the integrity of the cap.

Why is it recommended to cut a cigar at a 45-degree angle?

Cutting a cigar at a 45-degree angle helps create an adequate opening while reducing the risk of the cap unraveling or causing structural damage to the cigar’s wrapper.

What is the preferred way to cut a torpedo-shaped cigar?

The preferred way to cut a torpedo-shaped cigar is with a double guillotine cutter, making a straight, angled cut at the tapered head to ensure an optimal draw.

How do you make your cut when preparing to smoke a cigar?

When preparing to smoke a cigar, it’s essential to make a clean cut just above the cap using a sharp cutter to ensure an even draw and prevent unraveling.

What is the significance of the cigar’s cap when considering how to cut it?

The cigar’s cap is the small piece of wrapper leaf at the head that seals the cigar. When cutting, it’s crucial not to remove too much of the cap to maintain the cigar’s structural integrity.

Why is it important to cut the very tip of the cigar’s head?

Cutting the very tip of the cigar’s head ensures a clean opening for airflow, allowing the smoker to fully enjoy the flavors and aromas of the cigar.

What is the preferred technique for cutting tapered or figurado-shaped cigars?

For tapered or figurado-shaped cigars, such as torpedoes, it’s best to use a double guillotine cutter and make a straight, angled cut to preserve the shape and ensure an even draw.

How do cigar makers typically cut the cap of a cigar before packaging?

Cigar makers typically use a straight cutter to remove the cap at the head of the cigar, ensuring it’s adequately sealed before packaging.

What steps should you take to ensure you’re satisfied with the draw after making your cut?

After making your cut, it’s essential to take a draw from the cigar to ensure the airflow is sufficient and adjust the cut if necessary for a satisfying smoking experience.

Why is it recommended to hold the cigar steady while cutting?

Holding the cigar steady while cutting helps ensure a clean and precise cut, preventing damage to the wrapper and ensuring an even burn.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when cutting a cigar?

Common mistakes to avoid when cutting a cigar include cutting too much of the cap, using a dull cutter, and making an uneven or jagged cut that can affect the smoking experience.

What is the purpose of pressing the cutter flat on a table before making the cut?

Pressing the cutter flat on a table ensures stability and precision when making the cut, preventing slippage and ensuring a clean, even cut of the cigar’s cap.