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How to cut a torpedo cigar: The proper way to prepare the unique size

Torpedo Cigars up close from Oliva, Ramon Bueso, and Padilla.
Briley Kenney / The Manual

You don’t want to take too much off the top when cutting a cigar, just enough to let the smoke and flavors pass through. But all bets are off when cutting an unusual size, like a torpedo cigar. That’s because the head — the end where you cut — is shaped like the sharp edge of a torpedo. It comes to a point that can make cutting, at least with traditional cutters and tools, a bit contentious. So, if you’ve never had the pleasure of smoking a torpedo-style cigar before, you might find yourself a little confused when prepping for the experience. This guide will walk you through how to cut a torpedo cigar, point out some things you might want to know, and I’ll even share a few of my favorite torpedo smokes. Let’s discuss.

How to cut a torpedo cigar the right way

how to smoke a cigar
Genevieve Poblano / The Manual

If you’re learning how to cut a cigar, you can always start with our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide. The trick is to snip a little off the head, not a huge chunk, to let the smoke pass through the cigar, delivering loads of flavor and nuance as you draw through it. A common mistake beginners make is to chop off too much, especially when using a straight cutter. If this is your first time, I highly recommend — it’s a style of cutter that has a backstop behind the guillotine so you don’t chop too much off.

But when cutting a torpedo cigar, you might want to cut a little more off. Start by snipping just the tip of the cigar using a quick, slicing motion with whatever cutter you have. Place it on your lips and see how it feels. If you don’t like how it comes to a slight point, cut a little more off and try again. You’re done when you’re satisfied with the feel of the cigar, and you’re sure there will be a decent draw. You can test the draw by placing it to your lips and subtly pulling air through the cigar. You’ll also taste a little natural flavor this way.

Although you’re cutting the head of the torpedo cigar more than once, you don’t want to chop too much off, so be mindful of that.

Other cutting methods for torpedo cigars:

  • Use a V-cut
  • Use a traditional table cutter
  • Use cigar scissors
  • Use the Dickman cut (a 45-degree angled straight cut)

When you’re ready to light it, you can use your preferred method for lighting cigars. There’s no special trick or process to it.

Why are torpedo cigars the way that they are?

It might surprise you, but the tapered head of a torpedo cigar is specifically designed to deliver more concentrated flavors to your palate. The smoke isn’t just channeled through the cigar but into a more focused area at the head. Moreover, most torpedos use a broader or wider ring gauge, meaning the cigar rollers can pack more into them.

One of the benefits of torpedo cigars is that people who usually prefer to smoke smaller ring gauges because of their comfort level or preferences can now enjoy smoking a definitively larger cigar. With the right torpedo cigar, the intensity is a bit higher, giving you a one-of-a-kind experience overall.

What are some good torpedo cigar recommendations?

I’m glad you asked! Here are a few torpedo-style cigars that I enjoy smoking and can recommend to anyone looking to get into the hobby:

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Briley Kenney
Briley has been writing about consumer electronics and technology for over a decade. When he's not writing about deals for…
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