One of the first problems you’re likely to encounter when you first start smoking cigars is the question of how much of the cigar cap should I remove with the cutter. This is a sticky question.
You should remove as little of the cap as possible, while still providing you with the type of smoke that you prefer. Some cutters will be better at this than others. For instance, punch cutters remove virtually none of the cap. V-cutters remove only a v-shaped piece of the cap. In addition, v-cutters have a back on the cutter itself that prevents the cigar from being loaded too far in.
Straight cutters (guillotine cutters) are another matter entirely. These are excellent tools for creating a very wide opening on the cigar. This fosters the best flow of smoke through the body, but it can also cause problems. Straight cutters have no back to guard against putting the cigar in too far. This can lead to removing too much of the cap.
Ideally, you want to remove a small portion of the cap, up to the line where it joins the body is best. Going any further than this will cut into the wrapper and can actually make the cigar begin unrolling. Obviously, you can’t smoke your cigar correctly if it begins unraveling. Therefore, it’s important that you keep the cap cutting to a minimum. If you find that it’s too difficult to cut the cap correctly using a straight cutter, you can opt for a different style. Both v-cutters and punch cutters can help you avoid this problem completely.
Some other cutting tools are even more problematic. For instance, using a cutter with a dull blade is far more likely to tear the cap than to cut it, resulting in too much cap being removed. Knowing the best options for cutting a cigar and how to make proper use of your tools will help ensure that you don’t cut too much off.How Much of the Cigar Cap Should I Remove? by David Sabot