People have been smoking Cigars for many many years. For that, the quantity of information that you can find about this topic are enormous and can fill all the shelves of a big library.
That is why we considered "Cigar 101" as a place to collect the relative information and present them in a short version and straight to the point.
Enjoy the reading, and always send us your request and questions!
- Technicalities / Accessories
B - ACCESSORIES
When it comes to Cigar Accessories, we are discussing by far the most frequent "gadget" and special item that a Cigar Smoker might use and have. If you look around the world, I bet you will never find one Cigar Aficionado who has only one lighter or one cutter as an example. The reason is that Cigar Accessories have different specs related to their shapes or functionalities.
The main accessories that we will tackle in this section are:
I. Lighters: They are considered as a must tool for Cigar smokers:
In some Cigar clubs and Lounges around the world, it is kind of Etiquette to have your lighter with you when puffing your Cigar, and restrain from borrowing another smoker's lighter. Websites might categorize their own top 5 or top 10 Cigar Lighters, but the categories are only based on Human selection which varies from a place to another and with each person.
Lighters can vary in quality, shape and functionality depending on what an individual is seeking. Some are even equipped with specific tool like Cigar cutter, puncher, beer bottle opener, compass...etc. Based on your preferences, you might buy a lighter that has a single jet flame (Torch style), 2 or more, or you might chose a normal Soft flame especially in case you will not use it in an open area or a Golf field which requires a wind proof lighter, and specifically a jet flame.
When we talk about wind proof lighter, you will think of the famous old Zippo. Regretfully, Zippo is using the jet fuel which is most of the times odorous and contains oil, thus might affect the aroma of your Cigar (except the rare cases of a Zippo blue which uses Butane Gas and has a single Flame).
So in brief, make sure to use normal wooden matches or Butane Gas and avoid the use of odorous jet fuel or candles to light your Cigar.
It is worthy to note that some lounges might offer you Cedar wood pieces (called Cedar Spills) that you find inside a new Cigar Box as a method to light your Cigar, which is also a good odorless source of light. Nowadays, you can buy a bundle of those Cedar sticks for almost peanuts.
PS. You can check our "How To" section which will include a video recording on main problems that might affect your lighter and how to solve it.
There is no rule or Etiquette for a Cigar Ashtray, as long as it can hold the Stogie that you're puffing, and keeps its ashes in one clear zone.
Cigar Ashtrays can be found in different sizes and shapes. They can even be made from glass, metal, crystal... It is normal that you feel you're about to have a collection of Cigar Ashtrays, especially when you start buying one from different countries or different styles. However, when it comes to that specific private and personal time you share with your Cigar, it is always nice to have a special custom made ashtray (if possible) which will be added to your lighter and cutter, to form your own private tools.
When it comes to Cigar cutter, you definitely need a sharp, clean and quick cut that will not damage your Cigar instead of performing its duty accurately.
Cutters can be found in different types, shapes and colors; it is upon you to chose the best that describes your preferences and needs, customized with your special color, logo, initials, or even best sports team... etc.
In general, cutters can be found in 4 major Categories:
They all perform the same task: cutting the cap of your Cigar enabling you to enjoy your puff.
1. A Straight cut of Guillotine Cutter can be found with a single or double blades, and can be used with all Cigar shapes. If performed accurately (check the "How To" section under Cigar 101 - "Technicalities"), it will simply remove the cap without damaging your Cigar. I personally prefer the double blade cutters.
Note that some companies are now producing special cutters that are released automatically to perform a sharp cut.
2. A Punch can make a hole in the Cigar cap instead of cutting it. The inconvenience of the hole is that it will not allow as much smoke to come out especially when it will be blocked with saliva and tobacco as reported by many users. Moreover, a puncher cannot be used for special type of Cigars especially the figurados.
Some Aficionados will like the idea that Cigar punchers are safer then cutters, and most of them are found to be used like a key chain holder.
3. The V-Cut does not remove the cap entirely, but performs a v-cut shape. However, it penetrates more inside the head of the Cigar; so if you are using a cheap type of v-cutter, you might risk to go too much inside and thus cause your Cigar to burn quickly and unevenly.
Question: What do you do in case you need to cut the cap of your Cigar and you have no tools?
Check the video on the side and try it by yourself.
To summarize the Cutter part, you may use 1 or 2 cutters depending on your preferences. However, make sure you are buying a good one as their will become your best friend along with your Cigar lighter, and please make sure not to cut below the cap of you might loosen the wrapper.
In case you had a bad cut, the head of your Cigar will leave unpleasant small part of the Cigar tobacco which will be annoying while puffing; do not commit a big etiquette violation by removing them with your teeth and lips and spitting them around.
And one more thing, a Cigar smoker is supposed to have her/his own Lighter and Cutter anytime he/she is about to enjoy their puff, so try to avoid borrowing the tools.
IT'S ABOUT THE CIGAR... THE PUFF; IT'S ABOUT THE CULTURE!
Cigar Etiquette Pro