Cigar Cutter vs Punch: 7 Significant Differences

Smoking a cigar is much more than lighting it for a quick puff. 

A cigar is very different from a cigarette. If you have to explain the difference in proper terms, a cigar is way up the cultural ladder. Cigar smoking is more than just an addiction. It’s a mark of sophistication. Thus treating it with respect is mandatory.

Of course, you know all this since you are here. 

Today’s discussion is about what you do to smoke a cigar. Once you pick up a cigar to smoke, you need an opening to smoke it through. This is where you meet the cigar cutter vs punch debate. 

But before we proceed further let’s, know a bit about these two cigar accessories in detail. 

Cigar cutter vs Punch: Description

Cigar cutter:

Using a cigar cutter, you can create the most precise cutting. There are multiple cigar cutters, all with one purpose- to cut off the cigar’s end cap.

However, if you are using a cutter, you need to take certain precautions. You can only trim a certain amount of the cigar cap.

If you cut too deep, you will impact the cigar’s arrangement, which will mess up your smoking experience. 

Pro tip: Cut up to a few millimeters.

The cutter blade moves like a slider, almost like guillotine, and in a moment, you successfully snap your cigar cap. 

Cigar Punch hole:

As the name suggests, this instrument does not cut off the cigar cap but punches a hole at the cap’s top. You smoke using this hole. 

A punch hole is a device with a button. The cigar is attached to the end of the device, and the button is pushed. This button ejects the blade, which punches a hole in the cigar. 

Once the hole is made, the blade is retracted. The excess material comes out with it, and you are left with an excellent cylinder-shaped hole to help you smoke. 

However, a punch cutter makes a small hole in the cigar, which provides less smoke. But again, it’s your personal choice. 

Whether or not you can use a punch hole will depend on the type of cigar you are smoking. While you can use a punch cutter on thicker cigars, this accessory is not ideal for a new one. 

But that is not the only difference. There are a few more to look into:

Cigar cutter vs Punch: Other Significant Differences


Mostly, all cutters are designed in a guillotine style. It cuts off the cigar cap quickly. A punch cutter blade goes right through the cigar’s cap. It has to be twisted slightly to make a hole.   


The punch cutter creates a small hole in the cigar. For many smokers, this small opening is not enough for the smoke to pass through. Thus such a hole produces less smoke. On the other hand, slicing the cap creates a more potent and thicker smoke. 


If you are a cigar enthusiast, you know that the amount of smoke produced is inversely proportional to the flavor. Since a punch creates a small hole, it does not leave much space for the air to travel. Thus the taste of the cigar is also compromised. On the flip side, a cutter results in a stronger smoke with better flavor.


If the size is your concern, then a punch cutter is a better option for you than a cutter. A punch cutter is a small tool that you can carry in your pocket. However, cutters are not that small.


Cutting a cigar cap can get tricky for first-timers. You require a bit of practice to cut with precision. So, chances of making mistakes remain. If you are using a punch cutter and commit a folly, you can always use a cigar cutter to fix the problem. But if you go wrong with your cigar cutter and slice off the cap too much, your smoking experience will go wrong.


For first-timers using a punch cutter is simpler. There is a slim chance of you destroying the cigar cap. However, with a cigar cutter, you have more chances of going wrong. Plus, if the cut is too deep with a cutter, then loose tobacco might come into your mouth during smoking. 

Tar buildup:

If you are using a punch cutter, tar will buildup at the cigar’s end due to the small hole. This, in turn, ruins the cigar’s taste, whereas, with a cutter, such an issue is avoided. 

Cigar cutter vs Punch: Advantages of Cigar Punch

However, some cigar connoisseurs see cigar punch cutters positively for the following reasons:

Ideal on the go:

Since most punch cutters are small, they are attached to a keychain. This is ideal for an on-the-go smoker.

Easy to use:

As mentioned earlier, you cannot make a mistake with a punch cutter. All you need to do is punch the right end of the cigar, push and twist the device lightly and then pull it out. 

Unique flavor:

A punch hole makes a small opening. In fact, it produces the smallest gap of all the cutters. That means when you take a puff off a cigar with a punch hole; the smoke hits your tongue directly. It gives a rich burst of flavor, which is appreciated. 

However, some smokers don’t feel that way. So it’s your choice. 

Cigar cutters, too, have some unique advantages that you should consider before making your decision.

Cigar cutter vs Punch: Advantages of cigar cutters


You may not want to smoke your entire cigar at a go. Especially if you are just starting, having a whole cigar can be challenging in a limited time. Of course, you don’t want to throw it away either. A cigar cutter can help you here. You can cut off a portion and save it for later use. 

Useful for thick cigars:

Cigars come in different shapes and sizes. Some are narrow, while others might be thick. You cannot use a punch hole on all, especially on the narrow ones. This is where you need a cigar cutter.

Impact on flavor:

Many smokers have noted that the way they cut the cigars affects the flavor. A guillotine-style cutter will provide a wider surface area to draw more smoke. 

Cigar cutter vs Punch: Which One to Choose? 

The differences between the two are apparent. The cutter cuts off the cap entirely while the other punches a hole. As a standard cigar smoker, you can use both. However, aficionados prefer a cigar cutter over a punch cutter for its advantages and style. However, it is ultimately your choice to pick one that suits your taste.

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