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Cutting a Torpedo Cigar: Tips and Techniques to Enjoy the Perfect Draw

Written by Cesar Escamilla, Certified Retail Tobacconist, The Cigar Box

A person cutting the head of a Oliva cigar with a cigar cutter.
How to cut a torpedo or figurado-shaped cigar.

We’ve explored how to cut and light your cigar and how the type of cutter you choose can affect how your cigar smokes. When new cigar enthusiasts begin experimenting with different shapes, it’s important to know how different cutters affect a cigar’s draw.

Figurados (or figured shapes) like a Torpedo, Pyramid, and Belicoso taper at the head. The head is where you find the cap. The cap is the tobacco leaf that covers the head of the cigar. The head of the cigar, covered by the cap, is the end of the cigar you cut. The end you light is referred to as the foot of the cigar. The goal of any cut is to keep it minimal.

Generally, because Figurado-shaped cigars require more skill to roll, they cost a little more than standard Parejos, or non-tapered cigars, like a Corona, Robusto, or a Toro. That’s why you shouldn’t cut a Torpedo too deep. The pointed head is deliberately designed to concentrate the smoke directly onto your palate more intensely. You’re likely to get more tobacco in your mouth and your cigar’s wrapper can start to unravel if you cut too much off. Here are the most effective methods for cutting a Torpedo cigar.

Cutting a Torpedo with a Straight Cutter A straight cutter is the easiest and most common way to cut a Torpedo cigar. Any straight cutter will work a single guillotine, double guillotine, or cigar scissors. The key here, again, is not to cut too deep. Just cut the tip of the head of the cigar to start and draw from the cigar to see if enough air is passing through it. If not, cut a little more off.

Some guys will lay a straight cutter flat on a table and cut the head of the cigar that fits through the blades but is buffered by the tabletop – that way, it’s impossible to cut too much off. Cut just enough of the cap off to get a good draw.

Should I Cut a Torpedo at an Angle? It’s less common, but some guys like to cut Torpedo-shaped cigars at an angle. You can do this by angling the blade at a 35 or 45-degree angle. This method preserves the cigar’s taper but encourages a slightly bigger or more open draw. The only drawback is that the cigar's draw may not pull equally. If you decide to cut at an angle, closely monitor the ash at the foot of the cigar to ensure your cigar burns evenly.

Can You Cut a Torpedo with a V-Cutter? Sure. Cutting a Torpedo with a V-cutter preserves the integrity of the shape of a cigar with a tapered head. Technically, a V-cut (a cat’s eye or a wedge cut) pulls smoke from the top and the bottom portions of the cigar equally and blends the stream of smoke directly on your palate for added concentration. Many feature a deep aperture for a stable cut designed to increase the surface area of the draw. If you cut a Torpedo with a V-cutter and find the draw too tight, you can always cut the cigar a little deeper with a guillotine cutter to open it up more.

Can You Cut a Torpedo with a Punch Cutter? No. Thanks to a few simple geometric principles, the answer to this question should be pretty straightforward. But, in case you need further explanation, the cylindrical blade on a punch cutter is not equipped to drill into a Torpedo or any tapered cigar shape. Doing so will only severely mar the head of your cigar, in which case, you would be better off biting the cap off with your teeth.

Thank you for reading and visit us at The Cigar Box for help choosing and cutting your next cigar!

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