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Beginners Cigar Guide - When to use a Punch vs a Guillotine Cutter

5th Jul 2021

Hi, and welcome to another episode of Mondays with Mardo. I'm Gerard and this is the beginner's guide on when to use a cigar punch versus a cigar guillotine cutter. But before I get going, I need you to click on that subscribe button, click on the bell to be notified every single week of new episodes on Mondays with Mardo.

All right. So I have been asked many, many times what is a better tool, the guillotine cutter or a punch. It does come down to preference; however, there are certain situations where you cannot use both, you have to use one or the other, and today's guidance is exactly what the intent is here. Traditionally, cigars are offered in Robusto, you have it in Churchill, the Toro, the Gordo, and you have the Corona. In these cigar sizes you can use either. You can use a punch. Right here I have a Robusto and you see the punch right here. I can just go ahead and punch the top of the cigar and voila. I can go ahead and get a draw and I just got a little bit of debris there, or I can use a cigar guillotine and voila, and therefore I got the purpose of the guillotine cut, or I got a punch, I can smoke the cigar now.

Exceptions to the rule. A Figurado that has a 64 ring gauge at the foot and a 49 ring gauge at the cap with a shaggy little tail is not going to really work well with a punch. You're definitely going to need a guillotine cutter, so therefore you can snap off all of that, that you see right there, so therefore you can get a draw on a cigar and be able to smoke it. A punch was just not going to do the job. So in that case, the punch fails, the cutter wins.

Now next, when it comes to a Lancero, very small ring gauge. Most Lanceros are under the 40 ring gauge, 38, 36, so therefore you're not going to be able to really use a punch. Now, could you force it? Absolutely. As you can see right here, it looks like it can fit, but now what you are presenting is the potential for it to crack right down the line right here and therefore you don't want to wedge a punch into it. So if you want to be a little bit more delicate, a little bit more precise, you definitely want to use a cutter in this situation so therefore you can make sure that when you are putting the punch, that you're not going to be able to crack the side of the cigar, so we don't want that to happen. So on a Lancero, I highly recommend a guillotine cut. So there's that example as well.

Now, box-pressed cigars. For the longest, I've always used a punch on box-pressed cigars. I just like it because it's cleaner and it gives it this justification. Since it's box-pressed, the surface area is not as round. It's a little bit more square, so therefore it's going to be a little bit more of a flat surface, so therefore I can present the cutter perfectly just like that and I get a very, very good incision into the cigar. Now, I can also use a cutter, so therefore at this point, it's going to be preference. There you go. Voila.

Now, bigger ring gauge cigars, I have learned that it's better to punch it. And when I say bigger ring gauge cigars, anything above a 60 ring gauge, like this right here. This is the El Septimo Double Shot and it's a 68 ring gauge. It's a fat little cigar. I can absolutely use a guillotine cutter; however, what's going to happen is when I cut this cigar the surface area is going to be very exposed and therefore I have to make sure that I have a very good seal around the cigar to get a very, very good draw. That can be somewhat tiring because I want to relax when I smoke a cigar. So I have learned on very big grain cigars, so therefore I don't have to commit so much, I can use a punch and voila, I got my little incision cut into the cigar. I can get a draw out of it.

And if that doesn't work, I can always use a little bit bigger ring gauge punch, and I'll try that again. The reason why I'm doing this is because big ring gauge cigars, I have cut them and I have to really make sure my lip gets around the whole entire cigar so therefore I can get that good draw, that good vacuum seal to get a good draw from the cigar. And it gets a little bit tiring so therefore when I do a punch, I can just kind of do it off to the side, just like that. I don't have to commit to so much of my lips, so therefore I don't have to have that complete seal.

So the punch in very big ring gauge cigars definitely is the win and that's where I'm going to use. Anyways, this will conclude our guidance to which cigar cutter you should use, a punch versus a guillotine. But let me know in the comments what is your preference. Other than that, I will see you guys next week. But remember to follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook and remember to tell your friends to subscribe to our YouTube channel. I'll see you guys next week. Bye.