The closed end of the cigar is referred to as the head. The head is covered by a cap, which a circular or pointed piece of the wrapper tobacco (depending on which style of cigar you are smoking – parejo [straight sided cigar with round head] or figurado [torpedo or other shaped cigars with a pointed head]. The cap is the part of the finished cigar that helps keep the wrapper from unraveling. You will notice a fine line, indicating where the cap is affixed to the cigar (typically referred to as the cap line) with vegetable glue. The junction of the cap line and main body of the cigar is referred to as the shoulder area of the cigar. Many novices believe that the cap line is the area in which the cigar should be cut. Unfortunately, this is not the optimal location on the head of the cigar to remove the cap of a premium cigar in preparation for lighting it.
In actuality, one should make the cut between the closed end of the cigar cap and the cap line (see image at left) to obtain the ideal cut for properly removing the cap from the head of the cigar. If executed properly, this will create the “perfect cigar cut” and allow for a better draw of the cigar smoke and prevent unraveling of the wrapper (this can occur if you cut too much of the cap). A sharp and precise cut will also lessen the likelihood for the binder and filler tobacco to crumble or the cigar wrapper from unraveling. This can be easily accomplished with the guillotine cigar cutters or cigar scissors. If the draw of the cigar is too tight and you are not getting a mouth full of smoke, you might want to consider clipping a tiny bit more of the cap to improve the draw. Of course, if you are using a punch or V-cut, you do not need to worry about cutting the cap as these devices avoid cutting a good portion of the cigar cap (see cutting device options page) and only remove a small portion of the actual cap.
You are now ready to enjoy your premium hand-rolled cigar. Remember, smoking a quality cigar should not be a rushed or frenzied event, but rather a tranquil moment during your day, so find at least 30 – 60 minutes (depending on the length and ring gauge of your cigar) of peaceful time in your day to enjoy the cigar experience, either alone or with your cigar smoking friends. Typically, one should wait approximately 30 to 60 seconds between puffs of your cigar to avoid overheating and bitterness that might come if you smoke the cigar too rapidly. If you do not have much time to enjoy the smoking experience, consider a shorter cigar with a smaller ring gauge.