Posted by Shakil Isani on 3/3/2017
We have written before about how important it is to properly cut a cigar, but what if the cutter itself fails you? An old or dull cutter can crush, tear, or otherwise ruin a good cigar, leaving you without a smoke. Fortunately, it's possible to do some simple maintenance on an underperforming cutter and hopefully get it back into shape.
The first thing to try is just to wash it. Every time you use a cigar cutter, residue from the cigar builds up on the blades and can end up inside the mechanism. If your cigar cutter gets stuck opening or closing, this may be the reason why. To clean it, soak it in warm water and then wipe off the blades with a cloth. You should be able to remove most of the residue this way. Of course, make sure it's completely dry before you cut another cigar with it.
You can also sharpen the blades with a method used by scrapbook enthusiasts and paper crafters to sharpen their paper punches: use it on aluminum foil! This doesn't technically sharpen your cutters because it does not remove any of the blade's material. Instead, the metal smooths the blade in a process called deburring. Still, the result is much the same: a sharper blade and a cleaner cut. To deburr your cigar cutter, roll some aluminum foil into a tube about the same size as your cigar, and cut repeatedly all the way down its length. Afterward, you should get a much cleaner cut on your cigar!
If neither of these methods works, you may have to take your cutter apart and sharpen the blades manually, which is only worth it for expensive, high-end cutters. It may also be time to simply buy a new one. Try washing and deburring first, though, and spend some time evaluating which cutter to buy next. More expensive isn't always better.
Hopefully, with these tips in mind, your cigar cutter will serve you— and your cigars — well for many years to come.