Cigar Cutting - A Review of the Cutter from Xikar
- Thursday, 06 June 2013
Cigar Cutter Review - Rupert Mackintosh Reviews a Cutter from Xikar
Previously we looked at the different ways of cutting a cigar. Today we will discuss the excellent range of cutters from leading American firm Xikar.
(The excellent Cigar Cutter from Xikar)
Xikar cutters have pretty much revolutionised the cigar world. Back when I first started smoking, you generally had a few options for cuts; cheap plastic guillotines, expensive guillotines, or cigar scissors. As an aside, does anyone else have strong associations with the 1980’s whenever they see a large pair of cigar scissors? Maybe it’s just me!
With the arrival of Xikar, all this changed. Xikar originated from ‘sikar’, the Spanish spelling of the Taino word for Cigar. The Taino peoples were the native occupants of regions such as Cuba, where Christopher Columbus explored while discovering Tobacco. By the time production started in 1998, the business started with two friends who had a passion for the best quality solutions available.
So what exactly is a Xikar cutter then?
The cutter operates by a double-guillotine scissor action, using a bottom hinge point with an internal spring to release the cutter to the open position. In English, this means it’s built like two guillotine cutters in one, so rather than one side being cut while the other is crushed into a bit of plastic, you get to apply equal pressure to both side of the stick, creating a clean, crisp cut every time. The design is really ergonomically and easy to hold, and folds away (or rather locks away automatically) when not in use.
The blades are razor sharp when they arrive, but fortunately you really have to be mucking around with it to actually touch them with your fingers – it would be very hard to hurt yourself with these and unlike scissors, they are utterly portable.
Speaking of blade sharpness and portability, this is where Xikar Inc really come into their own.
All cutters have a LIFETIME WARRANTY – when the blades become blunt, you pop the cutter into a jiffy bag, mail it off to them, and they sharpen them and send them back (free of charge). If the cutter itself is looking a bit tired, they replace it! I have done this with my first Xikar cutter, and I can absolutely vouch for this service, frankly, it’s amazing. To help with the portability, everyone who registers their Xikar product gets a free leather sheath for travel and storage.
The range itself is massive, with designs and styles to suit all tastes and budgets. There is everything from lightweight nylon fibreglass composite, various types of real wood, carbon fibre, pave studded, and the star of my personal collection, Fossilised Ivory Mammoth Tusk. Yes, you read it correctly, I have Mammoth Tusk on my cigar cutter! How awesome is that! While this monster costs some £320 retail in the UK, you can expect to pay approximately £45 for a standard Xikar in the UK.
These days I have resorted to taking a Xikar with me when I visit Cigar lounges at hotels. Although the cigar manager will usually offer to cut the cigar for me, I always decline and reach for the Xikar, as these days, it’s the only blade I trust near my sticks…