Monday, July 9, 2012

The First Name in Cigar Cutters

The enjoyment of a premium cigar is a wonderfully basic pursuit.  First you need a great cigar.  Next you need a way to open the head of the cigar, so you can draw air through it.  Last you need some means of lighting the tobacco at the foot so you can enjoy the rich and flavorful smoke.  I would also argue that you need a great ashtray because I’d be happy to sell you one (the personal size Stinky ashtray is my new favorite) but, truth be told, my lawn is kept well conditioned by cigar ashes.

The business of cutting a cigar ranges from rudimentary to extremely elaborate.  You can pierce the end with a golf tee, or clip it with $1,000 gold plated and engraved cutter.  Please only bite the end off of a cigar if circumstances are incredibly dire and it is the only option that remains.  In that scenario, I would endorse using your teeth instead of advocating foregoing the cigar until a proper cutting implement presents itself.


One of the most versatile ways to cut a cigar is with a guillotine cutter. Guillotine cutters come as single or double bladed.  A good example of an exceedingly functional double-guillotine would be the Xikar Xi cutters.  Two cutting blades make for clean, accurate cutting of the cap so you can get down to enjoying your cigar.
Guillotin also happens to be the name of a French doctor, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who devised a means of capital punishment that was far more humane than the status quo of the time.  It seemed that execution methods ranged from the brutal, bludgeoning a lower class subject who was often restrained, to the comparatively humane lopping off of the head by an executioner wielding an axe for those higher in society.  Dr. Guillotin offered up a wonderfully democratic means of execution that could be utilized for those guilty individuals coming from every station in life.  He created a weighted blade mounted in a track that quite efficiently separated a head from the inconvenience of its body.
The guillotine revolutionized the execution of prisoners in the same way that the double guillotine revolutionized the cutting of cigars.  I’m pretty sure that everyone who read this knew that the guillotine was designed by and named after a Frenchman.  You have also probably heard the bit of trivia that the ultimate injustice was carried out and Guillotin was himself executed by his own machine.  Not true.  A chap by the name of Guillotin was indeed executed with a guillotine, but it was indeed not the good doctor who created the device, but rather another Dr. Guillotin from Lyon, France.  Joseph-Ignace Guillotin died infamously of natural causes.  If only he knew that the device to which his name is now attached was a magnificent device to clip your cigar.

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