The Big Cut—Donatus Cigar Scissors

While you don't absolutely need a cigar cutter to smoke a fine cigar—you could always use your teeth to nip off a bit of the closed cap—every aficionado should own one. And when you truly immerse yourself in the cigar lifestyle, you'll find that one simply isn't enough. You ought to own a variety of cutters.

Cigar cutters can be beautiful things, and none are more elegant or stylish than a full-sized pair of cigar scissors. A fine example is the Donatus Big Cut.

Made in Germany of sturdy Solingen steel, the Donatus Big Cut has supple curves, wide (and very sharp) jaws capable of cutting the fattest of cigars and a smooth motion that cuts your cigars in style. The pair we sampled was done in satin finish and had just the right amount of heft.

Lopping the head off of a cigar with a guillotine is rather straightforward—so long as you place the cutter in the proper position, you're not likely to make a mistake. Cigar scissors take a bit more practice, which is part of their charm.

In the case of the Donatus, you place your thumb in the circular hole on one of the scissor arms, and put your index, middle and ring fingers in the large and curved opening on the other. Open the jaws of the scissors, place them at a slight angle to the head of the cigar, and close the jaws very slowly, bringing the cutter perpendicular to the top of the cigar as they close. The result is a clean, impressive cut. It takes a few tries to master the motion.

Cigar scissors aren't easily transported and the good ones do not come cheap. This model runs for $180 and are ideal complements for a smoking room.

For a further discussion of cigar scissors and a description of two other varieties, see the Good Life Guide in the June 2011 Cigar Aficionado, coming to newsstands soon.

Watch this video explaining how to use a pair of cigar scissors.

jeff yarchin Blowing Rock, North Carolina, United States, April 15, 2011 9:02am ET
I tried for find a pair without success. Any suggestions?
David Savona April 15, 2011 9:46am ET
Here is the contact information for the U.S. distributor, who can point you in the right direction:


800 848 1480
jeff yarchin Blowing Rock, North Carolina, United States, April 15, 2011 10:01pm ET
Thank you David.
Don Esteban LHC, AZ, USA, February 8, 2013 4:58pm ET
Tsugi scissors from Japan are better. Bought 15 years ago for $80 from Nat Sherm but they no longer carry and I can't find them anywhere either. Still sharp enough and the blades are hinged so they don't pinch as they cut, just equal pressure from all angles. Happy hunting.
Richard Garrett Pleasant Hill, Missouri, USA, January 27, 2016 12:47pm ET
Update - talked to Carol at F & K and Donatus is experiencing problems. Possibly having ceased business. If you find a pair. Grab them now.

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