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Cutting and Lighting

The best way to cut and light your cigar.
The Editors
From the Print Edition:
Dennis Hopper, Jan/Feb 01

(continued from page 2)

If your cigar keeps going out mid-smoke, however, or if you have to relight it repeatedly, you may have a badly rolled cigar. This is an occasional problem, since premium cigars are made entirely by hand, and even the most stringent quality-control efforts cannot prevent a cigar from going out occasionally. If you find yourself with a cigar that was poorly rolled, feel free to return it to the cigar shop where you purchased it. A good tobacconist should happily replace it.

CHOOSING YOUR WEAPON

Never light a cigar with a flame that's likely to alter its flavor. Using candles, for example, while theatrical, can impart odd flavors from the candle wax onto your cigar (and sometimes turn it into a torch). The fluid from oil-based lighters can also add unwanted tastes, as can the sulfuric heads used on many matches.

If it's available, light a strip of cedar, called a spill, and use that in turn to light your cigar. But if cedar spills aren't handy and you must use an oil-based lighter, let the flame burn for a moment before lighting your cigar. With matches, try to use wooden matches with sulfurless heads. But if your only option is a paper match, be prepared to use several of them, and always let the sulfur burn off the match before lighting your cigar. You might also consider using more than one match at a time, to achieve a wider flame.

The best way to get the perfect light is to use a lighter designed specifically for cigars, with butane for fuel and a flame (or dual flames) wide enough to easily light a cigar. There are dozens of different cigar lighters on the market, and which one is best for you is, as with cutters, a matter of personal preference. The most important requirement is performance -- a lighter should fit easily in your hand, ignite easily, and work without fail every time.


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