Take a double-bladed guillotine cutter, add a finger rest next to each of the finger holes, throw in an extremely sharp blade, put in a heavy-duty slide mechanism that never seems to let the blades go off track and you have the eye-catching Palió. They've been around for years, but somehow these cigar cutters have flown under the radar of the bulk of the world's cigar-smoking intelligentsia. That isn't likely to be so much longer as the cutting device with the cult following just got better.

The blades, which can accommodate up to the fattest cigars on the market, are sharper than ever before as they have received extra polishing to make the edge thinner and remove striations. The result is an exceptionally clean cut. The improvements are the handiwork of Brother of the Leaf LLC, the company that took over Palió about five years ago. "The blades are head and shoulders above where we were," says Marc Aub, the president and CEO. "We spend more to produce each unit today than we did on day one."

The American-made cutters further distinguish themselves from other guillotines with their finger rests, which are pointed, slightly triangular outcroppings set at opposing corners of the cutters. Place your middle finger in the opening on the top, your thumb in the opening on the bottom, and your top index finger will seek out one of those ledges. Such a grip adds stability when you slice the head off your cigar.

The cutters are thicker at the ends and thinner in the middle, a design that allows for the Palió to double as a cigar stand in a pinch. Lay it on a bar, and your cigar will rest comfortably there if you can't find an ashtray. Paliós are hand assembled in Texas from all-American components. They are sold with a compelling lifetime guarantee: if one fails to perform, you can return it to any cigar shop that sells the cutter.

The cutters come in a variety of styles. The original matte black, silver or gold has a suggested retail price of $44.95. The carbon fiber or burl-wood models retail for $59.95.

Visit paliocutters.com.