Cigar Aficionado

Xikar 158TCT

A pocket knife is the type of tool you think you can live without, until you invest in one of quality and suddenly find yourself inventing uses for it that make your life easier, or more intriguing. A superb specimen such as the Xikar 158TCT will find you reaching again and again for the tool.

With its titanium frame and stainless steel, teflon-finished blade (also available without teflon finish), the Xikar is a lightweight beauty (weighing but 1.7 ounces) that sits in your pocket waiting for use. Built in Maniago, Italy, the northeastern town prized for its skill in making blades, the Xikar has a modified tanto edge, cut at an angle like a Japanese sword tip rather than a typical knife point.

David Kitchens, manager of the Davidoff store in New York City, showed me a way to use the Xikar to learn more about cigars. By using its sharp blade to cut the wrapper leaf off the last inch of a cigar, it allows an aficionado to taste only the filler and bunch of a premium cigar blend, then to note the change in flavor as the cigar burns back to the area where the wrapper leaf is intact.

Cigar science, courtesy of Xikar. The 158TCT retails for $129.95, at better cigar stores.