You can cut the head on a premium, handmade cigar with a number of blades: a guillotine, a punch, even your teeth or your fingernails if you're especially dexterous. But to make a cut with elegant style, it's hard to beat a fine pair of cigar scissors.
The bonus is the adaptability of scissors. The keen-edged jaws of the finest examples will open wide enough to accommodate any ring gauge in these days when cigars seem to be made thicker every day (something that can't be said about smaller guillotines). And they handle torpedos, perfectos and piramides alike (while a punch or your fingernail is useless against anything but a parejo). And, let's face it, your teeth aren't that sharp.
These full-sized models are not portable, however, nor are they cheap. Imagine them as showpieces to complement your smoking room, rather than an everyday cutter.
Davidoff makes the classic example out of stainless steel. The French-made beauties (top) have heft and balance and extremely sharp blades, and handles that create a circle of steel when closed. As to be expected with the name Davidoff, they are far from inexpensive, retailing for around $470.
Harder to find are the scissors made by Donatus, which are crafted in Germany from Solingen steel and available in a variety of finishes and styles. We tried the eye-grabbing Big-Cut scissors in satin finish (bottom, $180), a full-sized model with a sweeping, curved finger holder and jaws that cut beautifully.
For those looking for even more flair, Siglo has the L&R scissors (middle), which are made in China from Japanese steel. The handles are artistically beveled to resemble the yin-yang symbol when closed, and the device is laser engraved in a pattern resembling flowering vines. It retails for $321.
No matter which model you choose, remember to take it slow when cutting with these devices. Begin by holding the cigar perpendicular to the floor or your desk, then open the jaws of the scissors, positioning the cutter at a slight angle off the head of the cigar. This will keep the blades from crushing the cigar as you slowly close the jaws. It takes a bit of practice to perfect, but once you do you finish with a very clean cut—and a very stylish maneuver.