Some short fill cigars are worth smoking, but how you smoke them will determine whether or not you have a good smoking experience or a bad one. Of course, nothing you do will make the tobacco better. Enter the Shuriken Cigar Cutter.
What is a Shuriken? In Japanese this means, “sword hidden in the hand”, which really does describe the cutter and its six razor sharp blades hidden inside. In the tradition of Japanese concealed weapons, a Shuriken was any kind of flattened piece of metal that was hand held and could possibly be thrown. In the West, we are most familiar with “throwing stars” which is why Cigar Tech chose that for their logo.
What is a Shuriken Cigar Cutter and where did the idea come from? The idea came from the traditional way of opening a cigar, by pinching a very small section out of the cap, leaving the cigar in tact as much as possible. Cigar cutters date back to the 1800’s. Although the designs have changed over the years, the concept remains the same, cutting the cap off to smoke the cigar. The bullet type punch cutter came into use many years later, along with the development of cartridge ammunition for firearms. That’s right, a slightly sharpened empty rifle case cut a nice hole out of the top of the cigar. The fact that this action was most like pinching off the tip of the cap may have been coincidental, but the idea of getting as little of the tobacco bits in your mouth and keeping the damage to the cigar to a minimum was obvious. This is where the Shuriken has a technological advantage over all other cutting devices, no damage to cigar at all.
According to Belinda Doyle, President of Cigar Tech, the development of the Shuriken Cigar Cutter is first advance in innovative cigar cutting technology since the 1930’s (and perhaps even longer ago than that). Belinda was also kind enough to give me a cutter to test. The retail cost starts at around $40.
Let’s talk about the Shuriken. The device is about 2 ½” long and little over an inch across, large enough to accept a 70 ring gauge cigar. The top unscrews to reveal six hidden razor sharp blades near the bottom of the device. The folks at Cigar Tech have created terminology to go along with their new technology; “I-Draw”. It means exactly what it says. You control the draw of the cigar as you smoke. With six slits cut around the cap, and by slightly varying the pressure on the cigar as you draw, you can completely control the draw, taking as much or as little smoke as you like. And, it really does work!
I smoked two different cigars to test the cutter, a long fill and a short fill. To be as consistent as possible, I chose both cigars from the same manufacturer and similar tobacco – Premium Cuban Hand Rolled (long fill) and Classic Cuban Hand Rolled (short fill). These cigars were given to me at the IPCPR by Tony Sorino from APS Distributing, Pompano Beach, Florida. The draw on both of these cigars was the same, light and easy. The burn was perfectly even. It was hard to know which one was the long fill and which was short fill, and, never any bits of tobacco in my mouth. With the use of the Shuriken Cigar Cutter, the cigars remained perfectly in tact, especially the cap.
Many mixed fill cigars, sometimes called a ‘Cuban Sandwich’, are made with cuttings that come from the process of making long fill cigars. The tobacco is the same, but much shorter pieces are mixed with longer pieces. One company that comes to mind that makes excellent well known mixed and short fill cigars is Drew Estate. Their ‘La Vieja Habana’ is a top rated cigar and a typical example of good premium tobacco being used for cigars containing short filler. A box of 20 will cost around $45 to $55 depending on the size.
The Shuriken Cigar Cutter brings a new aspect to cigar cutting technology that I believe will take the industry by storm. Short fill cigars usually cost half as much as their long fill counterparts, but in general, you can get a good smoking short fill for around $2.50, and most of the time a lot less. The Shuriken will also save all of us cigar smokes a lot of money. We can now enjoy less expensive cigars made with good short fill premium tobacco and never worry about getting bits of tobacco in your mouth. I look forward to comments from readers about this as I continue to experiment with this new cutter. I plan to try the Shuriken on all sizes and shapes of cigars such as box pressed, torpedos, and even curly heads.
GUIDE UPDATE:Improvements to the Shuriken cigar cutter were made in 2012. Click Here to view a video of Belinda Doyle, President of Cigar Tech, describing the changes.
Disclosure: Review sample was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy