Xikar ‘007’ Cigar Punch Review

Dec

17

by at 4:56 pm (1 Comment) Gear Reviews


Ever punched a cigar? Seriously…    Many people I’ve enjoyed cigars with are completely unfamiliar with punch cutters and the ‘punch’ method of cutting a cigar.  I’ve had the pleasure of owning a  punch cutter for over a year now, and figured that sets the stage for a little education and a good review. So without further ado, I’ll be reviewing the ‘007’, a punch cutter made by Xikar.  If you’re already a punch cut fan, or know exactly what they do, bear with me through the next few lines.

First I’ll explain what a punch cut is, and when you may or may not choose to use one of these cutters. A punch cut, which may also be referred to as a bullet cut (or bullet cutter for the tool itself), is a small hole made in the cap of the cigar, allowing the cigar to be lit and smoked.  A good punch cutter leaves a neat hole in the cap, preventing bits of tobacco from entering your mouth.  This is a big reason why many people use cigar punches.  Unlike a guillotine style cut which removes much of the cigar cap, the smaller hole made by a cigar punch may leave you with a ‘firm’ draw on your cigar. This effect on the draw is another reason why some may or may or may not prefer this cut.  Some cigar enthusiasts will say that the hole left by a punch cut can accumulate oils or tar, affecting taste as you progress further in to the cigar. Others will counter that this prevents these same oils from fouling your palate.  Regardless, most cigar smokers will agree that a punch is better suited to a smaller ring gauge cigar. It doesn’t matter how great the cutter is, punch cutting a large ring cigar will restrict the draw.

Punch facts aside, I’m going to speak from my own experience and say that I’ve owned the Xikar 007 for roughly one year now. I received the Xikar as a Christmas gift from my wife, replacing two of the lesser-quality punches I’d owned in years prior. I generally prefer to punch  cut smaller ring cigars, and my Xikar has cut dozens of cigars since I received it.

The Xikar 007 is all metal, and comes with a ring allowing you to attach the cutter to your keys or whatever else you like.  Mine is silver, but the 007 is also available in gunmetal and gold. Regardless of the colour, the 007 is well made.  It’s got a well built feel to it and opens /closes very smoothly.

Using the “007” couldn’t be any easier. Twist either half of the body to open the cutter and expose a razor sharp, fine circular blade. I believe the blade is stainless steel.  Once the cutter is open, gentle pressure on the cap of your cigar and a few twists are all it takes to produce a very neat circular cut. Check the picture and see what I mean.  For those of you new to the ‘punch’ cut, just remember that you’re only cutting the thin cap, not trying to carve a hole in your cigar. Once you’ve cut your cigar, another twist closes your cutter and expels any tobacco within the circular blade. When closed, the blade is fully protected by the body of the cutter.

To wrap this up, I’ve owned the 007 for nearly a year, and cut dozens of cigars with it. The 007 still functions like new, cuts clean every time, and aside from a few wipes with rubbing alcohol, it requires no maintenance. Would I recommend this product to someone looking for a punch cutter? Yes, absolutely. You’ll spend a few dollars more for a Xikar, but save replacing cheaper cutters every few months.  If it was broken or lost, would I replace it? Yes. Xikar also offers an unbeatable warranty on all their cutters. If you’re not happy with the performance of your Xikar product, or have any issues with it, send it back and they’ll replace it, period.

Cheers,

-Matt


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One Response to “Xikar ‘007’ Cigar Punch Review”

  1. Les

    December 18, 2010
    6:06 pm

    That is an awesome punch! I really think I could open up some Cohiba Siglo 1s with that and enjoy them. I was using my pallio on the Siglo 1s and it was a little over kill. I haven’t wanted to punch cut any cigars for a while, but I think I’ll work on a review in the new year where I punch cut one and guillotine cut another of the same type of cigar to see if it actually makes a positive effect or not?

    ~Les

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