Cigar Accessories: What You Need for the Perfect Smoke
As many different cigars blends, shapes, and sizes as there are, there might be just as many accessories an enthusiast can find themselves researching. There are some items that are essential to enjoy a cigar, and then there are some that you might find interesting as you become more involved in the culture and accessory aspect of the hobby of cigars.
My current preference for my Everyday Carry (EDC) is a Zippo lighter with a Zippo butane insert and my Palio cutter.
A lighter is a must for a cigar smoking aficionado. One’s lighter can range from a gas station bought Bic to a couple hundred dollar ST Dupont lighter that serves as a statement and conversation starter.
The most basic part that distinguishes lighters are the type of flame and fuel it uses. One lighter that has held the attention of smokers over years is a tried and true Zippo. Zippos typically use lighter fluid and soft flame. The cons of this type of lighter would be a “dirty” flame due to the fuel source and a flame that is susceptible to wind. Most aficionados tend to prefer butane as a fuel source due to its ability to burn clean and without imparting any taste onto the cigar.
A Bic lighter is a cleaner fuel, but still not optimal. It does check the boxes of being cheap, replaceable, always can have one within reach.
A cigar specific butane lighter is preferred by most all cigar smokers due to the nature of the flame. Butane burns clean, imparting no additional flavors into the tobacco of the cigar. Butane lighters also have the advantage of being very windproof due to the nature of how the flame burns and the design. With butane lighters you have the choice of how many flames, ranging from 1 to up to 4 typically.
The more flames the more windproof it will be, but that always has a trade-off that it will use more fuel (more frequent refills required)
If I am enjoying cigars with friends or family or at a lounge my “special occasion” lighter is a Colibri Julius Double Flame Lighter that has the option of a jet flame or soft flame.
I don’t like carrying this around in my pocket everyday due to it getting jostled around and scratched, but I do enjoy bringing this lighter with me for special occasion cigars. It adds to my experience of smoking a premium cigar and lighting it with a premium lighter.
The second most important piece of kit that a cigar smoker will need is a reliable and sharp cigar cutter. These come in different variations and price points just like lighter, and it will come down to the individual’s current preference. The most common cutter is a straight cut guillotine style. It is the most common and probably the most versatile cut type to have on hand. These come in variations where either both blades move or only one blade moves.
My go to EDC is a Palio cutter that has served me well for years. You can also explore other brands and mechanisms such as Xikar XO Double Guillotine Cutter for more eccentric variations to your accessories.
Palio on the left, Xikar XO Double Guillotine on the right
Another common cutter blade shape you will find is a V Cut, and this is my next favorite, and a style that I have used a lot. This is a cutter that has a V shape to the blade, so the cut is one that will tend to not overcut the head and shoulder of a cigar.
These are great for most cigar shapes and sizes and can offer options when cutting. A single cut, two cuts perpendicular to each other, or what is referred to as a crown cut (multiple cuts shaping almost as a crown) on larger ring gauge cigars to open up the draw a bit more.
Example of a Lotus Jaws Serrated V-Cutter
The third most common style is what is called a punch cutter. These are great because they are oftentimes small cutters that can fit on a keychain. Most often they produce an adequate cut that is more of a “hole punch” in the head of the cigar, but sometimes these can be prone to tearing the head/wrapper if you are not deliberate and gentle with the cut and if the blade is not sharp.
Example of a Lotus Cyclops 11mm Punch Cutter
A table top lighter can be great if you have a man cave or cigar smoking area where you enjoy cigars with friends or family. These are usually butane lighters that are in a much larger format. They function the same as your pocket size lighter, but the fuel reservoir is much larger and the heft and size if much larger to be a tabletop conversation piece that is fully functional.
Different styles of table top lighters
Similar to the table top lighters, there are a few variations of tabletop cutters that you might find more commonly in cigar lounges and brick and mortar stores. I personally prefer to use my trusted cutter of choice, but as an accessory to a man cave or cigar lounge, paired with a tabletop lighter there isn’t much more you need to start a conversation (besides perhaps a Vigilant built-in wall humidor)
One version of a table top cigar cutter
Ashtrays and Travel Cases
A staple that can be as simple as a bowl or as extravagant as a free standing piece of furniture is your ashtray. Ashtrays come in all shapes and sizes and are usually branded by your favorite cigar manufacturers. These are all up to personal preference.
Some things to look at it how many cigar “fingers/indents” it has, that will dictate how many cigars can comfortably rest in the ashtray at one. Usually they come in two and four finger varieties. Another thing to consider is how deep the bowl is to hold ashes, this will dictate how often emptying is required and how easy it is to clean out. I have used everything from a piece of old driftwood that had a natural cigar finger to ashtrays that I have bought as an accessory because I just liked the way they looked. The possibilities are endless.
Last on the list for today are travel cases. Travel cases can also come in all shapes, sizes, fits, and finishes. They can be very useful for a cigar aficionado on the go can hold anywhere from 2 cigars to upwards of 10+. I tend to like a Herf-a-dor for traveling since I can add a humidification pack to it, and a two tube cigar case for when I am going out and might need a cigar for a friend.
Types of cigar travel cases
As with the journey of exploring cigar blends and brands, the limits to cigar accessories you will find are just as vast. I suggest exploring what you like, and what works for your style, price point, and personality. You will often never meet two enthusiasts with the same opinion on cigars, and they will most never have the same opinion on what accessory or piece of gear they like best either.
Clinton O’Malley | BIO
I have been enjoying cigars for just over a decade, and in that time have grown to appreciate the different aspects of the cigar industry and all the craft has to offer. A software and technology consultant by trade as my full time profession, I enjoy cigars and the culture as a hobby and passion of mine. I have been gravitating towards the smaller brand and boutique blends that are often in limited release quantities as of late. I find that each cigar has a story to tell, and look forward to learning about each one and sharing that with others.