We all start somewhere, and there is nothing wrong with doing some mistakes or not being prepared for all the situations. This article intends to be nothing but a humble guide about all the accessories that can make or break your experience. We divided it into 3 different categories: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert. We opted for this division because it is easy to read and you can immediately know where you are on your cigar journey.
As a disclaimer, all the tools and accessories we are bringing up in this article, we have tried ourselves for a couple of years. We are not endorsed by any of the brands nor was this a paid advertising effort on any of them.
With that out of the way, here is what we think about all the accessories you should consider.
Single Flame Torch Lighter
A cheap single torch butane lighter is more than enough when you are beginning your cigar journey. With all the flashy accessories on Instagram (we are assuming you have Instagram but even if you don’t, you get the point) you will be inclined to purchase one that is far more expensive than needed. Remember, you are just starting and if by any chance, you don’t continue this amazing journey, you only spent a couple of bucks on a lighter. Be careful with one critical aspect: choose a butane lighter. Any other gas type will leave your cigar tasting like the gas itself.
Double Blade Cutter
The double blade cutter is the most basic and the most efficient tool to cut your cigars. Open the cutter, place your cigar inside and close the cutter, as simple as that. Again, don’t go spend that extra money on a fancy cutter. Find a plastic one with a sharp blade and you are off to the races. We love the Firebird Nighthawk Cutter because it is the one that has the sharpest blade of its price point, under $10 USD. Plus, one of the blades is fixed, which allows you to make a very precise and sharp cut.
25–50 Count Humidor
We all make the same mistake when we start enjoying cigars and this is what we all think: “I’ll buy a humidor for 10 cigars. I will never have more than 10 cigars, for sure.” We have been there, so just hear us out. The price difference between a good 10-count humidor and a 25-count one is not that big. Make the extra investment and start with a humidor that will fit 25 to 50 cigars because even if you have a small collection, you will always have space to grow. Choose a good humidor, made from good cedar wood inside, with no glass on top, capable of locking humidity in. This is crucial for the health of your cigars. Nowadays, seasoning and maintaining your humidor is very straight forward. If you want to know more about storage, read this: Cigars 101 — A Guide to Better Cigar Storage.
“Set it and forget it” humidity packs
Again, we are not endorsed by any brands neither are we paid for saying what we are saying but we have to give credit to some brands when they deserve it and Boveda is one of them. Their work on simplifying humidity for the cigar world is just the best. Boveda single-handedly transformed the industry with its 2-way humidity control system. You just have to select your desired humidity level, place the packs inside the humidor, and replace them when they become hard as a rock. That’s it, no hassle, no worries and you can rest assured that your cigars will always be ready to smoke. For small humidors, we recommend either the 69% or 72% packs. Boveda also offers a seasoning kit for your brand new humidor, which is a very important step for the health of your humidor and cigars. Read about this in more detail here.
2–3 Cigar Case
We were almost leaving this one out of the list because in the very beginning you might not need it. A 1-cigar case is a bit silly because if you think about it, you can use a cigar tube to transport your cigar when going to a friend’s house. We still do it sometimes and we have all the accessories you can imagine. Now, when you need to transport more than one cigar, having a cigar case comes in handy. There are a lot of options, from $10 to $100+ and as you can imagine, we will recommend that you spend as little as possible because you are most definitely purchase other solutions once you move forward with your journey. Our tips: choose a hard cigar case to prevent your cigars to bend or even break in your pocket.
Digital Hygrometer — Xikar
Chances are you are now fully aware of the impact humidity and temperature have on your cigars. Maybe you are now also trying to age some special boxes. If you are at this stage, you need a way of monitoring how both factors evolve and how well your equipment is performing. If you are, an accurate hygrometer is key. Xikar has one that does that job incredibly well. It is called Xikar Purotemp and it already comes calibrated, you just need to put some batteries on and you are ready to go. We have tested almost all the hygrometers there are in the market and we were only satisfied with this one. We are saying it only because of our test results, not because Xikar asked us to.
Cigar Carrier Pouch
There are times where you will need to go to a cigar event, a dinner, or even just a poker game in some friend’s basement. The night is going to be long and 2 or 3 cigars are not going to be enough for sure. Also, at this point, you already know that carrying all the accessories can be a hassle. The basics — a cigar case, a lighter, and a cutter — are very inconvenient to carry in your pocket, if you put on a suite, even worse. This is where a cigar carrier pouch comes in very handy. The most popular cigar pouches out there like Peter James, Project Carbon, or Puro Prestige can carry up to 5 cigars of almost any size and shape with the advantage of having dedicated places for your lighter, cutter, business cards, and even your phone. The first thing you’ll notice when you purchase your first cigar pouch is that you regret not getting it sooner.
A portable humidor is key to your cigars’ safety when you need to travel somewhere. A travel humidor becomes even more important if you need to dispatch your beloved cigars into the airplane hold. We all know how airlines treat our luggage and when you have such a delicate product it can be ruined in seconds if it is not protected. There are a lot of solutions in the market but the one we recommend the most for its reliability, material quality, and overall performance is the Xikar Cigar Travel Carrying Case. From 5 cigars to up to 60, there are options for every need.
Perfec Draw Tool
You have, most certainly, came across a plugged cigar and you know it is an aficionado’s worst nightmare. If you are a Cuban cigar enthusiast, this happened to you more times than you want to admit. With Perfec Draw, this problem is 99% solved. We tried it and our fear of having a plugged cigar is long gone now. Perfec Draw is an award-winning product that uses twisted blades to pull the excess tobacco that is causing your cigar not to draw properly. Yes, you destroy a bit of the cigar but at least you get to enjoy it, right?
Good Quality Double Blade Cutter
You are not a beginner anymore and with that comes the fascination towards the amazing world of cigar accessories. In that area, the products from ST Dupont are a true delight for the eyes. The ST Dupont Maxijet Cigar Cutter is one of the most brilliant pieces of design we have encountered so far. Yes, it is expensive, but think of it as an investment that will last you a lifetime. The quality of the blades is superb and once you hold it you will immediately feel its quality.
Trying different types of cuts is part of the experience and a nice v-cutter goes a long way. The most educated palates can really taste the difference in flavor and strength that a v-cut can provide and the beauty of it is that you can test it also. From all the v-cutters we tried, the Colibri V-Cut is the most reliable one. It will set you back around $39 on Amazon but you can rest assured that the blade is sharp and incredibly reliable. We have been using ours for a couple of years and it still cuts like the first time. From the most basic to the most flamboyant, there is one for all tastes.
The point of getting a cigar punch is the same as the point we made on the V-cutter. It is just another way of cutting your cigar. Using a cigar punch (depending on the size) might make your cigar a bit stronger and the flavors can be more concentrated because the only way for smoke to get through is from the opening of the punch. Another reason for trying the punch is the fact that you will never run the risk of cutting the cigar too much because you will only take out a small circle from the cigar cap. From the cheapest to the most expensive ones, there is a lot to choose from.
Select Draw Punch
If you are a fan of trying new ways of cutting and punching your cigars, this is a fun item to have. With its three very sharp spikes, the Select Draw lets you perforate your cigars in order to destroy your cigar cap as little as possible. Get creative and explore the possibilities, you never know what you are going to discover.
Multiple-Flame Torch Lighter
Lighting a cigar is a delicate task and most of the time a single-flame torch lighter will do the job just fine. However, there are cigar aficionados that prefer the power of a multiple-flame because it makes a difference when lighting a bigger ring gauge cigar. You have to take into consideration that you are working with three times the power of a single-flame so you need to be three times more cautious to not burn your cigar. A multiple-flame torch lighter also comes in very handy if you are trying to light your cigar outside on a windy day.
Let’s get this out of the way: we always recommend you to use a torch lighter. The soft flame might be very romantic and might look incredibly good on your Instagram photos, but is by far not the best option if you want purity. What do we mean by “purity”, you ask? Let us explain. There are two types of flames: complete combustion flames and incomplete combustion flames. The complete combustion flames consume all the gas that your lighter is putting out, making the flame clean with no waste particles hanging around. The incomplete combustion flames, like a soft flame, do not consume all the gas and that is why they have that yellow tip. Do the following test: light a soft flame and burn the bottom of a plate, you will see that it will be chard black, meaning that if you light your cigar with it, that residue will be on your cigar. If you do the same test with a torch lighter, the plate will be clean, meaning that your cigar will absorb nothing more than heat. If you still prefer a soft flame, choose a good quality lighter, and again, ST Dupont is the best (and. more expensive) out there.
Cedar Matches or Cedar Spills
Lighting your cigar with a piece of cedar is probably the most romantic and old-school you can do. Something about the ritual takes us back to old times when everything moved slower and life was simpler. We won’t lie, we don’t do it anymore because of three main reasons: takes a lot of time, makes a hell of a mess and it is an incomplete combustion flame. However, there is one clear advantage of using this method, the flame temperature is very low when compared to lighters and that lowers the probability of overheating your cigar. Try it at least once because it is a very introspective experience.
Nowadays, with the smoke restrictions in almost all places, it is practically impossible to find a lounge or an indoor area where we can enjoy our cigars in peace. We are forced to go to a terrace or a cafe with an outdoor smoking area. Usually, those places only have those tiny cigarette ashtrays with no place to safely rest your cigar. For those situations, a cigar rest is your best friend. Just place it beside the ashtray and let the ash fall. It is even more hygienic because it is your own tool.
Temperature and Humidity Controlled Humidor
You are in the big leagues now and the sky is the limit. Your collection has grown and you need to expand. But don’t just go shopping around for a big machine that controls your temperature and humidity at the same time, because they rarely work properly. Choose wisely, we are talking about the life of your cigars. Temperature and humidity are the main factors for optimal storage and they should be taken very seriously. From all the products we have tested — electronic humidors, wineadors, and wine coolers — we have found a foolproof solution that is perfect for your needs. Just a reminder, the solution we are talking about is the one we like, and you can take it as a base for building your own setup. For a large humidor, the best technology for keeping temperature is a compressor, just like the one in your fridge. A good compressor ensures that the temperature on the inside of your machine stays constant no matter the temperature outside. Good compressors exist for decades now on wine coolers, which are our favorite machines to store cigars. To control the humidity, start by putting in some 320gr Boveda packs and you should be safe. If you have a massive humidor or are considering to build a walk-in humidor, feel free to contact us for some extra tips.
Controlling humidity and temperature is vital to your cigar collection and if you want to geek out on it, get a device where you can track both those elements over time. 2 things will happen 1) You will have more in-depth knowledge about your humidor and the way it behaves over time. 2) You will be in a state of panic and anxiety every single second. True story.
This is the ultimate cigar geek tool. When aging those very special boxes, you might want to take the humidity control one step further. For that, there is nothing better than to get a vacuum machine and seal your boxes. The process is very simple, put the box in the vacuum seal bag, throw in your favorite 60gr Boveda pack and seal it. Place it inside your humidor (with a controlled temperature) and forget about it for as many years as you want. The cigars inside will age beautifully with all that air trapped inside.
A message to the community
Thank you very much for giving us a bit of your time by reading this article. It really means the world to have you with us. If you want to follow our daily activities head to our Instagram, where we try our best to bring the community together by sharing our love and knowledge for cigars. Have a great day.
Please note that smoking is bad for your health and we do not encourage it at all. These articles are written to show the differences between cigars and never to influence anyone to start smoking. If you are a cigar smoker, please respect others around you.