Like any hobby or practice worth taking up, cigar smoking necessitates the acquisition of certain requisites. These are used in every stage of a cigar’s life. We will not be focusing on the tools used in growing and rolling cigars.
Cigar smoking tools sometimes cancel each other out. What I mean by that is that there may be two very different kinds of a tool that will accomplish the same task. A wise man once said, “A tool is as a tool does.” If you can accomplish a task with a non-tool equally as well, by all means use it. I should mention that it is doubtful you will be able to substitute a designated tool with an improvised tool.
This is the wooden (or wood and glass) box that has the ability to keep your cigars at an appropriate humidity level.
Note: The box your cigars come in when you buy a box of cigars is NOT - I repeat NOT - an acceptable alternative to a humidor. It will NOT keep your cigars at an acceptable humidity level for very long.
Humidors are usually made of cedar wood, though other woods are used. Though fancier humidors often come with glass tops or doors, all wood humidors are actually preferable because they will keep in the humidity at a more stable level (the glass will seep slightly more humidity - and heat).
The humidor will also need two other elements to keep your cigars nice and fresh.
  • Humidifier - This is usually some sort of sponge item that is saturated with either distilled water or a humidifying gel. It is placed within the humidor and gradually releases humidity into the space.
  • Hygrometer - The sensor that can tell you what the humidity level is within your humidor.  Both digital and mechanical types are available. While the digital hygrometer is more sensitive and accurate, it does require batteries. The mechanical hygrometer does not have to be adjusted for the most part. Both serve the same purpose.

Humidors come in all shapes and sizes. They come as small as a pocket travel humidor holding as few as three or five cigars, and they come as large as a walk-in humidor. For most people, a desktop humidor holding thirty or forty cigars is plenty of space for all their smoking needs. Some very large cigars will not fit in very small humidors.
Please refer to the Keeping and Restoring tutorial for more humidor information.
People get very finicky with their humidors, so however you set yours up, be sure that someone will tell you that you’ve set it up wrong. The rule of thumb for the general public is 70/70. Keep your cigars at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 70% humidity.
Any time you smoke a cigar, you’ll need to cut the closed end (the “head”, or “cap”) in order to draw the smoke from the burning end down through the cigar and into your mouth. To do this, many different types and styles of cutters have been invented. As we said before, “A tool is as a tool does.” If one cutter can get as clean a cut as the next, don’t worry too much about spending extra money on a fancy cutter. For the most part, they all function equally well. However, some are easier to use, some simply look cooler. Some of the popular cutters available today are:
  • Guillotine - A blade is pushed by a finger-driven handle to lop off the end of the cigar.
  • Double Guillotine - Two blades come from either side to lop off the end of the cigar.
  • Internal Scissor - A scissor motion pulls a double guillotine type of cut on the cap of the cigar.
  • Scissor - A pair of scissors with specially shaped and ground blades that are capable of properly cutting the cigar.
  • Punch - A non-moving circle of blade is pressed down on the cap of the cigar, removing only a round portion of the cap.
  • V-Cut - A Guillotine that is not flat, and will cut a v-shaped wedge out of the cap of your cigar (see picture below).
Note: Some cigars will be too big for some cutters. Be sure you know the size of your cigar.
Additional methods are constantly being invented. One company has even come up with a system that adapted the scissor cutter to have a third blade! In this system, all three blades cut at once, and the effect is an extraordinarily clean and easy cut, every time.
Note: Don’t use scissors that were not intended for cigars. It will almost certainly ruin your cigar beyond repair.
To light the end of the cigar, you will need a source of heat, and that source is generally a flame of some sort. The flame people use to light their cigar is another subject of controversy, and people will become very finicky about the flames they will or won’t use.
It is important to note that whatever flame you use, the flame itself never touches the tobacco. It only “roasts” it from a small distance until the tobacco begins to burn. Some cigars have a closed foot. Most people don't bother cutting these off, but just burn through the end. You may do as you like.
  • Wooden Match - This is generally considered the elite of flames, because of it’s clean nature. It will not flavor your cigar at all. People who light their cigars with a wooden match will usually use roughly three long matches to light the cigar.
  • Soft Flame Lighter - This is a lighter in which the flame is much like that of the wooden match. It simply rises naturally from the fuel, which sits in a little tank below. These are used by many people because they are cheaper in the long run than matches, and they are easier to carry around.
  • Windproof Lighter - This is a lighter in which the flame is forced out of the tank at a high velocity, creating a jet of flame that will be resistant to wind pushing it from the side.
  • Multiple Flame Windproof Lighter - There really isn’t a conclusive advantage to having more than one jet of flame at a time. Although it probably will help you light your cigar faster. And it looks damn cool.

Note: When using a lighter, ALWAYS fill it with butane, never gas. And try to buy the highest grade butane you can find. Even though it’s butane, if the butane is low grade, it will flavor the tobacco undesirably.