Cleaning Your Cigar Cutter
First, let's take a look at what gums up your cigar cutter. It's usually due to the oils in the tobacco, which, over time, collect on the surface above the blade and eventually cause the cutter to stick. The blades themselves usually remain sharp, and some so-called "self-sharpening" cutters usually do a good job at keeping the edge in tune.
If you're a chomper, like some guys I know, you're not only cutting off the cap, but more often you're cutting off the slimy, chewed-up glob that's been in your mouth. That's sure to leave a mess of residue on the cutter's surface over time.
I have a couple of XiKAR cigar cutters myself, and I know it's time to clean them when the sides don't open evenly. Same goes for the standard double blade, two-finger cutter; it tends to stick when you pull it apart.
Someone once suggested I use sewing machine oil to un-stick my cutter. It's odorless, colorless, and it's what barbers use to keep their buzz clippers from sticking; a few drops here and there, then wipe off any excess oil with a tissue or soft cloth. I think this may help if you have a metal cutter that's a bit tight in the first place, but it won't remove any tars in terms of cleaning the piece.
Here's my solution: Rubbing alcohol cuts through tar like a hot knife melts butter. By simply applying some alcohol to a tissue or a soft cloth, you can wipe the residue off your cigar cutter and be back in business. You just have to be careful not to nip your finger tips during the process. I use what I call the "detailing" method. I start with the soft cloth. Then I daub a Q-Tip with alcohol to get into those tight little spots the cloth can't reach.
What's your method? Send me your comments and let's compare notes.
~ Gary Korb