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Old 07-03-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default 6 Cutter Review

This is a review of six widely available cigar cutters. The six cutters are:

Cutters Reviewed:

Palio (MSRP $45, paid $35) – This is a well known cutter and favorite of many a BOTL. Not much else to say.
Xikar Xi2 (MSRP $40, paid $30) – Again, a well known cutter.
Cuban Crafters Revolution Scissors (MSRP $25, paid $20) – The company is well known but I don’t think the scissor is. This is the only scissor in the test.
Craftsman Bench (MSRP NA, paid $5) – Name brand cheapy. I have seen these at several B&M and they are easily available online.
Rubberized Cigar Cutter (MSRP NA, paid $7) – This is the most interesting of all cutters. As can be seen, I have 2 rubberized and one non-rubberized versions. Furthermore, this very cutter can be found in all steel and with different designs. These are probably mass produced in China and have multiple finishing touches, so this covers a wide range of available cutters. I got these from Mike’s online, but they can be found all over Ebay in its different forms.
Plastic Cutter (MSRP NA, paid $2) – Cheapest of all the cutters, it is also quick large and clunky. I don’t think it gets cheaper then this unless they start giving cutters away.





Before I forget, I would like to thank ChasDen (Chuck) for donating the 18 victims, 3 sets of 6 identical cigars. Each cutter was used on all three cigars. I would also like to apologize for really bad pictures. I am a horrible photographer. I took about 100 pictures but will only post those needed. I will try set up a photobucket account later for those who want to see the pictures. It is actually very difficult to assess the cutters from pictures too (as will be explained later), another reason not to put too many in here.

Methodology:

Previous test I have seen included testing how much tobacco shreds were left after the cut. I did not believe this was too important. Firstly, I don’t care about what I cut away, I care about what is left. Secondly, what I found is that the amount of shred is more a function of how the cut cap lands on the table/floor. The true test of the cut is how good the remaining cigar is. I decided to stick with the “6” theme and have 6 metrics. All metric are scored 1-5, 1 being worst, 5 being best. The six metrics are:

Effort for cut – how much pressure was required to make the cigar cuts, how easy was it position the cigar correctly.
Quality of cut – how straight and smooth the cut was, how much damage there was to the head, was there any remaining tobacco “nipples” and what was the final mouth feel (yes, I sucked on all 18 cigars).
Portability – how easy is it to pocket the cutter and safely (for you and the cutter) go your way.
Cost – Simple one, 1 was the most expensive of the group, 5 went to the cheapest.
Warranty – 0 or 5 here (only exception to the 1-5 rating rule above). Cutters either do or do not have lifetime warranties. The three cutters that do have lifetime warranties in this review are all from excellent companies with great histories of honoring their warranties and good customer service.
Bling Factor – how flashy, fancy and eye catching is your cutter. Keep in mind, I have the flat black of all these cutters. Not special edition or tricked out version were considered.


The Results:

The results can be seen in the table below. Let me go line by line:

Effort to Cut: The Palio and the CC scissors were far and away the easiest to line and up and required the least amount of pressure to cut. Surprisingly, I found the Craftsman to be about the same as the Xikar. The other cheap cutters worked, but you could feel a lot of push due to the poor blades in these cutters.

Quality of Cut: Here again the Palio and CC Scissors came out tops with razor sharp cuts resulting in smooth straight cigar heads. Very closely behind were the Xikar and the Craftsman Bench. The difference between a 4 and 5 is small BTW, minor "nippling" in both the Craftsman and Xikar had to result in a 4 instead of a 5, but rest assured both are excellent cuts. Again, the remaining cutters works but the cuts were just not as smooth and straight.

Portability: This was very subjective, but putting the cutter into my pocket (if supplied with travel case then that was used), how confident was I that the cutter and myself were safe and how comfortable was the cutter in my pocket. Here the craftsman bench was just better then the rest. It is the slimmest and smallest of all the cutters. However, bit far behind were the remaining cutters mainly coming in with 4s. Again, a score of 4 is giving these cutters full credit for being portable, but there has to be a winner. At the same time, there has to be a loser, and this is the weakest point of the CC scissors. Not only do I NOT think these would survive a day in my pocket, I am pretty sure at some point I would get a nasty poke.

Cost: The Palios and Xikars are the most expensive of all these cutters. I needed to take cost into account for a grand ranking but will work cost of the equation during my analysis.

Warranty: As mentioned, here is the one scoring exception. You either do or not have a warranty. If you do it was ranked according to overall community perception. For the three manufacturers that have warranties, this perception is 100%.

Bling Factor: How many ohhhs and ahhhs do you get from your friends and family. This was based on my own personal perceptions, but I believe the Xikar and CC scissors stand firmly ahead of the competition here. The rubberized cutter scored higher then the other cutters and it can be blingy especially in its other forms.

Analysis:

Overall, we have a tie for best cutter with the Palio and CC Scissor coming in 1st place. Closely behind them was the Xikar. If cost is no problem, the Palio is the best cutter out of these six. If you considera cutter just for home use (portability is not an issue) the the scissors would be my top pick (and is what I have been using at home). If you are Mr. Practical and bling is not your thing, the Palio again comes out tops beating out the rest. Finally, if you want a cheap cutter you can take places where you know you will eventually loose it (the golf course), the Craftman Bench is the clear winner!



Summary:

Unfortunately the loser in this review is the Xikar. It is a great cutter and as you can see I have two. But in most situations there is a better high end cutter (the Palio or the Scissors). I also think if you see the craftsman bench cutters for $5 lying around, pick up a couple... they really are good and for the price are easily replaced. The remaining cheap cutters are not worth the money under any circumstance. If you were to buy one cutter, I would buy the Palio. If you like having cigar shwag, I highly recommend picking up a CC scissor.

Finally, ChasDen, for offering up all those cigars and not allowing me to even pay shipping, you will have a CC Scissor in the mail shortly.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Lu...you just wanted to play with that new Palio...didnt you??? LOL!!
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Nice review...

Would love to see an endurance/longevity test, but would hate to see several thousand cigars cut in the name of science.

For me, there is no substitute for a Palio... However, I'm fully aware that ones preference totally subjective.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Nice review, comparision, and statistical data Lucian. I've always had an eye on the CC Scissors ever since its debut, but for now I'll have to stick with my multi-purpose Palio

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Old 07-03-2009, 05:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

I'm glad that you pointed out that your review was subjective, not objective. I think that you will find that many do not agree with all your results, because different cutters fit different people different, etc.

For example, I own Palio and Xikar cutters and find that the Xikar Xi2 fits my hand better, so I get better cuts. I also find the Xikar and Palio to both be quite safe and portable. I also think that the Xikar and Palio take about the same force for cuts. But that's just me and I have to admit that my fave cutter is the Xikar over the Palio.

Still, it's good to see comparisons of the cutters. Thanks Lu!
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Nice job

I use many cutters and find that I go to the Palio over the Xi when sitting around the house.
I take the Xi to work with me everyday and use a cheapo when at the track.

Chas
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Excellent review!!
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

I dont know the Scissors look so unwieldy and unattractive, though I guess you can judge a book by its cover
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Cool review. I like those scissors maybe I will get them for home use. This also is convincing me to put aside the Xikar and get a Palio..
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreekGodX View Post
Cool review. I like those scissors maybe I will get them for home use. This also is convincing me to put aside the Xikar and get a Palio..
The palio and Xikar are close. Both are top notch. As you can see, I have a terrible time only having one of either. Ultimately as Mark has pointed out, you need to put these into your hand and use them yourselves. However, no cheapy will live up to either of these cutters.

Lu
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldebaran View Post
I dont know the Scissors look so unwieldy and unattractive, though I guess you can judge a book by its cover
For me, they are very comfortable and the action is super smooth.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Well done brother! Love my Palio...
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

You are reviewing cigar cutters, not gold chains.

Quality of cut should have 50 points if "bling factor" gets 5 IMO.

I greatly appreciate your work though, nice job!
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Nicely done review. I have a palio and as a guillotine cutter it is the best I have used. Still I find myself reaching for my v-cutter 90% of the time and my punch cutter most of the rest of the time. Neither of which are nearly the piece of craftsmanship of my palio. Again reiterating that you like what you like. Thanks.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Nice review.
I owned a Xikar then purchased a Palio. The quality of the cut was a day and night difference. It might be the same amount of pressure, but the Palio is always a good cut.
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by BORIStheBLADE View Post
Nice review.
I owned a Xikar then purchased a Palio. The quality of the cut was a day and night difference. It might be the same amount of pressure, but the Palio is always a good cut.
had a xikar first then went palio. Palio has been the sharpest and straightest cut I've come across so far. I have been punching a few sticks as well. I kind of like the punch.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Thanks for your work on this Loo and Charles. I have an Xicar now and am pleased with it. Perhaps when (if) it dies I will pick up a Palio.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPD6030 View Post
had a xikar first then went palio. Palio has been the sharpest and straightest cut I've come across so far. I have been punching a few sticks as well. I kind of like the punch.
I was using a few punches for a while and found I liked it a lot.
Just wish I could find one that lasts. All the ones I had either fell apart
or started dulling pretty fast.

Chas
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:46 AM   #19
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Well done, kind Sir!!
I have three of the six and I have to admit to rotating between my Palio and my Xikar Xi3 (the most). I also have to admit, when it comes to a "Special Occasion" smoke, I find myself grabbing my Palio more often then my Xikar.

Side NOTE: I have many lighters, but my favorite ligher/cutter combo is my Blazer Chief II. This is a small RG cutter (maybe 48 RG tops), but this has got to be the sharpest cutter I've ever owned, it's like cutting butter. So sharp in fact, I've cut my finger without even knowing it. I know, how do you cut your finger with a cutter? I'm one of those that test sharpness of blade by grazing my finger across the blades of any cutter, knife, axe etc. (crazy?, maybe, but they don't call this place the Asylum for nothing).

Very, VERY well done, in depth review!! It appears you've spent a lot of time on this, and I for one, want to thank you. Double
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: 6 Cutter Review

Thanks for taking the time to do such a review, its a cut above other reviews.
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