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Newbie must haves?
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Deadl0ck
Posted 11/8/2018 5:47 PM (#755806)
Subject: Newbie must haves?


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As a newbie, I'm wondering if any of the more experienced smokers have any suggestions on what must-haves there are. Preferably on a budget, since my disposable income is generally speaking very limited.

 

I currently have: A simple jet lighter to toast and light the cigar with, a simple 2 sided guillotine cutter, a simple 15-20 cigar table humidor and a simple cigar ashtray.  

 I've been looking at getting some stuff from china, (aliexpress) but I don't know if that's going to be worth the money, it tends to be very hit and miss, is my experience. I've been eyeing a few different style cutters, like 3 blade scissors, and a simple 2 dollar v-cutter, and a 3 jet lighter (as mine is a bit dodgy) on there.

 

Cheers for the advice, in advance! 

 

 

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Mautrak
Posted 11/8/2018 6:04 PM (#755808 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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An absolute must-have? A cigar. That's it. Everything else is icing on the cake. You can live without a torch lighter, or without a nice cutter. But you have to have a cigar. From that point, sit down, relax, enjoy the cigar, and you're doing it right.
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headfirst
Posted 11/8/2018 6:56 PM (#755810 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Seems like your question is about accessories. There is one that I got about a year ago that I wish I had when I first started, the perfecdraw. It basically bores a little hole down the shaft to take care of plugs and tight draws, and you can bore that hole as far down the shaft as you want but it usually only takes about 1/2 inch to an inch to fix the issue.

I can't tell you how many cigars I come across where the draw is not what it should be whether the cigar be pricey or budget-friendly. The tool runs $40 or so, but even a basic ice pick could probably do just as well. My advice would be to figure out a tool for getting the draw right. A tight draw will ruin what should be a great tasting cigar every time.

To me the lighters and cutters and stuff don't matter so much, nice to have good ones I guess but cheapies still cut 'em and light 'em just fine for me...
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ninfiction
Posted 11/8/2018 9:18 PM (#755815 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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To piggy back on Gary's suggestion of a Perfect Draw, I use a wooden skewer. Just ream the cigar with it until it opens up a little bit. Nothing worse than fighting a tight draw.

I did purchase a decent Xikar guillotine cutter. They have lifetime warranties and work great. If they get dull you just mail it in or take it to a shop that sells them and get a new one. Cheaper cutters tend to dull much quicker and you end up pinching the end of the cigar more than cutting it. You can find a Xikar Xi for about $25 on sale...or up to a couple hundred dollars for a fancy one.

I've got probably a dozen lighters, everything from single to quad flame. Most I've gotten for free. They can always be found free or super cheap. The key is to use quality butane. Both Xikar and Colibri make triple distilled butane, save money on the lighter itself and spend the extra couple bucks on good butane.
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Koop
Posted 11/8/2018 10:32 PM (#755818 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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I started with an inexpensive two-blade guillotine cutter. Then I paid the price for an Xigar Xi2 cutter. Best money I've spent - other than good cigars. Perdomo Fresco is an excellent value stick.
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Chefjohn
Posted 11/9/2018 3:51 AM (#755820 - in reply to #755818)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Good advice from the veterans here. I use The Perfect Cutter by Cuban Crafters. The opening for the cigar has a backstop so so always cut the correct amount from the stick. It also has a lifetime guarantee.
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Murphy223
Posted 11/9/2018 6:41 AM (#755822 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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I 2nd the Perfect Cutter by Cuban Crafters. It's like $20 It made a HUGE difference. I had a generic two-blade guillotine cutter before and was hacking off more of the cigar. The Perfect Cutter does exactly what it's supposed to.

Also if you have a humidor - invest in some Bovedas and a cheap digital hygrometer. You can pick them up in Ebay for less than $5 and they work fine. The bovedas will keep your cigars and the perfect RH and you don't have to worry about a thing
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Cfickter
Posted 11/9/2018 6:58 AM (#755823 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Like others commenting here, I strongly suggest investing in a good cutter. Even before you invest in a good lighter. IMHO Xikar is the best. I have several and they are top quality backed by lifetime warranty. Sometimes, if you are not too picky on color or style, you can find a good deal on C-Bid. I picked up Xikar Xi cutters on two different occasions for under $25 ea.

An inexpensive jet lighter is fine, you can find good one for under $10 easily and better for under $15. I would suggest staying away from the three and four flame models. Just too easy to over toast the stick and wastes fuel. Also invest a good quality fuel. My personal choice is a butane soft flame. Again some good choices out there for a few more bucks.

Now lets talk about your humidor, critical choice here on how you store your cigars and there are a number of very good and inexpensive options. Size matters, so use the metric approach. Think of the number of cigars you may want to hold, double it, and add 32. Once you have that number, go buy 2 of them.
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05Venturer
Posted 11/9/2018 6:58 AM (#755824 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Draw Poker & a Xikar cutter and your sett. I prefer to light my cigars with wooden matches if wind is not an issue. As far as lighter I pick up cheap torches on ebay fo ra buck or 2 a piece and if they quit I chuck it. I truthfully have $2 lighters that have lasted years.
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Cfickter
Posted 11/9/2018 11:16 AM (#755831 - in reply to #755824)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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05Venturer - 11/9/2018 7:58 AM Draw Poker & a Xikar cutter and your sett. I prefer to light my cigars with wooden matches if wind is not an issue. As far as lighter I pick up cheap torches on ebay fo ra buck or 2 a piece and if they quit I chuck it. I truthfully have $2 lighters that have lasted years.

Wooden matches are the ideal way to light a cigar.

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SparklePony
Posted 11/9/2018 12:56 PM (#755837 - in reply to #755831)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Cfickter - 11/9/2018 12:16 PM

05Venturer - 11/9/2018 7:58 AM Draw Poker & a Xikar cutter and your sett. I prefer to light my cigars with wooden matches if wind is not an issue. As far as lighter I pick up cheap torches on ebay fo ra buck or 2 a piece and if they quit I chuck it. I truthfully have $2 lighters that have lasted years.

Wooden matches are the ideal way to light a cigar.



Oh look what we have here. A purist. 
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Cfickter
Posted 11/9/2018 2:08 PM (#755839 - in reply to #755837)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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SparklePony - 11/9/2018 1:56 PM
Cfickter - 11/9/2018 12:16 PM

05Venturer - 11/9/2018 7:58 AM Draw Poker & a Xikar cutter and your sett. I prefer to light my cigars with wooden matches if wind is not an issue. As far as lighter I pick up cheap torches on ebay fo ra buck or 2 a piece and if they quit I chuck it. I truthfully have $2 lighters that have lasted years.

Wooden matches are the ideal way to light a cigar.



Oh look what we have here. A purist. 


An when I do use a match to light my cigar my pinky finger sticks out
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appollo
Posted 11/9/2018 2:46 PM (#755841 - in reply to #755837)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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A good cutter is a must.The lighter can be less expensive.
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Jackal
Posted 11/9/2018 5:42 PM (#755847 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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XiKars are excellent cutters, but I would recommend spending a few bucks more and going with the Palio. They are incredibly sharp, keep their edge, and if you have any problem at all, any seller of them are required to take them back without question and issue you a replacement (no need to mail back).
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klamm143
Posted 11/9/2018 6:13 PM (#755850 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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AND............BOOZE - don't forget the BOOZE.
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WatchmanUSA
Posted 11/9/2018 11:54 PM (#755863 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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I general, buy quality stuff.

* Don’t buy a cheap wood humidor. You have to spend $300 for a real hardwood humidor with real 1/4 inch Spanish cedar lined box. I picked up a custom handcrafted wood humidor that cost $600 but I got it used off Craigslist for $280. The cheap humidors are veneered particle board with a thin veneer of Spanish cedar. However, instead of spending the $300 on a quality wood box to store a couple dozen cigars, buy a large cooler and store hundreds of cigars. If you must have a wood humidor look at Ammodor. http://www.ammodors.com
* For humidification, buy Boveda packs, for a hygrometer, buy the Boveda Butler for $20 - https://bovedainc.com/store/tobacco/boveda-butler/
* Lighters, matches work but look at Jetline lighters. http://www.jetlinelighter.com
There are inexpensive and all kinds of styles.
* Cutters, Either buy cheap and replace often, or buy quality like Xikar with a lifetime warranty. I have a Swiss Army 36 knife that has a cigar cutter as one of the tools. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IIEFGXG/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_... I carry a knife almost all the time so the SAK 36 works great.
* Then I have a Xikar VX2 v-cut. https://www.xikar.com/products/cutters/vx2/ Then my lighter has a cigar punch built in.
* I have a PerfectDraw $30 and food glue in case I damage a wrapper and need to repair it. http://perfecdraw.com

Edited by WatchmanUSA 11/10/2018 12:12 AM
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Deadl0ck
Posted 11/12/2018 7:16 PM (#755934 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?


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Thanks everyone for the advice!

I'm pretty set for draw fixing, I have a few tobacco pokers amongst my pipe tools, including a small hand drill for blocked draft holes, that I've already used on shortfillers before.

I'll have browse at the local tobacconist to see what kind of cutters he has on offer, and get the local price. Most of the stuff reccomended here doesn't seem to be readily available to me (aside from Xikar) as I'm in europe, and ordering from the US adds a roughly 20 dollar shipping cost, and I'll have to fork out import taxes on anything over 22 dollars.

I've gotten a lot of good tips however, so again, thank you all!
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Cfickter
Posted 11/13/2018 8:02 AM (#755950 - in reply to #755847)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Jackal - 11/9/2018 6:42 PM Xikars are excellent cutters, but I would recommend spending a few bucks more and going with the Palio. They are incredibly sharp, keep their edge, and if you have any problem at all, any seller of them are required to take them back without question and issue you a replacement (no need to mail back).


Yes, Palio is a very good cutter but I paid less for a Palio than Xikar.  If you are careful and not over picky on color or finish you can get either on CBid at a pretty good price.  I paid $24 for a Xikar Xi2 Granite and as little as $14 for a Palio.  It is all in the timing.  All so like Palio Xikar dealers will do on the spot warranty exchanges. 

And you do not need to spend $300 on a humidor.  I have picked up 150 or 100 count humidors for under $100 that are damn good.  I have a Sterling 100 display humidor that I paid $70 for and it holds my everyday, easy to reach smokes, despite the glass tops it never gives me an issue.
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weeqi
Posted 12/18/2018 4:47 PM (#759319 - in reply to #755950)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?


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My current set up is excessive: I use a xikar xi3 redwood phantom and a black st dupont defi extreme. If I could go back, I would skip the stuff I used in the middle: a cheap lighter and the Xi2, which is plastic. Reason being: I literally can't spend any more money on accessories now that I've reached the upper limit. Granted, I got great deals on both on cigarmonster: something like $180 for both. It's the same sort of thinking that leads people to buy a larger humidor than they need at first: it eliminates the money spent upgrading from the first purchase. However, if you decided the hobby isn't for you, there is not a guarantee you can sell them on a secondary market.
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Cfickter
Posted 12/19/2018 7:50 AM (#760351 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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I don't believe you can have enough accessories. But I also believe they need to be great pieces that you can reply on time after time. I keep about half a dozen various Xikar cutters (two @ home, 1 in the car, 1 in the office, 1 in my work bag, and another still in the box waiting). My favorite and IMHO the best cutter out there is the Xikar XO. I worry less about the lighters but have everything from low cost JetLines to high end Xikars & Lotus. But my favorite is the Xikar EX Room 101 soft flame.
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DonM
Posted 12/21/2018 3:56 AM (#760468 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: RE: Newbie must haves?



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Tools of the Hobby:

A sharp cutter, whichever you chose (many good ones already covered). Nothing worse than crushing the cap on a cigar because it is dull

Lighters are a crap shoot. I have a few Xikar and sent many back for replacement through warranty. I have a few that were freebies an/or got them on the cheap and they work just as good providing you use quality butane. I prefer dual flame

Humidor selection is a slippery slope. Go bigger than you think you need, your collection will grow. Most all of the desk tops sold these days are made in China unless you spend some serious coin. Spanish cedar and a good seal are the 2 most important factors. I have a Cuban Crafter"s desktop that I really like and for the coin it was a worthy purchase. It had a "Made in China" sticker when I got it. You can also go cabinet if you plan on storing a ton of cigars, or a Coolidor or Tupperdor.

A digital hygrometer. Preferably one that you can calibrate with salt test or Boveda calibration kit. Hygrometers that you cannot calibrate will typically be off from 1 - 5% variance out of the box. Hygroset hygrometers are cheap on Amazon and can be dialed in pretty close

Become educated on storage, humidification and the different types. This is a whole different subject and you can start by reading through this:

http://www.cigargeeks.com/community/boxx/knowledgebase.asp?iid=10&C...

I am OCD in this area, I do not like over humidified cigars. I will not use a sponge with PG solution in a humidor. For Desktops, I would recommend Boveda packs or Heartfelt beads

My $.02 for the day, go enjoy a cigar


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PETE314
Posted 2/22/2019 2:15 PM (#762996 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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It is worth re-mentioning.....Buy quality stuff... It is worth it. That does not mean you have to spend a fortune.

* Cutter - you need a good cutter. Cheapies will dull too quickly and leave your cut ragged and you will be spitting out bits all night. Right now, I think the best deal for a great cutter is the Palio on CBid. especially if you are not too picky about colors or logo's. I have picked some up for as little as $8. But I think people are catching on and so 10-15 may be right. I am not a big fan of Colibri cutters(except the V-cut)....Cuban Crafters is good and deals to be had...Xikar...great product...But the Palios are one of the best cutters you can buy...and the price on Cbid is criminal...lol

* Lighter - I am a big fan of Jetline. I have sever triple and quad lighters from them. But if you are really on a budget...check out Ronson...it is a single jet Torch lighter that you can get from Wal-Mart for like $5 or less. The thing is indestructible. Xikar makes a great lighter but pricey and I have had better luck with Jetline. Not a fan of the Colibri lighters either...lol

* Humidor - If you know what you are looking for, deals can be had on craigslist. You can get a decent deal on the auction sites. My first humidor came from cheaphumidors.com and I am very happy with it. They have deals on imperfect humidors. The damage is only cosmetic. so if price is an issue...check them out. I HIGHLY suggest looking for solid wood with spanish cedar veneer. Stay away from the particle board cheapies. Look for at least a 75-100 count humidor...Anything smaller and you will grow out of it before you even know it. As others have mentioned, take the tuppadore or coolidor route. Something with a good seal. If you have an old broken wine cooler. we have articles and threads on the site of those of us who converted a Wine cooler into a humidor...

* ashtray - plenty of cheap deals on CBid. But hey a coffee mug works just as good. There are accessories that you can't even imagine...But I wanted to keep this down to someone being a newbie and not needing or wanting to spend a lot of money...Hope that helps

I forgot about humidification.  Boveda is GREAT...but can be pricey...so learn how to recharge them.  Other alternatives are Heartfelt beads, gel beads, and even kitty litter (the crystaline stuff not the grey stuff)  Distilled Water is a MUST...to recharge all for these methods. and a small spray bottle can be very helpful to control over watering.

Also a digital hygrometer is a must...look for  +or- 1% of accuracy...They should have temp included.



Edited by PETE314 2/22/2019 2:25 PM
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sar127
Posted 2/24/2019 6:45 PM (#763035 - in reply to #755806)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Wow this thread is a newbie goldmine!

Maybe it should be pinned in the Accessories forum.

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bstessl
Posted 2/25/2019 12:47 PM (#763050 - in reply to #755823)
Subject: Re: Newbie must haves?



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Cfickter - 11/9/2018 6:58 AM  Now lets talk about your humidor, critical choice here on how you store your cigars and there are a number of very good and inexpensive options. Size matters, so use the metric approach. Think of the number of cigars you may want to hold, double it, and add 32. Once you have that number, go buy 2 of them.


if you don't care about looks, get yourself a nice big storage container with a foam seal ($12), a giant boveda at your preferred % ($25) and you're set.  That will give you A LOT of storage for under $50... unless you need 2.

Edited by bstessl 2/25/2019 12:50 PM




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