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Stogie Commentary: The Truth About Cigar Gadgets

11 Apr 2007

Every time I turn around there’s another cigar gadget I’m told will improve my smoking experience. Cigar entrepreneurs now offer a gadget for everything.

Most of these gadgets are just plain useless…a few might make good conversation starters, and fewer yet are actually useful:

gadget2.jpgGolf is a high technology sport that happens to go really well with cigars. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that we see so many golf/cigar gadgets. There are dozens of special golf cigar clips, holders, and tees. One “golf tee” I received would crush any cigar wider than a corona and, while others might work better, they are universally unnecessary as the golf course has plenty of natural cigar holders. Tee-box markers, the handle of your golf bag, two golf tees on their sides, or the grass all get the job done just fine.

Still other golf cigar gadgets are even more absurd: I’ve seen combination cigar cutters/divot tools, mini humidors shaped like a golf bag, and even a combination titanium driver/humidor/lighter (OK, I made that last one up).

But cigar gadgets aren’t limited to the links. A dependable cutter is a cigar smoker’s best friend, but some cutters are clearly more about the conversations they might start than the draw they’ll hegadget1.jpglp produce. Boston Cigar Cutters are beautiful examples of detailed craftsmanship, but it looks more like the shift stick from your grandfather’s old car than a cigar cutter (and at over $500 a pop I’d expect it to play DVDs). Or take this cutter from Saladini Cutlery that looks like it could behead a 16th century tyrant.

Then there are the high technology cigar gadgets. This lighter doubles as a memory stick for your computer. I’ve seen a device that measures the humidity of a particular cigar like some sort of mutant meat thermometer. And then there’s the cigar Swiss Army Knife (right), because your not really living until you have one device that can cut your cigar, open your mail, scale a fish, uncork a bottle of wine, open a bottle of beer, screw in a nail, and file your fingernails.

Another gadget I was given was a “draw poker,” which skewers your cigar like a shish kebab to improve the draw. My experience is if you repeatedly have draw issues with your cigars, you need either a better humidor, better cigars, or both. And unfortunately the extremely tightly-packed cigagadget3.gifrs that could use some loosening up often crack when you try to use the draw poker.

And finally, what is the deal with this hundred dollar cigar shirt?

Now that I’ve vented about a few of the gadgets I’ve seen over the years, it brings me to the main reason I’m so sour on cigar gadgets: The best thing about cigars is that it’s a simple pleasure.

All that’s really necessary to smoke a cigar is a stogie, your fingernail (to cut the cigar), a few matches, and plenty of time. My fear is that the more gadgets enter into our smoking routines, the less we’ll concentrate on the cigar itself, which is (along with peace of mind) what cigar smoking is really all about.

Patrick S


8 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: The Truth About Cigar Gadgets”

  1. Chad Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 8:35 am #

    Thanks so much for this is a great commentary. It's so refreshing for a cigar website to come out and say we really don't need any of this crap. That's something I've truly believed for a long time.

    You hit the nail on the head when you say that these things take more away from the smoking experience than they add. After all, this is an expensive hobby as it is.

    Keep it simple, stupid!

  2. George E Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 9:13 am #

    Patrick – You are 100% correct. Thanks for a great commentary!

  3. Cigar Jack Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 7:53 pm #

    Love the commentary! I've fallen prey to gadgets in the past and if you add USB to it I have a habit of buying it.

  4. Dicksbain Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 5:50 pm #

    I agree! Way too many gadgets that fail. I recall buying some Cuban Crafters 3 blade scissor cutter. Now, Cuban Crafters makes great, lifetime warranty cutters, but this thing was horrible. It looked so cool, but it destroyed cigars. Luckly, I got a full refund.

    KISS=Keep It Simply Stupid, like chad said

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