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Cigar Tip: Look Sharp, Stay Sharp

10 Dec 2013

I’m a long-time Xikar enthusiast, having bought my first cutter at a local shop nearly a decade ago. It’s a Xi2 Malachite Green model with the German Solingen blades. I’ve cut hundreds of cigars with it, including the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial I’m enjoying as I type.

xikarThe blades appear every bit as sharp as they were the first time I used it. But lately I had begun to notice that the clipping action wasn’t as smooth as before. I wiped it down, blew in it, tapped it gently on my palm. Nothing seemed to have an effect. The stickiness was more of a mild annoyance than a real impediment, and I would promptly forget after I’d used it.

The other day, though, I remembered it for some reason as I was sitting at my computer. I looked on Xikar’s site and found the contact form. I knew that with Xikar’s warranty they would make it right, but I wanted first to be sure that if I sent it in I could get my cutter back and not risk receiving a replacement for my old friend.

Within a day, I heard back from a Xikar employee. She attached a form for returning the Xi and said I should note clearly that I wanted the cutter returned rather than replaced should repair be impossible.

The next part of her email, however, was what really got my attention. She suggested that a bit of do-it-yourself maintenance might solve the problem:

“We recommend that you periodically clean and lubricate the locking/opening mechanism on XI cutters and knives. Simply place a couple of drops of a quality graphite lubricant (such as Tuf Glide or Lock Ease) in the mechanism, and operate the unit for deep penetration. Wipe away excess lubricant when finished. The locking mechanism of XI cutters can be accessed through the hole that appears above the release button when the cutter is open.” (I have to confess that if I’d been just a bit sharper myself I could have checked the FAQ page on the site and found the helpful hint.)

I dug out a little squeeze bottle of Lock Ease I’ve had forever and applied a couple of drops as directed, then wiped it off and set it aside for a while to allow the graphite odor to dissipate.

Bingo! When I picked it up and pushed the button the wings virtually flew open. They closed just as smoothly. My old Xikar is as good as new.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

One Response to “Cigar Tip: Look Sharp, Stay Sharp”

  1. Patrick Ashby Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    This is a great tip, George. I've had the same issue with my Xikar cutter, which I've had for years, and a drop or two of Lock Ease did make it spring back to life.

    I also think this is a good time to point out that any cigar accessory issue — be it on a cutter or a torch lighter — is worth a few minutes of DIY research before sending it in for repairs or buying a new one. Most accessory manufacturers have excellent FAQ sections of their websites. Not long ago, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with one of my Prometheus lighters. I read the Prometheus website, and in a few minutes I had it working perfectly again.