Böker is a knife company based out of the city of Solingen, Germany, which carries the nickname “City of Blades,” due to the fact that it has long been known for the manufacturing of fine swords, knives, scissors and razors going back to medieval times. There are numerous famous cutlery companies based in and around the city, most notably, Wüsthof and Zwilling J. A. Henckels.

While Böker is known for its knives, the company makes other products as well, including the subject of today’s review, the Böker Plus Cigar Cutter. Böker Plus is one of the company’s sub-brands that is known for products that are designed in Solingen but manufactured in China and Taiwan.

WHAT IS IT?

The Böker Plus Cigar Cutter is a single guillotine cutter capable of cutting cigars up to 54-ring gauge. although you can obviously cut larger ring gauge cigars up to about 56-ring gauge if you are just cutting a bit off of the cap. The body is made out of titanium and it includes a single 440C steel blade inside. In addition to being utilized as a cigar cutter, the Böker can be used as a knife by opening up the blade fully.

Physically, the Böker Plus Cigar Cutter weighs 2.47 ounces while measuring 1.25 inches high and .25 inches thick. The case measures 2.95 inches long when the blade is closed and 3.91 when the blade is fully open, while the actual blade measures 1.35 inches long and .11 inches thick.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

$140.95 is the listed price on Böker’s website though I found it at other retailers for around $110.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The blade of the Böker Plus Cigar Cutter is released via a spring-loaded opening mechanism that is triggered by pushing down on a button located on the front of the cutter case. Pushing that button once will bring the blade up 45 degrees, which reveals the entire opening for the cap of the cigar to be inserted.

I found that you should put the cap into the side of the knife that had the logo, that way the edge is closes to the cap of the cigar.

To actually cut a cigar, I put the cap into the opening and push down on the top of the blade with my thumb, which pushes the blade through the cigar before locking it in place on the other side with a firm clicking noise. As with a number of other single guillotine blades, when cutting cigars with the Böker Plus Cigar Cutter, you can use it in either your right or left hand, although the process for each hand changes slightly. Just remember to keep the cap towards the side with the logo.

In order to use the blade as a knife, you have two options: the first option is to push the button on the front of the case to move the blade into position for use as a cigar cutter as outlined above, then push a second button located on the back side of the case to open the blade all the way. The second option is to push both the front and back buttons down at the same time, which causes the blade to fly open in a surprisingly aggressive manner.

Pushing two buttons at once may not sound overly difficult, but getting my fingers in just the right spots to push them both simultaneously when they are on different sides—and in different locations—takes a bit of getting used to. The blade works amazingly well as a regular old knife once it is fully open, but getting to that point is more than a little annoying. In my opinion, there should be two buttons next to each other on the same side of the case: one to open the blade and use as a cigar cutter, the other to open the blade fully in order to use as a knife.

THE GOOD

  • Amazing Build Quality — This is an extremely solid cutter: the exterior is rock solid, and there is virtually no give to the blade after more than a month of solid use.
  • Works Well As a Knife — Sure, there are other cigar cutters whose blades can perform double duty as a knife, but some are easier to utilize than others. For the Böker, pressing two buttons will open the blade and lock it into place nicely. This also means you could just use the knife blade to remove the cap. For those wondering about the sharpness of the blade, we measured it with scores of 76 and 80 using this edge sharper test.
  • Small & Extremely Compact Size — While it is surprisingly heavy for its size, the Böker is easily small enough to carry around in a pants pocket with no issues whatsoever. I never forgot it was there, but it never came close to being annoying.

THE BAD

  • The Cuts Could Be Better — I will give the Böker its props: unlike various other cutters using similar designs, this one did not crush the caps of the cigars I cut with it very often. Having said that, nearly 40 percent of the cuts I made with the cutter had issues such as the blade not cutting all the way through the cap, leaving small parts of the wrapper leaf behind, or the caps beginning to come unraveled.
  • Virtually Useless For Cigars Above 54 Ring Gauge — This cutter is obviously meant for smaller ring gauge cigars and while I applaud the company for making an easy-to-use portable option, cutting anything over about 54 ring gauge is an exercise in futility. That fact cuts out a whole bunch of cigars, pun definitely intended.
  • This Will Require Knife Maintenance — After less than a month of near-daily use, the cutter used for this review developed issue with the knife blade not fully opening as smoothly as it did out of the box. As far as the 45-degree angle needed for the cigar cutter, it works just fine and the blade springs up like it did out of the box. However, when hitting the second button to open the knife to 180-degrees doesn’t have the same springing effect that it did out of the box. It gets there, but it either requires me to help fling it open or by pressing both buttons at the same time. It’s a small annoyance and one easily remedied by some oil. Fortunately, Böker includes an Allen wrench so that you an open up the blade of the cutter.
  • It Will Require More Maintenance Than a Regular Cutter — There are a number of springs and gears inside of this cutter that is required to make it work the way it does, but those springs and gears mean there are just that many more places for tobacco pieces to get stuck in.
  • You Can’t Carry This Cigar Cutter On a Plane — It is a knife after all and therefore, you won’t be able to bring it in places where knives are banned, like the cabin of an airplane.

 

THE COMPETITION

Other than the two Paul Garmirian Sheffield cutters and the Screwpop Chopo, the Böker Cigar Cutter Pocket Knife might be the smallest non-punch cutter I have reviewed so far. With that said, the closest competitor I can think of is the Les Fines Lames Le Petit ($149-$14,180). Both utilize the same knife blade as a single guillotine cutter design, both can be used as knives and both are obviously made with high-quality components.

However, the base Le Petit comes in at a price point that is about $50 higher than the Böker. On the other hand, the Le Petit gives better results when actually cutting cigars and can be used on larger ring gauge cigars. One major difference between how the two cutters work is that the Le Petit uses a half-moon shape opening, where as the Böker Plus uses the more common cut-out opening within the body of the cutter. We’ve wondered if the reason why cutters like the Böker Plus have issues with cutting cigars is because the blade doesn’t go far enough past the bottom part of the cap. Many single blade cutters—including those that aren’t cigar knives—have identical issues with the cuts.

Between these two cutters, I would take the Le Petit due to the better cuts, even at the slightly higher price point.

Additional Competitors

  • Havana Al-Mar ($100) — While it is difficult to find due to the fact that it has long been discontinued, the Havana Al-Mar also comes in at around the same price point. However, the Havana Al-Mar is made with cheaper materials and can only cut cigars up to about 50-ring gauge compared to the Böker Plus’ 54-ring gauge limitation, while the Böker Plus does not have a belt clip. — Brooks Whittington.I own one of these cutters and suspect that the results are about the same as the Böker Plus. It does much better cutting smaller ring gauge cigars, but I’d rather use a $5 double guillotine cigar cutter to cut my cigars. — Charlie Minato.
  • Les Fines Lames Le Tag T135 ($90) — Although it is made with a totally different design, the wearable Le Tag T135 is slightly cheaper than the Böker Plus and can cut cigars up to 90 ring gauge. I have not reviewed this cutter, so I cannot give you a comparison between the two products yet.
  • Benchmade 381 Aller Fumée ($160) — While I have not tested this yet and can’t officially compare it to the Böker Plus Cigar Cutter, the Aller Fumée comes in about the same price point but can cut up to 58-ring gauge cigars. The Aller Fumée also features an exterior made of Richlite, a material made from layering recycled paper and then applying resin. It too is discontinued.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

No.

There have been plenty of companies looking to nail a product that works equally well as both a cigar cutter and a knife. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those products don’t do a very good job when it comes to actually cutting cigars, While opening the blade to cut cigars with this cutter is as simple as pushing a button, the convoluted ritual that has to be performed in order to use the knife blade made me not want to bother with the entire process.

Overall Score

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.