In February, Credo announced a new product that filled a hole in its lineup—no pun intended—specifically, a cutter built to cut some of the largest cigars on the market. Named the Credo 80 Ring Gauge Double Blade Cutter, it joined three already existing options with similar designs from the company that are made to cut up to 56, 60 and 70 ring gauge cigars.
WHAT IS IT?
The name Credo 80 Ring Gauge Double Blade Cutter pretty much says it all: designed to cut cigars up to 80 ring gauge, the cutter is a combination between a traditional double guillotine cutter and cigar scissors.
According to the company, the exterior case is composed of ABS plastic while the two blades are made of stainless steel and the whole cutter weighs in at exactly 33 grams. When it is closed, the cutter measures 3.75 inches long and 2.25 inches at its widest points, but with both blades fully open, the width increases to exactly 5 inches wide.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
As is the case with a number of other cutters sporting similar designs, the Credo 80 Ring Gauge Double Blade Cutter works in basically the same way as a pair of scissors: with the point of the cutter pointed up, you put two fingers in the appropriate openings—in my case, my middle finger goes in the left opening and my thumb in the right opening—and open the cutter by pulling open the handles. On the Credo, this opening action to open the cutter takes a surprising lack of effort; in fact, if you hold one blade and shake the cutter up and down lightly, the other blade easily opens on its own.
To actually cut a cigar once the blades are open, you then position the cap of the cigar into the opening that has been revealed and push both blades closed at the same time, which causes the blades to cut through the cap simultaneously. The blades then close off the opening completely and come to the end of their journey silently—no satisfying click with this cutter—and the blades have trouble staying shut even after they are closed all the way.
While it is technically possible to use the cutter upside down—meaning that the point of the handle is facing down and the handles are on top—the position that the cutter is in when I was cutting caps resulted in noticeably inferior cuts due to balance issues that were obvious enough for me to abandon the practice after a few test cuts.
- Cuts Up To 80 Ring Gauge Cigars — I mean, it is in the name and is kind of the point of the cutter, but still warrants a mention.
- A Great Combination of Thin and Light — While the cutter does have a fairly large footprint in terms of overall length, the combination of the lightweight and extreme thinness means that you can easily throw this in a pocket and forget you have it on you until you need to pull it out.
- You Can See What You Are Cutting — Due to the design, you can easily see exactly how much of the cap you are cutting off, something that is not nearly as common as you might think.
- It’s Affordable — Cheap enough to not think twice if you misplace it or need to give it away, and easy enough to find that replacing it is just a matter of choosing which vendor to buy from.
- Large Finger Openings — I am not a small guy, and the holes for this cutter are almost big enough to fit two of my fingers through them at once.
- Blades Show Signs Of Dulling After Less Than Extended Use — The first 30 or so cuts with this cutter were virtually flawless, but the situation began getting slightly worse with each cut after that point, including some less than ideal cuts and (very) slight damage to a couple of wrappers.
- The Blades Can Come Open In Your Pocket or Bag With No Warning — This started happening almost from the first time I used it and there were times when I reached into my bag and found one of my fingers in the opening as I was fishing around.
- Not Heavy Enough to Help The Balance While Cutting — The lightweight is positive when carrying it around in your pocket but it also means that there is very little help when it comes to the balance in your hand.
- Flimsy Construction — Sure, it costs less than $10, but there are multiple cutters on the market at a lower price point that don’t feel near as cheap.
While double guillotine cutters are far from rare in the cigar world, the design of the Credo that combines scissor-like motion into a cigar cutter is not exactly ubiquitous. With that said, one of the most obvious competitors to the Credo is one of the smaller versions of the same cutter, albeit not that much smaller: specifically, the Credo XXL, which can cut up to 70 ring gauge cigars in half. Of course, although the XXL comes in at a smaller price—about $5.50—it will also most likely come with the same issue of dulling blades.
- XIKAR X875 ($34.99) — Sure, it is more than four times the price of the Credo and can only cut 75 ring gauge cigars in half, but the XIKAR is a much better product that will be cutting cigars sharply long after you have thrown away the Credo in frustration.
- Vertigo VC800 “Big Daddy” ($9.99) — It cuts cigars almost as big, but it will also have dull blades after less than 50 cuts and has a retail price just a bit above the Credo.
- Craftsman’s Bench Double Blade Cutter ($4) — While it only cuts cigars up to 64 ring gauge, it cuts them quite a bit better than the Credo for less than half the price.
- Credo Synchro ($71.50) — This more expensive version of the Credo 80 Ring Gauge Double Blade Cutter also combines a guillotine and scissor cutter into one product, but also features double-axis, gear synchronized, self-sharpening blades, but only cuts cigars up to 56 ring gauge.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
There are very few cutters that can cut an 80 ring gauge cigar in half and not many that you can purchase for under $10, but the Credo 80 Ring Gauge Double Blade Cutter hits both those points. Having said that, there are a few major issues that prevent me from recommending it: the cuts on cigars I used it on after about the 30th cut began to exhibit problems indicating that the blades were already dulling, and the fact that the blades were loose enough to slide open on their own almost from the time I started using it is a hazard that I could do without. Finally—and most unfortunately for Credo—you don’t have to actually be able to cut an 80 ring gauge in half in order to smoke it. In fact, you can easily use just about any cutter that goes up to about 50 ring gauge to cut off an appropriate amount of the cap to smoke cigars that large, which makes this cutter basically pointless.