Last October, JetLine announced it would be filling a very obvious hole in its product lineup by releasing a new v-cutter. Named The Judge, the new cutter is targeted towards smokers who prefer thicker ring gauge sticks, as the company says it is capable of handling up to a 70 ring gauge cigar. Although the cutter was originally scheduled to be released in October 2021, it did not actually begin shipping to retailers until early November 2021.

Update (March 7, 2022) — JetLine informed halfwheel that it is changing the name of this product to the JL-Judge due to a trademark infringement claim by My Father Cigars. It had previously been referred to as The Judge. We have updated the headline of the story, but as this article was published before the name change, you will see the product referred to by its original name.


As mentioned above the JetLine The Judge is v-cutter utilizing a single blade that is capable of cutting cigars up to 70 ring gauge cigars. Unlike older v-cutter designs, where the triangular shaped blade will have its tip penetrate the cap from the center of the cigar before continuing to penetrate the cigar, The Judge utilizes the reverse v-cut method, where the sides of the “V” blade are the first to touch the cigar on the outside areas and the middle of the cap is the final part to come in contact with the blade. This process is designed to result in cleaner cuts with less overall damage to the cap and wrapper.

Physically, The Judge weighs 4.8 ounces while measuring 1.77 inches wide and .55 inches thick, with a total height of 2.95 inches when closed and 4 inches when fully open. The cutter features stainless steel blades encased in a body that is made of both metal and rubber, along with textured finger rests on both ends.



There are currently only two versions of The Judge—Black/Copper and Black/Red—both priced the same.


There seem to be three main ways that cigar cutter manufactures utilize to activate the blades on their products: simply pulling up the top blade, via fingers (in finger holes) or with a lever or button of some sort. The Judge utilizes the latter option, albeit with a bit of a twist: the cutting mechanism is opened by squeezing two levers located on either side of the cutter at the same time. This action releases the spring loaded section upwards with a loud “clank” on rails, which revels the opening where you place the cap of the cigar.

Each end of the cutter has a curved, textured rest for your fingers, and after positioning the cap where you want it, you simply push down on the top section which results in a smooth but somewhat laborious motion that forces the actual cutter itself through the cap of the cigar. As the blade cuts through the cap and comes to the end of its journey, it locks in place with an audible click and stays that way until you squeeze both triggers again. In addition, after you cut a cigar, the tobacco remnants are captured in the open middle section of the cutter until you open the blades again.


  • Textured Finger Rests Are Very, Very Handy— Yes, they really do help you obtain a better grip, and they look great as well. Honestly, they work so well I’m a little shocked more companies have not included the option in their cutters.
  • Tobacco Pieces (Mostly) Stay in the Cutter Until You Open It Again — The cap you just cut is held in place until you open it again, meaning that you can decide where the majority of the tobacco pieces end up. There were a few times when smaller bits fell in various places before I opened the cutter again, but it was a fairly uncommon occurrence.
  • Nice Choice for Large Ring Gauge Smokers — As advertised, this cutter is well-suited for those cutting cigars with larger ring gauges: the opening is easily deep enough to accommodate up to 70 ring gauge cigars, and I was able to get a decent opening in an 80 ring cigar, albeit with a more shallow depth.
  • Built to Last — With its combination of metal casing along with the textured finger rests and other parts, it is no surprise that I had no issues with longevity during the time I was testing this cutter.
  • The Blade Only Activates if Both Triggers Are Pushed at the Same Time — Although I am not sure if this was specifically meant to be a safety feature, it is nice to know that the blade cannot be opened if only one of the two triggers is pushed in.



  • The Cutting Isn’t Perfect — The vast majority of the cuts were clean and straight, but I had more issues than I expected in about one out of every five cigars, ranging from relatively minor problems like small pieces of tobacco left attached to the cap after a cut to larger issues that included cracked caps. This is a real issue given many v-cutters rarely ever have issues.
  • Weight — Sure, it does not weigh 10 pounds, but at 4.1 ounces, this is not a cutter you are going to forget you have in your pocket any time soon.
  • Cutting Motion Can Be a Bit Laborious — While the process of cutting the blade through the cap of a cigar is a smooth one, it does take a surprising amount of pressure to actually push the blade down.
  • Some Noticeable Body Wear After Extended Use — Although I had no issues with the sharpness of the blade after two months of use, the exterior body did show some obvious—albeit purely cosmetic—wear, including on the rubber section around the opening and some scratching of the paint on the corners and both finger rests.
  • Limited Color Options — JetLine does not exactly overwhelm people with options on many of its products, and The Judge is not an exception, as it is currently only sold in two color choices.
  • Deep Cuts (Perhaps Too Deep) — As detailed above, the opening on this cutter is easily deep enough to cut cigars up to 70 ring gauge. Having said that, I did run into some slight issues with cuts that were a bit too deep when using the cutter on cigars with smaller ring gauges like coronas or lanceros. This can be fixed for the most part by just not pushing the smaller cigar’s cap as far into the opening before you cut, but that process is not exactly an exact science and does sometimes mean you end up with cuts that are not straight.


The most obvious competition to the The Judge is the cutter that looks the most like it, namely the Colibri V-Cut ($39). Both cutters feature reverse v-cut blades, both feature blades that slide up on rails, and both utilize triggers to activate those blades, albeit different forms of triggers in different locations. With that said, there are some noticeable differences between the two products: the Colibri gave me cleaner cuts, has a multitude of color options and retails for $20 less than the JetLine, while The Judge can be used to cut cigar with larger ring gauges—70 rg compared to 64 rg on the Colibri—and features textured finger rests.

Additional Competitors

  • XIKAR VX2 V-Cut ($54.99) — A bit lighter and costing $5 less than The Judge, the VX2 gives cleaner cuts but can only be used on cigars up to about 64 ring gauge.
  • Colibri SV-Cut ($79) — While it is substantially heavier and $10 more expensive than The Judge, the SV-Cut has the distinct advantage of featuring two very good cutters—a straight cut and a v-cut—in one portable product.
  • Lotus Jaws V-Cutter ($35) — A much cooler design, less weight and slightly better cuts are the main advantages of the Lotus over the JetLine, along with a much smaller price tag.
  • Vertigo Victory V-Cutter ($5) — Price is the obvious difference between the Vertigo and the JetLine, and while the former does give slightly better cuts than the latter early on, the blade does get noticeably dull after extended use.



After more than two months of use, I found the balance, build quality and design of The Judge V-Cutter to be top notch, and the textured finger rests are a really nice touch that really do make a difference when it comes to actually using the product. In addition, I came to love the fact that I could put the cutter in my pocket and not worry about the blade opening up randomly, due to the fact that both side triggers need to be pushed at the same time to open up the blade. Having said all of that, there is one glaring issue that cannot be ignored: the cuts that I ended up with were a bit more problematic expecting in a cigar cutter at the price point it sells at. I would estimate that only about 20 percent of the cigars I cut with The Judge ended up with anything less than perfect cuts but those problematic cigars had obvious issues ranging from pieces of tobacco left over stuck to the cap to cracked wrappers, albeit in only a few cases. In the end, it is hard to recommend a cutter like The Judge when there are v-cutters on the market that not only cut cigars consistently more cleanly, but also cost less money.

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.