For many years Palió was known for a single, eponymous cutter that promised to be overbuilt and featured an impressive warranty policy. Eventually, the company would add a lighter, a cigar brand and there was talk of more.
In 2014, Toraño announced it would no longer be distributing the brand with murmurs that the company was having trouble getting inventory. Two years later, Palió was acquired by Quality Importers who has since added additional models to the brand’s portfolio. Furthermore, Quality Importers now owns XIKAR.
WHAT IS IT?
The Palió V-Cutter, the accessory is available in only three finishes—Alpine White, Gunmetal Gray and Black Matte—which range in price from $22 to $25 depending on color.
Like the Palió straight cutter , the V-Cutters features an exterior made of “state-of-the art engineering polymers” as well as surgical stainless steel blades. According to the company, the cutters can accommodate cigars up to 60 ring gauge, a claim that I found to be true, albeit with some caveats noted below.
When I took my Gunmetal Gray sample out of the box, my first thought was one word: bland. The cutter is completely gray—other than the sliver of the blade and inset logo—leading to a very boring and nondescript exterior visually that is contrasted oddly by the unique design that incorporates finger rests on either side. In addition, when visually inspecting the cutter itself, I noticed that the hole in the well where you place the cap of the cigar to cut it was unevenly cut, something that I have honestly never seen in any cutter I have reviewed up to this point. The cutter is extremely light when held in your hand, and the blade opens fairly smoothly on its track.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The unique design incorporates a pair of rounded nobs that are located on opposing corners of the cutter that are placed there to allow your index finger—on the left side of the cutter—and your ring finger—on the right side of the cutter—to add extra stability when you are cutting, a design that actually works exactly as intended.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
While it looks a bit different, the Palió V-Cut operates similarly to just about every other v-cutter on the market these days. First, you pick up the cutter and slide your fingers into the two rounded half-moon shaped holes. You then pull your fingers apart, which pulls the side with the blade along tracks, opening up the well. You then put the cap of the cigar in the opening and push your fingers together again, which forces the blade to cut through the cap until it comes to the end of its track, where it stays until you open it up again.
Unfortunately, the actual cuts from the Palió V-Cutter gave me some issues. Not in terms of the sharpness of the blade—it turns out that this cutter has one of the sharpest blades I have come across on a v-cutter in quite a while—but the problem is with the depth of the cut itself. Specifically, the well where you put the cap to cut the cigar is about half as deep as it needs to be, meaning that your cuts are much too shallow to get a proper draw.
I noticed this on the first cigar I cut with the v-cutter, which happened to be a 56 ring gauge release: no matter how hard I pushed the cap into the well, it could only go so far, and the cut was so shallow that I could barely get any air through it. For times when this happened, I simply turned the cigar 90 degrees and cut again—leaving an “X” on the cap—which alleviated the problem nicely in just about every case. However, without going to that extreme, the draw would have been insufficient in just about every way.
After about a month of constant use, I realized that the aforementioned problem was only an issue with cigars above 50 ring gauge. For just about any cigar under 50 ring gauge, the cap was small enough that the shallow cut had much less impact on the draw. Having said that, the actual cuts themselves were clean and smooth, leaving very few pieces of tobacco behind.
- Sharpness — I can safely say this is one of the sharpest v-cutters I have used in quite a while: the cuts are clean, smooth and effortless, as long as the cigars you are cutting are under 50 ring gauge.
- Price to Quality Cut Ratio — You will be hard pressed to find a cheaper v-cutter that is built as well and delivers the quality of cuts as you will with this cutter, assuming you are a small ring gauge smoker.
- Weight — It is light, so light that you may forget you have it in your pocket at times like I did, meaning you can easily carry it around with no issues.
- Finger Rests — They work as advertised, are unique in the cigar accessory world and really do help you get a better cut.
- Doubles As a Cigar Rest — In a pinch, you can put your cigar on the middle part of the cutter and use it as a cigar rest.
- Shallow Cuts — As detailed above, the cuts you get from this cutter are almost shockingly shallow, leading to inferior draws on just about any cigar over 50 ring gauge.
- Limited Color Choices — While Palió’s regular straight cutter is available in more than 10 different finishes, the v-cutter seems to be more of an afterthought and is only sold in three different colors.
- Cheap Materials and Craftsmanship — Physically, almost everything about this cutter screams “cheap.” From the materials used in the body to the weight that makes it feel like a plastic toy, the limited color choices and even the quality of the cutout in the well where you place the cap of the cigar, this is not a premium cutter.
- Not Easy to Find — Do a quick Google search and you might be a bit surprised to see that the Palió V-Cut is not exactly easy to find. Sure there are a few places to buy it—including Amazon and Quality Importer’s own site—but if you were expecting a plethora of options in terms of places online to have one shipped from, you are going to be disappointed.
- Weight — While the lighter weight can be a good thing—see above—this attribute also negatively impacts the balance of the cutter when cutting the cigar, leading to a more awkward experience overall.
The Palió V-Cutter, Wolf 313 V-Cut, XIKAR XV2 V-Cut, Colibri V-Cut, Lotus Jaws V-Cutter.
There are very few v-cutters that feature the combination of low price and sharp blades like the Palió does, although the Vertigo Victory V-Cutter would be the obvious choice: it retails for $2.99—significantly less than the price of the Palió—and has no issues with the depth of its cuts, although the blade did become noticeably dull after continued use.
- XIKAR VX2 V-Cut — The design is awesome, the fact that it cuts up to 64 ring gauges cigars is awesome, the blades are awesome, the price of $50 is not awesome.
- Colibri V-Cut — Bulkier and featuring a much heavier body, this cutter is also about $20 more expensive but also gives one of the deepest cuts I have seen.
- Colibri SV-Cut — It is substantially heavier and is substantially more expensive, but also features two cutters in one, both of which cut better than the Palió.
- Lotus Jaws V-Cutter — It features better a much better-looking design, better ergonomics and deeper cuts but also costs about $10 more.
- Wolf 313 V-Cut — This $15 plastic v-cutter was probably the best competitor to the Palió. It was light and cheap, but cut well. Unfortunately, it was discontinued years ago, likely because it was undercutting sales of XIKAR’s own v-cutter.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
If you only smoke cigars that are 50 ring gauge or smaller and want a v-cutter, you should buy this cutter. Everyone else—which is probably the vast majority of cigar smokers—should steer clear, based almost solely on the shallow cuts that this cutter gives. In fact, in my testing, just about any cigar over 50 ring gauge had to be recut—either by cross-cutting with the Palió or by using an entirely new cutter—in order to achieve a decent draw.\
An earlier version of this review stated that the Victory V-Cutter retail price was $9.99, in fact the price is $2.99. The review has been changed to reflect the correct information.