Founded in January 2015, Cigar Perforator is a relatively new company that produces the Perfdog, a tool that essentially combines small spikes in a easily transportable device that you use on the caps of cigars to open airways as an alternative to straight cuts, v-cuts or punches. Constructed of a combination of stainless steel and anodized aluminum, the Perfdog is produced at the company’s factory located in Hartford, Conn. and measures 2 inches high with a width of 3/4 inch and a total weight of just over 1 ounce.

The tool is currently available in 11 different color options, all of which retail for $39.99:

  • Midnight Black
  • Maroon Saloon
  • Charlie Brown
  • Screamin’ Green
  • Gold Rush
  • Purple Haze
  • Bubblegum Pink
  • Orange Krush
  • Intense Red
  • Gunmetal Gray
  • Blu Devil

In theory, the operation of the Cigar Perforator Perfdog is quite simple: you hold the tool in-between your middle finger and index finger, and use your thumb to push the plunger on the tail end of the tool forward, thus forcing the five spikes to extend into the open. You then place the spikes against the cap of your cigar and gently rock it back and forth while pushing it into the cap, thus opening up five holes of roughly the same size. When you are finished, you simply remove your thumb from the tool, and the spikes retreat back into the casing.

Perfdog Keychain

First, the positives.

The Perfdog is both extremely well constructed as well as easy to clean off, and after more than a month of almost exclusive use, the exterior of my Purple Haze version did not show even the smallest hint of a scratch anywhere on it. In addition, while I was concerned about pieces of tobacco getting stuck in the casing as well as issues with tar buildup due to the small holes, neither of those turned out to be a problem. The small size is a definite plus, as is the attachment that allows you to put it on a keychain, thus having it available pretty much anytime you need it. Finally, the company does offer a lifetime warranty on the Perfdog, although I don’t see why anyone would need to take advantage of it, unless the spikes fell out at some point.

Perfdog Spikes

However, any mention of the negatives for the Perfdog has to start with the single largest issue of the tool: even if you rock the Perfdog back and forth, in order to use this tool correctly, you have to push the cap against the pins — or vice versa — with some fairly significant force. Unfortunately, in roughly 75 percent of the cigars I used it on, this resulted in the cap busting to various degrees due to too much pressure. Thinking that I was just pushing too hard, and that I could get away with less force, I tried to apply less pressure, but that ended in a draw that was too tight due to the fact that the pins had not penetrated deep enough into the cigar. In fact, the most effective way I found to use this tool was to make one indention to start, then go back multiple times in the same place, applying a bit more pressure each time. This did result in decent draws, but took an enormous amount of time, and did not result in any better draw than a straight cut, which takes about 10 percent of the time, frustration and effort to achieve.

Perfdog Cut

Along with the above, there are other issues that jumped out at me as I used the Perfdog. One was the fact that you really can’t use the tool effectively on any cigar smaller than about 40 ring gauge, as the surrounding pins just don’t line up. In addition, you can’t really use it correctly on any cigar that features a torpedo or belicoso cap for the same reason, unless you want to only have one or two holes to draw through.

Being a somewhat unique product, the Perfdog really only has two (almost) direct competitors: the Shuriken and the standard punch. The standard punch is what it is, and most of the time works quite well when used correctly. On the other hand, the Shuriken uses small blades to cut the cap instead of leaving holes, and features many of the same problems as the Perfdog—including destroying the cap—along with new issues, such as inconsistent draws and significant tar buildup.

Perfdog Size

In the end, the Cigar Perforator Perfdog is just not something I would spend money on. Yes, it is small, easy to carry around without noticing and is available in a multitude of Apple-esqe colors. However, the main issue is that as an actual cigar tool, it is awkward to use, destroys the cap in the process more times than not and in the end, results in an inferior draw compared to a classic straight cut, v-cut or even a standard punch. I am not sure why anyone would choose this tool over an actual cutter, and in the end, the Perfdog is a classic example of a solution looking for a problem.

Avatar photo

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.