Today I’m going to be looking at Screwpop’s ashtray. This is their first foray into the ashtray world, having previously focused on other cigar accessories like cutters and punches, though they do have a full lineup of non-cigar related keychain accessories. The ashtray has a few different features, including a secondary smaller holder for cigarillos or cigarettes, an ash knocker and a design that they say allows you to orient your cigar perpendicular to the smoker to, as they put it, showcase the stogie in presentational form.
As I’ve discussed in previous ashtray reviews, I’m generally looking for two things; how it holds my cigar and how it contains my cigar ash. Of course there are other things to consider, like how it looks and price, but the Screwpop ashtray adds a couple of features that are certainly new to any cigar ashtray I’ve used before.
Starting off with the basic details however, it retails for $19.95, however its site currently lists an introductory price of $14.95. It’s made out of melamine, a material I describe in my Tatuaje ashtray review, and is four inches wide, 5 inches long and one and a quarter inches deep. Screwpop describes its ashtray as the world’s first “cigar centric” ashtray, intending the ashtray to be oriented perpendicular to the smoker, so you can gaze upon your cigar and be impressed with what you’re smoking I guess. This doesn’t seem to be an overly necessary feature to an ashtray, and before reading the description I didn’t even have the ashtray positioned like that. Naturally I wanted to have the cigar facing the way I’m used to picking up a cigar, which is with the foot facing away from me and the head facing towards me – so that’s how I’ve used the ashtray for the past month.
As far as how the ashtray holds the cigar, the groove is a medium depth, but it’s long and stabilizes your cigar quite well. I never had any wind or anything that bumped the cigar out of its perch. There are a couple of small issues with the orientation of the groove and the length of it though. First, if you have a cigar that’s over six inches, there is a tendency to accidentally place it too far forward, knocking your ash off over the edge of the ashtray and out onto the table. The second minor problem is the length of the groove. While it’s long and stabilizes the cigar well, when you get to the last few inches, you’re forced to choose whether the burn line sits in the groove or the head sits in the groove. If you have the burn line in the groove, it tends to create a moisture ring in the groove that is somewhat unappealing. If you have the head sitting in the groove, like most ashtrays, there is the chance that some ash has gotten in there at some point, and then will stick to the part you’re putting in your mouth, which can be an unpleasant surprise. I was vigilant about not letting any stray ash get in the groove however, so I didn’t really experience this issue – it’s just something you need to be aware of as you’re smoking.
Since there is a second area to rest smaller cigars, cigarillos or cigarettes in, I tested that out as well. As it’s meant for smaller cigars, it seems the max that works for it is about 30 ring gauge and four inches long. It holds the cigar well, though it does have a tendency to teeter back and forth a little bit, but is otherwise fairly snug if you get it balanced in the middle.
For its ash holding ability, it does that job quite well. One of the features is a sloped wall right underneath the larger groove, which allows any ash that falls off the cigar to fall away from it, so your foot isn’t sitting in the fallen ash. It’s kind of nice and keeps that area clear of any ash. It works well as a place to roll your ash off too, and is a little easier to do rather than using the straight 90 degree angled wall of the rest of the ashtray. This is certainly a personal ashtray, and as such you wouldn’t be expecting to ash multiple cigars in it at once. Having said that, it only fits the ash and cigar butts from about two or three cigars, depending on size. I don’t typically leave ashes in there too long because of the unpleasant odor, but sometimes my laziness gets the best of me and I don’t want to get up to clean it out. Because of the size however, it does kind of force my hand to clean it out at the beginning of any day I’m going to smoke.
Another feature I haven’t seen in a cigar ashtray before, is the ash knocker post. I’ve previously seen similar objects in pipe ashtrays, but usually those are made of cork so you don’t damage your pipe as you’re knocking the ash out. As for cigars, this post works really well to clean out old ash from the foot if you need to relight it, which is something I previously either couldn’t do very easily in a clean ashtray, or would have to use an old cigar butt to accomplish.
Overall it’s a great ashtray that’s inexpensive, fairly stylish and unique looking, and has a few neat features that really make you rethink what you want in a cigar ashtray. The minor annoyances like the length of the groove doesn’t really bother me enough to keep me from using it in the future, however I will probably reach for a different ashtray when I’m smoking larger, longer cigars. If you’re in the market for a nice melamine ashtray, this is certainly a great contender in my book, and one you should definitely consider checking out for yourself.
Screwpop sent the ashtray for this review.