To me, cigar smoking is all about the experience. The tools I use are important to me and, as a Benchmade fanboy, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on one of their limited run cigar cutters. For years, they have made limited edition and massively expensive versions… but now, they finally have a production run of their cigar cutters available at a less mind-boggling price.
Cigar cutters as a concept are nothing new. They have long been around in all shapes and sizes for ages, and range in quality from a $5 guillotine cutter you find at the checkout counter to hundreds, even thousands of dollars for a bespoke version. We’ve reviewed cigar cutters here on Thirty One Whiskey in the past, specifically the Les Fines Lames Le Petit (which is a cigar cutter that can also operate as a proper knife). What we’re looking at today, though, is not useful as a knife and therefore is purely a cigar cutter.
With Benchmade’s Model 1500, they went with a single blade guillotine design where there’s an opening in the handle of the knife and a single blade slides across, cutting whatever comes in its way. The blade is spring loaded, meaning that opening the cutter is extremely easy but it also technically classifies as an assisted-opening knife. So make sure to check your local laws on this prior to purchasing.
The blade is made from S30V, a metal alloy pioneered by Crucible in cooperation with Chris Reeve. Its designed for improved wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and hardening after heat treatment. All good things in a blade designed to cut through organic matter (cigars), where you don’t want to be constantly sharpening your blade. That said, the metal is considered “premium” knife steel not just for its capabilities but also for its price — which contributes significantly to the final cost.
Holding it in the hand is comfortable and easy. It looks great and feels great, falling easily into my palm and just the right size to easily manipulate it. The scales in this version are made from richlite, which is a more recent version of Micarta that is a little more eco friendly but still retains that same beautiful multi-layered pattern and smooth yet grippable finish.
One of the biggest complaints I had about the Les Fines Lames cigar cutting knife was that it was difficult to hold and manipulate. But with the Benchmade cigar cutter it just feels right. Everything makes sense, and getting a good grip to slice your cigar is easy and intuitive.
As for how well it functions as an actual cigar cutter, well, pictured here is the cheapest and crappiest cigar I have in my collection. Even with the terrible construction of this cigar and its tendency to fall apart, the Benchmade cut straight through the cap without any issues whatsoever. Perfect.
So let’s get to the bottom line here: this is a great product. It works exactly as designed, does the job fantastically well, and is guaranteed from the manufacturer to literally last a lifetime. But — and this is a rather large but — the thing costs a fortune. You could buy 10 of my usual go-to cigar cutters for the price of one of these bad boys. For something you are going to use maybe 30 seconds at a time a couple times a week.
It makes literally no sense from a rational perspective. But for those who prize the experience, like myself… it might just be worth every penny.
Benchmade 1500 Cigar Cutter
Overall Rating: 4/5
Expensive but elegant.