Manufacturer:  Xikar
Device:  Cutter
MSRP: $99
Styles: Blue with black blades ($119.99),
Black ($99), Bronze ($99), Gunmetal ($99)
Max Ring Gauge: 70

Xikar XO Cutter – The Good

Going into this review, there were a few concerns that we had for the device itself.  Concerns may change after I’ve had the cutter for a few months, but these were the initial thoughts:

  • Can the Xikar XO cut small ring gauges as easily as large gauges?
  • Is the Xikar XO too bulky to use?
  • Is the planetary gear system necessary?

Here’s a quick video showing the Xikar XO cut a few cigars.  Rather than shown as in the above video, these clips are larger so you can see the cut better.

The blades of the Xikar XO cut just as fine as any Xikar that I’ve ever used.  I can’t say that they feel any sharper, but the cutting portion was as nice as you’d expect.  There were some concerns on Instagram about the device being too bulky to be able to position the cigar for the right cut but, for myself, I can say that this wasn’t an issue.  It did take an extra second to double check I wasn’t cutting too low, but it felt more and more comfortable as I kept cutting.

I also found that it cut large and small ring gauges with equal prejudice.  The larger opening of the Xikar XO easily cut smaller cigars – likely one of the benefits of the synchronized blades.

Xikar XO Cutter – The Bad

When I opened my package, I was expecting a premium device with a premium feel to match the premium price tag.  After removing the Xikar XO cutter from the packaging, the first thing that I noticed was the rattle.  Shaking it gently in my hand produces a consistent rattling sound that I’m guessing comes from loose tolerances within the blades and handles.

The second thing that I noticed was the rough action.  When I heard that I needed a planetary gear system to improve my cigar experiences, I didn’t get the memo that it would come at the price of large teeth and gears that feel like the cutter is rusted when closing the blades.

To be fair, after opening and closing it all afternoon at the office, I was becoming more used to it until I went home to the faithful Xi cutter.  Then I felt cheated again.  But, if this was my only device, it would likely feel natural within a few days.

Xikar XO Cutter – Conclusion

To me, this product feels like something that was rushed to market even though their website claims it’s been in the works for over three years.  I do feel that the Xikar XO cutter will usher in an eventual change in cigar accessories, but this particular device doesn’t do it for me.

If all of my cutters were to mysteriously disappear and I had unlimited funds to buy any one cutter on the market, would I buy the Xikar XO?  No.  But, coupled with smoother action, less bulk in the design, and the famous Xikar lifetime warranty, I’d consider revisiting the next generation of planetary gear systems.

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Dave West

Editor and Contributor at CigarNoise
Identifying as a Cigar Enthusiast more than an Aficionado, I enjoy trying new cigars and attempting to annotate my experience. Disclosure: As of June 2017, I began writing for SmallBatchCigar.com and will no longer be reviewing SBC exclusives
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