Xikar XO Overview
Xikar’s XO is a double-guillotine-style cigar cutter that measures about 2.5 inches across and has a thickness of .6 inches. The main body of the cutter is crafted from aluminum while the blades themselves are stainless steel.
Stainless steel is an ideal material for such a tool as it ensures that the integrity of the blades, as well as the edge itself, will endure in different conditions.
The Xikar XO cutter has prominent screws and two openings that permit a view into the planetary gear system. It is this gear system that guarantees the two guillotines move in sync resulting in precise cuts.
When not in use, the blades of the XO are locked in a closed position. To open the blades, you just push the button at the top of the cutter; this automatically releases the two “wings” into the open position with a satisfying clack. When done cutting your cigar, you simply lock them back into the closed position.
In all its aesthetic simplicity, the design of the XO is very appealing. Moreover, it’s available in a number of different color options, including some with wooden accents, so you’ll indubitably find one that fits your personal tastes.
Advantages Of The Xikar XO Cutter
The greatest advantage of the Xikar XO cutter is the fact that it reliably produces very clean straight cuts. As noted previously, I’ve cut hundreds of cigars (if not more) with the Xikar XO and the blades have not lost their edge nor has the spring-loaded mechanism lost its function. I certainly can’t say this of all the other double-guillotine cutters I’ve used in the past.
In the hand, the XO just feels like a sturdy cutter. It does have some heft to it which I find helps to produce cleaner cuts, though some may find it to be cumbersome. Additionally, I’ve yet to have any issues with the mechanism seizing up or jamming.
The Xikar XO’s cutting aperture can accommodate ring gauges as large as 70 and as small as you’d like. This is a significant advantage as it means you can bring this single cutter with you and be sure that it can handle most cigar vitolas out there.
Overall, the Xikar XO feels and performs like a premium cutter. For the price, you’d expect it, but high price tags do not always equate to high quality; this could not be further from the truth with the XO. You definitely get what you’re paying for with this Xikar.
Lastly, I’ve found that the XO serves as a great cigar holder to keep from resting your cigar on a table or even when out on the golf course. On many occasions, I’ll open the XO and lay my cigar on top of it while putting or driving.
Downsides Of The Xikar XO
They’re minimal but the Xikar does have some disadvantages.
While I myself do not mind, it’s possible that some cigar smokers will find the Xikar XO to be too large or too heavy. Personally, I think the size is perfect and as previously commented, the heft helps it perform its cutting duties more effectively.
After months of use, I’ve also found that the finish on the body of the Xikar XO tends to wear off. This has not affected the performance of the cutter whatsoever, however, it does make it a bit less sightly.
To be fair, I’ll throw the XO into my golf bag and let it bang around in there so it’s likely that this has affected the durability of the surface coating, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
In light of this, I now own a couple of different XOs and will segment them by occasion: the worn down one will be left for more casual outings while the newer, shinier ones I’ll reserve for special events. Both perform just as well, but if I’m dressed to the nines, I want my cutter to be in tip-top shape, too.
Overall Review Of The Xikar XO Cigar Cutter
For cigar enthusiasts who have yet to experience a premium cigar cutter, I think the Xikar XO is a great place to start. The price can be prohibitive, but I’ve had such a great experience with all of the XOs that I’ve owned that I can’t help but recommend it.
The cuts are extremely precise so there’s absolutely no concern that your cigar will unravel as a result of a shoddy cut. And while the finish may leave a bit to be desired, there are some versions that are just brushed aluminum so there’s no surface coating to wear off.
Coincidentally, these bare-metal versions tend to be the cheapest ones as well and will hover between $80 and $90. If you find that you like what the Xikar XO has to offer after using one for some time, you could consider purchasing one of the fancier ones down the line. This would be an entirely frivolous purchase as I’m sure the cutting performance will not have degraded, no matter what the outside of your XO looks like.