Cigar punches come in two types - the pin punch and the ring punch. These devices are used to make a small hole in the endcap of a fresh cigar in order to facilitate smoking it - without some form of break in the cap, there will be no way to draw through the cigar! Naturally, there is a bit of an 'in-joke' religious war over the 'proper' method of preparing cigars - the options range from the punch, to the guillotine or scissors clipper, to the V-punch and so forth to whatever pointy bit or sharp edge one has handy. There is one school that advocates the judicious use of the incisors, but we won't go there.

In any case, a pin punch is just that - a sharp-ish point, driven into the cigar, which makes a hole. The advantages of such a device include its simplicity and ready availability. The disadvantage (in the main) is that such a punch will press aside the tobacco that it penetrates, causing the compressed sides of the hole to pass less air.

Alternatively, one can use the ring punch (also known as tube punch or 'bullet punch'). These are small tubes, with a sharpened end (that is, the round edge at the end is sharp). When driven into the cigar, they cut a small plug of tobacco out of the cap, and when retracted tend to bring that plug with them, making a much cleaner aperture for smoking. Bullet punches are known as such because they tend to resemble (and sometimes are) small-caliber shell casings, whose mouth is used as the punch.

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