Palió Cutter Comparison: Old vs. New
by David "Doc" Diaz
Monday, December 5, 2011
TYPE: Double guillotine cigar cutter
WEB SITE: http://www.paliocutter.com
BACKGROUND: I first reviewed the Palió original cutter back in 2006 and had mostly great things to say about the cutter. However, I also noted some potentially dangerous aspects of the design. Since then, the company has made some changes in the cutter, which seem to have taken care of the major problem. At the time of my first review I noted that the cutter blade mechanism would derail unexpectedly. In part, this was a design feature to prevent the cutter from opening accidentally. The cutter mechanism was built so that it would take a bit of pressure to open the cutter. The second time I used the cutter, I opened it with a snap and the entire cutter separated into two pieces. I was left with half the cutter dangling from my thumb and the other half on my index finger. That became a regular feature of the cutter and one that I noted in my original review and brought to the attention of the manufacturer. As I perused the cigar forums and corresponded with different people, I noted that others had this same experience with the original cutter. All this was brought to the attention of the manufacturer and I believe they have addressed the problems with the track derailing by subtly modifying the cutter design. So, what follows is my comparison of the original version of the cutter with a newer model.
First, I have been using both cutters for quite some time. I have cut large and small cigars, parejos and perfectos, long cigars, short cigars and various odd shapes. I have sacrificed numerous dogrockets along the way, cutting through the cigars from head to foot and getting a feel for the resistance and cutting performance. Below I will restate the claims made by the company for their cutter and provide my commentary on each claim.
1. ERGONOMIC - FINGER REST AND CONTOUR SHAPE. After
using the cutter and trying to hold it different ways to take advantage
of the design features, I’ve concluded that there is really no ergonomic
advantage to the shape of the cutter. You simply can’t get any better
leverage or control by using the “finger supports” or by virtue of
the unique shape of the cutter. That's not to say that it is not ergonomic,
I think the form factor is fine. The cutter feels comfortable in my
hand and it has a good "feel" when
I cut a cigar. It's just that I don't think the shape confers any special
2. HANDSOME - PEOPLE WILL ASK ABOUT IT. Well, it looks okay, but the original Palió lacks “pod factor.” Nobody ever looked at my black cutter and said, “Dude, that is the coolest looking cutter I’ve ever seen.” That said, Palió has added many newer models to their stable over the years. You can now choose the "Camo," Carbon Fiber, Burl Wood, Composite Silver or the Original Composite Black (see photos below).
3. PRECISION CUT - BLADES AREN'T SLOPPY AND DON'T FALL OUT WITH AGE. The first part of this claim is an understatement. The cut with this cutter is not merely precise; it is fantastic. Period. I haven’t used a cutter that has a better cut than the Palió. As for the blades falling out, I have noted the problem in the original model, but I do believe that the company has successfully addressed this issue. The new version feels beefier and has a more industrial feel to the opening and closing mechanism. They've packed more heft into the product: the new Camo weighs in at 1.2 ounces versus 1.0 ounces of the original model and it is slightly longer and noticeably thicker. I have used both of these cuttersfor the past year or so without incident.
4. CONTROLLED CUT - BE SURE HOW MUCH OF THE CIGAR'S CAP YOU REMOVE.
Yes, there is some resistance in the cutting action that gives the
feel of a controlled, precision cut; and there is certainly no problem
in lining up and making your cut, which is typically clean and even.
5. CONTOURED CIGAR HOLDER - NO NEED FOR A COMMUNAL
GERM PIT (ASH TRAY). This means that when you lay the cutter flat on
a tabletop, you can using it as a cigar holder by putting your cigar
in the contoured area of the cutter. A neat trick and it prevents your
stogie from inadvertently rolling off the table. Don’t laugh, I KNOW
it’s happened to you!
6. DETENT POSITION - WON'T ARBITRARILY OPEN. The
main difference between the new and old versions of the cutter is the
initiation of the opening mechanism. The newer model has a different
feel. The original model had a sticking point at the beginning, which,
when it gave way, would allow the blade to snap open quickly. The new
version of the Palió cutter has a nice solid and tight feel through
the entire opening and closing process. This new design prevents
the cutter from opening accidentally, but it also prevents any
out of control action that would cause the two halves of
the cutter to separate.
7. LARGE CUTTER OPENING – HANDLES UP TO 54 RING CIGARS.
The opening on the Palió is a 53 ring size. If it cuts a 54 ring gauge
cigar and thicker, it does so only because the cigar head is tapered.
However, I was unable to get it around a 54 ring gauge cigar at its
thickest point. That means if you wanted to clip the foot of your cigar
to bypass a tunnel, or when relighting, you would be hard pressed
to take on anything larger than 53 ring. Regardless, the Palió cutter
is up to the task for most cigar trimming needs.
8. REMARKABLY SHARPER THAN LEADING CUTTERS. The Palió
cutter is indeed very sharp. I could tell this by the ease and fineness
of each cut. Both blades are very sharp and seemed just as sharp
throughout the test period.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: The cutter comes with a nice looking Velcro-secured pouch, which is handy and protects the cutter from scratches. However, I will say that I have tossed the original cutter around a lot and it is remarkably resistant to scuffs and scratches.
At 1.0 ounce, the original model is one of the lightest double-guillotine cutters I have ever used. Even the new Camo model at 1.2 ounces is still lighter than any of the Xikar Xi models.
WARRANTY: You can feel secure in your purchase given Palió’s nearly
unlimited warranty. From the Palió website… "If you feel that
the Palio cigar cutter you purchased has lost it's ability to deliver
a quality cut, assuming it has only been used for it's intended purpose
(cigar preparation), at anytime during it's life of use. Simply return
it to ANY Palio cigar cutter vendor for a replacement. No questions
That pretty much says it all. An excellent product backed by an excellent warranty. If you want a no frills cutter, that cuts perfectly every time and is priced right, you need look no further than the Palió Original. If you want more "pod factor" then take a look at the Burl Wood or Carbon Fiber models. If you are an outdoors type and think you may feel the need to light up a stogie whilst deer-hunting... well, if you like camo-style, the Camo may be your ticket.
Color: Black and Camo G1 Vista, both with surgical steel blades
Length: 3 5/8 inches (Camo model is slightly longer)
Width: 1-5/8 inches (Camo model is noticeably thicker)
Weight: 1.0 ounce (Camo model: 1.2 ounces)
PRICE: Original Black: $44.95 Camo: $59.95
FORM: Original Black: 87 Camo: 89
FUNCTION: Original Black: 92 Camo: 98
VALUE: Original Black: 92 Camo: 90
Original Black: 90.3; Camo: 92.3
About the Author
David "Doc" Diaz is the publisher and the editor of the Stogie Fresh Cigar Publications. He has served as an educator, researcher and writer and has taught in the Health Education and Health Science field for over 30 years. He possesses an earned doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Doc is a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT), having received this certification from the Tobacconist University and is a member and Ambassador of Cigar Rights of America (CRA).blog comments powered by Disqus