This Article Was Updated On September 26, 2023
Cigars have been around ever since the first cigar factory began production in Cuba during 1541. Over the next few hundred years, factories from all across the world began producing cigars. Since cigars were being made by Cubans, Germans, English, French, and eventually Americans, the sizes and shapes of cigars can be dramatically different. In this guide we will talk about cigar sizes and provide the ultimate resource for understanding the size and shapes of cigars.
In our cigar sizes guide we will also talk about what is a cigar, the different types, what the best place to buy cigars online is, the different parts of a cigar, and everything else you need to know to become a cigar expert!
Table of Contents
What Is A Cigar?
A cigar is a popular tobacco based product that is made up of a filler, a binder leaf, and a wrapper. Before you can learn about cigar sizes and shapes, it is important that you have an understanding of what a cigar is and what is contained within a cigar.
The 3 Different Parts of A Cigar
As we just mentioned, a cigar is made up of three different parts. The first part is the filler which is made from crushed up tobacco leaves, the second part is the binder leaf which is what gives the cigar its shape, and lastly is the cigar wrapper which holds everything together. Below is a simple diagram of the different parts of a cigar.
The filler is typically thought of as the tobacco leaves that are located within the center of the cigar. The filler is what gives cigars their strength. By adjusting the amount of leaves and the kind of leaves within the filler, you are able to adjust the strength and potency of the cigar. When you become more experienced with cigars you will be able to try all of the different types of filler leaves such as olor, seco, volado, ligero, and many more!
The cigar binder is a leaf that helps to support the structure of the cigar and helps to hold the tobacco leaves together. The binder, which is called a “banda” in Spanish, is located underneath the wrapper.
The cigar wrapper is the final layer of the cigar and helps to hold the entire cigar together. The wrapper is also there to protect the cigar as well as provide extra flavoring based on the type of cigar wrapper that is used.
Although the cigar filler, binder, and wrapper are the most commonly talked about parts of a cigar, there are also the head, the cap, the foot, and the body of the cigar. It is even possible for certain types of cigars, typically hand-rolled cigars to have an enclosed cap on the end to help keep the shape of the cigar.
Cigar Sizes Diagram
The size of a cigar can vary greatly based on the brand, what kind of cigar it is, the type of tobacco leaves are used, the kind of wrapper used, what country it is created, and much more. The infographic below does a good job showing the wide range of different cigar sizes and shapes.
Cigar Sizes Explained
Cigars come in a variety of different sizes because of the many different factors that go into making a cigar. They can be long and skinny, they can be short and fat, or anything in between. Each cigar has its own length and diameter that is often times referenced as a cigars “vitola”, which means that shape of a cigar.
This terminology is typically only used by cigar manufacturers but you will find it used by cigar aficionados as well. There are generally about 50 different vitolas that are recognized as traditional cigar sizes, however, more and more sizes are created each year which means manufacturers will begin accepting these new cigars as traditional as well. Certain countries such as Cuba will put a limit on the different sizes of cigars and requires them to be within a certain size range.
Most Popular Cigar Sizes
When looking at cigar sizes, they are usually shown in a matter of inches. It is common for certain countries to use centimeters instead of inches, but as the U.S is one of the largest manufacturers of cigars, inches is commonly used all across the world. The average length of a cigar typically ranges from 4 inches to 6 inches depending on the cigar brand you buy from.
The diameter of a cigar is also measured in inches but is measured with a tool called a ring gauge. A ring gauge is used by jewelers to measure the diameter of rings to help get the best size for customers. This same process is used to measure the diameter of cigars. A ring gauge has a maximum diameter of 1 inch and each ring gauge is equal to 1/64 inch, which would make 64/64 equal to 1 inch.
For example, if the packaging of a cigar says the size is 4×60 that means the cigar is 4 inches in length and 60/64th of an inch in diameter. The 60/64 is common just known as 60 as most cigar experts will understand that the maximum diameter is 64.
Small Sized Cigars
Small sized cigars are typically under 5 inches in length and will typically have a ring gauge score in the 20-35 range. Small cigars are typically cigars you can buy from a gas station or will be a variation of a cigarillo. These are typically cheaper and easier to find.
Medium Sized Cigars
Medium sized cigars will typically range from 5 to 6 inches in length and will have a diameter in the 40-50 range. These are typically the most popular cigar sizes and come in a wide variety of different strengths and potencies. These are usually the best cigars for beginners.
Large Sized Cigars
Large sized cigars are a little more rare compared to small or medium sizes, but can often be found by luxury cigar retailers. Large cigar sizes will typically be larger than 6 inches in length and have a ring gauge above 50. These cigars will typically provide more potency and a higher strength because of the more room for extra tobacco leaves.
Cigar Shapes Diagram
Now that you have a better understanding of cigar sizes, its time to talk about cigar shapes. There are many different shapes that a cigar can come in and each shape will tell you about the style and history of the cigar. The diagram below shows a few of the most common cigar shapes.
Cigar Shapes Explained
There are a handful of different cigar shapes and some shapes are much more popular compared to others. The most popular cigar shapes are typically Parejo cigars and Figurado cigars. But the most popular cigar shape will vary depending on where you live and where the cigars are manufacturerd.
Parejo cigars are also know as straight cigars because of their straight shape. Parejo cigars can vary depending on the brand and many other factors which is why there are actually many different types of Parejo cigars. The most common straight cigars are Giant, Churchill, Corona, Cigarillo, Toro, and Robusto. These straight cigars will vary in length, diameter, and overall cigar size.
The second most common cigar shape are Figurado cigars. These are also known as figured cigars because they come in vary distinct shapes. There are a few different variations of Figurado cigars with the most common shapes being Torpedo, Perfecto, Pyramid, and Diadema cigars. Many individuals will have to find the best cigar humidor for them based on the shape of their cigars.
Cigar Colors Explained
Cigars come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, but cigars also come in many different colors. This could be the color the cigar wrapper or the color of the cigar leaf. Typically, when the color of a cigar is discussed, they are in reference to the cover leaf of the cigar. This cover leaf can vary in color based on the type of leaf, how it is prepared, how it is manufactured, and other factors.
Below is a guide to the different cigar colors.
As you can see from the cigar color diagram above, there are many different colors of cigars and each color will provide a different smoking experience. It is important to try different types of cigars in order to have the best possible experience.
Final Thoughts On Cigar Sizes And Shapes
As you now know, there are many different cigar sizes, shapes, and colors. There are many different factors that will impact the size and shape of a cigar. Now that you are a cigar expert you will be able to understand the many differences between each cigar. Learn more about cigars by reading our most recent cigar blog articles.