Cigars 101

As with any other hobby, there are all kinds of opinions as to the specifics regarding the sizes and shapes of cigars.

Shape Typical Size Length x Ring Gauge Length Range Ring Gauge Range
Cigarillos 4" x 26 up to 6" up to 29
Small Panatela 5" x 33 4" to 5" 30 - 34
Slim Panatela 6 x 34 5" and up 30 - 34
Short Panatela 5" x 38 4" to 5.375" 35 - 39
Panatela 6" x 38 5 1/2 - 6 7/8 35 - 39
Long Panatela 7.5" x 38 7" and up 35 - 39
Petit Corona 5" x 42 4" to 5" 40 - 44
Corona 5.5" x 42 5.25" to 5.75" 40 - 44
Long Corona 6" x 42 5.875" to 6.375" 40 - 44
Lonsdale 6.5" x 42 6.5" x 7.25" 40 - 44
Giant Corona 7.5" x 44 7.5" 42 - 45
Corona Extra 5.5" x 46 4.5" to 5.5" 45 - 47
Grand Corona 6.5" x 46 5.675" to 6.675" 45 - 47
Robusto 5" x 50 4.5" to 5.5" 48 - 54
Toro 6" x 50 5.675" to 6.875" 48 54
Belicoso 6" x 50 5.5"" to 6.5" 48 54
Torpedo 6.5" x 52 6" to 7.5" tapered
Pyramid 7" x 36 x 54 6.5" to 7.5" flared
Perfecto Varies all all
Churchill 7" x 47 6 3/4 x 7 7/8 46 - 48
Double Corona 7.75" x 49 6 3/4 x 7 3/4 49 - 54
Giant 9" x 52 8 and up 50 and up

 

Cigar Shapes:

In addition to sizes, shapes of cigars vary widely. The following are the most common shapes. While this chart can be used as a rule of thumb, many manufacturers name their cigars differently.

Parejo: Any straight sided with an open foot for lighting and a rounded head. Cigars falling in this category would be Corona, Robusto, Churchill, Toro, etc.

Belicoso: The meaning of this shape has changed quite a bit over the years. It is currently known as a straight sided cigar with an open foot and a tapered head

Torpedo: Tapered at both ends with a bulge in the middle. A Belicoso is sometimes called a Torpedo.

Perfecto: Rounded head tapering toward the end with a closed foot. (this shape varies)

Pyramid: Usually tapered from 44 at a rounded head to 50 at the open foot.

Culebra: 3 Panatella sized cigars braided together

Cigar Construction:
Most handmade cigars are made from 3 elements: 

Filler: The filler is what makes up the body of the cigar. Long filler is a tobacco leaf that runs the length of the cigar. Short filler is usually cuttings and clippings from the manufacturing of long filler cigars. Binder: The binder is made from a heavier leaf and is wrapped around the filler to start to make the final shape of the cigar. Wrapper: The finest tobacco leaves become wrappers. These leaves are smooth and silky and are the finishing touches that are wrapped around the binder to give the cigar its final appearance.


These three components all take part in the flavor of a cigar.

The cigar roller will take tobacco leaves and gently fold them over in his hand to make a basic shape of the cigar. This is referred to as hand bunching. He will usually take leaves from different tobacco blends to acquire just the right flavor for the cigar.

The cigar roller will take a binder leaf to wrap around the hand bunched filler. This is rolled and shaped on the cigar rollers table. Then the cigars are placed in a wooden mold and pressed together for a short time. This makes the final shape of the cigar consistent.

While the cigars are in the press, the roller will prepare the wrapper leaf. The leaf is dampened, shaped and prepared for the final application. After the cigars are un-molded, each cigar will be individually wrapped and trimmed.

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