Cigars are a wonderful and classic pastime. When a cigar smoker is asked why he (or she!) smokes cigars, the answer will invariably be quite different from the cigar smoker standing next to them. By this I mean that cigars have many draws and drawbacks. Whatever your reason for wanting to smoke a cigar, it’s always nice to know what the hell it is that you’re looking at. It’s a good idea to educate yourself as well so you can ask the cigar store owner or tobacconist what you’re looking for without looking (and feeling) like a complete fool.

Be sure to always store your cigars properly.
Classy cigars require classy tools. Be sure you're properly equipped!
Most cigars in production today can be divided into two major categories.
  • Corona - Round cap, straight sides.
  • Figurado - Everything else.

Figurados are specialty shapes, and often a figurado named ‘x’ of one brand will be shaped quite differently when it is made by another brand. Some common types of figurados are:
  • Torpedo - Rounded cone shaped cap. Sometimes with bulging middle, and/or closed foot.
  • Pyramid - The foot will be broader than the cap, which is pointed
  • Belicoso - Sometimes a short pyramid, but more commonly just a corona with straight cone cap.
  • Perfecto - Like the torpedo, but with great variance in length of the cap
  • Culebra - Very rare. Three cigars braided together to form a rope-like form. It is unwrapped before smoking and the pieces are used individually.
  • Diademas - Very large (usually 8+ inches), closed cap, foot sometimes open.
  • Figurado - There are other shapes that will not be given a name, and will instead simply be referred to as a figurado.

Any cigar, be it a corona or a figurado, can be referred to by it’s size. This is sometimes preferable, because while a size/shape name can be easier to say, there is variance between cigar brands.
The measurement of a cigar invariably has two parts to it.
  • Length of the cigar, in inches
  • Ring gauge (diameter) of the cigar in 64ths of an inch

The measurement will be written (#x##). A churchill cigar, for instance, is typically 7 inches long, with a 50 ring gauge. It’s measurement is written (7x50).
Below is a list of traditional cigar sizes and their names. Notice most of the figurados are included in this list. Also notice that some sizes go by multiple names. Companies will sometimes subscribe to a different convention and use one name for a slightly different size. Don’t get confused! Some companies won’t even use the names. They’ll call it something completely arbitrary, or brand it with numbers. The cigar can always be identified accurately by the size measurement, however.

Parodi (3.50 x 36)
Petit Corona (5.00 x 42)
Rothschild (5.00 x 50)
Thin Panatela (6.00 x 25)
Corona (6.00 x 42)
Corona Major (6.00 x 44)
Robusto (6.00 x 50)
Toro (6.00 x 50)
Gordo (Gran Toro) (6.00 x 60)
Corona Grande (6.25 x 50)
Lonsdale (6.50 x 42)
Robusto Grande (6.50 x 50)
Corona Larga (6.50 x 50)
Belicoso (6.50 x 52)
Londsdale Grande (6.75 x 44)
Toscani (7.00 x 36)
Panatela (7.00 x 36)
Churchill (7.00 x 50)
Gigante (7.50 x 60)
Long Panatela (7.75 x 36)
Presidente (7.75 x 52)
Double Corona (8.00 x 50)

  • Perfecto
  • Pyramid

Some would have you believe that the bigger the cigar, the stronger the smoke will be. This is a fallacy. There is no correlation between strength and size as far as cigars are concerned.
This much is true. A thinner cigar has a lower air surface to burning ember ratio. This makes the cigar burn hotter. Because of this, you may find that a thicker cigar has a cooler smoke than a thin cigar.

Remember to use the proper tools with your awesome cigars!