Selecting Cigars by their Shapes and Sizes

In category: Selecting a Cigar

The most essential element in smoking is the tobacco used in a cigar. The way it is prepared and packed are also important. Smoking is also a physical experience and that aspect should not be totally neglected when it comes to cigar selection.

A Table of Different Cigar Lengths and Diameters:



Ring Gauge


5½ to 6½

34 to 38


6 to 6½

42 to 44


5½ to 6

42 to 45


6½ to 7

46 to 48


5½ to 6½

46 to 52


4½ to 5

48 to 50


6 to 6½

48 to 50

The lengths of cigars are listed in either inches or centimeters. Most Americans use inches in their cigar length measurements. In the US, the ring gauges or diameters of the cigars are measured in 64ths of an inch.

In the table, the arrangement of the cigars is done in reference to their ring gauges rather than their lengths or their names. It is because cigar selection is mostly dependent on the size of the cigars – a lot of people prefer slimmer cigars because most people find fat cigars uncomfortable to hold and difficult to smoke. A lot of people think that it just evokes an image of sweaty politicians in back rooms.

The importance of a cigar’s ring gauge doesn’t make its length irrelevant. If a cigar is too long for comfort, cigar smokers can always chop off a little section from the end. Very few cigar aficionados would want to do this because eliminating an inch or so tends to decrease the value of their cigars. For those people who only plan on smoking a certain amount of their cigar without saving the remainder, then there is no reason to start with a shorter cigar.

A lot of smokers prefer a Churchill because of its longer heft and substantial diameter. Churchill, the man for whom the cigar is named, also prefer that type of cigar. Other smokers prefer a short and fat Robusto while some prefer a slim and short Panatela.

A whole class of figurados is available for those who want something a little less traditional in terms of shape. Figurados do not have straight sides and most of them are tapered. One that is gaining popularity nowadays is the Torpedo, a cigar with a tapered end at both the head and the foot.

Those who are daring enough can try the truly fat Culebras. Culebras are made by spiraling three Panatelas around one another and bounded together. These Panatelas are smoked as a single cigar.

Smoking a cigar is a complete experience of taste, feel, and frame of mind. This extraordinary experience is even more special with a fine Cabernet or a wonderful cognac. Sitting back in a red leather chair while taking sips from a glass of cognac and puffing smokes from a cigar is such a relaxing experience.

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