In this complete guide to cigar shapes, we’ll be covering everything from the commonplace Corona to the exotic Culebra. Whether you’re a novice smoker or a long-time cigar enthusiast, you’ll go away with a better idea of how to identify and select your next stick.
A cigar’s shape is one of three critical factors in its smoking experience, alongside size and color. And contrary to popular opinion, a cigar’s size is not a reliable indicator of its strength — only of how much smoke you’ll get with each draw, and how hot the tobacco is likely to burn.
While the size of a specific shape can have wide variations in size from brand to brand, choosing by shape is a safe way to compare offerings and hone in on what style of cigar
Let’s jump right in and take a look at the many cigar shapes you’ll find available today.
Cigar Lengths and Gauges: How are they measured?
Quick side note, so you understand the measurement ranges and units when reading this article.
- Cigar Size / Length: This is measured from the cap to the foot, in inches.
- Cigar Ring Gauge: Measured in 1/64th-inch increments. So a cigar with a 48 ring gauge is 48/64 or 0.75″ in diameter.
The First Family of Cigar Shapes: Parejos
Quite simply, Parejos are any cigars with straight sides. They’ll feature an open foot and a capped head that you’ll have to cut before smoking. You’ll find both round and box-pressed cigars in this category, both of which may be either handmade or machine-rolled.
The standard shape against which all other cigars are compared. Coronas usually measure between 5.5 and 6 inches, with ring gauges ranging from 42 to 46.
Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Corona premium cigars are flawlessly handcrafted with a flavorful Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that caps a robust, yet velvety-smooth blend of Dominican & Nicaraguan longfillers for one of the most memorable smokes ever.
The miniaturized cousin to the Corona. Petit Coronas are shorter and thinner, measuring between 4 and 5 inches with ring gauges from 38 to 42.
Extra long and slightly bulkier, the Double Corona lengthens and cools the smoking experience of a Corona. They measure between 7.5 and 8.5 inches, and come in ring gauges from 48 to 52.
Also known as a Corona Gorda, the Toro provides a shorter and more voluminous smoke. They measure between 5.5 and 6 inches, with ring gauges starting at 46 and capping out at 50.
Longer than a standard Corona but not as huge as a Double Corona, the Churchill is named Sir Winston Churchill. They traditionally measure 7 inches long, with a 47 ring gauge.
Longer and thinner than a Corona, Panetelas give a refined and elegant smoke. They measure from 5 to 7.5 inches, and come in ring gauges from 34 to 38.
Combining the length of a Panetela with the thickness of a Corona, the Lonsdale traditionally measures 6.5 inches long with a 42 ring gauge.
Short and fat, the Robusto has the honor of being the most popular cigar shape in the United States. They measure between 4.5 and 5.5 inches, and come in ring gauges from 48 to 52.
The Second Family of Cigar Shapes: Figurados
Any cigar that is not made with completely straight sides falls into the Figurado family. This is where you’ll see the greatest variation in cigar shapes, with each brand’s shapes giving a distinctive smoking experience.
Featuring a closed foot that requires cutting before lighting, as well as a bulging middle and head tapered to a point, true Torpedo cigars are a rarity. They generally measure between 5.5 and 6.5 inches in length, with range gauges that vary greatly from brand to brand.
Similar to a Torpedo, the Pyramid tapers nearly to a point at its head. It features no swollen center, however, and the foot is pre-cut for easy lighting. Pyramids traditionally measure between 6 and 7 inches in length, with a tapered ring gauge from the head to the foot.
A shorter version of the Pyramid, Belicosos feature a more rounded head that allows for a pronounced mingling of flavors when smoked. They measure between 5 and 5.5 inches, with ring gauges from 48 to 52.
Ligar Privada #9 cigars reign supreme when it comes to complexity and overall enjoyment. Made with 7 different tobaccos and originally made for the exclusive smoking pleasure of Drew Estate president Steve Saka, these now-public gems are sure to give you a rich aroma and a well-rounded flavor.
Similar to a Torpedo, Perfectos have a bulging center and a closed foot that must be cut before lighting. They taper to a rounded head rather than pointed, and have no standard designation for length or ring gauge.
The Griffin's Perfecto cigars are meticulously handcrafted by Davidoff with a trio of the best Dominican Cuban-seed tobaccos capped by plush, Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrappers. The smoke is rich and creamy with a nutty character and mellow, cedary finis
The strangest and most exotic of cigar shapes, the Culebra is three Panetelas woven into a braid and sold as a single stick. You’ll need to untie and unbraid the cigars to smoke separately, making it an excellent special occasion cigar to share with friends.
Villiger cigars use the finest cigar tobaccos from the world's most fertile growing regions in order to offer you the greatest possible enjoyment at a very reasonable price. Only the most select Cuban seed tobaccos are used, offering you rich, smooth flavor SQUARE-PRESSED in your choice of two flavorful wrappers: Sumatra Natural and Brazilian Maduro.
Culebras usually measure between 5 and 6 inches long, with a 38 ring gauge.
The largest of all Figurados, Diademas routinely measure over 8 inches long. They feature tapered heads and ring gauges of 50 or greater, and can take hours to smoke to completion.
A note about how shape affects size
While the shapes described above are a reliable indicator of the smoking experience you’ll have with a cigar, it’s important to note that different cigar makers will produce the same style in different sizes.
Whereas one company might use a 42 ring gauge as the standard for a Corona, another may go for a beefier 46 ring gauge — making for a much more voluminous smoke.
What’s your favorite cigar shape and preferred size?
We hope this guide left you feeling ready to identify and select your next stick.
Do you have a favorite cigar shape and size? Tweet at me.