A Guide to Cigar Sizes


If you’re new to the world of cigars and you walk into a shop’s large humidor, you may be overwhelmed by the variety of cigars available. There’s plenty to learn and explore in the world of cigars, so in this blog we’ll explain how cigars are sized.

Cigars are sized by shape, length, and ring gauge size. In general most cigars have the same tubular, ‘torpedo’ shape, with some exceptions such as pyramids, culebras, and perfectos.

The length of a cigar is the primary factor in how long it will burn. Cigars (generally) range from the short end of the scale, such as 4-inch robustos, to long, adventurous smokes, such as a presidente, which can clear 10-inches long. You can smoke a short cigar in about 30 minutes, whereas the longest ones can take upwards of 90 to finish off.

The last sizing method, ring gauge, measures how thick a cigar is by giving you the diameter in 64ths of an inch. Technically cigars become cigarillos when they drop below 30 ring gauge, so the scale starts at 30 and commonly goes to 54, although fatter cigars are becoming more and more popular. It’s not unlikely to find a 60 or even 64 in a shop. There are true monsters out there sporting insane 100 ring gauges as well.

The popularity of thicker cigars is a result of cigar makers focusing more on the filler tobacco. The thicker a cigar, the more tobacco you can blend (or not) and cram inside, resulting in more flavorful, complex smokes. A very thin cigar will generally be a one-note affair, since there just isn’t room for layers of flavor.

When strolling into a humidor and looking over the cigars, the two main concerns with size are the length of time for the smoke, and the flavor profile you’re looking for. If you’re short on time but want full flavor, go with a robusto or torpedo. If you’ve got the afternoon open, explore some of the longer sizes.

As always, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about all things cigars, so don’t hesitate to ask when you visit our shop!