Cigar Shapes and Sizes - What's the Difference?

We all have different tastes and preference and so there are cigars to indulge each and every mood. From 2 hour smoke fests to quick smokes on the go, there is just the right cigar out there for the allotted time or place. Understanding the size and shape will help you select the perfect stick for the occasion.


Size is an important factor in selecting the proper cigar, affecting not only the amount of time involved, but also the depth of character, body and overall enjoyment. Cigar measurements are basic length and diameter, where length being measured in inches and the diameter or ring gauge being measured in 64ths of an inch, an inch equaling 64/64ths. So a Parejo (standard-shaped or straight cigar) that is listed as 6” x 52, for example, is simply a cigar that is 6 inches in length with a diameter of 52/64ths of an inch. Sizes usually have specific names to distinguish them from others, each having its own unique story. The Churchill is the most famous example of course, being named after Winston Churchill who enjoyed a larger smoke. Or the 898, a Lonsdale-shaped cigar traditionally packaged in 25-count boxes featuring rows of 8, 9 and 8 cigars. The following are just a few general sizes of the many available to cigar aficionados today, keeping in mind that each size may vary within a cigar manufacturer’s catalog of smokes.

- Churchill 7” x 48

- Corona 5 ½” x 44

- Double Corona 7” x 52

- Gordo 6” x 60

- Lonsdale 6 ¼” x 44

- Panatela 6 ½” x 38

- Petit Corona 4 ½” x 42

- Robusto 5” x 50

- Rothchild 4 ¾” x 48

- Toro 6” x 50


The fun doesn’t stop with Parejos or standard shaped cigars, however, as Figurado or shaped-cigars are becoming more and more a part of the cigar landscape. A Figurado is literally a cigar that is shaped into a “figure” or distinct variation of a standard Parejo. More labor-intensive to make, these works of art are generally crafted by only the most experienced Torcedors (cigar makers). Figurado cigars come in many different sizes and, like their Parejo cousins, vary greatly from brand to brand. In fact, many manufacturers will use these designations as interchangeable terms, rather than separate shapes making it all the more helpful to research before you buy. Here are just a few options available:

Pyramid - A cone shaped cigar that resembles a pyramid, tapering from a wide foot to narrow head. A standard Pyramid is usually about 7” x 52

EXAMPLE: Avo Classic Pyramid

Torpedo - A standard shaped cigar with a head that tapers to a point, greatly resembling a torpedo. Popular Torpedoes usually average around 6 ¼” x 52

EXAMPLE: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Torpedo

Perfecto- A popular shape during the Gilded Age, this is a cigar that tapers down at both the head and the foot with a bulge at the middle of the body. Perfectos come in a wide-range of sizes

EXAMPLE: Oliva Serie O Perfecto

Salomon - A Figurado that resembles an elongated, more drawn out Perfecto that may have either a closed or cut foot. These smokes are a popular choice amongst connoisseurs, as many find the shapes and sizes lend a distinctively balanced experience. Although available in a wide range of sizes, a typical Salomon usually provides about an hour and a half to two hours of smoking time.

EXAMPLE: Ave Maria Holy Grail

Selecting the proper size will help make you cigar smoking experience the very best it can be. The best part of finding the right size, of course, is the experimenting! So don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, you may only confirm what you already know you don’t like, but you just might discover a hidden gem you normally would have passed up. Who can argue with yet another reason to enjoy a cigar: Research!

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