The size of a cigar, in name, is a nearly meaningless designation, the reason being that the size of a cigar, when determined by a name such as corona or robusto, is not a universal standard. In other words, one company’s corona is another company’s churchill even though both measure the exact same length and ring gauge. Once you understand this, most of the confusion regarding cigar size disappears.There are, however, “classic” measurements for cigars that most cigar makers attempt to follow, and these are shown in the pictures below. But remember, just because a cigar is 7 inches in length with a 48 ring gauge doesn’t necessarily mean that the manufacturer will designate that cigar as a churchill. All you really have to know is that cigars are categorized by length and ring gauge which is a measurement divided into 64ths of an inch, or more simply put, is a fraction of 64. A cigar with a 52 ring gauge, for exam. measures 52/64ths of an inch in diameter.

Listed below are a few cigar terms that you should know.

Band A ring of paper around the head of the cigar denoting the cigar’s brand.
Binder A tobacco leaf used to hold the filler leaves together.
Blend The mixture of different types of tobacco in a cigar.
Bloom A fine white powder appearing on a cigar caused by oil that

exude from the tobacco.

Bulk A pile of tobacco leaves in the process of fermentation.
Bunch The body of a cigar created by the different types of tobacco that are

blended together.

Bundle A way of packaging cigars using cellophane wrapping. It usually

contains 25 or 50 cigars.

Candela A bright green shade of wrapper.  Also called double claro.
Cap The circular piece of wrapper at the head of a cigar.
Claro A pale green to light brown wrapper which is usually shade


Colorado A medium brown to brownish red wrapper.
Draw The amount of air pulled through a cigar.
Fermentation The first stage of preparing the tobacco after it is harvested. The process

releases ammonia.

Figurado A cigar with an exotic shape.
Filler The tobacco leaves used to make up the bunch.
Flag An alternative to the cap. It involves twisting the wrapper at the head

into a pigtail.

Foot The end of the cigar that you light.
Gum A vegatable adhesive used to secure the head of the wrapper.
Hand-rolled A cigar made completely by hand with long filler tobacco.
Head The end of the cigar that you cut and smoke.
Hot This describes a cigar that is underfilled and has a loose, easy draw.
Humidor An environment (room or box) designed to preserve and age cigars.
Long filler This describes filler tobacco that runs the length of the cigar.
Machine-made A cigar made by machine using a heavy wrapper and cut filler

instead of long filler.

Maduro A very dark reddish brown to almost black wrapper.
Oscuro A black shade of wrapper.
Puro A term used to distinguish a cigar from a cigarette.
Ring gauge A measurement of the diameter of a cigar, in inches, based

on a fraction of 64.

Shade-grown Wrapper leaves grown under a tent which creates a thinnner and more elastic


Sun-grown Tobacco grown in direct sunlight which creates a thicker leaf.
Wrapper The tobacco leaf which is wrapped around the bunch and binder.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s