Picking the right cigar size

All cigars have a cigar size name but that actually has nothing to do with the size of the cigar. There is no industry standard for the names as it relates to the actual size of the cigar. So just use it as a guideline. It becomes really apparent when you notice that one manufacturer calls his a Churchill and another calls his Double Corona but they are both the same size.

As you become more educated on cigar sizes there is a classic measurements protocol that will allow you to make some general assumptions about the cigars size. Just remember because a box says Churchills that doesn’t
necessarily mean it’s going to be 7 inches long with a 48 ring gauge. Keep in mind as far as their size goes cigars are generally listed by their length in inches and the ring gauge or the cigar’s girth.

The girth of a cigar is in 64ths of an inch. A typical Churchill is 7 inches long and 48/64ths of an inch thick. Remember when you choose your cigar size the bigger the cigar the longer it takes to smoke. If you are a new cigar smoker it’s recommended to stick with the Coronas and Robustos. Here are some of the more common sizes of cigars.


A cigar is measured by its length and diameter (known as ring gauge) one ring is equivalent to 1/64 of an inch.

  • Panatela (6 1/2 x 35)
  • Robusto (4 1/2 x 50)
  • Churchill (7 1/4 x 48)
  • Corona (5 3/4 x 42)
  • Double Corona (6 1/2 x 48)

There are many more sizes, some even exotic. So enjoy the adventure as you wander through your local Cigar Cave’s humidor.

For the most part the cigar with a larger ring gauge will have a fuller and more complex flavor and produce more smoke compared to a cigar with a smaller ring gauge. With a larger ring gauge cigar manufacturers can blend
and combine different types of leaves. As explained in one of our previous posts cigar colors can play an important part in choosing a cigar. The color is based on the wrapper and usually the wrapper is described by the country of origin or color.

  • Claro (light tan)
  • Maduro (darkest brown)
  • Obscuro (black)
  • Colorado (reddish dark brown)
  • Colorado Maduro (dark brown)
  • Colorado Claro (mid brown)

One final note (that’s also a cigar term for later)

When you inspect the wrapper make sure it’s not overly dry or too firm or soft. Always check for cracks or a defective wrapper.