Overview of Cigar Shapes and Sizes

Premium hand rolled cigars on box
Gary Conner / Getty Images

One of the most common ways to categorize cigars is by their shape and size. Although this sounds simple, it can be very confusing. For many years, the cigar industry has been using terms such as Corona and Panatela that correspond to the approximate length and width of the cigar, not the manufacturer or brand. Although most manufacturers use commonly accepted size names to describe their cigars, the actual size of a cigar with a particular name can vary among manufacturers.

In addition, cigars are now available in many more dimensions than were available in the past, and many manufacturers have created their own names for certain sizes. It is not too uncommon to find two cigars of the same size made by two different companies, sporting different names to describe the size.

Are Numbers Better Than Names?

To avoid confusion, it is easier to refer to a cigar’s length and width when describing its size. The length is measured in inches, while the width is measured by ring gauge—the diameter expressed in 64ths of an inch.

Despite all the inconsistencies with cigar names, it is still more interesting (and colorful) to describe the different sizes and shapes of cigars with names rather than with numbers. This is all part of the cigar mystique.

Names for Cigar Shapes

You may never have to use the terms that refer to the shape of a cigar since most of the common names for cigars are usually associated with their size. But if you want to truly be part of the cigar culture, it's interesting to understand what these terms refer to: 

Parejo: A parejo cigar is any cigar that has perfectly straight sides with a cylindrical shape, topped by a rounded head. 

Figurado: A cigar with an irregular shape (e.g. having a cone-shaped head) is called a figurado

Belicoso: This is a figurado-shaped cigar that tapers sharply at the head. The ter refers to any cigar that tapers at the head.

Torpedo: This is a cigar with a tapered head that comes to a very sharp point. Some manufacturers use other names for this shape. 

Pyramid: Similar to Torpedo, but this cigar tapers all along its length, not just near the end. 

Culebra: This unusual cigar features three individual cigars size braided together in a pretzel shape. Culebra means "snake" in Spanish. You are of course expected to separate the cigars before smoking them.

Perfecto: A cigar that is tapered on both ends. 

Salomón: A Salomón is a very large Perfecto-shaped cigar with a tapered end that is usually cut flush. Longer versions with a closed foot are often known as a Diadema.

Diadema: This is a perfecto-shaped cigar similar to a Salomón, but slightly longer and thinner 

Common Names for Cigar Sizes

There are many names for the various sizes (and shapes) of cigars, but here are just a few of the more common terms that you may encounter, and the approximate range of their dimensions. The ranges listed can be even wider, despite any overlapping.

Name Length (in.) Ring Gauge
Corona 5.5 to 6" 42 to 45
Panatela 5.5 to 6.5 34 to 38
Lonsdale 6 to 6.5 42 to 44
Lancero 7 to 7.5 38 to 40
Churchill 6.5 to 7 46 to 48
Robusto 4.5 to 5 48 to 50
Toro 6 to 6.5 48 to 50
Presidente 7 to 8.5 52 to 60
Gigante > 6 > 60
(Cone Shaped Head)
5 ½ to 6 ½ 46 to 52