Cigars and the cigar industry have a variety of terms that are important to know and understand. At LMCigars.com, we’ve taken the top 20 terms that are searched on our site and defined them below to make things a bit easier for you when you are navigating the site.
Even the most well-rounded smoker will find information here that may make searching for and purchasing cigars and cigar accessories just a bit easier.
Binder: The middle tobacco leaf, wrapped around the filler tobacco, and appearing underneath the wrapper. It is the most important component in ensuring the cigar stays together and burns evenly.
Box Pressed: Some cigars like the Perla del Mar have an almost square appearance. This is because when the cigars are still wet, after being rolled, they are placed into a grated box. Each square of the grate fits one cigar, and the cigar takes the shape of the square it’s in as it dries.
Bunch/Bunching: Bunching is the step before cigar rolling. Bunchers are responsible for creating the filler blend, by taking a pre-determined recipe of different tobacco leaves. These filler tobacco leaves are bunched together, and the binder leaf is wrapped around them.
Canoeing: This is a non-desirable term when it comes to cigars. Canoeing is defined by the uneven burn of a cigar, when one side burns faster than the other, leaving one side longer, and the ash caking to one side.
Chaveta: This is a wedge shaped, handle-less knife, used by cigar rollers. The rollers use this knife to cut the wrapper tobacco into the proper shape, to create the wrapper leaf before they roll it onto the exterior of the premium cigar, such as the Arturo Fuente Hemingway.
Churchill: A popular cigar vitola, named in honor of the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who famously enjoyed cigars. Though the actual dimensions vary by manufacturer, a common Churchill size is 7 inches long with a 48-ring gauge like the Luis Martinez Silver Selection.
Cigarillo: Cigarillos, such as Neos are short, slim cigars made of premium tobacco for a quicker, flavorful smoke.
Filler: The leaves of tobacco that make up the interior/center of the cigar. Long Filler tobacco can be long pieces, bunched together and surrounded by a binder, or can be short filler, meaning a variety of tobaccos are chopped up, blended, and then placed within the binder. A third option would be mixed or combo filler, that uses long and short filler leaves together.
Half Wheel: A bundle of 50 cigars. Though cigars are not sold to the end consumer this way, the cigar rollers will tie off the cigars they roll with a ribbon once they hit 50, to be taken to the quality assurance departments. A wheel is 100 cigars.
Hygrometer: Though hygrometers have many uses outside the cigar industry, this specific term is used to describe the device that measures humidity inside your humidor. The Diamond Crown Hygrometer we sell at LMCigars will help you successfully keep your cigars at the perfect temperature and moisture for aging and freshness.
Humidor: Humidors are air-tight cedar lined boxes that keep cigars humidified and fresh and assist with the aging process of cigars. We have a wide variety of humidors available on our site.
Maduro: The word Maduro is Spanish for “ripe” but is used to describe cigars with a darker wrapper color. While tobacco ages in barns and begins to ferment, it gets continually darker (from green, all the way to dark brown). Maduro wrappers tend to be more flavorful, and sweeter, than their lighter counterparts. If you are interested in trying Maduro cigars, a good start would be the Brick House Maduro.
Pilon: Pilon describes a large pile of tobacco, arranged in such a way to begin the fermentation process. Pilons are often rearranged during the fermentation process, so that the leaves on the top are moved to the bottom, to equally distribute the amount of heat, and therefore curing, that occurs on each leaf. Depending on how the tobacco will be used, this process can last anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Punch or Bullet “Cut”: The Craftsman’s Bench Punch cutter is a small, pill shaped tube. When exposed, one end of this cutter has a small, metal hole. By pressing this hole into the head of the cigar, you get a perfectly symmetrical “cut” to allow smoke to pass through. This cut is desirable for larger ring gauges.
Ring Gauge: Ring gauge is the circumference of the cigar. Measured in 1/64th of an inch in diameter.
Robusto: This a common cigar vitola. A robusto cigar is a short, fat cigar, and one of the most popular on our site, like the Rocky Patel Decade Robusto. Though the specific size varies by manufacturer the most widely accepted dimensions are 5 inches with a 50-ring gauge.
Straight/Guillotine/Double Blade Cut: The Craftsman’s Bench Double Blade cutter, also known as a guillotine cutter, is used to take just the cap off the head of a cigar. This cutter applies equal pressure to the entire diameter of the cigar, giving you an even cut for smoking. This cut is best used on a torpedo or pyramid cigar.
V Cut: The Craftsman’s Bench V cutter creates a wedge in the head of the cigar.
Vitola: Vitola is a term that defines the shape of the cigar. Some of the more popular cigar vitolas are Coronas, Lanceros, and Torpedos.
Wrapper: Accounting for approximately 60% of the taste of the cigar, the wrapper tobacco leaf is on the outside of the cigar: the component you see when you look at the cigar.
What else do you need to know about cigars?
The short answer is: a lot. There are hundreds, if not thousands of cigar terms in both English, and Spanish that describe cigars. From the flavors, to the construction, to the sizes, to the tobacco, to the seeds of the tobacco. Cigar making is a true art, and like any art, it has its own vocabulary. While the terms we’ve listed above provide a base knowledge, there are so many resources you can use to learn more!
Have questions? Feel free to reach out to us via our contact form, and someone will be back in touch within one business day!