Search Content

Search form

Explore the World of Cigars
Top Lists

Best Cigar Shapes for Beginners

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

If you’re new to cigars and aren’t sure what to smoke, we’re here to help. We’ve put together our top lists for the best cigars for beginners and the best mild cigars, but one question we get a lot is, “What shape should I smoke when I’m just getting started?” Here’s our advice.

Why Cigar Size Matters

When you’re browsing online or visiting a retail cigar store, you’ll notice most blends come in several different cigar sizes. Size is an important factor. Size determines how long it will take to smoke the cigar, and it also affects the intensity of the blend. In other words, choose a size that you’ll have time to finish, and one that won’t overpower your tolerance.

Cigar Length & Ring Gauge

Cigars are measured according to length and ring gauge (thickness). Ring gauge is measured in 64ths of an inch, the same way your finger is measured for a ring. The ratio between the binder, filler, and wrapper tobaccos changes between thinner and thicker cigars. Thinner cigars burn hotter and faster than thicker sizes, and a cigar’s wrapper leaf imparts greater influence in the tasting notes you perceive in a thinner size. Fatter cigars burn cooler and more slowly, and the taste of the wrapper leaf is less pronounced by comparison. And longer cigars, of course, will last longer than shorter cigars of the same ring gauge.

Best Cigar Sizes for Beginners

There are dozens of cigar sizes to consider, but three stand out as the best options for a beginner, and they’re all Parejos, or straight-sided, symmetrical cigars, as opposed to Figurados, which are tapered shapes. Once you’ve decided on what brand you want to smoke, try it in a Robusto, Corona, or Toro to start. All three of these traditional sizes will burn for a manageable amount of time and offer plenty of nuances in a cigar’s taste.


A Robusto is typically just under, or just over, 5 inches in length with a ring gauge between 48 and 52. You can smoke a Robusto for approximately forty to fifty minutes. The Ashton Magnum is a 5-by-50 Robusto and one of the best cigars for a beginner to smoke due to its mild, nutty, and creamy flavor. It’s blended from a silky Connecticut Shade wrapper and a mellow interior of premium Dominican long-filler tobaccos.


Shop Ashton Cigars


The Corona is another classic Cuban cigar size. Often, when a cigar-maker is working on a new blend, the first size they will create is a Corona because the ratio between binder, filler and wrapper tobaccos in a Corona is perfect. Coronas are slightly thinner and longer than Robustos. Most are 5.5 to 6 inches with a ring gauge between 42 and 44. Coronas last for thirty to forty-five minutes. La Aroma de Cuba Connecticut comes in a 5.5-by-44 Corona blended from a golden-blond Ecuador Connecticut wrapper and vintage Nicaraguan long-fillers. Notes of cashew, coffee bean, almond, and cedar mingle throughout a buttery finish.


Shop La Aroma de Cuba Connecticut Cigars


Toros will burn for fifty to sixty minutes and are generally 6 inches long with a 52-ring gauge – a little thicker and a little longer than a Robusto. San Cristobal Elegancia offers a popular 6-by-52 Toro called the Imperial. Subtle notes of coffee bean, cashew, and white pepper mingle with a touch of almond in a luscious, easygoing smoke. A light Connecticut-seed wrapper, grown in Ecuador, embraces a blend of well-aged Nicaragua long-filler tobaccos.


Shop San Cristobal Elegancia Cigars

Other Cigar Sizes for Beginners

If thirty to fifty minutes sounds like too much cigar for you, there are dozens of great small cigars to consider too. Petit Coronas smoke for around twenty minutes, while you can enjoy a cigarillo in five or ten minutes. If you’re feeling confident to handle a bigger size, you might consider smoking a Churchill or a big-ring Gordo, which will burn for over an hour. Just remember to eat before you smoke, smoke slowly, and, of course, don’t inhale your cigar regardless of what size you go with.

Featured Products

Related Posts

Cigar 101
Cigar Basics: How to Look Like You Know What You’re Doing

Smoking cigars is fun and relaxing, but it can be intimidating for new cigar lovers. Learn all you need to know in our quick and comprehensive crash course in cigars 101...

Top Lists
Best Cigars for Beginners

We’ve compiled a list of ten high quality cigars that display accessible flavor and aroma, perfect for encouraging your palate with a handful of popular cigar brands...

Cigar 101
Beginner Cigar Tools

When you’re getting into cigars, you need a few basic tools. Without them, you’ll have to bum a cutter and lighter from one of your pals...