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Can You Actually Change the Shape and Size of a Cigar?


Do you enjoy smoking a certain cigar shape and size, but wanted a way to possibly modify it somehow?  Well, you’re not alone, as  a lot of cigar smokers have been looking into something like that.  The question is though, is there an actual way to do so, and if there is, how would it be done.

What are the Different Types of Cigar Shapes and Sizes?

Cigars come in various shapes and sizes, which are primarily defined by their length, diameter, and the shape of their ends.  Each shape and size can affect the smoking experience, influencing the draw, the intensity of flavors, and the duration of the smoke.  The choice of a particular cigar shape and size often depends on personal preference and even the occasion.

The main types of cigar shapes are:

  1. Parejo: This is the most common shape, with straight sides and a rounded head. They often have an open foot (the part you light) and a closed head (the part you cut before smoking).
  2. Figurado: These are irregularly shaped cigars that may have a bulge in the middle, a pointy head, tapered ends, or other non-standard shapes.

Within these categories, there are several specific sizes and shapes, such as:

  • Torpedo: This type of cigar narrows to a pointed cap, resembling the shape of a torpedo.  It's a variation of the Parejo but with a distinct tapered head.
  • Belicoso: Similar to the Torpedo, the Belicoso has a smaller tapered head.  It's shorter than the Torpedo and offers a more concentrated flavor due to its shape.
  • Pyramid Pyramids taper from a broad foot to a pointed cap.  The gradual narrowing concentrates the smoke and can intensify the flavor.
  • Perfecto This cigar shape is characterized by a closed foot, a bulge in the middle, and a rounded head.  They can be challenging to roll, making them less common.
  • Presidente/Churchill: These are long, large cigars named after Winston Churchill. They offer a longer smoking time due to their size.
  • Robusto: One of the most popular sizes, the Robusto is shorter and thicker, providing a richer and fuller-bodied smoke.
  • Panatela: This is a long, thin cigar. It's known for a more delicate and milder flavor due to the lower proportion of filler tobacco.
  • Culebra: This is a unique and rare shape, consisting of three panatelas braided and tied together. They are usually separated before smoking.
  • Chisel: This is a recent innovation with a flat, wedge-shaped head, offering a unique mouthfeel and draw.

What About Making Modifications to a Current Cigars Shape and Size?

Yes, it's possible to modify the shape and size of a cigar, besides just simply smoking it down, but it's important to consider some key factors that can make or break the entire cigar and of course, your smoking experience.  Also, it's vital to have a deep understanding of cigar construction and tobacco characteristics.  Improper handling during reshaping or resizing can ruin the cigar.

Factor #1: Cigar Construction

Cigars are carefully rolled and constructed, so altering their shape and size might affect their smoking quality.  The wrapper, binder, and filler are balanced to create a specific smoking experience.  What you would need to do is re-roll the cigar, as this involves completely unwrapping the cigar and then re-rolling it with the tobacco. This is a highly skilled task and typically done by experienced cigar rollers (torcedores).  The process can alter both the shape and the size of the stogie.

Factor #2: Shape Modifications

Minor changes in shape are possible, like slightly straightening a bent cigar.  However, drastic shape changes are not advisable as they can damage the structure and integrity of the cigar.

Factor #3: Size Adjustments

Cutting a cigar to make it shorter is common, typically done with a cigar cutter for a clean cut.  But making a cigar longer isn't feasible. Increasing the diameter (making it thicker) is also not possible without completely re-rolling the cigar, which requires skill and the right materials.

Factor #4: The Tools

Professional tools like cigar cutters, chavetas (cigar knives), and a controlled environment (like a humidor) are essential for any modification to ensure the cigar's integrity.

What are the Pros & Cons of Making Changes to a Current Cigar's Shape and Size?

Changing the shape and size of a cigar can have several pros and cons, impacting both the experience of smoking and the characteristics of the cigar itself.  Basically, while altering the shape and size of a cigar can provide a unique and customized smoking experience, it also comes with challenges related to production, consistency, and market appeal.

Here's a better breakdown:


  1. Variety in Experience: Different shapes and sizes offer varied smoking experiences. For instance, larger cigars usually provide a longer, more leisurely smoke, while smaller ones are good for shorter sessions.
  2. Flavor and Strength Profiles: Changing dimensions can alter the flavor and strength. Thinner cigars might burn hotter and deliver a more intense flavor, whereas thicker cigars often have a cooler, mellower smoke.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: Unique shapes can be aesthetically pleasing and offer a novelty experience, attracting collectors and enthusiasts.
  4. Customization: Personalizing size and shape can cater to individual preferences, making the smoking experience more enjoyable for different users.


  1. Inconsistent Burn: Some shapes, especially the more complex ones, may not burn as evenly as standard shapes, affecting the smoking experience.
  2. Difficult to Roll: Unusual shapes can be more challenging to roll, requiring skilled craftsmanship, which might increase the cost.
  3. Storage and Handling: Non-standard sizes and shapes might not fit well in standard humidors or cases, making storage and transport more complicated.
  4. Limited Appeal: While some smokers enjoy experimenting with different shapes and sizes, others might prefer traditional styles, limiting the market for unusually shaped or sized cigars.

What About Custom-Shaped Cigar?

Custom-shaped cigars can also be made, although they require skilled craftsmanship and are usually more expensive and less common than standard shapes.  Custom-made sized cigars refer to stogies that’re specifically tailored to meet individual preferences in terms of size, shape, and sometimes blend.  Unlike standard cigars, which come in predefined sizes and shapes, custom-made cigars are crafted based on unique specifications provided by the customer.   

Essentially, custom-made sized cigars offer a unique experience for cigar enthusiasts who are looking for something beyond what is available in regular cigar lines.  They represent a blend of personalized luxury and traditional cigar-making craftsmanship.

Below are some key aspects of custom-made sized cigars:

  1. Size and Shape Customization: Customers can request specific lengths and diameters for their cigars, as well as unique shapes that might not be available in standard offerings.
  2. Personalized Blends: Some custom cigar makers allow customers to choose the blend of tobaccos used, tailoring the flavor, strength, and aroma to the individual's liking.
  3. Special Occasions: Often, these cigars are made for special events or as personal gifts, and they might feature unique labeling or packaging.
  4. Artisan Craftsmanship: Custom-made cigars are typically hand-rolled by skilled artisans, ensuring a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.
  5. Price and Exclusivity: Due to the personalized nature and artisanal effort involved, custom-made cigars are often more expensive than standard ones and are seen as exclusive products.
  6. Lead Time: Since they are made to order, custom-made cigars usually have a longer lead time than off-the-shelf products.

Final “Sized-Up” Cigar “Shaping” Thoughts

Considering these factors, modifying a cigar's shape and size is not typically recommended for casual smokers or without the assistance of a professional.  The process is complex and can easily damage the cigar if not done correctly.  If you're looking to customize your smoking experience, it's often better to choose a cigar that already fits your preferred size and shape specifications.  Professional cigar rollers craft a wide variety of shapes and sizes, each offering a unique experience.

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