The main difference between a cigar and cigarillo is their size, so you are not wrong in thinking that cigarillos look like small cigars. But as a cigar aficionado knows, size does matter!
The experience of smoking a cigar versus smoking a cigarillo is simply different. That is why cigar lovers tend to keep both in the house – stock for every occasion.
Before you start debating which is better, familiarize yourself with what sets these two smokes apart.
Differences Between Cigars and Cigarillos
The difference in size is obvious but there are more noticeable differences between cigars and cigarillos. As well as many similarities.
Cigarillos are shorter than cigars. They are almost always under 5 inches long, with the majority between 3.5 – 4.5 inches. The length range for cigars is much bigger.
2. Ring Gauge
Cigarillos are thinner than cigars with most being having a ring gauge between 20 – 30. This means that they burn faster but are also more convenient to carry.
All the basic elements are the same; tobacco leaf wrappers without a filter. One possible difference is that cigarillos are often non-humidified but that depends on the particular make.
While there are both hand-rolled and machine-produced cigars, cigarillos are almost exclusively made by machine. This is mainly due to their size difference.
Since cigarillos are mostly made by machine, they can be mass-produced. This efficiency difference is one of the reasons why cigarillos are generally more affordable than cigars.
How to Smoke a Cigar vs a Cigarillo
Essentially, a cigarillo is the smaller version of the cigar. Thus, there are only small differences in how to smoke the two.
Cigarillos are thinner, shorter and have drier tobacco so it is no surprise that they also burn faster than a cigar. Smoking a cigar is more ceremonial and depending on the size you could spend an hour on a single piece. In contrast, people generally smoke a cigarillo in less than 20 minutes.
One thing to remember is that you smoke them in the same manner. In other words, do not inhale the smoke.
Both cigars and cigarillos are unfiltered. Some cigarillos may look like a cigarette but it is not a good idea to smoke them like one.
Cigar vs Cigarillo: Which Is Better?
There is no need to decide between the two. Cigars and cigarillos are each other complement, not replacement.
Smoke a cigar when you have plenty of time or to celebrate a special occasion. Smoke a cigarillo when you want the taste and sensation but with more convenience.
A cigarillo is great for travel since they are in more compact packaging. Most brands sell them in pack of 20 – 30 so they are also much easier to share at an event.
Many cigar lovers keep a pack of cigarillos around for when they have the urge to smoke but don’t want to put in the effort of smoking an entire cigar. Cigarillos are a good back-up stock. Thanks to the drier tobacco they are easier to store for a longer period of time.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are cigarillos worse than cigars?
In terms of ingredients, there is no difference between cigarillos and cigars. However, their size and quicker burn may lead people to smoke more than they would with a cigar. This is an issue of habit rather than the actual content differences.
Which cigarillo is the best?
- Montecristo Puritos
- Cohiba Club Cigars
Do you inhale cigarillos?
Like regular cigars, cigarillos are unfiltered. Thus, you do not inhale cigarillos, either.
Cigarillos are the smaller and more convenient version of a regular cigar. They are made with the same ingredients, tobacco and tobacco leaf wrapper without a filter, and smoked the same manner.
There is not much physical difference between a cigar and cigarillo besides their size. Cigarillos are shorter and with a smaller ring gauge.
For many cigar lovers, cigarillos are a nice alternative for a quicker smoke. You can puff away a cigarillo in 10 – 20 minutes which is far less time than the 20 minutes to an hour that you would spend with a cigar.
One element that may make a difference for cigar aficionados is that cigarillos are made by machine. However, both are enjoyable and both have great flavor so you are not losing out on quality.
Which one has your preference, a cigar or cigarillo?