How to Hold a Cigar

Jeff Miller
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Is There a Right Way?

The answer is yes. One of the most common problems for beginners is how to hold a cigar and how to smoke one.

The basic answer to "how to hold a cigar" is: between your fingers. You can throw your larger hand into play and crumple it into a fist, but try to keep your smaller hand as relaxed and open as possible.

How to Hold a Cigar Technique

Holding cigars is a skill and you will find that it takes practice before you get it perfect. This is because some cigars are longer or fatter (some Churchill and Gordo sizes come to mind) and make it difficult to hold one. They also tend to get a little slippery when your hands start sweating.

Using a Cigar Holder:

If you don't have to use both your hands for something else (you're at the bar, you're on a bridge, you're at a stop light on your motorcycle…) then use a cigar holder. A cigar holder is like a small, fancy set of pliers. To hold a cigar with a cigar holder, simply slide the end of the cigar into the cigar holder and let it hang while you smoke it. The trick with using a cigar holder is to find a good balance between having the cigar holder tight enough to hold onto, but open enough so that you can draw successfully.

Standard Grip

Holding a cigar properly is required to enjoy it the most, and to help it stay in good condition until you’re ready to smoke it. Choosing a cigar with the proper diameter and ring gauge will also help it feel comfortable in your hand, but the shape of the cigar will affect the feel more than anything else. One way to choose a cigar that will fit easily in the hand, while also giving you a good feel, is to use a ruler.

To choose the size of the cigar, use the ruler to measure the length of the cigar. Measuring the width is harder, since most cigars taper slightly from the bottom to the top, but you can use the larger measurements in the middle of the cigar. If both measurements fall between the same number on the ruler, then it will be a comfortable fit in your hand.

Most cigars come with a label like the one above. The label will include the ring gauge of the cigar, in this case ring gauge 54. The ring gauge of a cigar is the diameter of the cigar at the widest point. So the cigar above is 5/8– (or 54/64) inch in diameter.

Pool Cue

At this point, you should probably be patting yourself on the back. You learned about pool cues and you can now tell the difference between a mid-size and a full-size cue. You know what is a good wager on the game, and you even know what it takes to make pool cues. This is where you should step back a little and admire your progress. You have come quite a way and that is quite an accomplishment. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. You aren’t finished yet. The more you know, the more you can love the game.

Grips to Avoid

The most common way for people to hold a cigar is with the label facing up or facing down … and it’s also the most common way to hold a cigar incorrectly. Whether you’re smoking a Cohiba or a Marlboro, this is an improper way to hold a cigar because the label is made from a wood pulp and is too flammable. It can also slip out of your fingers easier that way.

While it is not recommended, many people still hold a cigar this way anyway, but if you do, keep these things in mind.

Use a Clip:

One thing you can do is use a cigar clip to hold the cigar in place. You can clip the label of the cigar to keep it from slipping while you smoke. Similarly, a spring clip can be used for the same purpose. If you’re not opposed to smoking cigarillos, consider getting a smaller puff clip. It’s a specialized device that can easily be attached to your shirt or your pants pocket … and it’s especially useful if you’re smoking a larger cigar.

Hold It Using Your Fingers:

The Most Common Grip

Although not always the case, the most common way that people hold cigars is between their thumb and fingers, with the textured band facing up. This is known as the finger-hold grip. The cigar should sit across your fingers, with your thumb in the notch in the middle of the cigar and the four fingers holding onto the sides.

One reason that people hold their cigars this way is that it helps protect the cigar while it’s in your mouth. This way, if you carry your cigar in your mouth, you can bite into it without worrying about burning your lips. If you’re not worried about protecting your lips, you can try another method that will give you more of a hold on the cigar for added stability.

Final Thoughts

Hang in there, new parents! It's natural for you to feel overwhelmed by all of the information you're getting. Remember that you're going through a period where you're learning how to parent … and nobody makes it out alive unscathed!

Also, remember that the information you get from others is advisory only, and it's sensible to do your own due diligence before buying any products. Know that you're the ultimate expert on your baby and how to care for him/her and that everything will work out.