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Long and Short Filler?

Can you please explain what is meant by "long filler" and "short filler" in cigar composition?
Posted: August 26, 2013

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Two words, whole and chopped, help one to remember the difference between long- and short-filler.

Long-filler, known as tripa in Spanish, consists of whole tobacco leaves that run the length of a cigar. Most premium, handmade cigars use nothing but long-filler. Whereas short-filler, also known as picadura, or chop, is the main tobacco type used in machine-made cigars.

Short-filler is chopped up scraps of tobacco leaf that tend to burn quicker and hotter than its long counterpart. Some cigars, known as mixed-fill cigars or Cuban sandwiches, use a blend of short- and long-filler tobacco.

To find out more about tobacco filler, check out our Cigar 101: Inside a Cigar video.

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Comments   6 comment(s)

Christian August 26, 2013 5:45pm ET

That's the long and the short of it. I had too...

David Savona August 27, 2013 9:26am ET

Ouch! August 27, 2013 10:40pm ET

So is the Arturo Fuente short story long or short filler?

David Savona August 28, 2013 9:45am ET

The Arturo Fuente Short Story is a long filler cigar. You can make very short cigars with long-filler tobacco. Some tobacco leaves are considerably shorter than others. When a torcedore makes a cigar, sometimes he or she will break a piece of the long filler to make an adjustment. That breaking process does not turn a cigar from long filler into short filler.

Short filler consists of very small and broken pieces of tobacco.

One of the ways to see the difference is to watch the ash of a long-filler cigar versus a short filler cigar. A cigar like that Short Story you mentioned will hold a considerably long ash, because those leaves have structural integrity. Fire up a cigar made of short filler and you'll see that the ash won't hold nearly as long.

Thanks for the question, and thanks for reading.

The Paul Kemp August 28, 2013 12:29pm ET

Are there any notable exceptions to this? (ie. machine made cigars that use long filler?) It seems to me that even less expensive Monte Cristo Puritos burn very evenly and with a long ash.

Parker Lichtenstein September 17, 2013 4:45pm ET

I used to smoke a great short-filler 6X46 natural-leaf wrapper cigar that I really enjoyed. The only reason I quit buying it is that the price became more expensive than some good hand made bundle deals.

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