Cigar 101: How To Hold a Cigar

3 / 4
The Pool Cue. Projects confidence and swagger.

4 / 4
Can't say enough good things about the Davidoff Year of the Monkey. If you can still find some, scoop them up.

A mildly tongue-in-cheek, but serious, guide on how to hold a cigar properly

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to cigars. Choosing one. Cutting it. Lighting it. And smoking it. The last thing on your mind is how to hold that cigar your smoking.

However, how you hold a cigar, is a key component to the cigar smoking experience. Your choice of grip, like the clothes you choose to wear, projects something about you. So you want to make sure you’re doing it properly.

Here are the HSS-approved methods for holding a cigar.

1. The Respectful Grip

hold cigar properly

Remember that the cigar you are holding in your hand is the result of an extremely long and painstaking process. From seed to stick, literally hundreds of people have had a hand in making that cigar.

Translation? You need to show that cigar some respect!

There is no way to hold a cigar that shows more reverence and respect than what we call “The Respectful Grip.” The cigar is held lightly in the hand between the thumb and multiple fingers. Your grip should only be tight enough to keep the cigar in your hand and roll it back and forth slowly and slightly as you consider its majesty.

For longer cigars, use all four fingers. For short sticks (or when your Churchill starts to burn down) use three and then two fingers. Always use your thumb and at least two fingers.

What it says about you: You’re a cigar veteran. You understand and appreciate the craft of making a premium cigar and, therefore, you transform your hand into a sort of corporal pedestal/display case for that beauty.

2. The Pool Cue

hold cigar properly

Holding a cigar like this is a straight up power move. You’re a boss. No, you’re the boss and you’re not going to get any arguments over that from the likes of Bruce Springsteen or Tony Danza.

What it says about you: You’re confident and have some swagger. You likely prefer toros or anything with a ring gauge larger than 50.

3. The Don’t Ever Hold a Cigar Like This

hold cigar properly

The biggest problem with this grip, other than it looking weak, is that it actually is weak. The cigar is completely unsupported and risks being dropped or ashed prematurely. You know that trick you do with a pencil that makes it look like it’s rubber? That’s what this grip does to a cigar.

What it says about you: You’re a novice. But you won’t be for long, because hopefully someone’s going to tell you to never, ever hold a cigar like that again.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

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  • SuperG

    While not related to the content of this post exactly, here’s a vote for keeping the scruff!

    • Brian Sacawa

      It’s actually really funny that you mention the scruff. It’s a topic we’re covering next week and the week after!

  • Luis Martinez

    May I ask what’s your favorite cigar lounge? And, is there one in Baltimore that you would recommend?

    • Brian Sacawa

      In NYC, you can find me at Davidoff at Madison and 53rd right off the E. It’s the one we featured here:

      And I have to say that the new Davidoff lounge downtown at Brookfield Place is absolutely top notch.

      In Baltimore City, you’ll want to go to The QG. I’m a member of the lounge there, but I’m pretty sure you can purchase a day pass, or get access simply by buying a cigar.

      Just outside of the city is the best lounge/shop in the area. It’s called Humidour on the Hill. Amazing selection and tons of space for smoking. A must see if you’re in the area.