The phrase “cheap cigars” can mean many different things. To most retail tobacconists (cigar shops) there are 3 main levels of cheap cigars. Domestic cigars are the lowest level of cheap cigars (i.e. swisher sweets, black and mild etc.). The mid level of cheap cigars is bundled premium hand rolled cigars. And the final highest level of cheap cigars is the $5-$7 price range.
Domestic cheap cigars
Domestic cigars are what you see on the shelf at most drug and convenience stores. They are dry cured meaning they require no humidification. They are produced by the millions and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. Everything in this category is made by a machine rather than by hand.
The wrapper and other tobacco used in domestic cheap cigars is homogenized tobacco. This means it is a blend of tobacco pieces and liquid to make a solid sheet for the cigars. Chemicals are added to enhance the flavor and make it consistent. These cigars are easily produced in huge quantities and shipped around the world.
Cheap domestic cigar brands include Swisher Sweet, Black and Mild, Garcia y Vega and White Owl to name a few. Unfortunately these are what come to most people’s mind when you talk about cigars because they are the most widely available form of cigars.
Bundled cheap cigars – premium hand rolled
Bundle cigars are a large step up from domestic machine-made cigars. Bundled cheap cigars are cheap because of their construction and tobacco used. The filler in these cigars is most often short filler instead of long filler. Short filler tobacco is the leftover pieces from more expensive cigars or damaged plants. They are still made by hand and with all natural tobacco. Bundle cigars range in price from $1-$3 per cigar.
Popular bundle cheap cigar brands include Perdomo Fresco, Flor de Oliva and Quorum to name just a few. There are hundreds of bundle brands on the market today. Bundles offer a cheaper alternative to long filler cigars. Most people buy these cigars for the golf course or to smoke while cutting their grass.
$5-$7 cheap cigars
Most people would not consider $5-$7 cigars to be cheap. However, many people who smoke high-end brands ($20+ each) daily such as Davidoff, Padron Anniversary or Zino Crown think of these as cheap cigars. $5-$7 retail price cigars are very good quality hand rolled long filler cigars. The difference between long filler and short filler is the condition of the leaf. Long filler tobacco uses a full leaf rolled up as the filler. This is much more expensive than short filler. Rolling long filler cigars also take considerably more skill than other forms.
Long filler cigar taste and burn is much more consistent than short filler. These are the most common cigars found in local cigar shops. Cheap is a relative term in the cigar world. These are only cheap if your every day cigar is a $30 Zino Crown!