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Stogie Tip: Fixing an Uneven Burn

2 Aug 2006

So you’re enjoying a cigar, maybe a bit distracted, and suddenly you notice it has an uneven burn. This happens to everyone, but what’s a Stogie Guy to do?

The following tips should help you fix an uneven burn (also called a canoe), but remember that the best thing to do is to avoid an uneven burn in the first place. A proper light is a good way to start an even burn. Also, in most cases, step one alone will be adequate if you catch an uneven burn soon enough:

First, you can start by rotating the cigar so the slow burning part is at the bottom of the cigar. Because a fire needs oxygen to burn, the bottom of the cigar will burn faster (as it has access to more oxygen) than the top. This is also why you should rotate your cigar as you smoke.

Second, if placing the long end on the bottom doesn’t work, we recommend touching up the fast burning part of the wrapper by applying moisture to the wrapper to slow down the burn. Usually saliva will get the job done, but remember you just want to add a little moisture to the wrapper…you don’t want a wet stogie.

If the aforementioned two techniques don’t work, you should get you lighter or matches back out and burn off the section(s) that’s burning too fast. However, don’t rush to quickly take a puff afterwards: the ash is likely unstable and may fall on you. Wait until the burnt wrapper turns black and then burns off completely.

Finally, once you’ve rid your stogie of the uneven burn, monitor it carefully to avoid further predicaments. Happy smoking!

[Thanks to Tristan and longashes from ClubStogie for the pictures.]

-Patrick S


14 Responses to “Stogie Tip: Fixing an Uneven Burn”

  1. Ray C Wednesday, August 2, 2006 at 9:49 am #

    Is that a Double Liegro in thee picture?

  2. gestibar Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 5:48 am #

    nice 🙂


  3. durando Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Something that works well (the smaller the gauge the better never tried it on something huge) But the trick is BLOW, gently blow instead of drawing through the cigar. What this does is help heat up the unburnt part and eventually help it achieve combustion and burn this will fix an uneven burn, also moistening the fast side will also help this process. Although if you let it get to the point of a full inch long canoe you will have to touch it up with a flame.

  4. frankD Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 11:33 am #


    the typical CAUSE for me is not having rotated my cigars in the humidor whereas one side of a stick will get humidified MORE or LESS than the other side of that same stick

    usually the stick was touching the box

    ROTATE you cigars in the humidor AND pack them loosely so that the humidor air can circulate

  5. dgrambo Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    A pinhole in the wrapper will cause the burn to slow once you get close to it. Sometimes putting your finger close to the slow burning area as you puff can plug the hole and resolve the burn issue somewhat.

  6. click this link Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    This happens almost every time I try lighting my cigar using matches. This does not happen when using a lighter though. This page looks good. I have always wanted to be in a page exclusively for smokers. Guess my search is over.

  7. libertathiest Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    I'm visiting New York and have found myself yet again pissed off at the government for putting such oppressive taxes on cigars. How obnoxious, and what's worse is the lackadaisical attitude people generally have about government oppression

  8. Carl Bendix Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Thanks for the tip on uneven burning. I think you meant to say to burn off the part that is burning too slowly. Kinda difficult to burn off the fast burning part since it is already short.

  9. LStrawn Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I typically find an uneven burn to be the result of a hard core that is off center. Break the core out and light again. A properly rolled cigar will not canoe but that seems to be a lost art. I have problems with even the good brands. Hate hard cores!!!

  10. Cigar Seeker Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    “First, you can start by rotating the cigar so the slow burning part is at the bottom of the cigar. Because a fire needs oxygen to burn, the bottom of the cigar will burn faster (as it has access to more oxygen) than the top.”

    I correct an uneven burn by rotating the cigar in the opposite direction as is suggested here. First, let me say I do not like the “more oxygen” explanation. I think there is virtually the same oxygen above and below the cigar, since both sides are exposed to the atmosphere.

    On the other hand, a basic principle is that “heat rises.” That is why, I believe, when I rotate the unburned edge of the cigar so that it is on top, the heat rises from the burning tobacco within the cigar and will often get the top wrapper going.

    BTW, the original thought on there being more oxygen at the bottom of the cigar may also be based on the “heat rises” principle, since it may be thought that the heat drives the nearby air away. But I think what happens then is that the heated air is simply replaced by cooler air, keeping the oxygen level fairly steady.

    The idea of more heat at the top than the bottom of a cigar could be tested by getting a cigar evenly burning, then bringing a finger first close to the bottom the lighted edge, then close to the top. I hope no one actually tries this though because I’m pretty sure when the finger is close to the top of the lighted edge it will get toasted pretty well!

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