Short-filler cigars consists of chopped up tobacco leaves, which are then rolled into cigars. The tobacco in a short-filler cigar often comes from pieces of the leaf that have been discarded during the process of rolling long-filler cigars. Short-filler cigars tend to burn hotter and quicker than their long-filler counterparts. By using short-filler tobacco and using machines to aid the cigar rolling process, manufacturers can substantially reduce the cost when compared to a hand-made long-filler cigar.
Medium-filler cigars consists of chopped up tobacco leaves which are chopped into pieces larger than short-filler. Larger pieces of tobacco results in a slightly smoother smoke than short-filler cigars, but medium-filler cigars are still a significant step down in quality from long-filler. Some manufacturers also use the term Medium-filler to refer cigars which contain short-filler tobacco rolled inside of long-filler leaves which are then wrapped up by a binder and wrapper. The combination of short and long filler within a single cigar has also been called a "sandwich" or "Cuban sandwich" in an attempt for some manufacturers to more optimally market what would otherwise be considered a short-filler cigars.
Long-filler cigars consists of whole tobacco leaves that when rolled run the length of the cigar. Long-filler cigars are of a higher quality than short-filler cigars and tend to not only burn for a longer period of time than their shorter counterpart but also tend to smoke cooler and smoother. Most "premium" cigars are made entirely of long-filler tobacco, wrapped in a quality binder and wrapper.