FLAKE: Tobacco that has been pressed into a brick then cut into flat flakes that may vary in size. It must be rubbed out into smaller pieces before smoking. Generally flake tobaccos are cool burning and with a few exceptions ( Gawith Balkan Flake, Krumble Kake), are pure Virginia's.

RIBBON CUT: Tobacco that has been pressed then cut into long, thin ribbons. It is not as long or as fine as SHAG cut. Shag cut is very similar to cigarette tobacco in cut. This can be Virginia or Oriental.

CUBE CUT: Tobacco that has forced through a sieve, grate or chopped into small pieces that are often square. Typically, cube cuts are Burley tobacco.

CURLY: This is tobacco leaf spun into rope and sliced. It typically is very slow burning hence it is cool smoking.

SHAG: Tobacco which has been very finely long cut. In Edwardian times it was considered an poor quality tobacco. Today, it is not. An example is McClellands Shag Cuts, Baker Street, 221 , etc. Most shags have a high proportion of Virginia in them as Virginia tobaccos have long leaves that allow this cut.

NAVY CUT: Originally the tobacco was favored by sailors. They would put it in a long thin canvas tube and twist it tight. When taken out it was a thick rope of tobacco that they could carry in their pocket. They could cut off a plug to chew or slice it to smoke in a pipe. Escudo, Three Nuns Slices and Bengal Slices are types of sliced plug. Normally it is a slow burning tobacco fitting with its sailing origins. Navy blends are often steeped in Rum as this what sailors used to to do.

The above information has been gathered from a variety of sources including but not limited to the following:

Mac Baren Tobacco
Articles by William Serad
e-articles by G.L.Pease
Craig Tarler, William Ashton Taylor, Charlie Price
and assorted other arcane sources