If you own cigars, a humidor is a must for making sure your smokes are protected. The ideal environment for cigars is 70% humidity and 70 degrees fahrenheit plus or minus 5% and/or 5 degrees. The environment in your living room is probably around 30% humidity and 65 degrees (depending where you live and what time of year it is). What does this mean? Well it means that cigars won't survive without the proper environment - A.K.A. - a humidor. Without a humidor they will dry out in a short number of weeks, or even days, and eventually become cracked and unsmokable. In a humidor, they are simply aging like a fine wine, and can only be improved as the days go by.
Cigar humidors can vary in size from holding one cigar to thousands. For personal use, an average size humidor could hold anywhere from 25-300 cigars and would be comparable in size to a small toaster oven or microwave. What makes a humidor effective is its ability to hold in humidity and temperature using special materials, such as spanish cedar wood, one of the most dense woods in the world. Outer materials are for cosmetic purposes only and can vary from carved wood, to a laquered glossy finish, to a glass top. Many cigar smokers have a sense of pride when it comes to displaying their humidor to visitors or fellow cigar lovers. A humidor will probably be with you the rest of your life, so when shopping, get something that fits your style, and will perform. Some cigar smokers believe that they can substitite a refrigerator or freezer for a humidor and expect that their cigars will be protected. THIS IS A TOTAL MYTH. If you try this, kiss your frozen cigars goodbye!
When buying a humidor keep in mind that it must be seasoned for a full ten days before it is used to hold cigars and proper humidity. Leave the lid closed for a full ten days and then put your cigars in AFTER you are finished. Failure to do so could over-humidify your cigars or make the seasoning process unsucessful. Seasoning a humidor can be done one of two ways. Either you can thoroughly rub down the inside of the humidor with distilled water (regular water could cause mold) or you can buy seasoning packs and place them inside as a more "automatic" solution. Seasoning packets let out an approximated 85% humidity into the air. This saturates the wood in the inside of the humidor for a period of time (vs. rubbing the water in physically). The whole point of seasoning is to make your humidor walls absorb less water when cigars are put into it. IMPORTANT: If you don't season your humidor before you try putting cigars into it, no matter how high-quality the humidor is, don't expect it to perform! You must season it first. Variations from 70/70 can occur for many reasons besides lack of seasoning. The most common reasons include change of season (i.e. cold winters, hot summers), change of position for the humidor within a room (i.e. by a window, door, in a wet basement), not enough humidification (i.e. a credo that is too small), or a poorly built humidor.
A humidifier - A.K.A. a credo or crystal - is a unit that lets out humidity after distilled water or solution is poured on it. A humidor will NOT perform without a humidifier. It would simply mimic the outside environment's temperature and humidity. Many humidors come with a humidifer that is effective, but some may also need an additional or a better humidifier. Again this could depend on the time of year. In the winter the air could be much more dry, and in the summer it may be much more wet.
A hygrometer can help gauge the quality of the environment for the cigars within a humidor. Most hygrometers include a simple watch battery for operation and will display in either analog or digital format. Also keep in mind that some hygrometers do not include a thermometer feature for temperature reading. Most will be accurate within plus or minus 3% or 3 degrees. To test your hygrometer, try wrapping it in a wet towel and give it time to read. If the humidity reads 100%, you're in business and you can trust its reading inside your humidor. The higher quality hygrometer you buy, the better results you can expect. Keep in mind, some humidors come with hygrometers, but in some cases could be of lesser quality than what you could buy individually. Some humidors have a display hygrometer (typically analog) built-in on the front or top on the outside. BEWARE: In many cases they are strictly for cosmetic purposes. They are not intended to perform.
We understand that a humidor is vitally important in protecting your cigar investment. We want to help you protect YOUR cigars. That's why BestCigarPrices ONLY carries high-quality cigar humidors. All of the humidors we carry are built with the highest standards in mind. Also, all of our cigars are protected by a state-of-the-art walk-in humidor, so your cigars are guaranteed fresh. Give us a call or write us an e-mail if you have any questions.