Even if you’ve only recently started enjoying fine cigars, you should buy a quality humidor before your collection grows further. The cigar box that came with your cigars is fine for shipping, but it won’t keep them in prime condition over the long term. As you well know, some cigars need to be kept for 6 or 7 years before they reach their best smoking condition. If you don’t have a good humidor, that cigar will be ruined before you can smoke it.
Decide Which Type of Humidor You Need
The first step to buying a humidor is deciding where you’ll keep it and how big it should be. Do you want one for your home, office, country club, or for travel? If you have a small collection that you keep at the club, a 12-to-20-cigar humidor should be sufficient. Twelve is probably best for traveling. A home or office humidor can hold 100 or more cigars. If you want to display it on your desk, a 100-cigar humidor that enhances your décor is best. If you have 300 cigars, then a cabinet humidor might be a better place to store them. Cabinet humidors can be plain, designed to be kept in a closet, or large decorative boxes suitable for display. TakeWithMe is an excellent resource for this.
Look for Quality Workmanship and Materials
With those decisions made, start shopping. The best humidors are made of wood dried to a 6% moisture content. The wood should be solid hardwood, not plywood. The surface should be smooth, no cracks or lumps. Travel humidors can be made out of metal to protect both the cigars and the case from damage. If possible, carry your travel humidor on the plane, but it should be safe in your suitcase as well.
The humidor’s lining should be Spanish cedar or Honduran mahogany. Spanish cedar is not the same as the cedar lining your closet. Closet cedar is much too strong for cigars.
A Good Humidor Maintains Ideal Conditions
The humidor should be large enough to hold your cigars comfortably and loosely. If you enjoy more than one kind of cigar, look for a humidor with dividers to keep the tastes from bleeding together. Check the closed lid to make sure the box seals firmly when full.
Most humidors come with a hygrometer and some kind of humidification device. The hygrometer will be either an analog dial or a digital read-out that displays the humidity level of the box. Both work equally well, so it’s just a matter of personal preference. Humidification devices come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and formats. You’ll frequently see tubes filled with distilled water or humidification fluid and plastic rectangles that contain humidification crystals. A larger humidor may have an electronic humidifier to accurately maintain the humidity between 70 and 72%.
Proper Humidor Maintenance Is Key
Once you receive the humidor and have the hygrometer and humidification device conditioned according to the instructions, you should let the box humidify for a few days before adding cigars. Keep the humidor away from sources of direct heat, air condition, direct sunlight, and drafts. All four will dry out the box and could damage the cigars inside. You should open the humidor every few days to let fresh air circulate into the box.
A humidor is the only way to store and maintain your cigars in their proper condition. Quality humidors don’t have to be expensive. You can find an attractive humidor at an affordable price and spend the rest of your money on amazing cigars and other necessary cigarette accessories.