Based on the inherent nature of the materials used and the assembly process, cigars are naturally susceptible to damage based on relative atmospheric humidity. In drier climates, the cigar will dry out and crack, while in moister climates, the cigar will drawn-in moisture. A quality humidor is specifically designed to protect cigars from changes in not only moisture level, but temperature as well.
Cigar Humidors Construction
While many humidors are hand-crafted masterpieces, often passing through several generations of family members, and serving as the centerpiece of a particular room, at their heart, humidors are just really fancy boxes. The purpose of the box is to create an airtight seal between the cigars and the outside world, ensuring proper ageing and atmospheric protection.
In most cases, Spanish-cedar is the preferred material for box construction. Not only does the wood impart a particular desirable aroma onto the cigars, but is extremely absorbent, as well as serving as a repellant for tobacco beetles. Additionally, the best humidor boxes are constructed using dovetail joints which provide a tighter seal than cheaper, buttressed joints.
Cigar Humidors Humidification
Obviously, every humidor needs a device to ensure that the proper level of humidity is maintained within the sealed environment of the box. Whatever model of device being employed should only be cleaned and refilled using distilled water which can be found in most grocery stores. Distilled water does not contain many of the chemicals and mineral levels which, though benign as far as consumption goes, can lead to undesirable “flavoring” of the cigars. An added benefit of using distilled water is that cleaning the working parts of the humidification device becomes less of a chore with the reduced amount of deposits.
Cigar Humidors Hygrometer
When it comes to hygrometers and the role that they play in selecting and maintaining humidors, if a consumer were to ask five different aficionados, he or she would receive five different answers. In a perfect world, a digital or analogue hygrometer is designed to measure the relative humidity level with a designated area. While this seems like a perfect piece of equipment, there are two main concerns when deciding whether or not to utilize a hygrometer.
The first is accuracy. Many people believe that most of these devices offer inconsistent measurement data. Additionally, many traditionalists prefer to judge the humidity level of the humidors based on a more intuitive measurement system, relying on their experience and on the way that their cigars “feel” when they examine them.
Second issue is the overall size of most hygrometers. Many smaller desktop humidors cannot easily accommodate the equipment without sacrificing storage space. While this might not be a concern for larger units or collections, neophyte collectors often place a premium on space levels.