Humidors are like people. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. And just like people, humidors can be temperamental so they need some TLC.
Any cigar expert or newbie who has a humidor can attest to the “ups and downs” of maintenance. Get it? Ups and Downs like the humidity…
Humidity: Something to sweat about
Why is this a problem? If the humidor dips too low the cigars will wither away and die. The tobacco and oils dry up and this in turn ruins the flavor, taste and burn. On the opposite spectrum, if your humidity gets too high you can develop mold and or cigar beetles – either will destroy your stock and require you to throw everything out.
Size: How big is too big?
I personally believe it’s wiser to purchase a size up because your collection grows faster than you think. It’s easier to add more humidity beads to your humidor than it is to go out and buy another humidor…of which will require more humidity beads (or whatever you’re using). In the end it’s cost effective to buy up early on. If you’re someone who isn’t collecting and buys a box a year for the summer months, then obviously a smaller desktop unit will work perfectly for you. The thing you have to keep in mind is that you don’t want much open air if you can avoid it. See my other post, “Surviving Winter” for a further explanation.
Material: Would I rather set sail in a plastic or wooden boat?
This ones tough because both have their pros and cons.
Wood: Best for aging, more expensive, spanish cedar smell, decorative
Plastic: Cheap, great storage capacity (large Tupperware), not decorative, only good for aging if you keep the cigars in their cedar box
Cost: Is the fancy humidor worth an arm and a leg?
This depends on your wallet and what you’re willing to spend. From a functionality perspective the answer is no. From an aesthetic perspective the answer could be yes. If you have a few hundred cigars then it’s going to be tough to not go with a combination of both.
Regulating: How does it know its at 70% humidity?
Think of this like fuel in a sports car. If you put in low grade, the car will run poorly albeit it runs. If you put in top of the line fuel, the car will perform like a beast. You know what you put into the car just like you know what you’re putting into the humidor. Put in the best and it will perform the best. I recommend Heartfelt beads. The beads are a 2-way system so they’ll send humidity out as needed and suck it back in if it’s too humid. If you go cheap then don’t expect good results.
What I have: I have a custom made humidor from Waxing Moon. Big Ed built this for me a few years ago. This is the “Large” which comes in at about 1100 cubic inches of space. I can get about 120ish cigars in here. I like that my humidor is unique. Referencing my early statement about humidors being like people, this one has it’s own fingerprint. No one else in the world will have this exact piece. My only complaint is that I’m not entirely sure it holds humidity as well as it should. And this for me is obviously a nuisance. I have about a grand worth of cigars in there and want them protected. In time I might purchase another humidor but will always keep this one. Some great brands to check out are Prometheus and Daniel Marshall. Daniel Marshall has a private stock of slightly blemished humidors that sell for nearly half off.