At some point fairly early on in your journey as a new cigar smoker, you are going to need to look into buying a humidor. The need will strike you when you start browsing in your cabinets for cigars to smoke and find yourself running across dried-up or moldy cigars that have suffered from the natural climate of your home. Some cigars that have not been well cared for can be salvaged, but many cannot, and no matter what, they will lose at least some of their quality.
Once you know you love smoking cigars, it becomes a necessity to buy a humidor and save your cigars from this unhappy fate. Yes, if you have a very small collection, you can keep them in zip-lock bags. Ultimately, protecting your cigars by keeping them in a climate-controlled environment saves you money, so you can think of a humidor as an investment. When you purchase a humidor, you will need to think about type, material, size, and price.
What Type of Humidor Do You Need?
There are several main types of humidors. Odds are the personal humidor is what you will be purchasing.
You probably do not need a room humidor—unless you have transformed overnight from a total newbie to a serious cigar collector or you have suddenly set out to run your own cigar distribution store. A room humidor is exactly what it sounds like: a room which serves as a gigantic humidor.
If you are quickly accumulating hundreds or thousands of cigars, you may need a cabinet humidor. If you are investing in a cabinet humidor it may be worth considering a combination wine and cigar cabinet? You may work your way up to this at some point in the future.
A personal humidor is probably what you want. If you have a few dozen cigars, a personal humidor is just the right size. It takes up minimal space, and keeps your cigars in a controlled environment.
This type of humidor can only hold around a dozen cigars, but it is great if you want to bring a few cigars with you while you are traveling.
Common Humidor Materials
What should your humidor be made from? There are a lot of different options out there. Typical choices for modern humidor exterior design include wood board, acrylic glass, metal, or wood. Glass tops are common, because they allow you to see what is inside, allowing the humidor to double its function as a display case. You may even run into some more exotic materials like marble or even leather. The prime choice for the interior is almost always going to be Spanish cedar, however. Spanish cedar is quite a special type of wood, because it can retain its strength and shape in humid conditions which would damage other varieties of wood. If you get a humidor with a Spanish cedar interior, it will stand the test of time.
How Much Space Do You Need?
How many cigars do you actually have, and how many do you expect to accumulate in the near future? A single box of cigars generally holds around 25 cigars. Count up your boxes and multiply by 25 to estimate how many cigars you actually own, and then decide on a type of humidor based on that number. Most new smokers will buy a personal humidor to start with. Check the dimensions for any unit you are looking at, and as a rule, buy slightly more space than you believe is necessary. Odds are you will underestimate the number of cigars you are likely to accumulate. Many cigar smokers are surprised how swiftly their collections grow!
How Much Will It Cost?
As a new cigar smoker, you may balk at the idea of going out and buying a humidor because humidors are expensive … right? Not as bad you might think. Yes, a lot of cigar humidors cost hundreds of pounds. But the cost depends on a lot of factors, including the design, material, and capacity. If you want a large humidor, or one with expensive veneers or inlays such as a David Linley, you will probably be looking at a high expense particularly if you wish to buy the Bentley Linley Edition.
If however you are fine with a starter humidor or smaller model with a simpler design and less expensive materials, you can purchase a starting humidor for as little as £56. A portable cigar jar may cost as little as £26. And if you shop used, you may be able to save even more.
What Do I Do Now?
Now that you have your first humidor, what do you do with it to get it running and set up properly? First of all, you’re going to need to stock up on a couple of other accessories: a hygrometer and a thermometer (which should be included with all humidors except travel humidors). These help you to measure your humidity and temperature to make sure that your humidor is functioning at its best. Also pick up some humidification solution. What are these for? They help to stabilise the humidor’s temperature and humidity level.
Once you’ve setup your humidor and the temperature and humidity are stable, you are good to go. You can put your cigars in the humidor out of their boxes and cellophane because cardboard cigar boxes can promote mold growth.