he first thing you need to know about Cigar humidors is that no matter which one you buy it will rapidly be too small. You're either about to learn that, or you're here because you just hit that point! Either way round we have a humidor that is right for you, but how do you know which is right for you? Lets be honest looks are seriously important here, often your humidor is going to be in a living area where it needs to fit in, or it's going to be the centre piece in your man shed you show to your smoking buddies. Plenty of us run multiple humidors, often bigger ones tucked away stacked full of wonderful cigar boxes slowly ageing and a smaller 1 or 2 which are easy to get in to with our favourite smokes in so you can grab what you fancy. Further down the page you can read more about the mysteries of humidors and humidity if you need a little more info before parting with your hard earned cash!
The most important thing about any new cigar humidor is seasoning - and no, not salt and pepper!! No matter how sexy your humidor, the capacity or it's location in the house. If it's not seasoned it aint going to look after your cigars. There are a couple of ways to season a humidor or you can mix the 2 (which is what I do). In essence when you season a humidor you are looking to stabilise the humidity above the level you want it to sit at and then let it drift down to where you want it and stable at that point. You can just use 84% Boveda packs, a process that can take a number of weeks but is fuss free. Chuck em in and watch the hygrometer climb! Let it settle for a few good days at 84% then switch out the Boveda packs for the humidity % you want to use long term. The traditional method is to take humidification solution and for a couple of days wipe a cloth wetted with the solution around all the wooden surfaces of the humidor having also wetted they crystals in which ever humidification unit you have. This tends to bring the humidity up even more quickly than Boveda's but is less controlled. Personally I use a mix of both. A couple of wipes with humidification solution and then add Boveda 84% without any other humidification in the humidor.
The old equation for storing cigars is 70% relative humidity and 70 degrees fahrenheit, and in most cases it's a pretty good balance to achieve. But depending on what most of your cigars are and whether you are trying to slowly age them means you can use different variations of humidity and temperature. If for example you keep mainly Cuban cigars it is increasingly common to keep them between 65-68% relative humidity, many people think the keep better in that range. At the other end of the spectrum many people think new world cigars fair slightly better with a bit more humidity and still aim around 70% humidity. In all honesty unless you are going to seriously age cigars for most people a range of 65-70% humidity for any cigars won't see you far wrong.
Where you position you humidor is also important, rapid heating or cooling of a humidor plays havoc with humidity and too much heat can be a trigger for any dormant tobacco beetle larvae to hatch - and that's really bad news! So never position a humidor where it catches direct sunlight, is too close to a heater or fire or too close to a door that opens directly outside. Your humidor and the cigars inside it are happiest when they are just constantly chilling!