Buying a humidor is a serious step, so having the best knowledge possible is essential in choosing a humidor that not only fits your needs but doesn't break your bank.
The keys points in choosing a quality humidor:
1.) Size. This is tricky because most places list the size by "Cigar Count". The estimates on how many cigars the humidor they are selling varies greatly. IGNORE the "Cigar Count" and look at the actual dimensions. When comparing two humidors, multiply the L x W x H to get the cubic inches and then compare them.
Typically, "cigar count" when referring to humidors, is based on a Corona size cigar, which is 42 x 5 5/8".
2.) Quality. Gauging quality is tough when viewing humidors online but there are a couple of things you can look for.
A.) The first thing to watch out for is using any wood other than Spanish Cedar for the inside lining. You'll be amazed at how many places don't!
B.) The second is the use of acrylic instead of glass for glass top models or screen printing a "wood inlay" instead actually using wood. If the manufacturer skimps on the glass or inlay, they probably skimped somewhere else as well.
C.) Joinery. The best quality humidors use dove tails or splines and are made of exotic woods. An affordable humidor should have at least mitered corners "butt joints" are no good and should be avoided.
D.) The pictures. Look closely at the pictures, you can often tell how "cheap" a humidor is if you look closely at the finish and hardware shown in the pics.
3.) Beware of inflated shipping! Humidors can be pricey to ship depending on the size but a humidor that costs $20 shouldn't have shipping cost of $35. An average desktop humidor (13"x10"x6") shouldn't run more than about $15 shipped within the US via Priority Mail. If someone won't openly list their shipping prices, keep looking. This particularly is important when buying off of Ebay.
4.) Check their return policy! Avoid "no returns if box is open" or "all sale are final".
5.) Also, go bigger! Everyone who gets into cigars eventually ends up buy a larger humidor down the road. You have done the research and are finally making a decision to buy a quality humidor, you might as well buy one that you can "grow into" instead of starting over a few months from now.
If in doubt, ask questions and don't forget about the coolerdor. It's simply the most cost effective way to get started in the hobby.
It's a weird phenomenon that occurs with we cigar and dry herb smokers. We will spend a fortune on cigars and dry herb but when it comes to the two most important aspects of properly maintaining their collection (humidors & humidification, they suddenly turn thrifty.
This is DEFINITELY not the time to sacrifice quality for a deal if you intend on storing cigars for any period of time, whether a month, months or years….don't cheap out on your humidor or its humidification!
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