To ensure that your cigars are having the best life possible in your humidor a hygrometer is a must. A hygrometer is a device that will indicate the temperature and relative humidity of its environment. If you go looking for one online, you will find plenty of options at multiple price points. This article will go over what makes a hygrometer good and what you should avoid. Plus there will be some other advice thrown in along the way.
Hygrometers to avoid
- Analog – Analog hygrometers look great, however most are notorious for becoming inaccurate over time. This is very unfortunate as a lot of beginner desktop humidors have analog hygrometers built in. If your humidor has an analog hygrometer in it, that is fine, it does not have to be removed. Leave it and continue reading to see about getting a better option to place inside the humidor.
- Inability to calibrate – Since we are avoiding analog hygrometers, any digital hygrometer seems like a great choice, right? Yes and no. Make sure that the hygrometer has the ability to be calibrated. Digital hygrometers can and do get inaccurate at times. If you can’t calibrate it, it is hard to trust it. More information on calibration methods are further down the article.
Examples of good, basic hygrometers
Both of the below hygrometers are popular, basic models that are digital and can be easily calibrated. I use both and have not ran into any issues with either.
The only downside of the above hygrometers is that you have to go to your humidor to read them. In this era of the internet and instant gratification, that is too much for some of us. There are some Smart Hygrometers that will send data to your phone.
- Boveda Butler
- Sends data to your phone using Bluetooth.
- Will collect data and send it for the time you are away from the sensor.
- Can be configured to re-order Bovedas
- Review found here
- Similar to Boveda Smart Sensor
- Wifi capabilities can be added with G1 Wifi Gateway
- Cigar Scanner WiFi Hygromter
- Similar to SensorPush
- Comes with Wifi Gateway
- Compatible with Cigar Scanner App
- Boveda Butler
How to Calibrate a hygrometer
To ensure your hygrometer is accurate it needs to be calibrated. The hygrometer should be calibrated after you first get it and every year or so afterwards. There are 2 main ways to calibrate:
- Salt Test
- When salt and water are mixed, a relative humidity of 75% is produced.
- To perform the test, you need table salt, distilled water, bottle cap and a Ziplock bag.
- Fill the bottle cap 1/2 to 3/4 full of salt.
- Pour a few drops of distilled water on top of the salt. You are aiming to have the top damp. If you have water visible on top of the salt, you added to much.
- Place the bottle cap of salt inside a Ziplock bag with a hygrometer and let sit for 12-24 hours.
- Once the test is over, the hygrometer should read 75%, if not make the necessary adjustments.
- The Salt Test is great, if performed correctly. If too much or not enough water is used, it can generated incorrect results.
- Boveda makes a Calibration Kit that works similarly to the Salt Test.
- Additionally almost any Boveda can also be used for calibration, however the Calibration Kit is supposed to be more accurate.
- Place the Boveda and hygrometer in a Ziplock bag for 24 hours and adjust the hygrometer accordingly.
- Salt Test