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Calling a good humidor just a box is like calling a cigar a pile of leaves. A well-maintained humidor will enhance your cigar experience, while a shoddily crafted and poorly maintained box is nothing more than "death row" for your cigars. You're probably wondering, "How do I determine what makes a good humidor?" Well, you're in luck because we've compiled all of the essential components of a humidor right here for your reference!
A humidor should always be measured against its ability to provide constant humidity to its contents over a long period of time. And remember, this does not only mean how often you add water to the humidification system; it also means that 20 years from now the box lid hasn't warped, and the hinges still open easily and quietly. Look for perfectly squared and fitted seams. You shouldn't see any glue or signs of construction, and a gap in any joint spells trouble: it provides an exit for moisture, and eventually warping will result.
Cedar is the best wood for the inside of a humidor, because of its ability to enhance the aging process (allowing the various tobaccos in a cigar the chance to "marry" so that the cigar is not composed of distinct pieces of tobacco, but of subtle nuances of taste). The wood inside a humidor should be unvarnished, otherwise your cigars might very well taste like linseed oil. The lid should be solid and balanced with the weight of the rest of the box. A humidor lid should not be airtight, to allow the necessary circulation of air. Musty smells destroy cigars. Don't forget about humidity: most humidifiers rely on some variety of sponge or chemical compound. Whatever the medium, remember that prime cigar aging demands constant humidity levels.
Want to learn more about humidors? Check out our articles on storing cigars for beginners and seasoning a humidor!