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Cigar 101

Analog vs Digital Hygrometer: Which One to Use

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Many cigar humidors come equipped with a hygrometer. If your humidor doesn’t have a hygrometer, we recommend getting one. A hygrometer is your first line of defense for keeping your cigars fresh and perfectly humidified because it measures the RH (relative humidity) level in your humidor. Relative humidity is the amount of water in the air compared to the amount of water the air can hold at a given temperature. A hygrometer is essential for monitoring your humidor’s performance. Premium handmade cigar should be stored at roughly 70% RH and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When cigars are too dry or cigars are over-humidified, they can become unsmokable or even moldy. Age your cigars in ideal conditions and prevent mold, tobacco beetles, and other unwanted scenarios from occurring by monitoring your humidor with a hygrometer.

There are analog hygrometers and there are digital models. Regardless of which one you use, you have to calibrate a new hygrometer when you’re setting up a humidor for the first time, and it’s a good idea to recalibrate your hygrometer on a seasonal basis thereafter. Here are the pros and cons if you’re deciding between an analog hygrometer versus a digital model.

Digital Hygrometers

Digital hygrometers are best because they are the most accurate. Most digital hygrometers provide a reading for temperature as well as humidity. Digital models take a watch battery. Some can even track fluctuations in temperature and humidity over long periods of time. The Savoy Digital Hygrometer is simple, affordable, easy-to-read, and reliable. The Cigar Oasis Plus Humidifier combines a hygrometer and humidification unit all in one. A crystal-clear LED display shows the RH and temperature reading, and you can monitor and adjust your humidity remotely on an iOS or android device. The Oasis Plus is great for larger capacity humidors.

Analog Hygrometers

Analog hygrometers display the humidity on a gauge, similar to a watch face. The biggest reason cigar lovers use analog hygrometers is simply because their humidor came with one, or they prefer the aesthetics of a traditional dial with a needle. Most Savoy humidors are equipped with a classy analog hygrometer that can be mounted to the inside of the lid. An analog hygrometer measures the RH with a salt-impregnated metal-and-paper coil behind the gauge. The coil registers the mismatch of thermal coefficients as one side of the coil expands (or contracts), and moves the needle on the dial.

While analog hygrometers can be effective, a 10% margin of error is common. That means you should recalibrate an analog hygrometer more often. If it’s the look of an analog dial that you like most, it never hurts to check your humidity with a digital hygrometer from time to time for the most accurate reading.

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