Stocking up on supplies for your first humidor? Building a wineador? One essential you absolutely must buy is a hygrometer. A hygrometer measures the level of humidity in your humidor, and lets you know if it is too high, too low, or just right. If your humidity drops too much, your cigars will dry out. If your humidity rises too high, your cigars will get musty, possibly even moldy, and may even attract pests. Hygrometers come in two main types: analog and digital. Analog hygrometers work using a spring which tightens or loosens depending on the humidity level. Digital hygrometers are electronic sensors. How do you know which to choose?
There is no single “best” choice; it is very much a matter of preferences and needs. Both analog and digital hygrometers have their pros and cons. As you will see, the main reason to buy an analog hygrometer is style. The price is usually not a big consideration, since most hygrometers of either variety are relatively inexpensive. Digital hygrometers tend to be more accurate and often provide additional information such as the temperature, making them more practical most purchasers. This is not to say though that a high quality, calibrated analog device cannot give you an accurate readout.
Analog Hygrometer : Pros, Cons & Popular Models
- These old-fashioned devices have the appeal of elegance, style, and antiquity. In fact, you can find some truly beautiful antiques in this category, which are great if you are a collector.
- Analog devices fans argue that premium analog hygrometers have a higher precision level. I haven’t run extended tests to verify this.
- Analog hygrometers sometimes need to be tuned up in order to retain their accuracy.
- On most models, analog hygrometers do not show any other information besides humidity level.
- Cheap analog hygrometers (which probably will not perform as well as a well-designed metal device) look really bad, I definitely don’t want something like this in my humidor:
Analog Hygrometers : Popular Models
- Analog Hygrometer by Western Humidor. The design is simple but stylish, with old-fashioned charm. Decent value for $10.
- Quality Importers Analog Hygrometer. This is an even cheaper model at $8, but I’m not a big fan of its look.
Digital Hygrometer : Pros, Cons & Popular Models
- Digital hygrometers are often the most accurate tools you can buy.
- They often show temperature on the same screen, which is a huge advantage in my book.
- Cheap digital hygrometers are not very pretty, too.
- One day you’ll need to replace your digital hygrometer’s battery.
- Digital hygrometers are reported to be much less reliable at lower humidity levels (<55%).
Digital Hygrometers : Popular Models
- Caliber IV Digital Hygromter by Western Humidor. This is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. It sells in the $25 range, and is an excellent choice for a popular and reliable device. I have one of these and it works fine.
- Quality Importers HygroSet II. This is a cheaper model that can be found in the $10-15 range.
Personally, I chose to use digital hygrometers only because they also display temperature. What are your experiences with digital and analog hygrometers? Which devices are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!