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What is the Most Accurate Hygrometer?

You've heard it before: complaints about the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the cigar hygrometer on a humidor. Whether you use an analog hygrometer or digital one, it may seem like "the wrong one" to give you the most accurate humidity reading. It can be nerve-racking investing in a device that does not necessarily work properly. After all, your cigars are at stake! So what can you do? Is there really a hygrometer that is more accurate than all the rest?

Many analog hygrometers have gotten a poor reputation over the years for their in accuracy. The truth is, being the first technology to measure relative humidity, and being developed long ago, the method can be effective, yet not necessarily perfect. Also, the mechanics inside analog hygrometers often need to be adjusted or recalibrated. Proper maintenance is very important for mechanical devices with sensors such as analog hygrometers. Digital models will need maintenance as well, but you’ll find analog hygrometers needing it more often, which means more time and money devoted to your cigar smoking hobby that is spent on actually enjoying your cigars.

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Typically, digital hygrometers will provide a more accurate reading over most of their analog counterparts. The sensors inside digital hygrometers are oftentimes far more sophisticated than the older mechanical methods inside analog hygrometers, especially the original style of analog hygrometer is which relied on horse hair to measure relative humidity. Digital hygrometers tend to display the precise number of their readout, as opposed to analog hygrometers which rely on a needle spinning around a circular dial. The digital readout is often an exact number, and depending on the model can be a whole percentage number, or include the first decimal place for an even more accurate number (for example, reading 70.5% RH instead of just 71% RH).

Of course, just because a hygrometer can display a number, it does not necessarily mean that the displayed number is correct. A lot of digital micrometers will be listed as pre-calibrated before they are sold. This may give a sense of accuracy to the user before buying the hygrometer. However, you will never know just how accurate your hygrometer is until you calibrate it yourself. By using either the salt test or a one-step calibration kit, your hygrometers can be easily calibrated at home, to ensure that the readings they give are accurate ones. Keeping with proper maintenance, any hygrometer will need to be recalibrated from time to time.

While trying to find an out-of-the-box solution for the most accurate hygrometer, research is key. Read customer reviews of hygrometers to get a feel for their accuracy in real world use. In the realm of digital hygrometers, picking up an adjustable model will allow you to adjust the sensors once the hygrometer has been calibrated, ensuring the digital readout is reading at the most accurate level possible.