When you start looking for a humidor, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you will get a glass top or wood top humidor. While glass top humidors are certainly elegant and allow you to view your cigars without opening the lid, do glass top humidors work as well as wood top humidors?
Traditionally, when we talk about how well a humidor will hold humidity, we refer to its seal. Basically how well the humidor closes to trap humidity inside. For a solid top humidor, the seal is where the lid meets the base. Glass top humidors, however, have two seals we need to be concerned with. The first is where the lid meets the base and the second is where the glass or acrylic is inserted into the top frame of the lid.
So how do you measure a humidors seal? There are three tests that are typically done. These are the flashlight test, dollar bill test, and whoosh test. Each of these is easy to perform and will give you a general idea whether your humidors seal is adequate.
Humidor Flashlight Test
In this test, we take a regular flashlight and place it inside our cigar humidor. We turn off all the lights in the room and look to see if the light is escaping from the sides of the humidor. If a lot of light can be seen, then the seal on your humidor is not that great.
CONS: Can’t be done on a glass top humidor
Humidor Dollar Bill Test
In this test, we are measuring the resistance a dollar bill, or sheet of paper has when lightly pulled from a closed humidor. To conduct the test you take a dollar bill or sheet of paper and place it halfway inside a humidor. Next, you close the humidor lid. Applying consistent and firm pressure (no yanking), you see how hard it is to remove the dollar bill. The goal is to have a good amount of resistance, hence a tighter seal.
CONS: Measures only the seal from the lid to the base, won’t indicate a poor seal on the glass
Humidor Whoosh Test
In the whoosh test or drop test, we open the lid of the humidor an inch or two and drop it closed. When the lid hits the base, it shouldn’t slam. It should make more of a puffing sound as air is displaced.
CONS: Doesn’t work well on glass top or heavy wood top humidors as the lid is too heavy. Fairly subjective test open to interpretation.
While these tests can help find glaring problems in a humidors seal, none of them are perfect, especially when trying to determine if a glass top humidor will hold humidity as well as a wood humidor.
At Cheaphumidors, we put our humidors through extensive testing which consists of accurately calibrated digital hygrometers, a controlled environment and several weeks of testing. Results are logged daily and graphed to see how well our humidors hold humidity.
While we don’t expect customers to do this themselves, the conclusion is that our glass and acrylic top humidors hold humidity equally as well as their wood top counterparts.
To prove this point we filled a glass top humidor and a wood top humidor with smoke to represent humidity (since it can’t be seen). We then examined the seal(s) on both to see if any smoke was escaping. The results can be seen in the video below:
If you are concerned whether a glass top humidor will hold humidity as well as a wood top humidor, make sure you purchase from a vendor that tests their products to ensure you get a great seal no matter which route you choose.
Do you have any additional questions about humidor seals or humidification?
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