What is the one most important thing a serious cigar smoker deals with every single day?
Keeping your humidors at the right humidity.
And to be able to do that, you must have reliable tools at hand.
Throw away the analog hygrometer. It’s a piece of junk. You are lucky if it reacts accurately to +/-15%.
The digital hygrometer is advertised as roughly having a 1.5%+/- accuracy level. Much better.
But like all tools that run on batteries, digital hygrometers have their failings.
When I was flush, I used at least 5 or 6 big 200 count humidors to house my cigars. Now I use one or two.
My biggest humidor is a 250-300 count. So I chose the Cigar Oasis Excel when offered one for review by Chaim Kohn at Cigar Oasis.
Unfortunately, I don’t have close to that number of cigars. It is more like 60-70.
Please note that my humidor lid was open for several minutes so of course, it saw the humidity plummet on both items.
The Excel advertises itself as being to handle any count as long as it doesn’t exceed 300 cigars for it to own its maximum efficiency level.
I’ve had the Cigar Oasis Excel for a few weeks.
I have some dud digital hygrometers. I salt calibrated them and couldn’t get them close to 75%. They are a couple years old, or older, and just don’t work anymore.
So I bought a Zederkoff hygrometer. This baby is a monster. Took it out of the box and placed it in my humidor. Within 8 hours, it matched the Excel.
Now, the Excel and the Zederkoff are never more than .2% different. Way better than the promised +/-1.5%.
The unit comes trouble free with an accessory that allows you to plug the unit into the wall. It has a USB ribbon cable that attaches to the Cigar Oasis Excel and then a connector and then to the two prong plug.
The ribbon slides easily through the tiny opening made by the hinge of the humidor lid. Thereby, no slippage of air into the humidor.
I’ve used just about every sort of humidification device on and off the market: Boveda, Crystals, Beads, Green florist sponge, etc. I’ve used PG solution and distilled water.
The entire bottom half of the Cigar Oasis Excel is the water cartridge. You can see the black box in the photo.
This is not a small unit and takes up a lot of space in my humidor. It is 6” long, 2” wide, and 3-1/2” tall. And it needs a couple inches above the unit to be free and unencumbered for the fan to work correctly. And also an inch from its side with the sensor.
The smart move is to position it like the photo. But in order to get good photos, I repositioned it.
So while my humidor is described as a 250-300 count, the unit takes up the space of 10-20 cigars.
It retails for $119.00 on the Cigar Oasis web site. Cheaper on some online cigar stores.
Cigar Oasis makes a smaller unit for 100 cigars or 1.5 cubic feet called Ultra 2.0 for $119.00 MSRP. And a larger one called the Plus for 1000 cigars at $139.00 MSRP. And one for you fellas with massive, real humidors that are a piece of furniture: Magna which is for 10-60 cu. ft. It goes for $199.00 MSRP.
I am extremely happy with my Excel. I only have to use distilled water and the unit tells you when it needs water. Which is approximately every couple months or so.
This is the first time in decades that I find myself not worrying about constant vigilance about the humidity. And worrying about the hygrometer. Good times.
The package comes with everything you need. Nothing needs to be added. Even the water tank comes full of distilled water. Warning: Do not use PG solution.
This is the description and specs from the Cigar Oasis web site:
• Powers via paper thin ribbon cable
• Sealed design for Extra-long lasting cartridge
• Provides consistent, unattended, long term, humidity control
• Fan circulates air to reach each cigar equally – No need to rotate cigars
• Set humidity to the precise level preferred
• Displays temperature and three day min/max averages for humidity NEW
• Low Water/Low Battery indicator & alarm
• Micro-USB connections NEW
• Wi-Fi Capable- monitor humidity, settings, water & battery level (Optional Accessory) NEW
• Email/text alerts for Low Humidity, Low Water, & Low Battery (Optional) NEW
• Calibration Adjustment
• Rechargeable battery attachment (Sold Separately)
Dimensions: Length: 6” Width: 2” Height: 3.5”
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
Thanks for posting this Katman. I love reading the nuts-and-bolts stuff about cigars too. They spend way more time in our humidors than they do in our mouths and some of us don’t monitor humidity as well as we should.