Cigars 101

Fan Mail: Yes, Even More of your Burning Cigar Questions, Answered (Part 33)

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Fan Mail : Your Burning Cigar Questions Answered From Home (Part 33)

Now that many of us are homebound, we thought that it might be a good idea to channel our inner MacGyvers. We’ve got the drop on some DIY cigar tips that will help you navigate the world of cigars while maintaining that critical social distancing.
Among all the changes this ‘work from home’ lifestyle has brought with it, one thing that hasn’t changed is your thirst for cigar knowledge. As we always say, the readers have spoken, and boy – now more than ever – do you want answers.

This time, we’ve selected three questions recently submitted by viewers. We’ll cover subjects like how to cut a cigar if your cutter is MIA, to questions on a cigar’s strength and more.

If you found them helpful, we request that you like and share these videos with your smoking buddies. And if you want to be the first in the know next time, subscribe to our YouTube channel and click on the notification bell to get first dibs when Fan Mail makes its return.

In the meantime, if you’ve got a burning question, want some advice, or anything cigar related that we haven’t thought of yet, drop us a comment below, e-mail us, or contact us on social media, and you just might see it answered in the next edition!

Cigar Question #1: How To Cut a Cigar (with items you can find around the house)

By Jared Gulick

Recently, I found a question in our inbox from Glenn in Sioux City, Iowa. He told me that his only cutter was lost, and he can’t get out for a new one since his local shop is closed. I told Glenn that he can get a brand new cigar cutter from Famous shipped right to his door.

And that led to his second question. “It’s going to take a few days to get here, so how can I cut my cigar right now?” No worries, Glenn. I’ve got you covered. If you want to know what I told him, check out this video on how you can cut your cigar with a few everyday items you’ve probably got sitting around the house.


Cigar Question #2: Are premium cigars stronger now then they were 15 to 20 years ago?

By Gary Korb

An interesting question from Stephen in Highland, NY, since a cigar’s strength is most often a subjective matter. Certainly, there were “strong” cigars 15 to 20 years ago, but are the cigars today really stronger, and if so, in what sense? Watch now, as I cut to the core of the debate. . .


Cigar Question #3: Can I Store Cigars in a Tupperware or Plastic Bag Instead of a Humidor?

By John Pullo

Dan Peterson commented on on of our recent articles: “I use a small Tupperware style container that snaps shut very tight. My question is, I only keep maybe 5 cigars in it at a time, sealed in a zip loc bag with a couple of water type pillow. Is this ok to keep my cigars smokeable? 

A great question if, like Dan, you’re looking for a way to keep just a few cigars fresh and ready to smoke. Watch now and I’ll give you a couple of Tupperware tips, if you don’t want to mess around with a full size humidor…

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David R Isaac
2 years ago

I am just getting started on cigars. I have bought 2 bunches of cigars, about 25 each time, and managed to somehow ruin them. I am not sure whether they have gotten too much moisture or not enough. When I purchased my humidor which came with a humidifier (2+” with foam insert which I saturated with 50-50 distilled water and propylene glycol), I was trying to season it but couldn’t get it up to the 70% range. I tried a cheating a bit by warming a bit of water (not hot) in a small dish and putting in the box. That brought the humidity up but only to about 60%, I thought it close enough to put my first 25 cigars. Unable to get my meter to read above 60, I tried the warm water treatment a couple of more times. It got close to 70 once, but then dropped back down again.

I figured my meter may not be functioning, so i ordered a new one along with a jar of the gel beads to enhance the humidifying process. I added a small dish with about 40 of the fully hydrated beads to the box. The new meter read slightly higher than the old one, but still neither would get above 60%.

About that time, I noticed my cigars were not smoking well at all. I noticed runs, one side of the cigar would not burn at all, 1 04 2 inches of it and sometimes further. I tore one apart and the filler seemed to be damp. An occasional cigar would smoke fine but not many.

When I got my second batch of cigars, I didn’t change anything in the box, but i didn’t use the warm water treatment. In only a few days I began experiencing the same problem. I have smoke close to twenty of the new ones and have only a couple of good ones. I have no idea whether I am still getting too much moisture or maybe not enough. When first removing the cigar from the cellophane it seems to feel just fine, firm from end to end. But after smoking it down an inch, it begins to run and is very hard to keep burning. When that happens, I can squeeze it just behind the burn and it feels like it is nearly hollow. The last couple of inches are firmer, but not great. They don’t taste very good when trying to smoke them.

I am beginning to lose my enthusiasm for smoking cigars. It is time for me to order more but I’m not sure I’m going to. I don’t know if I ruined the humidor, or have two meters that read low. I do know about checking the meter with salt water, but thought the probability of having two fault meters to be extremely low. Any suggestions or idea would be very greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys,

Dave Isaac Michigan

1 year ago
Reply to  David R Isaac

sounds like a poorly rolled cigar to me. try a different brand.

1 year ago
Reply to  chris

also season your humidor, if the inside wood is really dry it will absorb at the humidity into the wood quickly

1 year ago
Reply to  David R Isaac

Sounds to me like uneven humidification, and you can most likely blame gravity. Rotating your cigars at semi regular intervals should help the situation. If your cigars lay flat in the humidor, say with the label up, the bottom side will gain more of the humidification than the top side, due to gravity. Rotating the smokes a quarter turn every 5-7 days should even out the moisture level in your stogies and create a much more even burn. Also, don’t fret too much about the meter reading, as those things are terribly inaccurate. If you can maintain 60% or above you should be fine.

Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff


The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 60 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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