The Five Best Cigar Lighters for the Money
By Gary Korb
Cigar lighters. With so many to choose from, it’s difficult to find the best cigar lighters for the money when cost is a major factor in the decision-making process. If you’re an avid cigar smoker your lighter is going to get a lot of use, so you want one that delivers quality, reliability, and value. Without question, there are plenty of good cigar lighters out there, but this short list is intended to benefit those who are still cutting a path through the thick jungle of cigar accessories, as well as those of us who are tired of returning lighters with less-than-expected lifespans.
Although the current MSRP list price is shown for each item, odds are you’ll find all of these cigar lighters at discount prices. Plus, they’re backed by excellent warranties.
* * *
Black Label Dominator by Lotus
(MSRP $69.95) This attractive quad flame lighter made by Lotus has been called “the Swiss Army knife of cigar lighters” because it comes with additional utensils conveniently hidden within its walls. But there’s also a reason it’s called the “Dominator.” For one, it ain’t your average pocket lighter. Big enough to double as a table model, this well-appointed cigar lighter takes center stage wherever you put it down. It has a powerful 4-jet flame that makes short work of even the most super-sized smokes, and the high-capacity fuel tank is equally impressive. Depending on your cigar smoking routine, it could be weeks, even months before you have to refill. Plus, the flame adjustment wheel offers easy access with no additional tools required.
Speaking of tools, the Dominator has a built-in twin blade punch cutter offering you a choice of large or small punches. Even if you don’t normally use a punch cutter, it’s nice having the option, because one day you will forget your cutter. On the opposite side of the lighter is a pair of razor-sharp cigar scissors that can be used in lieu of the punches for cutting figurados (torpedoes, belicosos et.al.) or rounded head cigars. Considering everything you get – the quad flame, the quality construction, the extra tools, and the handsome design, the Black Label Dominator is a mighty valuable taskmaster.
Vertigo Big Buddha Table Lighter Quad
(MSRP $39.99) If you’re in the market for a good cigar table lighter, the Vertigo Big Buddha lighter was made with value in mind. Even the $39.99 list price is impressively affordable. In pictures, the Big Buddha looks like a typical pocket lighter, but it’s much more imposing in-person. Standing at four-inches high by two and a quarter inches wide, Big Buddha has a formidable all-metal housing with a massive fuel reservoir to supply its powerful quad jet torch flame. Below the base of the lighter, you’ll find a handy fold-out cigar punch that neatly cuts cigars of most sizes. Hidden beneath the cutter is a large flame adjustment wheel that sets the jets right where you want ’em. Take the Big Buddha outside, and it’ll handle any breeze with ease. Great for poker nights, perfect for herfs, or other occasions when a cadre of cigar smokers is present, the Vertigo Big Buddha never fails to awaken a higher power. Better yet, it comes in other finishes and has a lifetime warranty.
Xikar Allume Double Jet
(MSRP $79.99) Every cigar smoker should have at least one good twin torch lighter in their war chest; reason being, for wide-ring cigars, one jet isn’t enough, while for thinner shapes, three or four jets are overkill. Two jets just seems to be the happy place for most traditional-sized cigars ranging from Coronas to Churchills. That’s why this Xikar Allume Double Jet makes my best cigar lighters list. Its slim, rounded, lightweight design feels good in the hand, and the powerful twin torch flames emerge with a simple squeeze. They’re also perfectly spaced giving you excellent coverage for toasting and lighting. The Allume also features a fuel window and an oversized flame adjustment wheel. Truth be told, it’s heavier in price than it is in features. What makes it worthwhile is that it’s solidly built, has good looks, comes in a wide choice of colors, and carries Xikar’s “guaranteed for life” promise.
Vector Elite Dual Flame Combo
(MSRP $35.00) Here’s a lighter that’s certifiably schizophrenic. Solidly built and priced affordably, the Vector Elite Dual Flame combo cigar lighter really does serve-up the best of both worlds. Its charm comes from having a couple of “old school” features, like a flip-up top and a flint wheel that sparks a soft flame to attention, making it good for ciggies, pipes, candles and other practical uses. But the Elite has another feature that makes it unique and worth having in your arsenal – a button on the side which turns that passive soft flame into a hell-raising torch for lighting your favorite imported primos. Below that “warp drive” button you’ll find a fuel window for keeping tabs on your gas supply. All-in-all, the Vertigo Elite Dual is a good buy that’s also available in a three other finishes.
Vertigo Cyclone Triple Flame
(MSRP $9.99) “I sell more of these than any other lighter,” says Famous retail cigar store manager, Nicole Patoki, about the Vertigo Cyclone cigar lighter. “The price is so good, some customers even buy several at a time so they have one for the house, the car, the golf bag, wherever.”
Nikki’s not kidding. In fact, she helped me choose many of the lighters for this report. So, if there’s one cigar lighter in this list that gives you the most bang for your buck, the Vertigo Cyclone leads the pack. You get a quality-made, no-frills lighter with a powerful triple torch flame, a see-through base that holds plenty of fuel, and it sells for well below its list price. Plus, the Cyclone fits comfortably in the hand, carries easily, and it even comes with its own neat little carrying case. Based on my experience with Vertigo lighters I would also add that the Cyclone is going to live a LOT longer than the goldfish your kid won at the county fair.
One more for the road. . .
Vertigo Z-Plus Double Torch Insert for Zippo Lighters
(MSRP $14.95) How about this dilemma: Let’s say you have a classic Zippo lighter in your collection and you love it, but you wish it had a torch flame for lighting your cigars. No problemo amigo. Just take a look at the Z-Plus Double Torch insert from Vertigo. They also make a single flame, but I prefer the dual flame; besides, I have one in my “Lady Luck” Zippo and it works great. The insert fits all standard-sized Zippos, and when lit, the twin flame is angled to form a sword-like point that’s easy to adjust. The Z-Plus is well made, holds a lot of butane, and the clear base makes it easy to see when you’re low on fuel. It’s not only worth the $14.95 list price, but it sells for a lot less, making it really good value.
If you’ve been looking for a new cigar lighter these days, I hope one of these will appeal to you. Yet, if you come away with nothing else from this list, what wish to impart is, whichever lighter you’re interested in, or any cigar accessory for that matter, take a close look at all of its features before you take out your credit card.
# # #
If you liked this article, please share your thoughts on the best cigar lighters you like or have used by leaving a comment.