Cigar Buying Guides

2016 CA Report: 5 Most Reliable Cigar Lighters

Tested: The Top 5 Most Reliable Cigar Lighters

By Gary Korb

You could say that a cigar smoker without a lighter is like a carpenter without a nail gun. Sure, you could use a match to light your cigar, or a hammer to build a shed, but why would you want to work that hard? In the world of cigar lighters the choices are virtually endless (certainly more than the choice of nail guns), and with all of the different makes, models, and price points to choose from, it might be easier to compile a list of New York City restaurants. That said, you wouldn’t want to eat in just any of those restaurants, and if you’re into smoking cigars, you don’t want to buy just any cigar lighter.

Did you know that most cigar smokers don’t own just a single cigar lighter? They own a drawer full of them. Collecting lighters excluded, the primary reason is that a lot of lighters either break within the first year of use or sooner, or just don’t work all that reliably.

So, how do you find a cigar lighter that works every time? I can tell you one thing: if you think you have to spend a fortune to own the most reliable cigar lighters, you’re wrong; even Ferraris and Bentleys eventually run into mechanical problems. OK, maybe not as often as Fords and Chevys, but let’s face it, cigar lighters go through about as many or more ignitions as your car, and ultimately, something’s gonna go kablooey.  Therefore, the least a consumer can do is find a lighter that’s trustworthy, while the most a manufacturer can do is offer a great warrantee.

Although price is a factor, features tend to play a big part in the lighters cigar smokers choose. From the way the lighter looks and feels, to the type and/or number of flames it has, to the extras like a fuel gauge window, a cigar punch, a golf ball marker or divot tool, etc., our decision to buy is more often based on our personal preferences than reliability. We just assume the lighter will work well, either because of its brand name or how much we paid for it.

I’ve had a lot of reliable cigar lighters over the years, and found some to be more dependable than others, but I can’t say why – they just were. I’ve included a couple of them in this report, but I also did a little digging by speaking to the workers in our retail cigar store, the associates in both our Customer Relations department, and some customers, too. (A few of them told me that the best lighter they ever bought was a $1.99 convenience store cheapie. Go figure.)  After studying the results, here are five of the most reliable cigar lighters you can buy:

 

 

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Blazer Micro Torch – Single jet flame
MSRP: $60.00

“Keep it simple” is the order of the day here. Blazer already has a rep for making some of the most reliable cigar lighters, and though they’ve riffed a few variations of their Micro Torch model, sometimes, the original is the best. This single jet flame lighter features a unique design that, ironically, looks more like a fire extinguisher than a fire starter. I had a yellow one I picked-up on sale for $10 many moons ago, and I got at least five years of use out of it. It has a really powerful, adjustable flame, holds plenty of fuel, which you can see clearly in the base, it’s lightweight, and fits neatly in your pocket. The cap, attached to a chain, has to be lifted off, but I never minded it. Though a spring-action cap might be more convenient, it’s also one less thing that can break.

 

 

lotus fury cigar lighters on saleLotus Fury – Dual “Pinpoint” flame
MSRP: $59.95

Lotus is another cigar accessory manufacturer that has earned the respect of a lot of cigar smokers. This Fury model was recommended by one of our Customer Relations reps, who owns one, himself. It’s not only reliable, it comes with some neat features like a push-button ignition, plus, the overall design looks like something out of the Star Wars saga. (The blue model shown here looks like a box-pressed version of R2-D2.)  But if you’re more the Star Trek type, you’ll appreciate the little Trek-like symbol on the ignition button. Sci-fi pop culture references aside, it’s the pinpoint flame that makes this lighter a real stand-out. Rather than having both flames firing in parallel, they’re angled towards each other to form a sword-like “V.” It also has a fuel window and a cigar punch, making this neat little lightsaber a good all-around value, too.

 

most reliable cigar lighters vector radar cigar lightersVector Radar – Triple jet flame
MSRP: $35.00

If you’re looking for a great value in a triple flame lighter, this Vector Radar model should be showing up on your screen. Once upon a time, I was looking for a good triple flame lighter and the Vectors caught my attention. Plus, I knew a lot of other cigar smokers who swore by their Vector cigar lighters. They have a real solidly-built look to them, and this Radar model not only has some nice weight to it when you hold it, but its smooth curves make it comfortable in the hand. The cap flips-up as soon as you depress the ignition button, and the flames are arranged in a triangle for ultimate coverage when toasting your cigars. They’re mighty powerful, too, and won’t let you down even at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Some other nice extras are the high capacity fuel tank, large fuel supply window, and a punch cutter, which means that’s one less thing you have to carry (or remember). Often available on sale, the Vector Radar triple flame will pay for itself with thousands of trusty lights.

buy xikar cigar lighters on sale reliable cigar lightersXikar Cirro – Single jet flame
MSRP: $49.99

Xikar may be known best for their cigar cutters, but they make some pretty good lighters, too. I chose the Xikar Cirro because it does something that even the most reliable cigar lighters can’t do: it works at elevations up to 12,000 feet above sea level. Now, THAT’S reliability. So, if you ever find yourself stranded near the summit of Mount Fuji, you can still make a campfire and enjoy a good cigar until help arrives. Seriously, though, if you live in the Rockies and other high climbs, it can be a godsend. But even if you don’t, it’s nice to know that your lighter will hold-up under extreme conditions. Other neat features include a fine-looking, yet highly resilient metal housing, fuel window, and an easy flame adjustment wheel.

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Zippo – Soft flame
MSRP: $16.95 and up, depending on the case.

Why, among all of these jet flame lighters, am I including the wick-based, flint-sparked, soft flame Zippo? Because they’re built like tanks, and rarely, if ever, fail to light. Yep, good ‘ol American-made ingenuity is what makes these babies rock, and they haven’t changed very much since they were introduced in the 1930’s. I’ve always been impressed by how wind-proof Zippos are, too; that crazy, perforated screen flame housing is amazing. A lot of cigar smokers avoid using a Zippo because it runs on oily lighter fuel, the smell of which they say can get into your cigar, but I’ve never had a problem with it. Personally, I prefer a jet flame, but I always keep my Zippo “Lady Luck” model handy because, in a pinch, I know she’s gonna do right by me.

 

 

Finally, only you can truly know how reliable your cigar lighter is. No one’s going to come up to you and ask, “How’s your lighter working today?” Perhaps the best advice to take away from this report is, do your homework. Ask around, read and compare customer reviews – and most of all, once you’ve found a good lighter, take care of it properly. That’s the best way to get the most life out of it.

 

* Prices shown are the manufacturers’ suggested retail prices at the time of publication.

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Joe Simone
Guest
Joe Simone

For my money, there is NOT a better cigar lighter than the Bugatti. I’ve been using the same one now for about two years. Extremely durable and reliable. GREAT triple flame too. Problem is, I can’t find them any longer. If anyone knows where to buy them please let me know. T h a n k s!

Geoff Oehler
Guest
Geoff Oehler

CI has them

Thomas R. Householder
Guest
Thomas R. Householder

I have at least 7 of those Blazer Micro Torches and 5 of them don’t work. I would never buy another. Blazer is not too good on repairing them either. Now, the two that DO work are excellent.

Ron Lawrence
Guest
Ron Lawrence

I’ve gotten to the point now that I buy cheapo lighters. I’ll buy 3-4 at a time and over the next year they all die, but I’ve only spent about $40 and if one does keep on working, I’m good to go. I’ve bought really nice lighters only to have them die within weeks, send they off for warranty work, come back and die again in weeks. I use really good butane. Nothing seems to matter. When I’m outside now, I use a Bic grill lighter!!! $5 and that thing is like the Energizer Bunny….it keeps going and going and… Read more »

Andy Tosetti
Guest
Andy Tosetti

Why spend a ton of money on a expensive lighter that’s only going to work the first time you use it. Try a good old fashion BIC, lights first time every time. AT

Michael Goff
Guest
Michael Goff

I will have to chime in here because it took me three years to finally find a cigar lighter that lasted more than a month. Believe it or not, this triple flame lighter has been with me for over a year and has always popped on the first try. It’s pretty beat up now, so just in case, I ordered two more a few months back, and they’re still in the packages, waiting for the day… Oh, and it just so happens you can get this one here. I really don’t understand why it didn’t make the list. You won’t… Read more »

Jonny Blaze
Guest
Jonny Blaze

I’ve got a couple of few lighters so far. I started out with my trusty Zippo. To get rid of any lighter fluid taste in my cigar I just blow through my cigar and that always does the trick. I have 2 functioning butane lighters. I have an unknown blue & stainless steel one that came with a cigar case deal. My current go-to is my stainless steel Regal that I paid about $35CAN for. It works great! I’m watching YouTube videos to learn how to maintain/fix them myself. I’ll probably pick up some seriously cheap ones to practice on.… Read more »

Jeff Slat
Guest
Jeff Slat

My Dupont Xtend is still going strong after more than 10 years. Definitely worth what I paid for it. After many cheap lighters I decided to take the big step and it paid off handsomely.

Ron Armitage
Guest
Ron Armitage

I’ve found the main reason most lighters fail is people don’t release the pressure in the lighter after it runs out of fuel. Hold the lighter upright, pushing in the fill valve with something, a golf tee works great. I have a number of lighters that have lasted for years.

Eric Chen
Guest
Eric Chen

I just bought a DuPont. My seventh. It was $800. I won’t buy anything else.

John Leak
Guest
John Leak

I’ve found that the Prometheus Magma Triple T is a really good reliable lighter. It’s the only lighter I’ve found that I don’t have to refill very often.

Russell Ferreira
Guest
Russell Ferreira

I use several brands but you can always count on the Zippo .

Harry Flaxseed
Guest
Harry Flaxseed

Ronson Jetlite, $4, four dollars!

Alexa Cole
Guest
Alexa Cole

i found the Newport Zee Royal Butane Torch is a really luxurious heavy duty butane torch lighter

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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