2014 CA Report: 10 Top Performing Cigar Lighters

2014 CA Report: 10 Top Performing Cigar Lighters

Cigar lighters: essential gear for better smoking

From Alec Bradley to Zippo, here are 10 butane torch cigar lighters that – depending on your wants/needs/desires – will do the job nicely on your next cigar.

EXTREME PERFORMER: Xikar Stratosphere High Altitude

Xikar Stratosphere High Altitude Black Cigar Lighter

Because mountain climbers smoke cigars, too. Or maybe because you live in Casper, Wyoming (elev. 5200’), and you’re tired of the cigar lighters in your arsenal going ass-up when it’s time to fire up a tasty, mild Macanudo. Because science says so, altitude can do funny things to cigars: not only will your cigar (supposedly) burn slower, you might even have trouble lighting it because the air is thinner. And that’s where the XIKAR Stratosphere cigar lighter comes in. It’s fitted with a protective rubber body, and this torch lighter’s windproof flame burns bright and hot at up to 12,000’ above sea level…which means you’ll be toasting that Churchill issue-free pretty much anywhere. Easy to fuel and adjust, lifetime guarantee and wickedly affordable – this is essential gear to light your victory cigar whether you’re celebrating (a) a successful climb of Mt. Hood, or (b) the successful climb up the steps of your front porch.

ROCK STAR LOOKS: Alec Bradley Hendrix FX3 Triple Torch

Alec Bradley

No idea what the Hendrix connection is here – but if you’re looking for a cigar lighter that will toast ‘em up with a flame as big as Jimi’s at Monterey, pick this torch lighter and kiss the sky. The FX3 cigar lighter packs some firepower: 3 big jet flames work their magic nicely on wide ring cigars, and considering you probably used the built-in cigar punch cutter on the bottom – this piece is pretty much an all-in-one. The Alec Bradley Hendrix butane torch is single action, and housed in a metal casing – so this lighter is built to last. Are you going to burn through more butane with a triple jet? Sure; but the fuel level window gives a good view of what’s yet to burn, and the adjuster is an easy-access affair. Classy and solid. Fits well in the hand. Do it.

[Ed. Note: this lighter is no longer in stock at Famous Smoke Shop; click to view other Alec Bradley cigar accessories.]

THE CLASSIC: Zippo Classic Lighter

Zippo Classic Lighter

Zippo lighters have been setting fire to the world’s smokeables since the early 1930’s – and have been a required accessory for both film heroes and American GIs, the latter who were actually equipped with Zippo lighters when the company dedicated all their manufacturing to the U.S. military in 1939; and an American icon was born. This Zippo lighter retains the retro look and features their patented `wind-proof’ screen. BUT – and this is a big but – it uses Zippo lighter fluid, which many cigar smokers think alters the taste of their smoke. Because necessity is a mother-f*@#er and inventors are smart, you can pop in a Thunderbird Butane Torch insert ($9.99) and have a Zippo cigar lighter that has that familiar shape and distinctive click. It’s a classic. Get one.

RAGING INFERNO: Lotus Wedge 42 Triple Flame with Cigar Punch

Lotus Wedge

One reviewer called this “a nice, compact lighter with a sturdy flame.” I’d call it a hand-held, stogie-lighting version of the Shockwave Jet Truck. Points in case: each fuels 3 hefty jets; and each works best when the flame adjustment is pointed to full blast. I could also argue that the Shockwave is as wind-resistant as the Wedge, since it does 376 mph. Lotus designs some pretty nice-looking stuff, and this cigar lighter is no different…those devilishly good looks are paired with precision engineering to make a butane torch lighter that, even though it might feel a little small in the hand, performs well alongside its bigger-bodied cousins. Bonus points for the onboard 8mm punch cutter: as you’re likely lighting a big ring cigar with the Wedge torch lighter, you’re cutting device is already along for the ride. Less pocket clutter is what secures this Lotus’ spot on the list.

RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP: Jet Line Regal

Jet Line

So let’s get this straight…a triple flame butane torch with cigar punch and carrying case, lifetime guarantee included, for under $25 out the door? Truth, my friends – it’s Jet Line’s Regal. As cigar lighters go, this may not be the prettiest of the bunch – but just as Janice in Accounting is no looker either, she gets the job done. And done well: dual action design dictates the operation, with the trigger on the side; and the 6mm punch actually unscrews from the top of the unit, in contrast to other 2-in-1s that have their punches set into the bottom. Just don’t separate it and lose it. One irk: no fuel window. But if you can live without that (as I have thus far) you’ll have yourself a triple flame cigar torch lighter that’s feature-rich like the big money models, without the assault on your wallet. Dump your other cheapos and jump on this.

CLASSY AS HELL: Rocky Patel South Beach Quad Flame

Rocky Patel Lighters

Points up front for snazzy. This Rocky Patel branded butane torch lighter is available in a variety of Art Deco colors; if that’s your thing, I say go for the gaudiest: wear it loud and wear it proud, brother. Screaming “South Beach” through a megaphone, this bright tropical green-hued gem lays the burn without hesitation: 4 powerful jets will roast and toast your cigar with reckless abandon. The South Beach Quad Flame, at almost 5” tall is technically a tabletop cigar lighter – be mindful of that, as carrying it around would make you feel like you’re walking with a third leg. So while it’s not pocket-friendly, it IS big ring friendly: just flip back the cap and fire away for a quick and mighty light. Good thing there are Rocky Patel 6×60 cigars out there.

THE GOLF PARTNER: Vertigo Tee Time Golf Lighter with Divot Tool

Vertigo Lighters

Vertigo is made by Lotus, but designed more with value in mind. And this Vertigo Tee Time Golf Lighter is so disgustingly inexpensive as cigar lighters go, it’s almost shameless – maybe even shameless enough to help you cheat on your golf score, I bet. It’s a wind-resistant single jet torch lighter that features a slide out divot tool (so that you may be courteous on the green), removable ball marker (so that you may be honest on the green) and – when you stand it up on the tines of the divot tool – functions as a cigar holder (so that you don’t put your cigar on the grass. Seriously – do you even want to know the amount of fertilizer it takes to keep the course green?). Add this torch lighter to your golf gear immediately.

THE OVERACHIEVER: Vector Heatran Triple Flame Lighter

Vector Lighters

If you didn’t think you could get your hands on a quality triple flame butane torch for less than the cost of a cigar 5-pack – think again, muchacho. Vector does it in style, and in VERY compact style at that. There must be science at work here, as it wasn’t previously believed to be physically possible to cram this much stuff into such a small piece. Check off the pluses: the Heatran has great pocket feel, lights immediately and has a 7mm cigar punch that folds into the bottom of the case. Even better – no more butane roulette…you know, guessing when it’s time to refill? This Vector cigar lighter sports a huge tank AND a fuel level window, and provides adjustable, perfect heat. Big thing, small package. Add one of these cigar lighters to your torch arsenal.

THE SOLID PERFORMER: Perdomo Triple Torch Table Lighter

Perdomo table top lighter

I’m actually using this cigar lighter right now. Also made by Bugatti, the price was nice: I got it free with a box of Perdomo 20th Anniversary. Which should serve as a reminder to ALWAYS be on the lookout for a freebie deal on stuff like cigar lighters when you buy cigars online. What makes this especially nice for me is the choice of cigar punches in the fold out on the bottom of the case, both large and small – so now that I’m punching almost exclusively, I can do the job on just about any RG cigar. It’s hefty, so don’t plan on carrying it around with you – but it’s easy to refill, easy to bleed and throws three torches worth of heat at my smoke on demand.

John Pullo

John Pullo

Managing Editor at CigarAdvisor.com

This is not his picture, nor does John even have a beard. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones. All we can say is " "You will know him by the mullet he wears." "

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