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Lighters not only provide a source of flame, they also can bring a splash of style or even excitement to the cigar smoking experience. Lighters come in all shapes and sizes, designed for a variety of purposes adapted to the particular needs of cigar and pipe smokers. While personal preference will ultimately decide your choice of lighter, there are a few points of interest that will better help you select the right lighter for you.
Types of Lighters
Any lighter will undoubtedly provide at the very least an adequate flame to light your cigars, yet not all lighters are ideal for lighting cigars. Lighters generally fall into one of two categories: petrol or butane. Only one is preferable to use with cigars.
Petrol lighters, also known as fluid lighters, offer a simple ignition system that combines petrol, a flint, and a wick. This classic design makes these types of lighters easy to use and durable. Many petrol lighter designs, such as the iconic Zippo lighter, can provide a reliable wind-resistant flame. While these lighters do have their merits, residue from the petrol can negatively affect the taste of tobacco. So, petrol lighters are not recommended for lighting cigars or tobacco pipes.
Unlike liquid-based petrol lighters, these lighters use a nearly odorless and tasteless pressurized gas. This makes for a cleaner-burning option that will have less of an effect on your cigars, so you can better savor all of the subtleties of the tobacco. Butane lighters feature either the traditional flint-wheel ignition or today’s more common piezoelectric system. They also offer a broader range of styles from which to choose. Since all butane lighters are pressurized, however, many won’t function efficiently at about 3,000 meters or above in elevation. So, if this is a consideration, you will want a lighter rated for higher altitudes.
There are also butane lighters which are designed specifically for cigars. These cigar lighters often have wider or multiple flames to better cover the surface area required to light a cigar properly. They can also feature larger fuel tanks, fuel level windows, built-in cigar punch cutters or even fold-out guillotine cutters. One of the drawbacks of cigar lighters is that these added features can make the lighters larger and heavier, and less convenient to carry as a consequence.
The few cons that butane lighters might have are far outweighed by their pros and deliver the very best in form, function, and convenience. Most all cigar lighters offered by HumidorDiscount are refillable butane lighters, giving you a dynamic collection of high-quality lighters options to choose from.
As butane lighters have evolved, so too have the styles of flames available. Each style lends a unique aspect to lighting cigars, giving you a variety of options to best suit your tastes.
This is the traditional style of flame found on both flint and piezoelectric type lighters. Since most soft flames are not wind-resistant, lighters utilizing this style of flame are best for indoor use. This limitation aside, soft flame lighters can lend an air of elegance and nostalgia to the cigar experience. The luxurious S. T. Dupont Ligne is a premier example.
Flameless lighters use a unique windproof heating coil element that puts out heat with little or no flame. Unfortunately, the design does not generally work well with cigars. The lack of flame can make for a more involved process to light a cigar and, in turn, burn through the fuel faster. While there are flameless lighters designed for cigars, the heating elements can often be disrupted by falling ash and debris from a cigar. Flameless lighters are therefore not generally recommended for use with larger cigars, but offer a great option for lighting up your favorite cigarillos.
By far, the most popular choice for cigar lovers today, torch lighters offer a powerful jet-flame. The more focused heat makes lighting cigars evenly quick and easy. Their high resistance to wind also makes torch lighters, such as adorini’s popular Jet Lighter, the best option for using outdoors. Many torch lighters offer multiple jet-flames for more efficient lighting of a cigar. Some of these lighters have two or more flames and can use butane fuel a bit quicker than normal lighters. So, it is best always to keep an extra can of premium butane on hand.
When deciding on a style of flame that best works for you, be sure to consider where you might most often enjoy your cigars; will it be outside? inside? at higher elevations? Is it windy? etc.
Regardless of the style of refillable lighter you choose; you will occasionally have to perform maintenance on the lighter to ensure its continued efficiency and longevity. Some of the items you might want to have at the ready include:
- Fuel: Premium-quality butane (gas) or petrol (fluid)
- Flints: Use only correct size for your model of lighter
- Wick: Used only for petrol lighters
- Small screwdriver: For greater ease in adjusting the flame, removing fuel cover, changing flints, and bleeding fuel tank
- Polishing cloth: To keep lighters clean and looking great
Lighter maintenance is quick and easy. To fill a butane lighter, for example, just hold the lighter’s fill valve upwards and a can of butane’s nozzle upside down. Press the nozzle down onto the lighter’s fill valve and hold while you count to five. That’s it.
Occasionally you might have to purge an air pocket that could develop in the fuel tank after repeated fillings. If you have a lighter that doesn’t light or doesn’t seem to be filling properly, excess air in the tank is most often the culprit! All you need is a small screwdriver to press down on the fill valve until all air and remaining butane have been released. Just be sure to point the valve away from your face when bleeding the tank! Refill with butane, and you should be good to go. Repeat, as necessary.
Always consult your lighter’s instruction manual when performing maintenance and of course, never fill or work on a lighter near an open flame. Safety first!
Lighters vs. Matches
Beloved by purists, cedar cigar matches deliver a unique experience that can enhance the initial taste and aroma of a cigar, as well as offer a great chance for showmanship with the striking of the match and the flame flaring to life as it is drawn to the cigar.
Cigar matches are popular in lounge settings, yet they just don’t do well outdoors, especially in windy conditions. While you don’t have the burden of worrying about losing a box of matches like you might with a lighter, you still run the risk of the matches getting wet or broken. Also, once the match has performed its duty, it must be safely disposed of, and that can be frustrating, especially when you are on the go.
Cedar strips or spills offer a similarly gratifying experience to that of cedar matches, but the strips still have to be lit using a lighter or match. So, compared to matches and cedar strips, lighters simply offer greater flexibility and convenience. That does not necessarily mean lighters are better than matches, or cedar strips for that matter. Lighters just offer a different experience. You can always use your lighter to light those cedar spills. Only you can decide which is right for the time and place you wish to enjoy a smoke.
Find Your Fire
With features such as integrated cigar cutters, fuel level windows and easy-grip finishes, cigar lighters deliver great functionality and sophisticated design. You will find one for any occasion, and even smooth-surfaced lighters you can have engraved. There is a lighter perfect for you just waiting to be discovered. So, search through HumidorDiscount’s lighter collection today and find your ultimate source of fire.