Monday, May 31, 2010

Cigar Essentials: The Lighter

You can't smoke a cigar without lighting it first! With that being said, you need a good lighter or specific cigar matches if you want to smoke a cigar the right way. There are plenty of lighters out there, with plenty of bells and whistles, so what should you look for? Well for starters the price range will probably be the biggest factor in your lighter purchase. So for myself, I choose ones right in the middle price range, with a lifetime warranty. I currently have the Xikar Element lighter pictured here. It is great and works every time flawlessly. It also features a window to see how much fluid I have left and a little punch cigar cutter built right into it. There are plenty of really cool Xikar lighters but this one was a great bang for the buck. 

So other than this model, what should anyone look for? For starters, make sure the lighter is butane! Butane makes a great flame and is odorless and tasteless. Traditional lighter fluid will alter the taste of the cigar and no ones wants to smoke anything that taste like lighter fluid. This means most Zippos will not do for cigar smoking, and most matches for that matter. Also make sure the lighter has a window to see how much fluid is in there! I can't tell you how frustrating it is to not know how much fluid is in the lighter. You get your cigars in your Herf-A-Dor and head out to golf, and you cant lite anything because you are out of fluid and didn't know it! Happened to me all the time. Also this is not a must, but the built in cutters make life easier for when you forgot your cutter as well. People forget stuff, so why not include everything you need in one package!? As far as the number of flames that the lighter produces, this is a personal call. The more flames the faster and more spread out the heat is when lighting your cigar. This means a better lite in the beginning and that will elevate some burn problems down the road. With more jets, it lites more of the cigar foot and will make for a better burn. I have two jets and it works fine for me! The last thing to look for is design, the design of the lighter is just as important as the functions! Who wants a lousy looking lighter when they are lighting up a great, expensive cigar?!

In conclusion, just pick a lighter that you can afford that is at least butane! I personally recommend lighters with warranties, cutters, and windows. The multi-flames are nice but can really get pricey. So go out and do a little research to get that perfect lighter for you and enjoy those cigars!

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