Friday, November 14, 2014

Xikar Cirro Lighter Review

Xikar Cirro Lighter Review
  Xikar's new Cirro lighter is designed specifically to combat high altitudes. This is a more sophisticated lighter than Xikar's Stratosphere altitude lighter. There is no doubt this is one strong a$$ flame. Engineered to work at altitudes up to 12,000 feet where the air is very thin.
Xikar Cirro Review
  To mix it up a little bit, CLR is reviewing the Vintage Bronze version of the Cirro. The bronze finish and patina will make no two Cirro's the exact same visually. The meaning of Cirro is that of a high cloud, typically containing ice crystals. Seems appropriate, right? Cirro's design aesthetically is nice. Though, does not do much for me visually for some reason. Xikar did a nice job on attention to detail per usual. The thumb action pusher has a knurled like texture finish for a better tactile feel. Once depressed, the lid opens up and an extremely strong flame is emitted. Xikar calls this a high altitude "turbo flame".
Xikar Cirro Flame
  This is the same type of cone shaped flame we saw on an earlier review of the Black Label Stanley. The coil on the Cirro looks a bit like that of traditional stove top grill. Regardless, the torch is very impressive. Xikar's Cirro is easy to fuel up thanks to the nice oversized fuel adjustment wheel. Xikar also integrated a large sized fuel gauge window into the lighters design.
  Cirro feels like quality, with a solidly built exterior. For a single torch lighter it's very much on the heavy side. This lighter retails for $49.95 and of course can be found for less. I am a bit torn on the value vs. list price on this one. It is a single flame lighter, but the torch is so strong and uniform. Also, Cirro does not have in integrated cigar punch cutter. The quality is excellent and the no proof of purchase lifetime warranty do help make up the difference.

BEST Price CLR Found: Xikar Cirro Lighter (G2 Gunmetal!) 

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.5 - Aesthetics
8.5 - Finish/Construction
7.75 - Flame
7.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
7.0 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.65

Fire It Up Test Results:
18 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - crazy strong single flame, fuel gauge window, 12,000 ft altitude
Consideration - no cigar punch, heavy

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Caseti Dion Cigar Cutter Review

Caseti Dion Guillotine Cigar Cutter Review
Caseti Dion Double Guillotine Cigar Cutter Review
A new brand for CLR (sort of) up for review today. This is the Caseti Dion Double Black Guillotine Cutter. I believe Visol actually makes this product under the label Caseti. The Caseti Dion cigar cutter comes in a nice presentation box, with a soft pouch to protect the cutter. With all the high polish, I would use this. A nice added value to the cutter overall.
Caseti Dion Cigar Cutter Gift Box
This is no light weight cutter, heavy hitter for sure. Very well finished, with high polish and contrasting black finishes. Out of the box the double guillotine blades are very sharp as to be expected. There is a high polish spring loaded push button, once depressed sends the either side outwards. Once deployed the cutter can handle up to a 58 ring gauge cigar. Simply squeezing the sides together delivers a nice, even, and crisp cut.
Caseti Dion Cigar Cutter Review
The Dion cigar cutter suggested retail is $60. Though, it can easily be found for less around the $48 mark. It appears to be very well made, but is lacking the lifetime warranty some of us have grown to love and rely on. That said, it has a great feel in the hand and will be something different amongst your buddies at the local B&M.

BEST PRICE CLR found: Caseti Dion Carbon Fiber

Pros - nice heft, aesthetically very pleasing, double guillotine blades
Consideration - might be too heavy for some (personal preferences)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Visol Dobrev III Carbon Fiber Lighter

Visol Dobrev III Carbon Triple Lighter Review
Visol Dobrev III Carbon Fiber Lighter Review
  Visol, never afraid to break the mold and create something a little different than the norm. That brings me to today's review of the Vison Dobrev III Carbon Fiber Lighter. This carbon fiber beauty is no joke, weighing in at just over 5 ounces! 
  When I first opened the gift box, I was pleasantly surprised to find a leather case for the lighter. Pulling it out of the box, I immediately said "dang, this is one serious lighter" due to the weight. If you read CLR enough, then you know I generally feel that weight is a good tell of quality. Mainly constructed of high polish finishes, made this easily one of the hardest lighters for me to photograph. Dobrev is a fingerprint loving machine.... Carbon fiber has been all the craze the last few years in many aspects of consumer goods. It does add nicely to the aesthetic appeal of the lighter, nothing more.
  The Dobrev III is two steps to ignition, flip lid and depress the side pusher. This triple torch flame is strong and quick to fire up. The Visol Dobrev backside has an integrated cigar punch. Typically, I love having an integrated cutter. That said, on this lighter it's in a bit of an awkward position. At the end of the day, better to have, than not I suppose.
  The bottom of the lighter has little "lever" that flips up easily with a fingernail. This is then used to adjust the flame height and refuel. Nice little touch, much better than having to use a screwdriver. Lastly, lacking from the Dobrev III is a fuel guage window. Conveneint to have when you are burning triple torches and the amount of fuel being consumed quickly.
  The Visol Dobrev III Carbon Fiber lighter retails for $55. Not too badly priced when considering the whole package. If you are not buying this in person, please remember you heard it first here, Dobrev III is a heavy beast!

BEST PRICE CLR found: Visol Dobrev III 

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.5 - Aesthetics
7.5 - Finish/Construction
8.5 - Flames
6.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
7.50 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.55

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 18 successful lights
Pros - strong triple torch, leather carrying case, cigar punch
Consideration - weight of the lighter, no fuel guage window

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Colibri V Cut Cigar Review

Colibri V Cut Cutter Review
  Colibri has stepped up to the plate with a quality V-cut cigar cutter. This V-cut feels high guality due to the matte black rubber finish and weight. Colibri built a beast weighing in at 4 ounces! I took my personal Xikar V-cut and threw it on the scale, it only weighs 1.7 ounces (Xikar V-cut review). These two cigar cutters are two completely different animals. Personal preference will be the deciding factor for those hunting down a cigar V-cut.
  I was immediately impressed by the weight and feel upon unboxing. The main body is done in a soft, velvety, matte black, rubber finish. There is a little button above "Colibri" that is spring loaded. Once slid down, the V-cutter opens extremely responsively, zero hesitation. Nicely done. One of my few complaints with the Xikar V-cut is the cigar ring gauges it is able to cut well. Depending on the cigar cap shape, I generally struggle at 58+ with Xikar's. 
  On the otherhand, this Colibri can definitely take down some monster cigars. Below is a picture of 56 guage cigar, look how deep of a cut the Colibri made. Really nice, I liked the cut it made, had a great draw as well.
  Here is a close up, with me holding the blade partially closed to get a better appreciation of how large the blade is compared to the cutter. I am not sure how this V-cutter would do with smaller ring guages like 48-50? Thinking it might be a bit to aggressive in size for the smaller cigars.
  Overall, I am impressed with Colibri's new offering. It appears to be very well made and the spring action is top notch for sure. This V-cut is retailing for $39, I believe this is a pretty reasonable price given the closest quality competitor. 

Best Price CLR Found Here: Colibri V-Cut

Pros - nice deep cuts, spring loaded
Consideration - definitely going to weight your pants pocket down
MSRP: $39

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Xikar X875 Cutter Review

Xikar X875 Cutter Press Review
Xikar X875 Cutter Press Release Review 
  One thing is for sure, you are either a fan of "oversized" cigar ring gauges or not. Xikar has always had a nice range of cigar cutters. That said, even I on the rare occasion smoke a 60 ring gauge neither my V cutter nor my Xi3 worked optimally. With the new popularity of gargantuan sizes Xikar has a new cutter. Called the X875, it is a double guillotine cutter that can take down the cap of an 80 ringer! I personally am not in the market for such a cutter, but I know there are folks out there that are in need of help. So here you have it, Xikar's press release on this big boy!

Press Release:  
  XIKAR just got a whole lot bigger and better with the X875 double guillotine cutter. It takes a big cutter to handle a big cigar, and the X875 is the perfect tool for large ring gauge cigar smokers. The X875 can cut a 75 ring gauge cigar in half and easily cut the cap of an 80 ring gauge cigar!

Product Benefits:
  • Lightweight and durable body
  • Large opening that can cut a 75 ring gauge cigar in half and easily cap an 80 ring gauge cigar
  • Sharp, thin stainless steel blades for a reliable smooth, clean cut every time
  • Contoured cutter body acts as a cigar rest
  • Access port for easy cleaning
Everything is better when it's big!
*courtesy of Xikar

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vector Arsenal Lighter Review

Vector Arsenal Lighter Review
Vector Arsenal Dual Torch Lighter Review
  An interesting lighter up for review today. This is the Vector Arsenal dual torch lighter, along with some cool integrations. The Arsenal I used for this review is shown in an a bit of a different finish, titanium satin. It almost has a pinkish hue in certain lighting.
  The easy to depress thumb action raises the lid and emits a very strong wind resistant torch. No doubt, this little powerhouse is an intimidator for any cigar put in its path. All the information on the web states the flames from the Arsenal come out at a 90 degree angle. To me it looks to be more of an 75-80 degree angle.
  Beyond the unique looks, it has an integrated cigar punch cutter and cigar poker. There are definitely times I could have used a convenient cigar poker. The lighters best feature in my opinion. Both are easily deployed through some well thought out designing. That said, both the punch and poker feel flimsy. Not the material itself, but at the hinges. There is a fair amount of side to side "play" with the Arsenal I tested. Vector did include a very large fuel gauge window for easy viewing. The Arsenal has the old screwdriver/fingernail fuel adjustment. If you have read my other reviews then you already know CLR is never a fan of this style.
  Overall, it is an interesting lighter, with very strong torches and very cool cigar poker integration. Vector's Arsenal retails for $49.99.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8 - Aesthetics
6.5 - Finish/Construction
8.5 - Flames
7.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6.75 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.5

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - design, integrated cigar poker, very strong flame
Consideration - flimsy hinges