Friday, January 8, 2016

Black Label Shooter LBL600

Black Label Shooter Torch Lighter
Black Label Shooter LBL600 Review
  Before I begin this review, I will admit the Black Label Shooter (LBL600) shocked a good way. Black Label puts out some very nice lighters, the ones I have reviewed usual cost a decent amount. In comes the Shooter, shown here in the bronze variation. 
  I am a bit on the fence with the whole bronze "thing" going on currently. Bronze in my opinion should patina, which none of the current Xikar or others will do. Well, to the best of my knowledge. Would be much cooler if they would patina. Then all bronze lighters would take on their own individual characteristics.
Black Label Shooter Duel Torch
  With that said, lets jump into this Black Label review. I have to start with the duel torches. Once ignited, form a dang near perfect pinpoint flame. To top this off the Shooter uses a single thumb action to fire up these twin beauties. There is a nice sized fuel gauge window in three window panes. The LBL600 is equipped with a cigar punch cutter integrated into the bottom of the lighter. Though, the fuel adjustment is not a wheel, I did find I was able to adjust the flame easily enough with my finger nail.
Black Label Shooter Punch Cutter
  Black Label has the retail price of the Shooter at $40. At the price it can be found on the internet, I think this might move into my favorite duel torch lighter. Seriously, it does not even feel cheaply made, nice overall weight. The flame is fantastic, has a punch cutter, single step to ignition, well made, and can easily be found under $30. It is the flame and this price point that makes the Black Label Shooter a real winner.

BEST Price CLR found: Black Label Shooter

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.5 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flame
8.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
9 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.4

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - duel pinpoint torches, value, cigar punch cutter
Consideration - not a lifetime warranty - 2 years

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Xikar Volta Lighter Review

Xikar Volta Tabletop Lighter
Xikar Volta Lighter Review
  Leave it to Xikar to bring yet another fresh look to the world of cigar lighters. Today's review is a close look at the quad flame Volta, one serious tabletop lighter. The Volta is brand new for 2015, first unveiled at IPCRR.
  Not sure where to start....this thing is a beast! The Volta weighs in at just over 1 pound. Yep, not a mistype, 1 pound! Safe to say Xikar made an extremely well constructed tabletop lighter. Volta's body is all metal, no plastic. This stout cylinder shaped lighter is not what I would consider a "portable" lighter. Meant to be more of a dedicated lighter to highlight your favorite spot to chill out and enjoy a quality cigar. There is camera aperture influenced lid, once rotated opens up to reveal the strong quad jets. Xikar did not seem to miss a beat in the attention to detail department. There is a large oversized pusher, once depressed fires up four raging jet flames.
Xikar Volta
Xikar Volta Fuel Adjustment 

                      Something I have been seeing more of in the industry is a colored fuel gauge window. Big fan of this, much easier to to see the fuel level. Volta's fuel gauge turns red to the level of current butane. As with the Turrim recently reviewed, Xikar used a ratcheting fuel adjustment. Great concept, I even tend to find myself wanting to use the ratcheting just for fun. The only negative if I was being nit picky is with the aperture lid. Mine has two small black screws (wish they were silver in color) having a small edge that is felt if I run my fingers over. Not a big deal, but I did notice. It likely goes unsaid as with most Xikar lighters, Volta is extremely easy to refuel.
Xikar Volta Gauge
Xikar Volta Quad Flame

  Volta's heft comes with a bit of a hefty price at a suggested $149 for standard finishes. Personally, in lighter world well worth the price of admission. There is a Room 101 version for $10 more, looks amazing! If you are looking for that final center piece lighter to highlight your smoking room, Volta is at the top of list.

BEST Price CLR found: Xikar Volta

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
9 - Aesthetics
9 - Finish/Construction
10 - Flame
9 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8 - Value vs. List Price (a real "lifetime warranty" factored in)
CLR Final Score: 9

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - solid construction, aesthetics, strong quad flames
Consideration - not inexpensive

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Prometheus Cutter H Press Release

Prometheus Cutter H Limited Edition Opus X
Prometheus Cutter H Press Release OpusX
NEW RELEASE From Prometheus:

New for 2015 Prometheus has released some very striking Limited Editions of their Cutter H. This is the Fuente Fuente OpusX 20th Anniversary done in black lacquer. Also, available in white lacquer. I think I like the white version better this time, typically, I stay away from white lighters/cutters. 
Cutter H Limited Edition Opus X
The Cutter H retails for 89.95. Not inexpensive, but she is definitely a looker! Likely, a solid purchase for any diehard OpusX fanatics out there.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lotus L29 Monarch Review

Lotus L29 Monarch Lighter Review
Lotus L29 Monarch Review  
  Possibly my favorite Lotus design visually. The Lotus L29 Monarch single torch is pure class aesthetically. For today's review I got my hands on the black and matte chrome finish. The lighter definitely evokes a European vibe and one I really like at that.
  One aspect of lighters finished with a high polish chrome that drives me nuts are all the highly visible scratches/swirls over time. This L29 is finished in a matte chrome making the natural wear and tear less noticeable. The attention to the small details on this all metal lighter are superb. The construction is top notch being all metal body, though, this does add to the weight.
Lotus L29 Monarch
  The Monarch has a killer round single thumb action pusher to ignition located in the upper front center. Meaning once depressed the circular protective lid retracts and the single wind resistant flame fires up. Lotus included an always useful small fuel gauge window. Unfortunately, the Monarch has the dreaded fingernail style fuel adjustment. That said, though I am not a fan of this style, I did find it relatively easy to adjust. In my time with the lighter I found that there is a sweet spot for with the fuel adjustment for consistent lighting. Outside of that spot it fired very inconsistently. I use only Vector Quintuple butane, personally the best on the market in my opinion.
Lotus L29 Review
  From a price perspective the Monarch L29 retails for $90 and are increasingly hard to find. For a lighter at this price point I would expect any of the following that are lacking from this Lotus: cigar punch cutter, 2+ torches, or a more user friendly fuel adjustment. All this considered if aesthetics is the name of the game the L29 is a clear front runner!

BEST Price CLR found: Lotus L29 Monarch

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
10 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
4 - Flame (single torch/inconstant)
6.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 6.7

Fire It Up Test Results:
12 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - construction, aesthetics
Consideration - price vs. value, inconsistent firing

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Xikar Turrim Lighter Review

Xikar Turrim Table Top Lighter
Xikar Turrim Table Top Lighter Review  
  Xikar always seemingly to come out with something new and cool costing me money! Partial rant, partial happy. LOL. That said, today I am reviewing the new Turrim "table top lighter" in the G2 finish. The name struck me as a bid odd, so I reached out to Xikar to get the dirt on the "Turrim" name. I was told name means tower in Latin. A fitting name for this genius design.
Smiley Face Fuel Adjustment
  Turrim is 5x64....Yep, dang near perfect (conceptually) to fit in most travel cigar cases. Keep in mind this is equivalent to 64 ring gauge, it will take up more space than usual in a traveling case. Likely, shorting you one stick worth of space beyond the lighter itself. Turrim is a beast, I threw it on my scale and it came in at 5.6oz! Two things about the weight, it's heavy, but solid construction tends to be heavier in general terms. Personally, I am good with the weight if that means delivering a high quality built lighter. To be clear, this is not an everyday carry by any means for most cigar enthusiast.
  The Xikar Turrim is a single step to ignition design, a CLR favorite feature with any lighter. Simply slide back the lid with your thumb and the dual torches ignite. Xikar included a massive fuel tank for this duel torch lighter holding up to 3.4g. Also, a very large fuel gauge viewing window to match. Now for my favorite feature of the Turrim and completely new concept from Xikar, a ratcheting fuel adjustment knob. It clicks like that of a bezel on a dive watch. Me loving dive watches, this is an immediate home run. This allows you to very quickly adjust the flame up and down with a responsive tactile feel.
   Lastly, as you might imagine with the Turrim it is very prone to falling over easily if knocked from the upright position. Like a tower, it will fall. Xikar has the suggested retail price at $79.99. Throw in the no hassle lifetime warranty and your wallet might just get a little lighter too...

BEST Price CLR Found: Xikar Turrim Lighter

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9.0 - Finish/Construction
8.0 - Flame
8.0 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price (influenced by no proof lifetime warranty)
CLR Final Score: 8.4

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 18 successful lights
Pros - ratcheting fuel knob, construction, gigantic fuel tank
Consideration - heavy, upright prone to falling

Friday, May 22, 2015

Visol Solt Cigar Cutter Review

Visol Solt Cutter Review
Visol Solt Cigar Cutter Review
  Generally, when I think of cigar cutters, I do not think of Visol. But why not? Visol makes some pretty nice budget friendly cutters. For a lower price point cutter I'm reviewing the Visol Solt (ref. VCUT900) cigar cutter in a silver plated finish.
  The size and the weight of the Solt cutter is great. I prefer a heavier cutter, this one comes in at a respectable 1.90 oz. The dimensions are a comfortable 2.05" x 1.60", with a very thin profile at .25". I like that, perfect size for the pants pocket. No automatic button or lever to retract the blade integrated into the Solt cutter. It is the ole' manual pull out, push in. The blade cuts at an angle, opposed to the half moon shape. Like the guillotines back in the day. The high polish finish is nice, though, it loves some fingerprints!
Visol Solt Cigar Cutter 
  This Visol cutter can only handle up to a 48 ring gauge cigar, that is a small rub when considering this cutter. That said, I did test it with larger ring gauges and it will definitely cut them, just not always up to the shoulder. Lastly, it can be engraved, nice idea for groomsmen, etc. The Visol Solt retails for $20 and of course can be found for less. Really a good value considering the construction and size, worth considering in the budget friendly category.