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! 

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. You can get this lighter for 10% less using code CLR10 over at LightersDirect.

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Xikar ELX Lighter Review

Xikar ELX Torch Lighter Review
Xikar ELX Dual Torch Lighter Review
  Xikar's most popular lighter got a recent face lift! The new ELX is the successor to Xikar's Element. I have owned an Element for about 3 years now. Therefore, I was rather anxious to get my dirty little paws on an ELX for a comparison review. Of course, I went with my favorite Xikar finish in G2 gunmetal.
What makes the Element and now ELX so popular? Simple answer, it has it all. It hits on all my desired cigar lighter wants and needs. Quite similar to my Pulsar review. They are as follows:
  • single thumb action to ignition
  • strong dual or triple torches/jets
  • fuel gauge window
  • fuel adjustment wheel
  • cigar punch cutter (ELX is 9mm)
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • ergonomically comfy in the hand
As seen in the picture below, there are very subtle differences between my Element and the ELX. There are two noticeable changes that stick out more than others to me. 
Xikar ELX and Element Lighter Review
First, a much improved fuel adjustment, now a front facing oversized wheel. Secondly, the ELX appears to about 6mm wider. I have to admit this additional width is more comfortable in my hand. Had I not had them side by side, not sure I would have felt a difference. Though, there is a definite better feel in the hand with the ELX.

Honestly, I do not recall what I paid for my Element. Xikar has retail on the ELX at $64.99. Here is the biggest question I get "is it worth it?". Personally, I believe it is because Xikar's best in the business warranty is ridiculously fantastic. No smoke and mirrors. I feel like some of the lighter warranties in the industry are like carpet warranties. If you have ever bought carpet then you know what I am talking about. In fact, this is actually my second Element. My first one had issues after about a year. These things happen, no biggie. I walked into my B&M handed them my Element and walked out with a new Element. So, is it worth it? Yep.

BEST Price CLR found: Xikar ELX

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9.5 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flames
9.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price (considering Xikar warranty)
CLR Final Score: 9.0

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - bullet points above, no proof of purchase lifetime warranty
Consideration - upfront price point

Friday, July 18, 2014

Vector KGM Jetz Lighter Review

Vector KGM Jetz Torch Lighter Review
Vector KGM Jetz Torch Lighter Review
  Vector KGM continues to put out interesting and unique cigar lighters. The Vector Jetz single torch lighter packs a lot of nice features into a relatively compact lighter. The most notable feature is an integrated bottle opener. Yep, that is a cool feature for sure!
Vector KGM Jetz Lighter
  The Jetz for review today is shown in a black crackle finish. This is one cool a$$ looking lighter. This also happens to be my favorite Vector finish. It offers a great tactile rough(ish) finish that is durable and attractive. Jetz has a wrap around vent that adds to the overall visual appeal. The thumb action pusher is very easy to use. In fact, one of the most comfortable ergonomically I have reviewed. Best way I can think to explain it is like a vertical "trigger" action. The down side to this thumb action is it could potentially depressed accidentally in a pocket, etc. Vector went with the CLR favorite oversized fuel adjustment. Though, the lighter is lacking a fuel gauge window and a cigar punch cutter. Lastly, the ever useful integrated bottle opener for your drinking pleasure located on the backside of the lighter.
  Overall, pound for pound this is one of the best lighters sub $20. That said, it did not perform very well under for the CLR "Fire It Up Test" as noted below. Jetz is very comfortable in the hand, not bulky on any level. For a single jet torch Vector KGM put out a very solid cigar lighter. The name on the other hand is a different conversation. It is only has one jet after all!

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8 - Aesthetics
7.5 - Finish/Construction
6.5 - Flames
8 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.7

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 12 successful lights (not so good)
Pros - design, integrated bottle opener, value
Consideration - not so steller "Fire It Up test" results