Friday, April 24, 2015

Xikar Allume Single Torch Review

Xikar Allume Single Torch Lighter
Xikar Allume Single Torch Lighter
  A few months back I posted a press release for the new Xikar Allume series. I finally got my hands on the one I wanted to review. The Allume series is the replacement for the XTX line-up, which was a huge success for Xikar. Xikar went with the traditional colors as well as bold colors. Nice to see Xikar present a series totally different option wise than the standard old black, silver, gunmetal, etc.
Xikar Allume Single
  It only seems fitting then review the brightest and boldest in the series. This is the Allume single torch lighter. Shown in a blistering orange, Xikar calls "crush". The pictures do not do it justice. Think of the bright orange spray paint construction workers use, pretty darn close to that color. Allume is available in a staggering 8 total color/finish variations, from traditional to bold. This new series from Xikar is extremely similar to the XTX series now retired. A slight cosmetic change with the vents on either side now being straight horizontal cut outs. Also, I believe the mechanics with the lighter have been improved for more reliable/less downtime under warranty repairs. Remember, lifetime warranty, with no proof of purchase with Xikar lighters. I have said it hundreds of times and will again, the best in the business.
Xikar Allume Single Flame
  The side pusher snaps inwards firmly and confidently. A nice "click" is heard, followed by the lovely sound of a powerful single wind resistant flame. Xikar is using the ever popular and more reliable Piezo ignition system. I am usually a dual or triple flame guy, but I find myself rather fond of this little lighter. The dimensions of the single torch Allume are 1.3" width, 2.15" tall, and only .5" thick. This little powerhouse also has some weight to it considering size, coming in at roughly 2.02 oz on my scale. It has Xikar's signature oversized fuel adjustment wheel and a nice little fuel gauge window. Considering the compact size of this lighter, I will not knock the single torch Allume lacking an integrated cigar punch cutter.
  All in all, this lighter is a winner in my book. Given all the color options, great compact size, and reputation that comes with owning a Xkar (warranty), it's hard to go wrong with the single torch Allume. Suggested retail price is $59.99.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.25 - Aesthetics
9.0 - Finish/Construction
7.5 - Flame
8.25 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.0 - Value vs. List Price (influenced by no proof lifetime warranty)
CLR Final Score: 8.2

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - aesthetics, construction, lower fuel consumption
Consideration - might be too small comfort wise for large hands  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Visol Birati Torch Lighter Review

Visol Birati Torch Lighter Review
Visol Birati Torch Lighter Review
  Visol has seemingly endless amounts of cigar lighter options. Today I am doing a quick review on the Visol Birati double torch lighter in satin silver. This is a solid straight forward lighter, at an extremely reasonable price point. 
  Birati is a dual action lighter, meaning you must manually flip the lid back prior to lighting. To some no big deal, to others this is a no go. The thumb action pusher is generous in size, with a nice high polish square pattern finish. There is a mirror on the underside of the lid. This is typically used for you to see the foot of the cigar during lighting. Though, the mirror on the Visol Birati does not enable you to see the cigar foot due to the angle.
Visol Birati  Lighter
  There are a lot of positives to the Birati. It produces a very strong wind resistant double torch. Also, the lighter seems to be well constructed, coming in just over 3 oz in weight. The fuel tank is nicely sized, though, lacking a fuel gauge window. Located on the bottom of the Birati is a user friendly 7mm cigar punch cutter. Always nice to have, even if you are not a fan of the punch cut. Fuel adjustment is the screwdriver type. Good news, I found the one I reviewed to be easy to adjust with my fingernail.
Visol Birati Torch Flame
  Visol has the Birati priced at an suggested retail price of $25 USD. It can be found around $19 USD, making this a really nice score. Not really much I can find to complain about at this price.

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

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - size, real wood, U.S.A made
Consideration - pricey, finish is lacking

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black Label Dictator Review

Black Label Dictator Flat Flame Review
Black Label Dictator Flat Flame Review
  The Black Label Dictator is the successor to the El Presidente. Still to this day of all the lighters I have reviewed, the flat flame is my favorite. It's too cool and unique not to love. Black Label takes this technology to the next level with the more robust and well rounded Dictator.
  Dictator is larger, heavier, more substantial, and weighs in at about 3.5oz. I tend to lean towards heavier lighters, though, this does not always mean larger. The flame is not really a torch, nor a soft flame. It's somewhere in between. Consider it a hybrid, the best of both worlds. A flat flame does a phenomenal job of toasting the cigar, opposed to torching it.
Black Label Flat Flame
  The body of the Dictator I find more comfortable in the hand, due to the larger size compared to the El Presidente. It's a two stage lighter, meaning you need to flip the top up prior to igniting. There is a nice sized pusher located on the front side of the lighter. Once depressed, the beautiful wind resistant flat flame emerges. Think of it in the shape of a small paint brush. There is also a nice fold down integrated 7mm cigar punch cutter. Lastly, a decent, easy to read sized fuel gauge window rounds out the lighter.
Black Label Review
  The Black Label Dictator suggested retail is $140. Per usual, with a quick search the Dictator can be found at a more palatable price point around $100. Black Label is made by Lotus. I'm not typically a fan of only a two year warranty when buying a lighter. That said, I really like this lighter and is currently my go to flame of choice when I'm firing up a favorite cigar.

BEST Price CLR Found: Black Label Dictator

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.75 - Aesthetics
8.5 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flame
7.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.1

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - aesthetics, flat flame, lower fuel consumption
Consideration - two year warranty, price vs. overall value  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Xikar Turrim Press Release

Xikar Turrim Press Press Release
Hot off the press! New from Xikar, the unique Turrim. Look for a detailed , hands on review coming shortly!

Official Press Release:
  XIKAR designs newest tabletop lighter to stand proud on any table but humble enough to pack in travel case.
Kansas City, MO – February 10, 2015 XIKAR, Inc. proudly announces a breakthrough in lighter innovation with the 5x64 Turrim. This new double jet flame lighter introduces groundbreaking features showcased in a unique shape novel to the cigar industry.
  The 5x64 Turrim features the largest fuel tank offered by a XIKAR lighter, encompassed by a durable metal body. Its tall and cylindrical shape is ideal for the smoker on the go, fitting perfectly into a cigar slot in your travel case, or standing alone as a reliable tabletop lighter. The patented ratcheting fuel adjustment system transmits the power of the lighter to your fingertips as the flame is adjusted to the preferred height. This one-of-a-kind lighter stands immaculate in black, G2 and brushed silver finishes.
  “With the 5x64 Turrim, XIKAR introduces a lighter truly unique to the cigar industry.” said Kurt Van Keppel, CEO and Founder of XIKAR.  “It fits perfectly into your cigar travel case and provides 20% more fuel capacity than previous tabletop lighters from XIKAR. With just the right amount of flame power, the 5x64 Turrim embodies the perfect table or travel lighter for any cigar enthusiast” continued Mr. Van Keppel.
  Questions regarding this announcement can be directed to Kurt Van Keppel, CEO or VP of Sales and Marketing, David Frazier.
  Based in Kansas City, Missouri, XIKAR is the leading cigar accessory brand.  Creator of the revolutionary and iconic Xi1 cutter, XIKAR sells product in thousands of retail locations around the world.
  In 1995, Kurt Van Keppel wanted to buy a good cigar cutter, but found that both the inexpensive and high-end models underperformed.  So, he set out with Scott Almsberger to match good design (ergonomics and function) with the best styling and materials.  The result was the Xi cutter, launched in 1997. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus Review

Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus Lighter Review
Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus Lighter Review
  Today CLR is reviewing the Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus single torch lighter. Lamborghini, the brand itself, needs no introduction. For most of us this is the closest we can come to owning something from one of the best high performance sports cars made. We can only hope the lighter holds up to the Lamborghini reputation.
Lamborghini Eridanus Lighter  







  The Eridanus does have a cool factor, a torch flame emitted at a 45 degree angle. I found it to be a very powerful and large flame for a single torch jet. The ergonomics of the cigar lighter are quite nice as well. Once depressed the jet pops out the top at a raging 45 degree angle. Also, great tactile feel due to the almost full sided squeeze pusher. The body is an all metal construction, less plastic = better. There is an easy to read fuel gauge window on the backside of the Eridanus.
Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus
  Unfortunately, with all the positives mentioned above the lighter fell short in a few areas for me. First, the Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus was extremely inconsistent when firing up. Regardless of how fast or slow I squeezed the pusher, it only fired up roughly 50% of the time with the one used in this review. Not sure if this is the norm or just the one I reviewed. Secondly, this is a lighter that retails for $100, with a single torch and no cigar punch cutter. Though, Eridanus comes in one of the nicest presentation boxes of any lighter brand. Definitely, paying a premium for the branding. All that said, I really like strong 45 degree angle torch. It's fun to use something a little different than the norm.

EDIT: I will not change my scoring or comments above/below. BUT I did retest another and using a slow squeeze, it fired 18 of 20 attempts.

BEST Price CLR Found: Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
7.5 - Flame
5.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 6.95

Fire It Up Test Results:
11 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - aesthetics, 45 degree flame, ergonomics
Consideration - inconsistent light, MSRP value

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Prometheus Ultimo X Press Release

Prometheus Ultimo X Press Release
Prometheus Ultimo X Press Release (lighter & Cutters)
  Prometheus released these beauties back in early November 2014. Featuring triple torch inverted flames for pin point cigar roasting. Prometheus always makes a beautiful lighter when it comes to the God of Fire line ups. This line is they are calling the Ultimo X. These are limited editions with their own serial numbers. The two options available are the God of Fire 10th Anniversary and the Fuente Fuente Forbidden X (yes, Fuente Fuente is correct). 
  Prometheus generally makes a very nice lighter on their higher priced selections. From a non-hands on perspective and past knowledge of hands on with Prometheus, I will share some thoughts. The high polish finish is beautiful, but loves finger prints and shows superficial scratching easily. The colored fuel gauge window is very easy to read, great touch. There is a 7mm cigar punch cutter integrated into the bottom of the lighter as well. Of course the designs speak for themselves and what is not to like? 
 These limited pieces of 500 each are available along with matching cigar cutters. All prices ranging from 79.95- 99.00. The lowest price starting with the cigar cutters.