Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lotus L52 Orion Lighter Review

Lotus L52 Orion Lighter
Lotus L52 Orion Double Torch Lighter
 This is a newer offering from Lotus referred to as L52 Orion. Orion is by far CLR's favorite lighter in terms of aesthetics in Lotus's current line-up. The name Orion suggests it is from the stars. Lotus certainly captured a contemporary/futuristic look appropriate for the name. The L52 is a dual torch roasting machine. 
  The L52 has a solid metal body. Refreshing as full metal bodies are not as common as they should be in CLR's opinion. This lighter is definitely on the larger side at 2.8" x 1.5", also has some good heft to it. First to grab CLR's attention was the "jet engine" shaped sides and pusher. As if you are firing up a jet engine the push button is labeled "START". The high polished edges have a cool honeycomb type pattern layered over it. This subtle touch really rounds out the overall visual appeal of the Orion. 
Lotus L52 Orion Top TorchLotus L52 Orion Orange Gas

  A simple press of this button slides open the top lid exposing twin windproof jet torches. The double torches are inverted slightly to form a beautiful blue triangular flame. The picture does not do this flame justice, very impressive.
  Lotus incorporated another nice touch into the fuel gauge window. Instead of the mundane typical window you are likely used to seeing, this window is colored orange. Seems the fuel level was easier to see for this review vs. others reviewed.
Lotus L52 Orion Cigar Punch
  There is a nice fold out cigar punch/cutter integrated into the bottom of the lighter. Though, the fuel adjustment is not a CLR favorite, it was easy enough to turn with a fingernail. Can not stand when a screwdriver is needed every time for a simple little task like refueling butane. Overall, this lighter is quite nice, with solid construction throughout. The flame put out is fantastic and who does not like a "start" button? Simply put the L52 is one cool lighter. Lastly, Lotus only provides a two year warranty. Worth taking into consideration with other brands offering a lifetime warranty. List price is $99 and of course can be found for much less. If money is not a concern, Orion is definitely make the list of considerations.

BEST PRICE CLR found LOTUS L52 Orion

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
9 - Aesthetics
9.5 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flames
8 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.7

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - well built, excellent flame, cigar punch, overall design
Consideration - little large to be comfortable in the pocket, limited warranty

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Xikar PuroTemp Round Digital Hygrometer

Xikar Digital Hygrometer 832XI
Xikar PuroTemp Round Digital Hygrometer 832XI
  My ever growing frustration of using the cheap hygrometers that come standard with the vast majority of humidors finally put me over the edge. I picked up this little gem from Xikar. Xikar calls this the PuroTemp Round Digital Hygrometer. 
  One of the major things I do not like about traditional hygrometers is having to calibrate them prior to use. You know the whole salt, water, and zip lock bag deal. Only to find that it is off by a few percents. No big deal, there is an adjuster in the back, right? As soon as I engaged the adjuster the needle would bounce around all over the place, crazy sensitive. Then back in the bag and wait to see I had adjusted it properly. Ughhhhh! The only time it has not been a pain was when one happened to correct. Personally, I am 1 for 4 in correct out of the box scenario. I just do not trust them with my cigar investments.
  A few months back I decided to try out a digital hygrometer by Humi-Care as the price was right. Let's just leave it at, I was not impressed and it sleeps in my desk now...Since I do not use it at all, turns out the price was not right!
  Fast forward to a week back. I read on Xikar's website how easy their hygrometer was and even watched the video. Figuring what do I have to lose at this point. I only had a few simple requests. I wanted something that will work and not be a PITA to set up. Xikar updated their digital hygrometer with a new modern(ish) style. Now with a brushed steel finish I bit the bullet. Hands down biggest selling point to me was NO calibration required. That's right, no salt, no waiting 24 hours, etc. Xikar states the PuroTemp Digital Hygrometer is accurate to +/- 2% RH (relative humidity). Also, as a bonus it includes the temperature in celious or fahrenheit to +/-1 degrees.
  It arrives, I un-package, pull battery saver protector, insert in humidor, and my journey is over. Yep, that easy and works just as it should. Worth repeating, no calibration needed! That is worth the extra buck or two right there. I did test my unit any way using the standard salt set up. The Xikar hygrometer was spot on for me. Comes with a magnet that allows you stick it wherever you choose in the humidor. The only real downside is I still have to keep my old external cheapy as the Xikar is designed for inside the humidor only. Despite what some websites selling state, this is internal only. Trust me, I purchased and use this unit. When the battery is spent, it is replaceable, taking a G-13-A found for under a buck. 
  As you can see from the pic my humidor is is doing just fine. More importantly, I know my cigars are being well kept. Regardless of how much you spend on cigars a good hygrometer is always in order. If you are keeping bad humidity and temps, even inexpensive cigars become expensive when they are not smokable. The Xikar Digitial Round or Rectangle is definitely a solid choice. 

Best Price CLR found here: Xikar Digital Hygrometer

MSRP: $24.99 for the round
MSRP: $34.99 for the rectangle (tracks high and low history as well)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Vector KGM Elite Lighter Review

Vector KGM Elite Dual Flame Lighter
Vector KGM Elite Dual Flame Lighter
  Have a need for a torch and soft flame? Elite from Vector KGM is a dual flame solution offering both style flames. The Elite is a contemporary in design, with a splash of old school flair. The Elite used for this review is in the gunmetal two tone finish.
  Being a fan of contemporary styling in general the lighter aesthetically was immediately appealing. Though, CLR was a little disappointed on the initial un-boxing. The brushed finish is an applied "print" opposed to machined. CLR is always concerned with long term visual durability, not sure the Elite will continue to look great down the road. The backside of the lighter is in a solid applied brushed finish. The bland backside is made up for with the attractive designed front.  
  On to the positives and uniqueness of this dual lighter. Flipping up the lid is reminiscent of a Zippo. A quick spin of the flint wheel ignites the soft flame. Interestingly, once the lid is opened the fuel is automatically released. You can hear the butane "hissing" as soon as the lid is opened. Shocking at first, but not a flaw. A nice soft flame emerges when the flint is sparked as seen below. There is button (very noticeable in the last pic) on the front side of the lighter used to switch from the soft flame to the jet torch. In order: flip lid up, rotate flint wheel, soft flame lights, depress side button, soft flame goes out, and the single torch fires up.  
Vector KGM Elite Torch
Vector KGM Elite Soft Flame
  Below you can see the two different fuel nozzles. The soft flame comes out of the little nozzle located between the jet torch and the flint wheel. One thing CLR does not like about the lighter is the fuel adjustment. If you like your torch flame turned up near the higher settings this also increases the size of the soft flame. When turned up the soft flame is conservatively twice the height of the torch, seriously. The pics above are at the lowest setting.
Vector KGM Elite Open Lighter
  The underside of the lid has a mirror. This is actually a great feature that is highly under utilized by most. Using the mirror while toasting up your stogie you can see if it is fully lit or needs some touching up. Lastly, there is good sized round fuel window located on bottom front side of the Elite. Not too bad at a suggest $35 considering it a rather cool lighter. CLR definitely enjoyed toying with this lighter.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
7 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flames
8 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.2

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - torch & soft flames, aesthetics, no proof lifetime warranty
Consideration - durability visually, soft flame height on high setting

Friday, November 1, 2013

Black Label El Presidente Review

Black Label El Presidente
Black Label El Presidente - Flat Flame Lighter
  Not often something truly different or innovative happens in "lighter" world. Black Label produced by Lotus has met the challenge with its flat flame. The El Presidente was the first lighter by Black Label to feature such a flame. 
  What is a flat flame? The best way to describe it is a cross between a soft and torch flame. Visually, the flame looks similar in shape to a paint brush. Totally different than any flame CLR has ever used or tested. The flame itself toast the foot, not like the roasting of torch lighter. Though, it takes a little getting used to CLR really enjoyed using this lighter. It toasted the cigars very evenly and was a pleasure to use the first time.
  The Black Label El Presidente used for this review is shown in the copper satin finish. With a flip of the thumb the lid slides back. Then simultaneously applying inward pressure and pressing down on pusher ignites the flat flame. The pusher is nicely integrated into the design, but at times CLR found the thumb slipping. El Presidente has a modern retro look, with its simple lines and crisp angles. It is not a bulky lighter, very comfortable in weight and feel. Different sites that have this lighter for sale report it having a fuel gauge window. CLR could not locate any window on the lighter. Nor does this Black Label have a cigar punch.
  On a positive note, El Presidente is shockingly fuel efficient. The lighter simply does not eat up fuel like a standard torch lighter. It does has the dreaded screwdriver fuel adjustment. Fortunately, it was easily adjusted with a fingernail. 
  The CLR Final Score below hurts a little to give. The lighter is great in many ways, with the flat flame being the "show stopper". Black Label has the lighter at a MSRP of $99.95. If you are looking for a unique and nice even toasting lighter El Presidente is worth considering.

Best Price CLR found here: El Presidente


CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flame
7 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.6

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - unique flat flame, not bulky, fuel friendly
Consideration - uniqueness at at stiff price point with no frills

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Colibri Enterprise III Lighter Review

Colibri Enterprise III Lighter
Colibri Enterprise III Triple Torch Lighter
  Colibri now makes the Enterprise in a Triple torch version. The Enterprise III is at the top of Colibri's price point, coming in at a MSRP of $100 USD. CLR recently did a review on the Xikar Pulsar that aesthetically look almost identical. There are few notable differences between the two, touch on this further in a bit.
  The version used for this review is the gunmetal and high polish combo. There is a nice weight to the lighter, pretty solid construction. Enterprise III has a single action pusher. Once depressed the lid flips up and triple windproof jets are ignited. There is no doubt these strong wind resistant torches will roast any cigar it is challenged with. CLR are big fans of side action pushers, ergonomically excellent positioning. Colibri rounded the squared edges of the pusher, adding to the masculine visual appeal of the Enterprise. 
Colibri Enterprise III
Colibri Enterprise III Top
  Colibri put their logo on the high polished lid, seen here reflecting the wood grain beautifully. Colibri means hummingbird, which is represented in the logo itself. CLR likes the choice of gunmetal color and its smooth brushed finish (satin). 
Colibri Enterprise III Cigar Punch/Cutter
  Like Xikar's Pulsar a 7mm cigar punch is integrated into the bottom of the lighter, cutter always a bonus. Pulsar and the Enterprise III are almost identical from an exterior standpoint and both will run you around $100 at list price. BUT in CLR's opinion there are two major differences that can not be ignored. First, the Pulsar has a large fuel adjustment knob. The Colibri requires a screwdriver to adjust or refuel with butane. This one was very difficult, not user friendly. Secondly, Xikar comes with a lifetime warranty. Colibri comes with limited two year warranty and is the biggest sticky point with CLR. Especially, at this price point. Plus more opportunity for issues when burning three jets down the road. The overall finish of the Pulsar is nicer as you can see between the two reviews. All this said, if we are only looking at the Enterprise III, it is very nice lighter. Though, dollar for dollar CLR knows which lighter would be doing the cigar roasting...
Best Price CLR Found here Enterprise III 

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flame
5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6.5 - Value vs List Price
CLR Final Score - 7.3 

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 19 successful lights
Pros - triple torch, single action, fuel gauge window, cigar punch
Consideration - value vs. its closest competitor

Friday, October 18, 2013

ST Dupont Phoenix Black Limited Edition Ligne 2 Lighter


ST Dupont Phoenix Black Limited Edition Ligne 2
Phoenix Black Limited Edition Ligne 2 Lighter
  Looking for something truely unique and exclusive? The new Phoenix Black Limited Edition Ligne 2 lighter certainly would fill this void. A true stunner, not only a lighter, it is a piece of art. S.T. Dupont created only twelve Ligne 2 Lighters with this finish, making it one of S.T. Dupont's rarest productions to date. All twelve of these lighters are exclusively available at Lighters DirectThe craftsmanship and metal work of the white bronze is amazing, accented by 6 red rubies. Bronze will patina naturally over time. Each of the 12 pieces will take on their own unique characteristics, making no two alike. Very cool!


Phoenix Black Limited Edition Ligne 2
  Inspired by the dark, cyclical mortality of the mythical Phoenix each lighter features:
- Classic Ligne 2 Ignition
- Brilliant Cut Eyes
- 6 embedded Red Rubies on the Wings & Eye
- White Bronze with Hand Patina
- Double Cigar Burner
- Black Chinese Lacquer Body and Roller


  True exclusivity and the finer things in life have a price. The price for this beauty will set you back a cool $16,500. Value is in the eye of the beholder and this eye is packing a red ruby! There will be twelve very lucky individuals, hope you are one of them.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Xikar Ellipse III Lighter Review

Xikar Ellipse III Lighter
Xikar Ellipse III Triple Torch Lighter
  What's better than a new release by Xikar? When the lighter is done in Xikar's G2 finish. The new Ellipse III shown here in G2 is an all gunmetal finish, even the high polish. This is the third generation of the Ellipse featuring triple jet torches, using the proven Piezo electric ignition.
  Aesthetically, the Ellipse III is attractive, with a contemporary vibe. The one piece solid metal body has ribbed edges that look great and function well for better gripping. One of the best aspects of this lighter are the ergonomics. The best display of this is the design of the lid. The lid acts as the thumb action "pusher/trigger". Notice the shape of the lid, this allows the user to easily slide it back igniting the triple torches in one smooth motion. The gradual raised edge of the lid cradles the thumb without concern of slipping off.
  CLR did a review of the Bugatti Series 1 that also has a thumb activated lid. In retrospect, the lighter would have benefited greatly from Xikar's design. The Bugatti needed a lot more downward pressure to prevent the thumb from slipping. Xikar also used a knurled like texture on the surface of the lid to further assist in smooth operation. This is a nice subtle improvement over the Ellipse II, which has a smooth finish on top of the lid. Once slid back, a strong blue, windproof flame is emitted.
  There is an easy to view fuel gauge window located on the front spine of the lighter. The oversized fuel adjustment wheel is the smoothest wheel CLR has tested from Xikar. CLR was able to adjust the wheel using only a thumb making for quick butane refills. 
  This lighter does not have a cigar punch. If you are looking for a Xikar triple torch lighter with an integrated cutter, you will need to step up to the Pulsar (reviewed here). Quality comes at a price and Xikar is not going to be the least expensive option. That said, their high standards are evident throughout this lighter. The Ellipse III retails for $89.99 USD.

Best Price CLR found here: Xikar Ellipse III

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flame
9 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score - 8.3

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - ergonomics, aesthetics, lifetime warranty
Consideration - if used to side action pusher the slide lid might not be to your liking, no cigar punch

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

JetLine Magna Quad Lighter

JetLine Magna Quad torch
JetLine Magna Quad Lighter
  Jetline loves quad torches. They might have the most four torch options of all the different lighter brands. Enter the impressive Magna Quad lighter for review. CLR was pleasantly surprised by the packaging. It arrived in a nice gift box and as a bonus even includes a black carrying case.
JetLine Magna Quad

  The Magna looks innocent enough upon first glance. A quick thumb flick of the lid reveals one little powerhouse of a lighter. Now that the four jets are exposed it is ready for take off. One depression of the pusher fires up this bad boy. The wind resistant flame is orange to pinkish, often turning fire red. CLR is always a bigger fan of the hotter blue flame. That said, no doubt you will not have an issue lighting larger ring gauged cigar put in front of these quad flames. The body of lighter is much more substantial than some other offerings from Jetline. For example the New York, which is comprised of mostly plastic. Magna is hefty in weight, with a good amount of metal in the overall construction. 
JetLine Magna Quad Punch
  The Magna Quad shown here is in the black finish. The finish is textured making for a better tactile feel. CLR likes this version better than the increasingly popular gunmetal finish. Admittedly, usually gunmetal is CLR's favorite finish choice. Jetline integrated a good sized fuel gauge window, along with a decent sized fuel tank. Though, not essential, great to have when the lighter is burning through a lot fuel. To adjust the fuel a screwdriver is required. CLR prefers the more convenient option of a fuel adjustment wheel. Lastly, there is an integrated 8mm cigar punch. Whether a punch fan or not, it does come in handy to have when in a pinch. The Lighter has a suggested retail of $39.99 and can be found around the $24 mark. One last important thing to note, Jetline includes a lifetime warranty (see reader comments below). No doubt Magna Quad offers a ton of value.

Best Price CLR found here: Magna Quad

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8 - Aesthetics
7.5 - Finish/Construction
7 - Flame
5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
9 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.3

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - quad flames, well constructed, lifetime warranty
Consideration - burns lots of fuel, two steps to ignition

Friday, October 4, 2013

Zippo Blu2 Ace of Spades Review

Zippo Blu2 Ace of Spades Lighter
Zippo Blu2 Ace of Spades
  The time has come for the well overdue proper representation of Zippo on CLR. Zippo is hands down one of the most iconic lighters produced today. Zippo is well known for their beautiful soft flame. Many may not realize Zippo has a torch flame option, while still staying true to Zippo's roots. This includes being proudly USA made since 1933. CLR saw the Zippo Blu2 Ace of Spades (ref. 30201) and knew this was the one to be reviewed.
  Ace of Spades uses Zippo's Blu2 design, which gives the lighter a torch flame vs. the traditional soft flame. The first attempt at a torch flame by Zippo was Blu. The biggest difference from Blu to Blu2 is the shape of the lighter itself. Blu had a noticeable different shape than the iconic Zippo design. With Blu2, the shape is now much closer to what Zippo fans are accustomed to, naysayers step aside! Blu2 produces a clean burning flame for your cigar roasting needs.
Zippo Blu2 Lighter
  The Ace of Spades is an eye catcher, with the high polished finish and design. The body of this lighter is cloaked in spades and very well balanced aesthetically. From pictures online it looks like the design is etched out, turns out it is printed. The backside of the lighter is all high polished steel. Looks great, but loves to collect fingerprints. One snap back of the lid and you are instantly reminded this is all Zippo. There is a flint wheel and pusher. The use of flint is an important aspect for all the Zippo fans out there. There are torch inserts on the market that will turn a standard Zippo into a torch lighter. These fall short as they lack flint, ruining the romance that comes with owning a Zippo. One continuous down stroke of flint onto the pusher ignites a single blue flame. The flame is on the skinnier side and will take a little more work for the increasing popular larger gauged cigars.


Once done, the familiar snap back of the lid puts the Ace of Spades to rest. The body and lid seem a bit "tinny", more so than CLR expected. Lastly, should your Zippo fail you, Zippo backs it with a lifetime warranty free of charge.
  Sure the lighter lacks a cigar punch and a fuel gauge window. If these were incorporated into the Zippo, they would be as out of place as ketchup on scrambled eggs. CLR has no complaints here. Ace of Spades comes in on the high side at a suggested MSRP of $69.99 USD. A little searching can find this lighter at much more palatable price point. The good news is Zippo has made a lighter worthy of toasting your favorite cigar without tasting fumes.
Best Price CLR found here Ace Blu2

CLR Overall Ratings (10 best, added, divided by 5)
8 - Aesthetics
6.5 - Finish/Construction
6 - Flame
8 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 6.9

Fire It Up Test:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - Blu2, still feels like a Zippo
Consideration - no frills lighter by design

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lamborghini Il Toro Review

Lamborghini II Toro Torch Lighter
Lamborghini II Toro Torch Lighter
  The name Lamborghini evokes luxury at its finest. If a luxury lighter is what you are after, look no further than the Lamborghini Il Toro. This single torch lighter is a stunner, so is the price tag at a suggested MSRP of $150 USD. For this review CLR is going to look past the price initially.
  The lighter is a serious sleek, eye catching, cigar lighting machine. Unlike some luxury branded lighters, the Lamborghini Il Toro is high quality. They did not just slap their name on it and jack the price up. Of course, you are paying for the branding. That said, the finish on this lighter is quite nice. Toro in Spanish means bull. The Lamborghini bull is etched into the front of lighter with a lacquered finish. Hard to appreciate from the picture, the etching is deep, really well done. Looks great against the high polish finish. Colors available are: green, yellow, red, orange, and black shown here. The enamel finish extends throughout the lighter, encompassing the entire backside. Etched into the top of the lid is Tonino Lamborghini. The lighter is not a single step to ignition, the lid must manually be opened first before lighting. The pusher is pretty cool, designed to resemble a Lamborghini air vent. 
Lamborghini Il Toro
  Once depressed a single wind resistant flame is ignited. A bit unique, the torch flame comes out at an angle. CLR can see the benefit of this for lighting cigars using the flame angled toward the cigar. The pusher in this review leaked butane when barely touched, CLR means barely! Not a good thing. The torch continued to stay lit for a few seconds after releasing the pusher as well. There is a red fuel gauge window and red ring around the torch, adding an additional nice visual touch to the overall aesthetic appeal. 
Lamborghini Il Toro Flame

  This lighter is presented in a black carrying case, featuring a silhouette of the iconic bull Lamborghini is synonymous with. The Lamborghini Il Toro would benefit from either a cigar punch or double torches. Either of these would help justify the price a bit more. But let's be real, if you are looking at this lighter it's largely impart due to the name. For a luxury branded lighter the Lamborghini Il Toro is one of the better ones made, assuming the touchy pusher is a rarity. The lighter can be found under the $150 mark, though, will still set you back a fair amount. All said, CLR has to admit it is a pretty darn cool lighter.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
9.5 - Aesthetics
8.5 - Finish/Construction
8 - Flame
6 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.6

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 18 successful lights
Pros - overall aesthetics, unique angled flame
Consideration - touchy pusher (tested version), price vs. value

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Visol Phantom Lighter Review

Visol Phantom Lighter Review
Visol Phantom Lighter Review
  For some a lighter is just lighter, insert "boos" sound bite! If you are like CLR, a lighter is the cornerstone for firing up a favorite cigar and relaxing. This brings us to a very unique lighter on deck for review. The Visol Phantom is not only an efficient lighter, it is a conversation piece as well.
  The Phantom stands alone with it's signature design and is one of Visol's best sellers. With a press of the single thumb action the double jet torch is revealed. Unlike most cigar lighters, the dual torches pop out the side of the Phantom at an upward angle. A thumb action pusher slides smoothly down the face of the lighter. This reveals the dual torches, strong and wind resistant. Though, to adjust the flames a screwdriver is required, not the most convenient. 

Visol Phantom Double Torch Lighter
Visol Phantom Lighter
  Visol added some nice aesthetics to the Phantom as well. The version shown here is in a matte finish, with a chrome finish pusher. On the back are rows of dimples that are visually appealing, giving the user a better tactile feel. The top of the Phantom has three raised circular shapes, no apparent reason outside of design.
  Unfortunately, Visol did not add any "frills". Phantom does not have a fuel gauge window or a cigar punch. The quality and finish are just o.k. In the first picture above you can see some small blemishes on the finish directly under the pusher on the left side. The lighter is average in weight, with combined plastic and metal construction.
  This lighter is for those looking for something a little different that won't break the bank. The suggested retail of the Visol Phantom is a bit all over the place. CLR's research shows it listing between $35-$40 before any discount. If nothing else, Phantom is definitely an interesting lighter.

Best Price CLR found here: Visol Phantom

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided 5)
8 - Aesthetics
6 - Finish/Construction
8 - Flame
7 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
7 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.2

Pros - unique design, slim
Consideration - no fuel gauge window, finish is lacking a bit

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Xikar Vitara Lighter Review

Xikar Vitara Torch Lighter
Xikar Vitara Torch Lighter
  Xikar recently delivered another new lighter to their ever expanding portfolio. Xikar calls this double torch lighter "Vitara". What does Vitara mean? Stay tuned, hoping to know shortly. UPDATE: heard back from Xikar on the name. Vida or Vita means life/lifetime in many languages. Vitara is Xikar's twist for the name. Thank you to Xikar, always cool to get a little back history. Vitara is a rock solid lighter. Offered in quite a few finish choices, black, brushed silver, pearl, gunmetal, and G2 (CLR's favorite finish).
  Xikar packed Vitara full of features, including a fuel gauge window, cigar punch, oversized fuel adjustment wheel, and single thumb action to ignition. As to be expected, the twin jets are smoking blue, forming a nice unison peak. The lighter CLR tested tended to leak butane from the jets for 1-2 seconds directly after the flame going out. CLR has experienced this with other lighters, typically not with Xikar. Not a huge deal, but worth noting.  
Vitara Double Jets
Vitara's Double Jets In Action
  Vitara's punch is integrated nicely into the side of the lighter. The punches "arm" is longer than most CLR has come across. This added length makes it easier to use because it sticks out further from the lighter. Especially, on larger ring gauged cigars. The cigar punch is on the smaller side at 7mm. Cigar punches tend to range from 7-9mm. From experience, CLR finds any of the three sizes work well.
  It is hard to knock on Xikar for their products and here is why. Xikar does not make a cheap product in construction or cost. Cost aside, the quality is consistent and there is always the "no proof of purchase lifetime warranty". To better illustrate this point, let's use the lighter in this review for example. If this was your lighter and you were not happy about the 1-2 seconds of butane hissing after the flame shut down, there is no reason to be frustrated. Simply walk into any Xikar authorized dealer Brick & Mortar store, hand over your lighter, they hand you a new one, and off you go. CLR has heard of some stores that won't, but that is a rarity. Suggested retail price on the Vitara is $69.99.

Best Price CLR found here: Xikar Vitara 

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

FIRE IT UP Results
- 20 back to back attempts, 19 successful lights
Pros - nice integrated cigar punch, strong dual flame, lifetime warranty
Consideration - tested unit hissed/leaked butane from jets briefly after extinguished