Saturday, January 19, 2013

Alec Bradley The Burner Table Top Review

Alec Bradley The Burner Table Top
Alec Bradley "The" Burner Table Top Lighter
  Want to impress your buddies? Alec Bradley and "The Burner" is at your disposal. There are obviously quite a few table top cigar lighters out there to choose from, few will grab your immediate attention like The Burner does. 
  Where to begin?! Shaped like a teapot and remminesent of a bunsen burner is what comes to mind aesthetically. I have been waiting to get my hands on this bad boy for sometime now. Worth noting none of my items reviewed are supplied to me, all unbiased. Now, I was pleasantly surprised that I got the new style box delivered to me. Much nicer than the previous, somewhat generic looking boxes The Burner use to come in. Granted, I am a box guy, nothing better than unboxing a new toy out of a great package. This table top lighter is a shiny finger print loving machine and a bear to photograph!

Alec Bradley The Burner Box

  Turning the lighter over reveals the standard type of fueling procedure. I have no idea how many cigars you can light before refueling, but I can tell you the fuel tank is immense! Along the bottom rim is a protective spongy like felt to avoid scratching the lighter and whatever it is set on. A nice little touch by Alec Bradley.

  In the picture on the left hand side is a knob to adjust the flame up or down. On the right side of the is a push button to ignite this bad boy, along with a nicely proportioned handle. The flame is a powerful soft blue, versus a torch flame that many of have become accustomed to. Not to fear the Burner will handle any cigar you throw at it with out issue. The only real downside to the lighter are the amount of plastic components. In all fairness to Alec Bradley, it is hard to gripe about this much lighter for a suggested retail of $49.95. The Burner is a solid choice from it's unique aesthetic appeal, functionality, and price point. CLR is a fan...

Best Price CLR Found Here: The Burner

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

Pros - unique, huge fuel tank, powerful soft flame
Consideration - CLR is not a fan of a lot of plastic components
MSRP: $49.95

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

XIKAR VX V Cut Cigar Cutter Review

XIKAR VX V Cut Cigar Cutter
XIKAR VX V Cut Gunmetal Cigar Cutter 
  Want to know what one of the best cutters on the market is? Well, in CLR's opinion, that is all that really matters! Hands down, without a doubt, it is Xikar's VX V-Cut Cutter. If you have never tried a v-cut, you are missing out. The higher percentage of cigar smokers use the traditional straight cut, so what makes a v-cut so great? The first thing I noticed when I made the switch was the clean cut, without out resulting in damage to the cap/tip. Sometimes, a cigar will crack a little or the tobacco will get loose with a straight cut. A v-cut rarely if ever has this issue from my experience and the draw is exceptional. 
The Xikar VX looks like it would have some weight to it, but is is surprisingly light. Almost "toy" like light. It is easy to operate, familiar guillotine operation style. 

  To use the cutter, simply put the cap of the cigar on the underside of the VX. This circular depressed area (pictured below) can take up to a 64 ring gauge stogie. Then close the blade in one quick motion. What you end up with is a nice, clean wedge removed from the tip.

  As mentioned, very minimal loose tobacco and VERY rarely any cracking on the cap, compared to a standard cut. The top side of the Xikar VX is curved in shaped to be able to rest your cigar on, nice added touch. If you are wondering about other cigar styles, one of my favorite times to use the Xikar VX is on torpedoes. The cutter of course comes standard with the Xikar for life warranty. As long as you do not lose the cutter, Xikar has you covered. I have heard one occasional downside to the Xikar VX cutter, that being its size. In my opinion, not a big deal at all. The cutter is extremely light and is comfortable in my pocket. This is the best v-cut on the market, extremely sharp blade, light, near perfect cut every time, and guaranteed for life. Go get your v-cut on today!

Best Price CLR Found Here: Xikar VX V-Cut

Pros - great cut, smooth draw
Consideration - cutter might be a little large for some people's liking in the pocket
MSRP: $49.99

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vector Vulcan Triple Torch Review

Vector Vulcan Triple Torch Lighter
Vector KGM Vulcan Torch Lighter
  First thing to know about Vector KGM, like Xixar, they back their lighters with a no proof of purchase lifetime warranty. For this review, we will taking an in depth look at the Vector Vulcan Triple Flame cigar lighter. The Vulcan pictured here is shown in the gunmetal satin finish. The lighter has smooth lines and fits comfortably in my hand. Nice overall weight, most importantly minimal plastic components. There is a single action pusher on the right side of the lighter. What I mean by single action is once depressed, the lid pulls back, and the triple torches ignite. Very simple and easy to use. Below, you can see the the three jets, begging to fire up a stogie! The Vulcan produces a very powerful blue flame of torching bliss. As expected, the torch is wind resistant as well.
Vector Vulcan Triple Torch
  Vector KGM hits a home run by including CLR's favorite additional features, a fuel gauge window and cigar punch/cutter. With triple jets, a fuel gauge window is almost a must have. Not including tabletop lighters, they generally have very large fuel tanks.
Vector Vulcan Fuel Gauge
  The Vulcan has a suggested retail price of $49.99. Even paying full boat for this lighter, how can you go wrong? Recapping, you get a triple flame lighter, fuel gauge window, cigar punch, and a no proof lifetime warranty! Those four things hit on all CLR's hot buttons, making the Vulcan a top buy. The only real downside to this lighter is aesthetically it does not "wow" me on any level. This is of course personal preference. If you like the lighter aesthetically or do not care about looks, the Vector KGM Vulcan is almost a no brainer.

Best Price CLR Found Here: Vector Vulcan

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

Pros - triple flame, cigar punch/cutter, lifetime warranty
Consideration - not a big fan visually
MSRP: $49.99

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Porsche Design PD4 Lighter Review

Porsche Design PD4 
  Here we have the PD4 cigar lighter by Porsche Design. Sometimes referred to as the PD4 Laser Lighter, shown here in grey/silver. Handling the PD4, it feels like the finish would be durable, without having chipping issues. Also, it has a nice heft and appears to be quite sturdy. The PD4 has a classic feel, with the flip top lid. The "classic" stops there as this is a serious single torch lighter. Opening the lid, reveals, a mirror on the underside. The mirror is used to see the foot of the cigar when lighting, can be a handy little feature.
  Porsche Design uses a quartz mechanism to fire up the piezo ignition. The one I used for this review fired up the first time, every time. For a single jet, the flame is very strong, large, and all blue. It definitely burns hot and will be able to handle most cigar toasting needs without issue. The flame in the picture below is with the butane turned up to the the highest setting.
  Lastly, the PD4 does have a fuel gauge window. We all know this is a great feature to have on a lighter. However, it is missing a CLR favorite, an integrated cigar punch/cutter. Now for the sticker shock, this bad boy has a suggested MSRP of $190! A pretty penny for a lighter in general, let alone a single torch. Fortunately, like most things now a days, it can be found for much less. 

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9 - Finish/Construction
7 - Flame
6 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
4 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score - 6.9

Pros - good overall finish, strong blue flame, reliable ignition
Consideration - no cigar punch/cutter, price of admission
MSRP: $190

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blazer CG-001 Torch Lighter Review

Blazer CG-001 Torch Lighter
Blazer CG-001 Single Torch Cigar Lighter
  The Blazer CG-001 is a no frill type of lighter, not a bad thing by any means. The CG-001 is clearly meant to light a lot of cigars and often. The fuel tank on this bad boy is massive. This Blazer is offered in the most variants of any lighter reviewed to date by CLR. A staggering 8 options, broken up into two categories, 4 bright translucent and 4 neutral. In no particular order, orange, red, green, blue, black, silver, khaki green, and clear used for this review. Heads up from CLR on the black, silver, and khaki green finishes. These three have painted finishes and rub/chip/flake off quite easily. Just by removing the warning sticker, there is a decent chance finish will be removed as well. Recommend, sticking with the dyed plastic, you will be very pleased with the long term durability. The CG-001 is on the larger size of lighters that are in the single torch category. 
  Flipping the lid open reveals a seriously intimidating looking single jet system. Reminds CLR visually of a hot rod engine part, looks pretty darn cool. Simply push down on the thumb action pusher to ignite a large, wind resistant, powerful blue flame. No doubt the Blazer CG-001 has a killer sized fuel tank and a very strong flame. CLR struggles with the suggested retail price of $60 for an all plastic single torch lighter. It can be found for less and no doubt can handle most cigar toasting needs.

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

Pros - large fuel tank, strong torch
Consideration - long term durability being all plastic
MSRP - $60

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Porsche PD6 Torch Lighter Review

Porsche PD6 Torch Lighter
Porsche PD-6 Single Torch Cigar Lighter
  Want to light up that next cigar in style? Porsche known for high performance sports cars, now bears it's name on a high performance lighter by Porsche Design. The PD6 single torch cigar lighter shown here in matte black has a great tactile feel typical of a matte finish. In terms of the lighters CLR has reviewed this is the most straight forward lighter to date. Simply depressing the top right side ignites a single jet flame. The torch produced is a strong blue flame and is wind resistant as well. Pictured below is the top of the lighter. Once the thumb action pusher is depressed, the lid opens up and is ready for toasting.
  Like a Porsche, there is more under the "hood" than meets the eye. The PD6 has a special quartz mechanism to control the piezo ignition system for a near perfect flame every time. With the lighters list at $170 you are definitely paying for the name at this price point. There are some features the PD6 is lacking that CLR would of liked to of seen integrated, a cigar punch and/or a fuel gauge window. The matte finish does give the lighter an excellent feel in the hand and is certainly a stylish lighter. If you are looking for a statement piece, without added frills, the Porsche PD6 might just be the lighter for you.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.5 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
7 - Flame
7.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
3.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score - 6.7

Pros - great feel, good flame
Consideration - not an inexpensive lighter
MSRP - $170