Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Xikar Pulsar Torch Lighter Review

Xikar Pulsar Triple Torch Lighter
Xikar Pulsar Triple Torch Lighter
  This is a new release from Xikar, called Pulsar. CLR has always felt Xikar fell a little short in the triple torch offerings arena, with the exception of Xikar's tabletop lighters. Well, those days are now over! As you might have guessed Pulsar is triple torch lighter. THE best lighter CLR has reviewed to date. Yep, that good! 
  If CLR was to design a lighter, it would include the following:
  • Triple torch
  • One step to ignition, meaning depress pusher and lights (no opening lid, etc.)
  • Large fuel adjustment wheel, operated by hand (no screwdriver, etc.)
  • Fuel gauge window
  • Integrated cigar punch/cutter
  • Solid exterior construction, with minimal to no plastic
  • Attention to detail in regards to fit & finish
  • Aesthetically pleasing 
  • No proof of purchase lifetime warranty  
  Xikar has nailed every aspect of CLR's wish list. Xikar's Pulsar is the first to do so in the laundry list of lighters reviewed up till now. The Pulsar pictured is reference number 567SL, with brushed and high polished stainless steel finishes. That said, my favorite version is the G2 (567GM). All gunmetal, including a high polished gunmetal. It is an extremely cool finish, for better perspective visually I reviewed the Axia in G2 here (Axia review). 
Xikar Pulsar Torch Lid Open
The Pulsar has a large push button ignition located on the side of the lighter. Once fully depressed, the lid flips up and the triple jet torches fire on all cylinders. A very strong windproof triple flame is now ready for any cigar to cross it's blue furry. 
Xikar Pulsar Strong Blue Flame
Xikar Pulsar Strong Blue Flame
  There is a 7mm cigar punch integrated into the bottom of the lighter. This is where Xikar hit another home run in regards to attention to detail. When the punch is flipped open, the underside of the lid and lighter reveal a knurled finish. This same detail is seen when the lid flips surrounding the three torches.
These types of details are what let you know the fit and finish was not overlooked. 
Xikar Pulsar Fuel Adjustment And Cigar Punch

  Pulsar is equipped with a nice oversized fuel adjustment wheel and fuel gauge window. CLR's only complaint with the Pulsar (at least the one used for review) is the fuel wheel was hard to turn. Due to the location of the wheel, I was unable to grip it on either side without my fingers slipping off. I used my finger nail instead and the wheel turned smoothly. The fuel window is adequate in size and is a much needed feature when firing up triple jets. The pulsar is not shy in the butane consumption department as to be expected.
  Xikar put a price tag of $99 USD on this badboy. You wanna know something? It is worth the price of admission. The lighter has it all! Refer back to the bullet points at the biginning of this review, its all there. If you want a lighter that is back by the industries best warranty, crammed with every feature you could ask for, look no furhter as the Pulsar has arrived.

Best Price CLR found here: Xikar Pulsar

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9 - Finish/Construction
10 - Flame
9.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 9.1

FIRE IT UP Results:
- 20 back to back lighting attempts, 20 successful lights. 
Pros - to many to list
Consideration - Price, not because it is overpriced, just not inexpensive.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lotus Mundial L30 Lighter Review

Lotus Mundial L30 Torch Lighter
Lotus Mundial L30 Torch Lighter
  Here we have a unique little lighter. This is the Lotus Mundial L30 (ref. CL-CVCL110C) in a chrome and brushed finish. CLR has done quite a few Lotus reviews, this one is the most unique to date. The Mundial is a limited edition lighter and is part of Lotus's Cuban Vista Collection. What separates this lighter from some of the more typical lighters is an inlay on either side. This inlay is the same picture on both sides of the Mundial. It is supposed to be reminiscent of old world Havana. The artwork does a good job of illustrating an old Cuban smoking vibe.
Lotus Mundial L30 Cigar Punch
Lotus Mundial Cigar Punch
  The Mundial is a compact lighting machine. Coming in at 2.5" tall and 1.4" wide, with a weight of 2.5 ounces. It is certainly no lightweight. CLR is always a fan of heavier lighters, more metal, less plastic, which equates to better quality. The lighter almost hits all of CLR favorite features. It has a fuel gauge window, 8mm cigar punch, and a single action thumb pusher to ignition. What feature is is it lacking to hit all of CLR hot buttons? An easy fuel adjustment wheel. Instead of needing a screwdriver, you would simple use your fingers to adjust. So close...
Lotus Mundial Cigar Punch
  Onto the most important aspect of any great lighter, the flame. The Mundial L30 has two strong flames that are wind resistant. By simply depressing the thumb depressor, the lid lifts up exposing the dual jets. Once you have completed depressing the double torches fire up in that beautiful blue we all have come accustomed to.
Lotus Mundial Double Flame
  The Lotus Mundial is for the cigar smoker looking for that little something special to complete the experience. CLR feels the Mundial is worthy of being that something "special". All in all Lotus packed a lot of features into the lighter and it is well constructed. The suggested MSRP for this little heavyweight is $69.95. Not cheap, but then again, it is all prospective.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
9 - Aesthetics
8.5 - Finish/Construction
8 - Flame
7 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
7 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.9

FIRE IT UP Results:
- 20 back to back lighting attempts, 20 successful lights. 
Pros - inlay, one step to ignition, cigar punch, wind resistant
Consideration - only two year warranty, price 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

S.T. Dupont IPCPR 2013 Skull Lighter

 As the IPCPR 2013 gets underway, manufactures will unveil their latest and greatest. IPCPR is arguably the biggest event in the cigar industry. Three new releases are coming from one of the most renowned names in the cigar lighter industry, S.T. Dupont.
 These three beauties are hand crafted by Philippe Tournaire for S.T. Dupont. As to be expected with this kind of pedigree they are not inexpensive. The three lighters are called Skulls Celtic, Skulls Cowboy, and Skulls Roses. The lighter is a two piece construction of bronze. Bronze is one of my personal favorite types of metal. Bronze will begin to patina immediately. In doing so, each piece will become even more unique and special. The Skull series is going to be available next Spring and will cost roughly $9,750 USD. Sadly, this is probably about as close CLR will get to one these hand crafted signature pieces. But hey, ya never know! Now for the eye candy:

* Press release info. courtesy of Lighters Direct

S.T. Dupont Skulls Celtic
Skulls Celtic

S.T. Dupont Skulls Cowboy
Skulls Cowboy

S.T. Dupont Skulls Roses
Skulls Roses

Monday, July 1, 2013

Xikar Xi 007 Punch Cutter Review

Xikar Xi 007 Punch Cutter
Xikar Xi 007 Twist Punch Cutter
  The cigar punch, either like them or you don't. I used to be a punch fan, then I discovered the Xikar VX V-Cut. BUT this review of the Xikar Xi 007 is for the cigar punch fans out there and what a great punch this is. You will likely pay more for Xikar products than the alternatives. What you get in return is what you pay for, a high quality product. Backed by the industries best warranty, Xikar's lifetime no proof of purchase warranty.
  This Xi 007 is the gunmetal version, available in silver or gold as well. Undeniable, this is a killer looking dedicated cigar punch. Xikar says the dimples are for easier gripping. I found the dimples provide a cool contemporary design over actual function. As seen in the picture above, the 7mm blade is deployed. This is done by twisting the bullet shaped punch. Very smooth, with just the right amount of resistance. The round blade is very sharp, coring out the head of the cigar with ease. 
Xikar Xi 007 Twist Punch Cutter
  Once you have made your precision cut, simply twist the opposite direction to retract the blade. As the blade closes any remaining tobacco is pushed out of the punch. Now the Xi 007 is ready for the next cigar on deck. This little 2 inch punch is shockingly heavy. When I first held one, I very surprised in a good way. It's actual weight is a solid 1.6oz, impressive. Lastly, the twist punch comes equipped with an integrated keychain, a nice final touch. List price for the Xi 007 regardless of the finish is $34.99. Taking into consideration function, quality, aesthetics, and Xikar's lifetime no proof of purchase warranty, CLR feels the price is justified. Just don't lose it, no warranty for that!

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
9 - Aesthetics
9 - Finish/Construction
8.5 - Clean Cuts
9 - Function 
9 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.9

Pros - quality dedicated punch, slick design, lifetime warranty
Consideration - might be to heavy for some folks liking