Monday, August 26, 2013

Colibri Talon Lighter Review

Colibri Talon Torch Lighter
Colibri Talon Torch Lighter
  Here is the Colibri Talon single jet torch lighter up for review. This is the black and gunmetal version, CLR is a sucker for gunmetal. Colibri did a fantastic job aesthetically, very contemporary and modern vibe. With it's smooth lines and dimpled accents, it is far from your standard looking cigar lighter.
  The Talon has a lot going for it, but falls short in a few areas depending on what you are looking for in a lighter. Let's start on a the positive side first. Ergonomically, the Talon is awesome, fits in your hand  like it was born to be there. For a single torch torch, it has a larger fuel tank than many double or triple torch lighters. The fuel tank is translucent and 100% visible. CLR likes that! There is a very large oversized fuel adjustment knob. 
Colibri Talon Knob
  The best knob from an ease of operation standpoint that CLR has reviewed to date. There is nothing obstructing the knob on any side, allowing you to grip it very easily.
Colibri Talon Top View
  The Talon is very light due to the main body being comprised of plastic. Great if you like a light lighter, but CLR is not a big fan of heavy plastic construction. Makes it that much easier to crack should it take a decent fall. The lighter is not a single thumb action to ignition. You have flip open the lid, light, then close the lid. Granted by design this can all be accomplished with your thumb. There is no cigar punch integrated into the lighter. Talon is all about looks and a consistent strong wind resistant flame on the first attempt. Talon has a stiff price considering the construction and simplicityit at a suggested MSRP of $49. Though, it looks great and tested well.

Best Prices Found Here: Colibri Talon

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

FIRE IT UP Results
- 20 back to back attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - aesthetics, awesome fuel adjustment, ergonomics
Consideration - construction, price

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vector Nitro Torch Review

Vector KGM Nitro Torch
Vector Nitro Table Top Butane Torch
  This is not your standard table top lighter! CLR presents you with the Vector Nitro Torch (Lighter) for review. Sure you need a lighter that roast your stogies evenly and in an efficient manner. Then what? How about those other manly needs like welding/smoldering, electrical repair, etc. Technically, it is good for melting sugar (i.e. crème bùlée), but that isn't very manly...The Vector Nitro will cover these manly needs and light any cigar you throw it's general direction!
Vector Nitro Butane Torch
  First let's cover the specs of this bad boy. It will hold a whopping .85 ounces of butane. The Nitro is 5" across the top and 7.5" tall. Nitro produces a scorching top temperature of 2400ºF. Vector claims the torch has a run time of 90-120 minutes on a full tank. CLR did not validate the time, it is hard to image this running that long before running out of butane. Well, possibly on the lowest setting. Being manly, CLR decided to test this flame out a bit. Here is a pic of the Nitro heating up a large screw. After about 3 minutes of intense direct heat, the screw was fire orange/red and easy to bend.
Vector Nitro Heating Metal 2400
Vector Nitro Heating Metal
  Nitro has a push button with a safety switch that needs to be unlocked prior to ignition. It also features a locking mechanism that allows you to keep the torch going without the need to be continuously depressing the pusher. A great option, especially if you using it for anything other than lighting a cigar. On the opposite side there is a sliding lever to control the size of flame being emitted. Definitely want this on the lowest setting for cigar roasting. Nitro also has a very unique feature in the cigar lighter world, an option for a soft flame. Located just under the "V" in Vector is a round knob slider on either side of the lighter. Once the torch is locked for a continuous flame, simply slide the knob forward and the result is a soft flame. Below are pictures of both the torch flame and soft flame options. Aiming the flame upwards on the highest setting results in roughly a 10" torch or 12" soft flame. CLR was impressed by the amount of flame and heat coming out of the Nitro.

  Vector includes a handy little plastic stand (not pictured) for the Nitro to sit upright. It will stay upright without the stand as long as it does not get knocked accidentally. This makes it one serious table top lighter. If you are looking for a torch lighter like this, but a bit more compact Vector offers another version called Minitro with a much smaller butane capacity of .35 ounces. List price on these bad boys are $69.95 for Nitro and $50 for the Minitro. Both are offered in an array of colorful choices. You are definitely paying a bit for the "cool" factor. Though, CLR sees this as something very useful to have around the house in general. Kept far out of reach from the children!

Best Price CLR Found Here: Vector Nitro 

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

FIRE IT UP Results:
- 20 back to back lighting attempts, 17 successful lights. 
Pros - multiple uses, extremely strong flame
Consideration - if looking for just a cigar lighter this would be overkill

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter Review

Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter
Xikar Xi2 Cigar Cutter
  Xikar is well known for their quality cigar cutters. This guillotine cutter is from Xikar's Xi2 lineup, shown in here in the silver granite finish. Other available versions in the Xi2 series are carbon fiber look, mesh, pearl white, bloodstone red, lapis blue, malachite green, and noir black. 
  The silver granite is a nylon fiberglass composite coating and is CLR's favorite version of the Xi2's. Has a great overall feel, with an almost sandpaper like texture. This texture makes the cutter very easy to grip, without any feeling of the cutter slipping when closing firmly. The cutter snaps open cleanly by simply sliding the release button down located in the center. It can cut a cigar up to a 54 ring gauge cleanly. Depending on how much cap you like to cut off it will handle larger gauges. CLR would prefer it to handle up to a 60 ring gauge as the recent cigar trend is more people now smoking larger gauges. The blade is very sharp and will stay sharp for a long time. Xikar use 440 stainless steel, with a Rockwell hardness rating of 57.
Xikar Xi2 Guillotine Cutter
Xikar Xi2 Cutter Open
  The Xi2 series is the least expensive Xi offered by Xikar, retailing at only $39.99 USD. The only exceptions being the carbon look and mesh versions at $49.99. Xikar being a top notch company offers another layer of added value beyond the awesome no proof of purchase lifetime warranty. If you register your new cutter on Xikar's website they will send you a free custom fitted leather fully lined sheath. Sweet! CLR has no "skin in the game" with Xikar, just think they are that good. 

  You will pay a bit more for this cutter vs. most cutters. Taking into consideration the warranty and free sheath are you really paying more in long run? CLR thinks not...

Best Price CLR Found Here: Xikar Xi2 Cutter

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9 - Finish/Construction
9 - Clean Cuts
8.5 - Function 
8.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.7

Pros - great feel, cuts like a champ, free protective sheath
Consideration - not the best tool for 60+ ring gauges