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 

Monday, September 2, 2013

S.T. Dupont Defi Extreme Review

S.T. Dupont Defi Extreme
S.T. Dupont Defi Extreme
  CLR has not been able to get a hold of this lighter for our standard hands on review. That said, it finally needed to be brought to the readers of CLR in some form or another. This is more of "hey, that is a bada$$ lighter!" hands off review. 
  If you are new to lighters S.T. Dupont is one of the few truly high end cigar lighter brands. Keeping that in mind, here is the Defi Extreme and it is a stunner. This single torch lighter will set you back $300 big ones at list price. What do you get for your money? First, you get the name of S.T. Dupont. Next you get a frame that features precision injected metal. The Defi Extreme is then further protected by a matte black jacket. Undeniably, modern and sleek, with ergonomics to match. It has a diamond head pattern on the trigger and large fuel adjustment knob for a better tactile feel. There is also a fuel gauge window for easy viewing. A squeeze ignition fires up the single blue torch.
  S.T. Dupont made the the lighter to work in extreme temperatures of -10 ºC (14 ºF) and +45 ºC (113ºF). Defi Extreme will even work in extreme altitudes of more than 3500m (11,482 feet)! This lighter was designed for the adventurer in mind or those who just want a cool lighter. The price tag on this bad boy is no joke, especially, for a single torch lighter. Knowing it is a S.T. Dupont, you are not buying this lighter for rational purposes. Good news, the lighter can be found with a decent discount to make it more palatable.
Best Price CLR found here Defi Extreme

Pros - aesthetics, quality, it's a S.T. Dupont
Consideration - price