Monday, January 20, 2014

Battle of the Slim Cigar Lighters

Prometheus Retro Slim Black Label Stanley
Prometheus Retro vs. Black Label Stanley
  In the world of torch lighters slim does not usually come to mind. There are very few that are what CLR would consider truly slim. There is definitely a need and market for them. Occasionally, at the local B&M someone will ask if anyone knows of any "good ones". An answer like the Axia or something of similar thickness is tossed out as an option, not truly "slim" in CLR's opinion. 
  Today CLR brings to the table a battle of two truly slim or "ultra slim" torch lighters for review. Enter the Prometheus Retro vs. the Black Label Stanley. They are quite similar in size, though, very different in cost and flame/ignition. The Retro pictured here is in the Wave pattern and comes in at only .25 inches thick! The Stanley comes in a hair over .25 inches. Only noticeable when both are laying flat side by side. Both lighters stand respectably at 3 inches tall.
Prometheus Retro Wave
Prometheus Retro Wave Review
  The Prometheus Retro in the Art Deco finishes list at $75 for the Wave, Vertical, Shaper Cut, or Black Lacquer. The Wave design is stunning in the flesh. The high polish and wave pattern is very well done. What enables this lighter to be ultra slim is the use of a flint ignition system. The commonly used and trusted Piezo system can not fit into a body this thin. The flint gives the lighter the retro throwback vibe, while still giving cigar lovers the hot blue flame desired. Flipping the lid up reveals the flint wheel and single jet. Using the side thumb action pusher rotates the wheel against the flint. This creates a large bright spark, immediately transitioning into a blue torch. When the day comes to replace the flint there is a screw located on the bottom. Once removed, simply insert the new flint bar and screw back in.
Black Label Stanley
Black Label Stanley Review
  The Black Label Stanley made by Lotus is much more affordable at a list price of $29.99. Stanley is somewhat of a plain Jane, but she is slim no doubt. In similar fashion the lid flips and a side action pusher ignites the torch. Here is where the main difference between the two lighters is revealed. The Stanley does not use flint, it produces a windproof coil flame. You can see the difference in the flames very clearly in the pictures. Stanley's flame is more of a cone shape, this is due to the coil used. Pretty cool looking and not seen often in other lighters.

Black Label Stanley Flame
Prometheus Retro Flame
Prometheus Retro Flame




  Due to the thin designs of both lighters it comes as no surprise that both are lacking a cigar punch, fuel wheel adjustment (need screwdriver, etc.), and single step to ignition. Also lacking is a fuel gauge window. It would of been difficult to integrate this into the Retro and would of taken away from its aesthetic beauty. On the other hand CLR feels it would of been more achievable and appropriate for the Stanley. Both lighters handle smaller ring gauges without issue, CLR found larger gauges took a bit more work. This is to be expected from a single torch. The fuel tanks are not large, but no complaints. They simply do not burn through a lot fuel like multi-torch lighter would.
  Price aside the Prometheus Retro would be CLR's clear choice. The Retro is all class and well built. Retro is surprisingly fun to spark up every time. Retro is now one of CLR's favorite lighters reviewed, but did not score like one in ratings below. Retro does love fingerprints and is not shy on collecting little scratches quickly. On the other hand, the Black Label Stanley would make for a great utility lighter. Throw it in your pocket and not think twice, price point certainly helps here.

BEST PRICE CLR found counting shipping - Black Label Stanley

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)

Prometheus Retro:                                   Black Label Stanley:
9 - Aesthetics                                       5 - Aesthetics
8.75 - Finish/Construction                       7.25 - Finish/Construction
6.75 - Flame                                        8 - Flame            
7.5 - Function & Adjustment                    7.5 - Function & Adjustment
7 - Value vs List Price                            8 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.8                                   CLR Final Score: 7.15

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Xikar Trezo Lighter Review

Xikar Trezo Triple Torch Lighter
Xikar Trezo Lighter Review
  Today CLR takes a closer look at a long over due cigar lighter. Xikar's Trezo triple torch lighter has quickly become many cigar enthusiast favorite. It might well be Xikar's best seller in $90-$100 price range, but why? What is it that makes this lighter so great when it is missing a few "frills" usually found at this price for Xikar? (Update: compare with Colibri Stealth 3 review).
  Trezo is no nonsense and all business. It features what Xikar calls "in-line" jet torches. All three of the jets are in a row, opposed to the typical triangle layout. The two outer jets are angled inwards 8 degrees, with the middle jet remaining straight. The end result is dang near perfect, pinpoint, windproof triangular torch. If you appreciate a great flame as CLR does, this one is a beaut! Excellent for extremely accurate lighting of any cigar size, even small ring gauges using only the tip of the flame. CLR has yet to see another lighter with type of set up. This accurate and very versatile flame is definitely a large part of Trezo appeal.
Xikar Trezo Inline Lighter
Xikar Trezo Inline Flame
  For this review the gunmetal/satin finish is pictured. Trezo is now available in Xikar's all gunmetal finish called G2, a CLR favorite. Trezo is well built as to be expected, with a solid over feel. Its slimmer design bodes well for fitting comfortably in pants pockets. Though, it is not a small lighter by any means either. Aesthetically, Xikar did a nice deep etching pattern on the backside, while not over stylizing the lighter. Trezo is a bitter wider at the top, with a subtle taper down to the bottom. Once in hand, the lid flips back responsively exposing the inline jets. Using your thumb, an easy slide down pusher fires up the Trezo. 


  On the side is a decent sized fuel gauge window. The fuel tank is not huge, though definitely adequate. Remember with any triple torch lighter you will burn through more butane than a single torch. Xikar's easy to turn fuel adjustment wheel is located on the bottom of the Trezo. 
  This brings CLR back to what is lacking in the frill department typically found at Trezo's price point. There is no cigar punch/cutter and lacks a single step to ignition pusher. Trezo is more of a purist approach from Xikar is what came to mind when CLR reviewed this lighter. That said, CLR still would of liked to seen at least one of these aspects incorporated into the lighter. You are paying for a top notch lighter, with one of the best flames in the industry. Only you can decide if this lighter meets your overall needs. Judging by how many are seen being used in the "wild" the public has voted with the wallet!
  Lastly, Trezo is backed by the best warranty in the business, Xikar's lifetime warranty.

BEST Price CLR Found - Xikar Trezo

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

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - superior flame, construction, Xikar lifetime warranty
Consideration - no cigar punch, two steps to igntion

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bugatti CEO Triple Torch Lighter

Bugatti CEO Triple Torch Lighter
Bugatti CEO Triple Torch Lighter
  Bugatti has put out a new triple torch lighter called CEO. The CEO has a typical high list price associated with anything "Bugatti" of $100, which of course can be found for much less. The lighter used for this review is shown in gunmetal and is also available in a black version.
  The CEO looks decent aesthetically, nothing overly remarkable to speak of in regards to uniqueness. The lighter fits very well in the hand, though, is on the larger side for pants pockets. It has a nice brushed gunmetal finish, with Bugatti predominantly displayed vertically. CLR was disappointed when it arrived with the black textured section for gripping. Expecting it to be more of a rubber or like finish. Instead it is hard plastic, taking away from the overall feel of the CEO. More design of function in CLR's opinion. The pusher does have nice black rubber for gripping integrated for superior feel when operating. It is not a single step to ignition action. The lid must be flipped up prior to ignition. Usually, this would be a hang up for CLR. But the lid snaps back extremely responsively. 

  Once the triple jets are ignited a beautiful raging blue windproof flame is ready to take down any stick put in front of the CEO. The fuel tank Bugatti used is larger than most. This is good as it keeps down on the number of refuels needed. Triple flames eat up a lot of butane! The fuel gauge window is a decent size. That said, CLR found it somewhat difficult to see the amount of fuel remaining through the window. The fuel is adjusted using a screwdriver or CLR found a fingernail worked well too. A fuel wheel would of rounded out the lighter better. There is also a flip down 8mm cigar punch located on the bottom. Always nice to have even if you do not prefer a punch cutter in general.
Bugatti CEO Flame
  Bugatti offers a lifetime warranty for the CEO. Though, if you are accustomed to Xikar's lifetime warranty, this one falls short. From convenience to what is actually covered. The CEO can be found around the $49 mark vs. the suggested $100. CLR liked this lighter, but more at a $29 price point.


CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.5 - Aesthetics
7.5 - Finish/Construction
9.5 - Flames
7.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
7 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.8

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - excellent triple flame, cigar punch
Consideration - plastic on body, a little bulky overall