Friday, February 28, 2014

Siglo Bean Torch Lighter Review

Siglo Bean Torch Lighter
Siglo Bean Single Torch Lighter Review
  Siglo is relatively young company, launching in 2003 out of Hong Kong. Since then the brand has gained respect by putting out quality and contemporary designed lighters. Today I am taking a look at the Siglo Bean single torch. About a 1.5 years ago I reviewed the Alec Bradley Hendrex, exact same design and shape. Yep, exact same design, but with some positive notable differences. Unfortunately, I do not have the Hendrix anymore for an exact comparison.
  The red on this lighter is very deep in color, changing from a brighter red to a deeper maroon depending on how the light is reflecting on the varying curves. The Bean gets it's name from its shape. The lighter feels excellent in my hand, very comfortable fit with its smooth curvatures. This Siglo has a nice heft about it that I do not recall having with the Alec Bradley Hendrix. Also, the bean appears to have a much nicer finish. Hard to see in the picture "Siglo" is engraved into the case side, opposed to simply being printed on. The lid is somewhat unremarkable, flips backs easily on a small hinge.


  The thumb action pusher adds to the uniqueness aesthetically and in a strange way fun to operate. Once depressed it produces a strong wind resistant blue torch flame. Adjusting the flame is a bit of a pain requiring a screwdriver. This type of fuel adjustment has always been a sticking point here on CLR. Sometimes you are able to use a fingernail, I had no such luck with the Bean. On a positive note, the fuel tank is more than ample. Combine the amount of butane the tank holds and a single torch flame it will light up plenty of cigars before needing to be refueled. Lacking from the Bean are an integrated cigar punch/cutter and a fuel gauge window.
  The Siglo Bean is definitely a nice lighter. Though, at a price point of roughly $65 it's tough for me to justify personally. That said, if you are looking for a different lighter than typically seen at your local cigar shop that feels great in the hand it "might" be worth consideration.

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
7.25 - Finish/Construction
7.5 - Flame
7.0 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6.0 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.25

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - design/shape, strong single flame
Consideration - fuel adjustment, cost vs. value

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Xikar Xi3 STK Titanium Black Cutter

Xikar Xi3 STK Titanium Black Cutter
Xikar Xi3 STK Titanium Black Cutter Review
  The major downside to running this blog is I have become even more particular about my personal cigar accessories. I did not think that was possible. I have been looking for the right cutter when I am not using my V-cut. Admittedly, I do have a bit an issue with wanting the nicer accessories and this usually equates to more expensive. I am sure there are a few of you out there that can sympathize with this curse! 
  I considered Palio, no doubt they make a great cigar cutter. Two things for me personally that I am not a fan of with Palio. Neither of which have anything to do quality or performance. First, I like a bit heft, whether with my lighters or cutters. I love my Xikar V-cut, but in all actuality I would prefer it heavier as well. Secondly, the overall shape of the Palio does not do it for me aesthetically.
  After goofing around with a bunch of cutters I found the "one". Xikar's Xi3 300STK Titanium Cutter is near perfect. All stainless steel, making the STK their heaviest cutter. To put this in better perspective the Xi2 Granite cutter is only 1.5 ounces vs. 3 ounces for the Xi3 STK. I also did not want something too "blingy" or shiny. The "Titanium" in the name refers to the titanium nitride (TiN) treatment, which is a black vapor coating. This gives the cutter a matte blackish gray look. A great stealthy appearance that really appealed to me. Besides adding to the look, it also adds an additional layer of external protection. As with other Xi seriess Xikar uses 440 stainless steel, with a Rockwell hardness rating of 57 (HRC) for the blades. Notice before I wrote "near" perfect. This leads me to the one thing I would change. I would really like the cutter to be able to handle up to a 60 ring gauge cigar. There are probably good reasons it does not. My best guess would be the overall size of the lighter would be too large or hurt the overall aesthetics. 
  Lastly, this cutter is not cheap coming in at a suggested $89.99. You can get the same shape and blades at a much lower cost in the Xi1 & Xi2 offerings. Of course, it just so happened I had to have this one, which of course happens to be one of most expensive choices. Regrets? Not a chance, this STK rocks. It's built like a tank, looks stealthy, lifetime no proof warranty, and my search is finally over.
BEST Price CLR found here Xi3 STK

Saturday, February 1, 2014

JetLine Gotham Quad Lighter Review

JetLine Gotham Lighter
JetLine Gotham Quad Lighter
  For today's review CLR is hands on with the JetLine Gotham Quad Torch Lighter. Gotham is one serious little powerhouse. JetLine probably has more quad torch lighter offerings than any other brand.
  The lighter definitely has some nice features and delivers quite a punch at a retail price of $34.99. The construction is decent considering the price point, but do expect it last the test of time. Gotham is certainly not lacking in character department. Though, a little over stylized for CLR's liking. Over stylized is better than being a "plain Jane" aesthetically speaking. There are integrated ribbed rubber sections on the side of the lighter. Providing decent tactile feel for gripping and some visual appeal.
  A single action pusher flips up the lid to reveal four raging red windproof flames. Most torch lighters have the hotter blue flame. That said, JetLine is known for their powerful red flame. It should go without saying that the Gotham will have no issues taking down any ring gauge cigar put in its path. One major downside to burning quad flames is the immense fuel consumption. To help counter this JetLine integrated a good sized fuel gauge window as well as a very large fuel tank. One really cool feature is a push down 8mm cigar punch. There is a little lever on the backside that is easily pushed and slid over into a locked position. Sliding back out then retracts the cutter up into the body of the lighter. The fuel adjuster to refill with butane is a point of frustration, requiring a screwdriver to adjust. Always a pain to try to find the right size or have on hand for a quick refill.
  It hard to be overly critical of a lighter that offers as much as the JetLine Gotham given the price. Gotham would certainly make for conversation with your buddies or at the local B&M. All said, if looking for a quad torch, Gotham is worthy of serious consideration. Gotham is the best JetLine reviewed to date by CLR.

BEST Price CLR Found - Gotham

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.75 - Aesthetics
7 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flames
7.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.0

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 19 successful lights
Pros - quad red flames, integrated cutter, value
Consideration - fuel adjustment, long term durability