Saturday, August 30, 2014

Xikar X875 Cutter Review

Xikar X875 Cutter Press Review
Xikar X875 Cutter Press Release Review 
  One thing is for sure, you are either a fan of "oversized" cigar ring gauges or not. Xikar has always had a nice range of cigar cutters. That said, even I on the rare occasion smoke a 60 ring gauge neither my V cutter nor my Xi3 worked optimally. With the new popularity of gargantuan sizes Xikar has a new cutter. Called the X875, it is a double guillotine cutter that can take down the cap of an 80 ringer! I personally am not in the market for such a cutter, but I know there are folks out there that are in need of help. So here you have it, Xikar's press release on this big boy!

Press Release:  
  XIKAR just got a whole lot bigger and better with the X875 double guillotine cutter. It takes a big cutter to handle a big cigar, and the X875 is the perfect tool for large ring gauge cigar smokers. The X875 can cut a 75 ring gauge cigar in half and easily cut the cap of an 80 ring gauge cigar!

Product Benefits:
  • Lightweight and durable body
  • Large opening that can cut a 75 ring gauge cigar in half and easily cap an 80 ring gauge cigar
  • Sharp, thin stainless steel blades for a reliable smooth, clean cut every time
  • Contoured cutter body acts as a cigar rest
  • Access port for easy cleaning
Everything is better when it's big!
*courtesy of Xikar

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vector Arsenal Lighter Review

Vector Arsenal Lighter Review
Vector Arsenal Dual Torch Lighter Review
  An interesting lighter up for review today. This is the Vector Arsenal dual torch lighter, along with some cool integrations. The Arsenal I used for this review is shown in an a bit of a different finish, titanium satin. It almost has a pinkish hue in certain lighting.
  The easy to depress thumb action raises the lid and emits a very strong wind resistant torch. No doubt, this little powerhouse is an intimidator for any cigar put in its path. All the information on the web states the flames from the Arsenal come out at a 90 degree angle. To me it looks to be more of an 75-80 degree angle.
  Beyond the unique looks, it has an integrated cigar punch cutter and cigar poker. There are definitely times I could have used a convenient cigar poker. The lighters best feature in my opinion. Both are easily deployed through some well thought out designing. That said, both the punch and poker feel flimsy. Not the material itself, but at the hinges. There is a fair amount of side to side "play" with the Arsenal I tested. Vector did include a very large fuel gauge window for easy viewing. The Arsenal has the old screwdriver/fingernail fuel adjustment. If you have read my other reviews then you already know CLR is never a fan of this style.
  Overall, it is an interesting lighter, with very strong torches and very cool cigar poker integration. Vector's Arsenal retails for $49.99.

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

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - design, integrated cigar poker, very strong flame
Consideration - flimsy hinges

Monday, August 4, 2014

Xikar ELX Lighter Review

Xikar ELX Torch Lighter Review
Xikar ELX Dual Torch Lighter Review
  Xikar's most popular lighter got a recent face lift! The new ELX is the successor to Xikar's Element. I have owned an Element for about 3 years now. Therefore, I was rather anxious to get my dirty little paws on an ELX for a comparison review. Of course, I went with my favorite Xikar finish in G2 gunmetal.
What makes the Element and now ELX so popular? Simple answer, it has it all. It hits on all my desired cigar lighter wants and needs. Quite similar to my Pulsar review. They are as follows:
  • single thumb action to ignition
  • strong dual or triple torches/jets
  • fuel gauge window
  • fuel adjustment wheel
  • cigar punch cutter (ELX is 9mm)
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • ergonomically comfy in the hand
As seen in the picture below, there are very subtle differences between my Element and the ELX. There are two noticeable changes that stick out more than others to me. 
Xikar ELX and Element Lighter Review
First, a much improved fuel adjustment, now a front facing oversized wheel. Secondly, the ELX appears to about 6mm wider. I have to admit this additional width is more comfortable in my hand. Had I not had them side by side, not sure I would have felt a difference. Though, there is a definite better feel in the hand with the ELX.
Bottom Of Xikar ELX vs Element Lighter

Dual Flame Xikar ELX
Honestly, I do not recall what I paid for my Element. Xikar has retail on the ELX at $64.99. Here is the biggest question I get "is it worth it?". Personally, I believe it is because Xikar's best in the business warranty is ridiculously fantastic. No smoke and mirrors. I feel like some of the lighter warranties in the industry are like carpet warranties. If you have ever bought carpet then you know what I am talking about. In fact, this is actually my second Element. My first one had issues after about a year. These things happen, no biggie. I walked into my B&M handed them my Element and walked out with a new Element. So, is it worth it? Yep.

BEST Price CLR found: Xikar ELX

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
9.5 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flames
9.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8.5 - Value vs. List Price (considering Xikar warranty)
CLR Final Score: 9.0

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - bullet points above, no proof of purchase lifetime warranty
Consideration - upfront price point