There are dozens of accessories on the market for cigars. Things like ashtrays and travel cases are fun to have, humidors are both stylish and help keep your cigars in good condition. But if there’s one accessory to have that also improves your enjoyment of a cigar, it’s probably a torch lighter. These potent, Top Gun-looking lighters offer a ton of improvements over a traditional lighter that makes them ideal for lighting up a stogie.
Of course, people enjoyed cigars long before torch lighters came onto the scene, and they’re not altogether necessary for your enjoyment. A match, flip top, or simple flick style lighter will all help you light up. Heck, bending over a campfire when you’re out camping works in a pinch. But when you’re ready to up your game—or you’re just into cool gear—they’re an easy spot to make an upgrade.
No matter how you choose to enjoy your cigar, there’s still something inherently cool about torch lighters. And while fire may ultimately be fire no matter the source, torch lighters harness it in a completely different way.
What Are Torch Lighters?
While the name may invoke images of neanderthals huddled in caves, hoisting their torches up to explore, torch lighters are anything but archaic. Quite the opposite, these futuristic lighters are a dramatic improvement over more traditional lighters.
A torch lighter is a unique type of butane lighter. That’s not any different than you might find in a typical flick-style lighter, but what makes it unique is the delivery. Torch lighters create an air-propelled needle-like flame that is incredibly precise. It also burns incredibly, extremely hot: roughly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Traditional lighters—which are perfectly fine and have worked for hundreds of years—just aren’t as sophisticated as these units. While normal lighters come in a variety of designs, like flick, flip-top, and stick lighters, their flames aren’t air-propelled. This causes the flames to dance and flicker, while torch lighters maintain a solid, consistent flame.
The flame is a key area where torch lighters differ from normal lighters. On windy days, you can still create a solid flame with a torch lighter, making them ideal for a variety of different uses. You can also hold the torch in any direction and the flame will point in that same direction. Other lighters, as you surely know, always like to burn “up,” because there’s nothing to propel the flame forward.
Their bold, tech-forward design also makes them perfectly enjoyable for folks who like gadgets. In fact, many producers of torch lighters make adjustments, tweaks, and advancements nearly every year. So if you like having the latest piece of fire-starting technology, they make a great collector’s piece. Otherwise, torch lighters are handy to have in any number of scenarios.
Why Are Torch Lighters Better for Cigars?
Again: any flame can light a cigar. That said, a torch lighter is a superior tool for lighting one, and there are plenty of reasons why that’s the case.
First, there’s the powerful flame. While it may be a bit more dangerous than a traditional lighter if you’re not careful, the power and precision of it makes it more ideal. First of all, if you’re in windy conditions—from out on a boat to on the golf course to simply sitting outside on a blustery day—a torch lighter isn’t going to go out on you. You won’t have to move around to shield yourself from a hefty wind. Instead, you’ll be able to simply angle the point toward the cut of your cigar and light it up.
And on that note, the intense heat of the flame is enough to vaporize organic matter. When you puff with other lighters, you’re helping introduce oxygen to the flame, which in turn helps it burn hotter, which in turn helps the tobacco burn. Because of the higher temperature, you don’t need to puff away. Simply and carefully aim the point at the cut, and once it’s cleanly burning, you can enjoy the purity of the smoke.
On the topic of purity, many cigar aficionados claim the fuel from specific lighters—especially the flip-top types that use lighter fluid instead of butane—creates a foul odor which takes away from the pleasure of a cigar. This may ultimately be anecdotal, but one thing is true: hot burning torch lighters are all but odorless.
Finally, the precision of the torch lighter makes them perfect for doing touch ups as you smoke, so you can get a consistent burn the entire time.
Cool Features to Look for in Torch Lighters
Sure, some lighters are just iconic. The brightly colored plastic flick lighters are everywhere, and the flip-top style has been cool since the dawn of time. But with new technology, there are also new features to look for on torch lighters. And manufacturers are always adding more.
Torch lighters are refillable, and even better, many come with a fuel window so you can see exactly how much life your lighter has left. No longer will you be stuck somewhere without enough butane to get a good light.
Large Capacity Fuel Tank
Beyond the fuel window, many torch lighters also include high capacity fuel tanks, so there’s more time between fill ups.
This is a feature on some traditional lighters too, but it’s ramped up on torch lighters. Many feature an easily adjustable wheel that controls just how powerful the flame burns.
With all that power (and extremely high heat) hiding beneath inside a torch lighter, a little safety goes a long way. Many torch lighters include a protective lid feature, which slides into place as soon as the flame extinguishes. Not only does this help protect you, it also helps protect the torch head from accidental wear and tear.
Never be without your cutter again. Because torch lighters and cigars go so well together, some manufacturers have begun incorporating cigar cutters into the design of their torch lighters.
So you can downsize your cigar travel case and always have everything you need to enjoy a good stogie. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d want, then you can always get a bundle product that includes both the cutter and the torch lighter.