- How you light your cigar helps determine how well your cigar smokes.
- Torch lighters provide a constant, precise flame that creates an even burn across the surface of the cigar.
- Flick lighters and other varieties can lead to tunnelling, canoeing, or an uneven burn.
- A high-quality butane achieves the best torch lighter performance, creating a clean, odorless burn.
The torch lighter. If there’s one cigar accessory to improve your day-to-day smoking experience, it’s probably a torch lighter. These hyper-precise, jet-engine-looking lighters offer a ton of improvements over a traditional lighter that makes them ideal for lighting up a stogie.
Of course, we enjoyed cigars long before torch lighters came onto the scene, and you can light a cigar without one. A match, flip top, or simple flick-style lighter all work. But for the best results, it's the torch lighter.
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.
So what’s the technology behind the needle-like flame, and what makes this a better cigar tool than your classic Zippo? We find out.
What Are Torch Lighters?
While the name invokes images of neanderthals exploring caves, torch lighters are anything but archaic. Quite the opposite. These futuristic lighters are a drastic improvement over traditional lighters and boost the experience with any given cigar. Key elements of the torch lighter include:
- Creates a hyper-focused, air-propelled flame
- Burns hotter at 2,500 degree Fahrenheit.
- Prone to new tech developments and gadgetry.
A torch lighter is a butane lighter with a unique delivery system that creates an air-propelled flame that is incredibly precise and burns incredibly, extremely hot — roughly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect for lighting cigar tobacco.
Common lighters aren’t air-propelled. Use one, and the flames often dance and flicker passively. Think of the gas-station variety. Torch lighters, on the other hand, maintain a solid, consistent, direct flame. Even on windy days, you can still create a forceful flame with a torch lighter, making them ideal for a variety of different uses and environments.
Hold the torch lighter in any direction and the flame points straight out, even inverted or held horizontally. Other lighters, as you know, always tend to burn “up,” because there’s nothing to propel the flame forward.
Torch lighters’ tech-forward design also makes them a favorite among gadget-minded folks.
Each year, torch lighter manufacturers make adjustments, tweaks, advancements, and tech improvements–like the addition of LED displays–seeking an edge over competitors. So if having the latest piece of fire-starting technology is your fancy, torch lighters make great collector’s pieces, too.
Why Are Torch Lighters Better for Cigars?
Klaro Gunmetal Triple Jet Torch Lighter
Any flame can light a cigar. A torch lighter, however, is a superior tool for the job. And there is plenty of evidence to prove its case:
- An ultra-hot, precise flame
- User-controlled flame direction and lighting angle
- Clean, odorless burning with high quality butane
- Comes in single or multiple-jet versions
First, the powerful flame.
The power and precision of the torch lighter make for a better cigar-lighting experience. Think chef’s knives: the shaper you keep them, the safer and better equipped for the job. With torch lighters, the force and consistency of the flame quicken the time it takes to light the cigar, and without scorching the tobacco.
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.
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 that ruins or at least distorts the natural aromas and flavors of the cigar. Torch lighters use a refined butane fuel that burns odorless and at high temperatures without sputtering. Now,
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.
The main variable in different types of torch lighters comes down to the number of flame distributor jets. Single-jet, double-jet, triple — even quadruple-jet lighters are common. The more jets, the more surface area you burn at an even rate. Single-jet torch lighters are perfect for spot lighting during the smoke, while triple jet lighters help develop an even cherry when first lighting up.
Cool Features to Look for in Torch Lighters
Sure, some lighters are just iconic and will always be mainstays: The flip-top style has been earning style points since its popularization during and soon following WWII. And it seems there we will always have readily available the various-colored flick lighters in our drawers, glove compartments, car consoles, and rummage bins.
But torch lighters offer something new, more purposeful. And it should be no surprise to see these replacing some old forms of lighting cigars. Plus, there are new features to look for on modern torch lighters. And manufacturers are always adding more.
Torch lighters are refillable. 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. Pay attention to this when purchasing a new torch lighter. If you want a longer-lasting lighting option, aim for fewer jets and a larger fuel capacity.
You find some traditional lighters that incorporate an adjustable flame, but the impact is ramped up with torch lighters because of the heat and strength of the flame when you increase the flame size. You can also control your fuel more with an adjustable flame. On most torch lighters, you can adjust the flame size by turning the dial located at the bottom of the torch lighter.
Many torch lighters on the market are manufactured with higher-quality materials than other more disposable variations. The higher the quality of material and manufacturing, the longer they last. Look no further, for example, than the Klaro gun-metal edition triple-jet torch lighter.
With all that power (and extremely high heat) hiding 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, but 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 now 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.
Look for torch lighters that come equipped with child-proof locks that make it difficult to accidentally light the torch lighter. This added safety feature can prevent accidental ignition by yourself, a kid, or anyone else who should not be using this powerful tool.
Some of the enjoyment of smoking a cigar comes down to process: We like the ritual of choosing a cigar, prepping it, lighting it, and we enjoy the tools and accessories that are a part of the process. The torch lighter should be a welcome addition.
Experiment with your torch lighter and with different variations. Different jet numbers, sizes, fuel types, styles. Adjust the flame height and experiment to find which works best for you. You’ll notice when you find something that works. And then your bigger worry will be your newfound preference for torch lighters over any other form.