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What lighter to use for cigars

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Knowing what lighter to use for cigars can improve a good smoke

Knowing what lighter to use for cigars can improve a good smoke

Experienced cigar smokers know that a good smoke begins with a good light, and that light comes from a lighter that adds nothing to the cigar but a flame.

Besides the fact that cigars are much different than cigarettes, there are also various sizes, shapes and qualities of cigars that may require different lighters, not to mention environmental issues like wind or proximity to flammables. Choose the right lighter for cigars and you’re guaranteed not to get burned.

A good cigar is larger than a cigarette, more moist and contains a wider variety of tobacco types. That means lighting it requires a longer-burning flame and a good amount of drawing air and puffing.

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Many cigar smokers prefer to use wooden matches instead of lighters, but these have some drawbacks. Besides their limited burn time, the heads contain sulfur that can affect the taste of the cigar and be potentially harmful if inhaled. Most cigar smokers avoid the older Zippo-style lighters fueled by lighter fluid as it also contains taste-altering chemicals.


Many first-time cigar smokers start with disposable lighters fueled by butane. While clean-burning, the butane in disposable lighters can contain chemicals and the flame, even if it’s adjustable, is often too weak for larger cigars. A better choice is a butane torch lighter with a jet flame. This type of lighter resembles a welder’s blow torch in operation and sometimes in looks and the powerful blue-green flame is perfect for lighting cigars and staying lit in windy conditions.

Torch lighters offer a variety of options for both functionality and style. While these lighters are refillable, the task can be a hassle and delays a good smoke, so the larger fuel tank is a popular feature. A clear lighter or one with a with a window to view the fuel level helps you avoid getting caught with a good cigar and no way to light it.

If you’ve ever seen someone moving their lighter back and forth across the tip of a large cigar while lighting it, you know the benefit of having a torch lighter with double or triple flames. The wide flame source lights the cigar faster and burns the tobacco more evenly, so this is a good choice for cigars with a larger ring gauge.

Almost as important as the flame is the feel and operation of a cigar lighter, so torch lighters have many ergonomics features. A trigger on the side is easiest to use. A large flame adjustment and control knob makes it easy to find in the dark and use with one hand. Torch lighters come with lids that are either flip-top or detachable. If you choose a flip-top, make sure it’s one where the top doesn’t get in the way while you’re lighting your cigar. A recessed lighting nozzle is helpful for keeping the flame lit in windy conditions, but it also keeps dust our of the nozzle so the flame burns clean and strong.

A new entry in the cigar lighter field is the USB lighter with an electric ignition coil powered by a battery that can be recharged at any USB port. While most cigar smokers still prefer torch lighters, it’s a great option for high tech smokers. No matter which shape or style you choose, a good cigar lighter makes a good cigar better.


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