A Few Pipe Lighter Reviews     March 2nd, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

pipe-lighters

When it comes to lighting your pipe, there are always discussions about what is the best thing to use. There is the famous debate about lighters VS matches. Because whether to use lighter or matches is mostly a personal preference, I am not going to talk about that here. In this article I am going to talk only about lighters. Hopefully it gives those who are looking for a lighter a little more insight on which lighter to choose.

There is always a lot of talk about pipe lighters in pipe smoking. Which lighters are the best, which ones are the worst, which ones are inexpensive, etc. I am going to give a short review on my experiences with the lighters that I own. I will not talk about or review any lighters that I do not nor have not owned before. The reviews will mainly consist of Pros and Cons to each lighter that I have had experience with. I will be listing the lighters in order from least expensive to most expensive. On to the reviews!

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Bic Disposable Lighter

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This is a pretty good and reliable lighter. It is not very attractive, but it is very inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere for around $1.00 or $2.00.

Pros = 5 / Cons = 7

Pros:
•Very inexpensive
•Lights on the first or second strike
•Easily obtainable
•No big deal if you lose it
•Butane fuel (Some people believe butane is the best lighter fuel, no tainting of tobacco taste)

Cons:
•Does not have an angled/directed flame (Takes some practice to use without burning yourself or the rim of your pipe)
•Butane fuel (Butane fuel is susceptible to extreme temperatures)
•Made of plastic (could explode in high heat such as left in a car in summer)
•Non-refillable
•Not wind resistant
•Non-adjustable flame (a lot of disposable lighters these days are made this way)
•Disposable

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Zippo Lighter

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This is a very good and reliable lighter that comes with a Lifetime Warranty. They are moderately priced in the range of $15.00 to $45.00 depending on the style chosen. They have a wide variety of cases and are very attractive. You don’t have to have a standard pipe lighter case, you can buy a lighter that you like and get a pipe insert for it. The lighters can be purchased at most retail tobacconist shops and other select locations. The pipe inserts can be obtained from Zippo.

Pros = 12 / Cons = 4

Pros:
•Moderately priced
•Lights on first or second strike
•Angled/Directed flame when using the Pipe insert
•Wind resistant
•Interchangeable cases
•Adjustable flame (depends on how much of the wick you have pulled out)
•Easily adjustable flame
•Refillable
•Liquid Fuel (not susceptible to extreme temperatures)
•Flint and wheel ignition (most reliable and durable ignition system)
•Flame stays lit until lid is closed
•Lifetime Warranty

Cons:
•Liquid fuel (some people say that it taints the taste of the tobacco, I have never experienced this)
•Fuel evaporates from lighter
•Flint and wheel ignition (need to replace the flint when it is gone, old or bad flint may hinder lighting process)
•Non-angled/directed flame when not using the pipe insert
•Flame stays lit until lid is closed

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Xikar Resource

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This is a pretty good lighter that comes with a Lifetime Warranty. It comes in 4 styles and is pretty attractive. It is priced in the moderate-medium range at about $50.00. I have only owned this lighter for about 3 months and it seems to be pretty reliable so far. This lighter can be purchased at quite a few retail tobacconist shops.

Pros = 9 / Cons = 5

Pros:
•Medium price
•Lights on first or second strike
•Angled/directed flame
•Built in pipe tools (pipe knife, poker, and tamper)
•Adjustable Flame
•Refillable
•Butane fuel (Some people believe butane is the best lighter fuel, no tainting of tobacco taste)
•Electro-Quartz Ignition (No flint to replace)
•Lifetime Warranty

Cons:
•Built in pipe tools are not very good (too small and not very useful)
•Flame adjustment is difficult to use
•Butane fuel (Butane fuel is susceptible to extreme temperatures)
•Not wind resistant
•Electro-Quartz Ignition (can be knocked out of adjustment, has a high chance of breakdown, limited lifespan)

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Colibri Pipe Lighter

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This lighter is just OK in my opinion. It looks really nice and has a couple of nice features, but the price, functionality, and reliability is lacking. The price on this lighter was in the high range. I paid $70.00 for this lighter at a B&M about 4 years ago. I have mixed feelings about this Colibri lighter. I love the way that it looks and the design. I hate the inconsistencies about the lighting function. If the lighter worked properly all of the time and lit on the first or second strike, I would say that it was worth the money. But since it is very temperamental, I say that it is not worth anywhere near $70.00.

I can not find any information on it now. Colibri did have a Lifetime Warranty, but I am not sure what the deal is with them now. Colibri went out of business a year or so ago, but they are back in business now. I assume the lifetime warranty still stands.

Pros = 7 / Cons = 5

Pros:
•Angled/Directed flame
•Adjustable flame
•Flame adjustment is very easy to use
•Refillable
•Butane fuel (Some people believe butane is the best lighter fuel, no tainting of tobacco taste)
•Flint and wheel ignition (most reliable and durable ignition system)
•Very slim body, not bulky at all

Con:
•High price
•Average strikes before it lights is anywhere from 1 to 15 (very temperamental)
•Not wind resistant at all
•Butane fuel (Butane fuel is susceptible to extreme temperatures)
•Flint and wheel ignition (need to replace the flint when it is gone, old or bad flint may hinder lighting process)

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This wraps up the lighters that I use to light my pipes on a regular basis. I hope that this information and my opinions will help some of you when choosing a lighter to buy. Like I said earlier, these are not all of the pipe lighters that are available; they are just the ones that I own, have used, and know about.

Whether you use matches, a lighter, or you rub two sticks together to get your pipe lit; light up your pipe and Happy Puffin’!