Does it Matter Which Cigar Lighter I Use?

To the cigar lover, lighting a cigar is an art form. The cigar lighters you choose to keep in your collection are your paintbrushes. Cigar lighter manufacturers are constantly trying to create new and better cigar lighters in order to improve the cigar smoking experience. The cigar smoker typically wants a cigar lighter to be a reliable source of heat that works well in windy conditions or high altitudes and is easy to maintain. There is an abundance of cigar lighters and brand options to choose from. They are wide-ranging in price and functionality. Among the wide array of options, the type of fire that comes from these cigar lighters is limited to soft flame, torch flame, or electricity. One of the most frequently debated questions is: What is the best way to light a cigar?

How Hot Do Cigar Lighters Get?

The process of combustion starts around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. A traditional survival method to achieve combustion is by rubbing two dried-out sticks together in order to create friction. This friction will generate heat and get an ember from the dried forest matter. It is a strenuous process that requires a maximum effort of great concentration, time, energy, and care in order to be successful. The ember that is created from this process is strikingly similar to those found in the cherry of a lit cigar. When you compare the temperatures of modern-day cigar lighters to naturally created combustion; natural combustion is not that hot. Some of the approximate combustion temperatures for cigar lighters are:

  • Soft Flame Lighter – 829 degrees Celsius or 1500 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Torch Lighter – 1,600 degrees Celsius or 2900 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Propane Torches – 1,995 degrees Celsius or 3,620 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Plasma Lighter – 1100 degrees Celsius or 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Electric Lighters – 400 degrees Celsius or 750 degrees Fahrenheit
Burner Plate Electric Ligter Type
Electric Lighters
Plasma Lighters Type
Plasma Lighters
Torch Lighters Type
Torch Lighters

You can see the difference in temperatures by the color of the flame emitted from the cigar lighters. But, is one form of combustion better than the other forms? And, how does each type of combustion effect a cigar when used?

Torch lighters are arguably the most popular cigar lighters. They are convenient to carry, work well outdoors, and heat an area quickly. However, the high-power of their butane-fueled jets rapidly increases the heating process. This is known to cause deep burns within the cigar, canoeing, and an uneven light. You will also burn a massive amount of butane if you follow the traditional toast and light method that most cigar smokers use to light their cigars. There is also debate around how the intense heat and butane effects your sense of taste, smell, and the overall cigar lighting experience.

Lighters with a soft flame are nostalgic, elegant, and have a candlelight type of appeal. They are good if you use them indoors but outdoor use is difficult. The process for lighting a cigar would require a soft flame to be on for an extended period of time. This means that there is a good chance you will burn at least one finger unless you use a lighter like a Zippo that doesn’t require push-button activation.

Electric lighters are the newest cigar lighter category. The majority of them are Plasma lighters. These lighters use one or more tiny, hair-thin beams of electricity to ignite cigar embers. They will light your cigar, but the process is hard because the beams are too small. The newest electric lighter on the market is showing promise and growing in popularity. The Fuego Lighter is powered by a lithium-ion 510 thread battery. The battery powers a heating coil. This coil superheats to light the entire surface area of cigars that are the 62-ring gauge or smaller. This gauge size covers the majority of cigars in the market. It is a premium alternative to butane lighters that is windproof, travel-friendly, and a USB rechargeable lighter.

Does the Cigar Lighter I Use Affect Taste or Smell?

There have been discussions about cigar lighting methods. People want to know what works best to preserve the unique flavor notes and aromas in cigars. Some people believe the temperature at which a cigar is lit affects the taste of the tobacco in the cigar. Those people are on to something. Studies in the vaping industry have found that lower temperatures preserve more Cannabinoids. These same Cannabinoids are lost when marijuana flower is smoked. This preservation has a direct correlation with an improved flavor and aroma profile. It is reasonable to assume this same preservation occurs with tobacco.

The most notable difference will be when you first light your cigar. Excess heat generated by butane lighters and plasma lighters tends to cause charring. This is the same char you get when you overcook meat on a barbeque. It doesn’t taste or smell good. The higher temperatures are also undoubtedly harsher on the mouth and throat while you are taking deeper draws in an attempt to light your cigar. Fuego Lighters light cigars at much lower temperatures than other types of lighters without the use of butane, lighter fluid, or other chemicals. This could potentially end this debate with the exception of those who have a passionate affection for the appeal of fire.

Open Flame Lighters Type
Open Flame Lighters

Can I Trust an Electric Lighter Like I Trust My Butane Lighter?

Cigar smoking is a pastime. You will often find someone with a lighter or cutter that has been passed down from a friend or relative. It is an industry that doesn’t see much in the way of advancements in technology that truly improves the cigar smoking experience. The Fuego Lighter is true technological advancement. It makes it easier for new cigar smokers to light their cigars and cuts steps out of the process for experienced cigar smokers without destroying the integrity of the process.

The original reason this lighter was created was that between two friends; one was new to cigar smoking and always had trouble lighting his cigar. On a windy day, he found it impossible to light his cigar with a torch lighter. Frustrated he said, “there has to be a better way”. There has to be a cigar lighter that will work quickly and easily under almost any condition because these butane lighters are difficult. From that, the Fuego Electric Lighter was born and there are some interesting features to this.

  • It consists of two parts; a heating coil and a battery lithium-ion battery. The heating coil screws onto the battery. The battery will heat the coil hundreds of degrees and bring it to optimal temperature in approximately 3.5 seconds.
  • This is a USB rechargeable lighter. It heats in 10-second cycles. Depending on how you use it you will get no less than 30 but could reach in excess of 70 heating cycles on a fully charged battery. The approximate recharging time of a dead battery is an hour and a half.
  • You will never need any butane or lighter fluid.
  • The battery has a 10-second automatic cutoff to prevent overheating. It also has a 15-second auto-lock feature to preserve battery life.
  • The coils fit cigars up to 62-ring gauge (1-inch in diameter) which encompasses the majority of cigars and cigar brands.
  • It is windproof making it the best lighter for outdoor use. Take it on the golf course, boat, fishing, hunting, or in high-altitude areas.
  • Take it on vacation. It is travel-friendly. Its original packaging is in compliance with TSA guidelines. Don’t have the original packaging? Put the battery in one carry-on compartment and the heating coil can go in a separate carry-on or in your checked baggage. Never put a lithium-ion battery in your checked baggage.
  • Heating coil maintenance and cleaning is easy. Brush away ash and debris with the brush provided in your kit once the heating coil has completely cooled
  • The heating coil is replaceable and replacements are readily available.
  • Every lighter comes with instructions. Instructional, How-To, and troubleshooting videos are also available on their website. If you still can’t figure it out or if you need more assistance; their customer service is fantastic.

Will Electric Lighters Replace Butane Lighters?

The simple answer is no. This was never the intent. Every type of lighter has its benefits and its drawbacks. Certain types of lighters are better than others under certain conditions. The truth is that all of them are great and they all have a place in your collection. It’s no different than a watch collection, gun collection, or any other valuable type of collection. The real question is: How could you not have an electric lighter in your collection?