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Cigar 101

How to Use a Torch Lighter

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Torch lighters offer a ton of advantages when you’re lighting a cigar. The flame is super-hot, and you can adjust the height and concentrate it on specific parts of a cigar that may need to be touched up while you’re smoking. Torch lighters are fun, sporty, and innovative. Cigar lovers often keep an inexpensive torch lighter handy for sharing with friends when they don’t want to worry too much if their lighter gets lost or stolen, but they’ll be more protective of a fancy or expensive model.  

There are a handful of ways to light a cigar. Some folks still prefer a soft flame versus a torch lighter.

Others light their cigars with matches or a cedar spill. Why? Soft flame lighters and matches produce a cooler light, and that results in a cooler smoke. How you light your cigar can affect its taste, and that’s why cigar lovers are picky about how they light their cigars. There are plenty of aficionados who can’t resist trying the latest cigar gadgets like cutters and torch lighters. Choosing the best lighter depends on where you smoke – inside or outside – and your preferences for performance and maintenance. Here’s a few quick tips when you like to light your cigars with a butane torch lighter.

How to Light a Cigar with a Torch Lighter

Premium handmade cigars are intended to be lit gradually. Use a torch lighter with reservation as opposed to urgency.

1. Adjust Your Flame Height

Fire up your lighter and check out how high the flame is before lighting your cigar to avoid positioning it too close to the flame. Turn the fuel dial up or down to achieve a good flame height.

2. Hold the Foot of Your Cigar Away from the Flame

Start lighting at least a quarter of an inch away from the flame. Do not incinerate the foot with a direct blast from the lighter’s jet. This is a common mistake rookies make. Too much butane will ruin the taste of your cigar.

3. Gently Toast the Foot

Watch as the binder and filler tobaccos begin to ignite. The goal is to create an even light across the entire foot of your cigar.

4. Rotate Your Cigar as You’re Lighting It

To ensure an even burn, rotate your cigar over the flame so that it’s applied equally over the foot. You can also rotate your lighter around the foot to achieve the same effect.

5. Begin Puffing on Your Cigar

Once the foot has been fully toasted, start drawing on your cigar, and hit the foot with your jet flame a few more times.

6. Gently Blow on the Cherry

Remove the cigar from your mouth and hold it so that you can observe the cherry burning. Then blow on the lit end of your cigar. You should see a nice even red-orange glow across the foot of your cigar. If there are lingering dark spots that have not fully ignited, you can hit them with your torch a little longer, but still maintain some distance between your flame and the cigar.

7. Perform Touch Ups as Necessary

Most premium cigars will self-correct if they burn out of sync, but occasionally you may have to touch up the edge of the wrapper in certain spots to return to an even burn. Torch lighters are especially efficient at this task.

Now that you’ve got the hang of lighting up with a torch, it’s only a matter of time before you’re out of gas. Refilling a butane torch lighter can be tricky, so check out our tips on refilling a torch lighter before you send it out for repair. And, your torch lighter will last a lot longer if you know the best butane to use and how to clean and maintain the jets.

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