Alec Bradley 'The Burner' Table Cigar Lighter
MSRP - $60.95
Average Street Price - $45
Boys love their toys, and we cigar smokers are no exception.
Most of us cigar aficionados manage to accumulate a vast collection of related accessories over the years. Some of these articles end up gathering dust, while others become an integral part of our ongoing cigar smoking experience.
One essential item that fits neatly into the latter category is the lighter (or alternative methods of lighting) we choose to use with our beloved smokes.
Some of us will use anything that works, with absolutely no preference. Others may opt to use match-lit cedar strips or butane fueled lighters. Within the lighter category, the choices include soft flames (yellow/orange flame) and torches (blue flame). Of course, further subcategories exist within the torch lighter family - single flame, dual flame, triple flame, etc.
Although people can perform the task in various fashions, the objective is still the same - lighting the cigar. And the ritual of lighting the cigar (and how that should be performed) is different for all of us.
My preferred method of lighting a cigar is by way of a single flame torch lighter. This approach gets the tobacco burning quickly, is wind resistant and is relatively fuel efficient. While a double or triple flame butane lighter will light the cigar faster, such a lighter will also burn through butane far too quickly. For that reason, I generally prefer single flame butane torches.
'The Burner' is a table cigar lighter marketed by Alec Bradley. I had never even heard of it until my brother, who always seems to come up with great gifts, surprised me with one last Christmas.
'The Burner' reminds me a little of the old Bunsen burners that we would use in High School chemistry class. It’s made mostly of attractive stainless steel, with a hard plastic handle that doubles as the ignition switch. In some ways, it looks similar to a small teapot. The lighting element is located at top center, with the on/off knob, or fuel knob, opposite the handle. In order to produce the flame, one turns the knob (releasing butane) and then presses the ignition button on the opposite side. The butane usually ignites on the first attempt, and the size of the flame is controlled by the same knob used to release the fuel.
Once lit, 'The Burner' produces a large and steady blue flame. Although the flame is blue like that of a torch lighter, it's soft. This results in two benefits. First, the lighter is very fuel efficient. In fact, it is more fuel efficient than any torch lighter I have previously used. The resulting lower fuel consumption means you won’t be spending nearly as much time refilling. The second benefit is that the lighter's soft flame is larger in width than that of even a triple flame torch lighter. This large blue flame allows for a cigar to light very, very quickly. Of all my lighters (and I’ve owned many), 'The Burner' accomplishes the task of lighting a cigar with the greatest efficiency.
Of course, no product is perfect. And 'The Burner' is no exception. While the lighter feels well constructed, its plastic parts may prove a shortcoming in the future (especially if the lighter were to be dropped). Of more concern is its practical use. Unlike a regular lighter, which only stays lit when the ignition button is held, 'The Burner' stops operating only when the fuel supply is turned off. While this quirk is not a problem provided the lighter is being used on an outdoor table, it could certainly be a cause for concern if the lighter were handheld while one sat on a sofa or recliner. Frankly, I’m wary whenever I'm using this lighter while I sit in a leather theater seat in my 'man cave'. The thought of dropping the lit burner on my lap, or on the furniture, scares me. That flame would continue to burn! For this reason, I usually only use this lighter indoors when it is sitting securely on a flat surface. Obviously, being outdoors makes use of this lighter much less worrisome. But even then, it would be best to leave the 'The Burner' on a flat surface.
In relation to lighting a cigar (as stated above), this lighter performs its job admirably. The only potential drawback I can see is that one needs to be a little more vigilant during the lighting process. With 'The Burner' resting on a table, its flame is located further away from the cigar during the lighting procedure than when one uses a typical lighter. Additionally, the soft blue flame is quite large. Therefore, one needs to use care. It is all too easy to burn the end of one's cigar in ways that were not intended.
Overall, I love 'The Burner'. Fuel efficient and able to light a cigar as well as (or better than) most any other lighter I've come across, 'The Burner' also has to be about the coolest looking lighter I have ever seen. It certainly adds character to my 'man cave'. Yes, the use of plastic parts could potentially be a negative. But in all honestly, I have not had a single problem. The only possible downside to this lighter stems from my safety concerns (described above).
In short, for use outdoors or if handled carefully and used as a table lighter, Alec Bradley’s 'The Burner' is hard to beat.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.