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Dave's Take: Cigar Product Review Compendium Follow the links below to the various cigar accessories that I have reviewed. Feel free to ask any questions about the products in this thread, or in the original product threads. Xikar VX-2 V-Cut Cutter Xikar Tactical Triple Torch Lighter Xikar XFlame Electronic Cigar Lighter Palio Triple Torch Lighter and Cutter Xikar HP4 Quad Jet Lighter Xikar Turrin Single Torch Lighter Xikar XO Double Guillotine Cutter Xikar Travel Humidor Xikar 19th Hole Gift Set The Cigar Minder Clip Bettinardi Milled Cigar Tray Mantello Catador Torch Lighter Alaska Bear Antique Copper Cigar Cutter Stay tuned for more great cigar products, and if you find something worthy of taking a look at, shoot me a PM. -Dave
Dave's Take: Xikar's HP4 Quad Flame Lighter http://www.xikar.com/products/lighters/hp4/ The High Performance supercar-inspired HP4 Lighter was engineered to deliver optimum performance and output. The dominant appearance of the HP4 embodies a newly designed chassis. An in-line fuel adjustment wheel, oversized double EZ-Viewâ„¢ red fuel windows and four angled jets create an apex of precision engineered flames to concentrate heat and efficiently light any cigar with confidence. The manual flip-top lid not only protects the quad jets, but also retracts more than 90 degrees ensuring plenty of room to light small or large ring gauge cigars. Last week, I shared with you my take on the Xikar Turrim Single Jet Lighter. If you didn't get a chance to read that review yet, just click that link in the previous sentence. If that's too much effort, I'll summarize it for you. The Xikar Turrim Single Jet Lighter is my runaway-favorite lighter to take to the golf course. It's ergonomically excellent, lights reliably, fits perfectly in the travel humidor, and has enough butane capacity to light sticks for a scramble worth of golfers. Nothing but aces with the Turrim. Today, I have another Xikar lighter to share with you, the HP4 Quad Flame lighter. Yep, you read that correctly: QUAD FLAME. The HP4 has four butane jets. I've used three-jet lighters before, but never four. My inner pyromaniac says that more fiery jets should be nothing but good, but could that much fire cause unforeseen cigar lighting issues? Features Diamond Quad Jet Flames Outer Jets are angled 8 degrees creating a quad flame apex Flip-top lid retracts over 90 degrees Pull-Down ignition sports Xikar badge styling Metal body with debossed stripes Louvered rear-end accents Oversized, ratcheting fuel adjustment system EZ-Viewâ„¢ Red Fuel Window to easily detect remaining butane levels Five available colors (Black, Gunmetal, Red, Blue, and Orange) MSRP: $119.99 Ergonomics and Functionality Though not as streamlined as the Turrim Single, the HP4 Quad Flame lighter continues a theme of solid ergonomics. The HP4 is a bit stockier and shorter than the Turrim Single, fitting more into the contours of your palm as opposed to across them like the Turrim. The HP4 lighter has a little more heft to it than the Turrim Single, which will be a good or bad thing depending upon your personal preference. For me, I found the weight to be significant, yet comforting. When I first held the lighter, I was a bit surprised by the heft, but the more I used it, the more I realized that I liked the weight, that it felt like I was holding something that means business. These subjective things are hard to explain in words, but maybe think of the difference between holding a paring knife and a cleaver. Both knives cut, but when you hold the cleaver, you know that you are handling something powerful. That's my feeling about the HP4 Quad Flame lighter. Ergonomics is not a trivial metric for lighter use, as the position of the lighter in the hand determines how easy the lighter is to operate. For the HP4, the shape allows you to grip it in such a way that you can easily access the operational parts with your thumb. Flicking the cover open, and sliding the ignition switch are accomplished with ease. One of the features that Xikar promotes about the HP4 is the fact that the cover retracts to beyond 90 degrees, allowing for easy interaction between the cigar and the flame. I couldn't agree more with this assessment. I've got other flip top lighters where the lid stays too close to the jets, reducing access and also causing the lid to get hot, and burnt finger dangerous (yep, that's from personal experience). This lid gets out of the way, yet still covers the jets completely and snugly when retracted. Style-wise, Xikar has again done a solid job merging aesthetics and functionality. The louvers across the back not only add an interesting visual to the lighter, but they also add texture, enhancing the snugness of the lighter in your hand during operation. The available colors are pretty broad in appeal as well. You can choose from conservative black and gunmetal choices, or bolder red, blue, and orange options. Dave's 10 Click Challenge My new measurable metric for lighter performance is Dave's Ten Click Challenge. Basically, I will fill the lighter, and see how many ignitions occur with ten consecutive lighting attempts. I know that I want the torch to light more often than it doesn't, and so this seemed a valuable bit of data. For the HP4 Quad Flame lighter, the score was 10/10. I actually went to 15 straight ignitions without a miss. Quad fire every single time. Golfability I've previously gone on record as saying that the Xikar Turrim Single is the best take-to-the-golf-course cigar lighter, and after a few rounds with the HP4 Quad Flame lighter, the Turrim will retain that title, but it was close. The HP4 is pretty damn amazing, but the main thing that lowers its golfability for me is shape. The Turrim Single has the ideal cylindrical shape, allowing it to fit perfectly into a cigar slot in the travel humidor. The HP4 fits in the humidor, but it is a bit too wide for a single cigar slot, and it thus requires more manipulation to get it to fit with the cigars and a cutter. Shorter cigars will give it room at the top of the humidor, but you are likely dropping a stick from the box to get the cutter in there. Because of this, I'm giving the decision to the Turrim Single. It's kind of disappointing for me actually, because outside of the shape issue, this lighter brings nothing but joy when used. First, I think that it holds about a gallon of butane. Not really, bit there is a lot in there, with the current levels easily viewed by checking the EZ-Viewâ„¢ Red Fuel Windows. Of course, you'd need that capacity with four jets to fuel, but even so, I was not prepared for the longevity of the burn. Once filled, the raging flames just sip the butane reservoir. My expectation of frequent refilling was not met. The lighting of a cigar is also magnificent with the HP4. Having extra jets actually resulted in a feeling of improved heat control during lighting. It does seem counterintuitive, but having the pyramid of fire allowed me to control how much flame contacted the cigar at any given time. You can gently roast the tip from a distance, cultivating a great starting burn. having four jets is definitely not about lighting the cigar as fast as possible. It was cool to discover that the HP4 allows precise lighting, when I expected blunt-object burning. I love the way this lighter lights. Also, feel free not to worry much about wind ever again either. Now you could suggest that the HP4 could go to the course, just not in the travel humidor. I thought of that too, but I'd hate to have it get scratched or disfigured after just dropping it into a bag pocket filled with other junk. It would be like getting a ding on a favorite putter, and I am not down with that risk. The HP4 is going to sit nicely next to my fancy Bettinardi cigar tray; lighting backyard sticks with four-flame delight. Overall: It's Rad, but Burning at Home The HP4 Quad Flame lighter is a phenominal cigar lighter, falling just short in golf portability for me. If you are not as hung up as I am on getting it in the travel humidor, then I'd say bring it to the links. If not, it's a great lighter for all other cigar situations. It's got some heft to it, but it'll still fit in your pocket. The HP4 Quad Flame lighter would also make a great tabletop lighter. It has a great wide base, allowing it to easily stand when placed on the table. Take it with you, or leave it in your cigar area. The HP4 has you covered. Retail on the HP4 is a not-insignificant $119.99. That's no small investment for a torch, but remember that this one too is backed by Xikar's lifetime warranty. You are not investing in a cheap lighter, and should there be an issue with it, Xikar will take care of you. This lighter will also make an excellent significant-event gift. One of my foursome turns fifty next month, and a HP4 Quad may very well be the gift of choice to mark the event. Next week, we will check out the mechanical wonder that is the Xikar XO dual-guillotine cutter. Stay tuned.
Dave's Take: Xikar's Turrim Single Lighter http://www.xikar.com/products/lighters/turrim%2Dsingle/ The Turrim Single is XIKAR's newest family addition. Built on the same principles as the 5x64 Turrim, the Turrim Single is a thinner, shorter 4.5x50 version in a single jet flame. The oversized fuel tank is elongated, providing ample butane capacity and the EZ-Viewâ„¢ Red Fuel window makes it easy to visibly detect when it's time to refill with butane. Welcome to the first of three Xikar product reviews that I'll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks. Previously, I've written about two other Xikar products, the Xikar 5-cigar travel humidor and the 19th Hole gift set, and both of those products have been firmly in my golf bag's cigar arsenal ever since. The more I use their products, the more I'm convinced that Xikar is the company to beat in the cigar accessory marketplace. Today I have for you the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch. Did Xikar keep the awesomeness rolling, and add another must have item to my bag? Features Durable metal body with sleek look and feel Ergonomic pull-down pivot action for easy lighting Oversized, ratcheting fuel adjustment system allows for easy flame height adjustments Fits into one cigar slot in a travel case Elongated fuel tank maximizes fuel capacity EZ-Viewâ„¢ Red Fuel Window to easily detect remaining butane levels 4.5â€� x 50 RG Four available colors MSRP: $49.99 Ergonomics and Functionality The Xikar Turrim Single jet torch is basically cigar shaped. Even the dimensions for it are listed with a ring gauge for diameter. The great thing about this shape is that it allows the lighter to fit into cigar shaped spaces. It's ideal for most travel humidors and cases. The lighter also has a nice weight and texture. The cylindrical body fits well in my hand, and the added texture keeps it in place as you flip the igniter. Your thumb just ends up being where it should be when you go to light it. Solid ergonomics. The only thing that I would caution you about with this lighter, and all other sliding top ignition lighters, is to make sure that you are putting your thumb on the switch, and then sliding it away from the now exposed burning jet. Buddy wanted to push the ignition switch with his thumb, rather than pull it, and he almost had a hot thumb surprise. Seems like and obvious thing, but it's not for all. The flame adjustment knob is huge, and very easy to adjust. I hate torches where you need a screwdriver to change the flame height. That's often times a three-handed operation, when I currently have only two. With the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch you can ignite it, and then adjust the flame height while it burns. No other small torch that I own allows for this to happen. The butane window is also a nice feature, removing all questions about whether or not the lighter is full. This definitely helps to prevent the click and hope flame delivery system that can happen with other torches. You know exactly how much butane remains. Dave's 10 Click Challenge My new measurable metric for lighter performance is Dave's Ten Click Challenge. Basically, I will fill the lighter, and see how many ignitions occur with ten consecutive lighting attempts. I know that I want the torch to light more often than it doesn't, and so this seemed a valuable bit of data. For the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch, the score was 9/10, with the only failure coming on click 10. (It also lit on try 11; I was curious...) 90% ignition rate is a damn fine score in my book. Golfability So the lighter performs like a champ, but does it work well on the course? You bet it does. There are two main reasons why the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch may be just the torch that the golfer is looking for. First, the shape is perfect. The torch is just the right size to fit in one of the cigar slots in your travel humidor. Sure, this means that you are down one cigar for the round, but I can't imagine when I'd have a five cigar round. For me, four sticks and a lighter still means that I have extra sticks to share with my friends should they want one too. The Xikar Turrim Single jet torch just fits right in. The other thing that I like about this design is that the butane tank is huge. You can fill this up, and then let it ride for a couple of rounds. You'll have the flame when you need it, without packing a can of butane in your bag like my buddy does. This torch will definitely avoid the 10th hole fill-ups. Overall: It's in the Bag! The Xikar Turrim Single jet torch is a great lighter for the cigar-smoking golfer. It has the shape, capacity, and dependability that will keep your cigars ablaze as you traverse the links. Once again, I am truly impressed with what Xikar has to offer. I think that the $49.99 price tag on this lighter is pretty solid as well. Sure, there are cheaper lighter options out there, but how many $15 torches have you bought, and then thrown away when they break? This torch is backed with Xikar's lifetime warranty, so you are basically buying a forever torch. I feel that the investment in something nice adds to the experience as well. A cigar on the course has a bit of ritual for me. I like to pick the cigar from my selection, cut it with a nice cutter, and then light it with a fun to use torch. Maybe you are different, but like lots of the stuff in my bag, using something that is more than utilitarian adds to the experience. Tune in for more Xikar products soon.