Is a Soft Flame or Torch Flame Lighter Better?
The vast majority of cigar lighters on the market are torch flame lighters. Certainly, the most popular among them are.
But does this necessarily make torch lighters better? After all, cigar smokers were lighting cigars with matches and cedar spills ages before lighters even exists.
Besides, today there is still a dedicated minority that insists on using soft flame cigar lighters. So let’s take a look at whether one is better than the other, and why.
Advantages of Soft Flame Lighters
●The flame’s not as hot
One of the great things about soft flame cigar lighters is that they burn with a flame that’s not as hot as a torch lighter.
Why is this a good thing? Well, it’s much more forgiving. With a soft flame lighter, you can apply the flame just a little bit too closely, or for just a little bit too long, to the cigars foot without any major issues.
●More economical on fuel
Soft flame lighters have another ace up their sleeve. They’re a lot more economical when it comes to fuel. In fact, you can burn a soft flame lighter for much longer on average than a torch lighter.
Plus, they don’t lose butane lighter fluid to evaporation in the same way that liquid fuel lighters do, even though they use different fluids as fuel.
Disadvantages of Soft Flame Lighters
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to soft flame lighters. One of the big ones is that they are not windproof.
That shouldn’t be too much of a concern for anyone that smokes inside, but since some cigar smokers enjoy the outdoors, it can be a barrier to getting a good light. The slightest hint of a breath of air can hush the flame of a soft flame lighter.
Another potential disadvantage of soft flame lighters is that they don’t have directional flames. The flame only ever burns in one direction - up.
This isn’t a huge drawback, as you can always rotate the cigar to get a good light or touch up an inconsistent burn. You just can’t “point” the lighter flame.
Advantages of Torch Lighters
One of the most significant advantages of torch flame lighters is that they are windproof, unlike soft flame lighters.
This is a huge benefit to any cigar lovers that smoke outside, and it takes a pretty strong gust of wind to snuff out a torch flame.
●Directional flame for touching up imperfections like canoeing
Even with a great light, imperfect cigar construction can result in uneven burning and canoeing. A torch flame lighter is directional, so you can apply the tip of the lighter flame to correct any issues with the cigar’s light.
Disadvantages of Torch Lighters
●You can scorch the wrapper if you’re not careful
As useful as torch lighters can be, if you’re not careful, you can scorch the foot of a cigar while lighting or torch the wrapper while touching up issues. This is partly due to the fact that torch flames are much more aggressive (and hotter) than soft flames.
It takes a little bit more finesse to get a quality light with a torch lighter (without scorching the wrapper) than it does with a soft flame lighter.
●They guzzle fuel
Finally, torch flame lighters guzzle fuel like there’s no tomorrow. Lighter life depends on the setting of the torch jet and the capacity of the reservoir, but some lighters can actually burn through the entire tank in just a few seconds.
Not that butane is expensive, but it can be a bit of a hassle having to refill your torch lighter every few days (or even more frequently).
A Note on Butane Lighter Fluid
First off, we need to point out that butane lighter fluid, despite the name, is not liquid lighter fluid. Liquid lighter fluid is used in Zippos and other wick lighters and is a form of refined naphtha. Generally, you shouldn’t use these to light your cigars because they will impart an unpleasant flavor.
By contrast, there is butane lighter fluid, also known as butane lighter fuel, which is used by both soft flame and torch flame or jet flame cigar lighters.
Another thing we want you to know is that you should only ever use the cleanest, purest, most highly refined butane you can get.
The reason for this is that impurities in butane will clog up your lighter’s jets over time. If it gets really bad, your lighter will stop lighting reliably or stop lighting at all.
If you catch it soon enough, you may be able to clear out the jets with compressed air, but its best to use the most highly refined butane lighter fluid from the start. Lighters are expensive, butane is cheap. Protect your lighter by only running the best, premium lighter butane fuel through it.
Think of a butane lighter like a sports car. The higher the quality of the fuel, the better the performance of the lighter. Use only the best butane fuel refills you can buy!
At any rate, as you can see, there are numerous advantages to both soft flame and torch flame cigar lighters. Which is best is really up to your personal preference.
If you have any other questions about any of our butane fuel canisters or gas refills, please feel free to reach out to us at 888-216-5834.