Is Butane Lighter Fuel Better than Wooden Matches or Cedar Spills?
It can probably be said with almost no exaggeration nowadays that most modern cigar smokers use butane lighters, and among these, there is a general preference for torch lighters. Both soft flame cigar lighters and torch lighters take butane lighter fuel, making butane lighters one of the preferred methods for lighting a cigar.
But smoking a cigar properly, and taking the time to enjoy the ritual, is not merely about convenience. It is a full sensory experience, which begs the question of whether or not the move towards butane lighter fuel was the right one. Let’s take a look at why some cigar smokers love butane lighters - and where they can’t compete with more traditional methods for lighting a cigar; namely, with a cedar spill.
Butane Lighter Fuel: Why Many Cigar Smokers Love It
With butane lighter fuel, it really comes down to a few different features associated with convenience and reliability. Many cigar smokers prefer butane lighters for one of the following reasons.
- Ultimate in convenience and ease of use
Butane cigar lighters, both soft flame, and torch flame models are extremely portable, lightweight, and generally easy to carry. They’re not fragile, thin, or long like cedar spills, and can be dropped into a coat or a briefcase pocket with no regard or concern up until the moment you need them.
- Imparts no flavor into the cigar
Butane lighter fuel is also preferred by some cigar smokers because it burns cleanly. Really, butane lighter fluid burns more cleanly than any other fuel - in an oxygen-rich environment, the only products of butane combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor, as well as, of course, the heat released by the reaction. For cigar smokers, this means that butane lighters impart no flavor at all into their favorite tobaccos, and is a huge selling point.
- Long-lasting and affordable
While some smokers come by cedar spills simply because they are often included in boxes of cigars, it can be argued that cedar spills are too expensive. Truthfully, if you buy cedar spills specifically, you might even call them ridiculously expensive, especially considering that each spill will only produce one light.
By contrast, despite the fact that some lighters are a bit on the pricey side, butane lighter fuel itself is remarkably affordable and goes a long way.
- Torch lighters are nearly windproof and produce a directional flame
Those that prefer torch lighters will specifically prefer the fact that they produce a nearly windproof flame that is directional. The fact that the flame can be aimed makes it a lot easier to toast the foot of the cigar, produce and even light, and touch up areas where the cigar is canoeing.
With all of that in mind, butane does have its drawbacks. Butane lighters generally produce a narrow flame, and torch lighters produce a very hot flame that can scorch the cigar if the smoker is not careful. In addition, butane lighters are unreliable in very cold temperatures.
If you’re looking for a different experience, it may be time to give cedar spills a chance - especially if you are sitting on a surplus of them.
Enjoying the Full Experience with a Cedar Spill
Despite the many advantages of butane lighters, some cigar smokers still prefer to light their cigars with cedar spills, and honestly, we can hardly blame them. Using a cedar spill is relaxing, enjoyable, ritualistic, and produces a quality light.
- They provide a longer burn and a wide, even flame
One advantage of cedar spills over butane lighters is that they produce wider, more even flames than any lighter can realistically replicate. This makes it possible to bathe the entire foot of the cigar in the flame while you are toasting or lighting.
- Little to no risk of scorching the foot of the cigar
Because cedar spills don’t burn as hot as some butane lighters, there is very little risk of scorching the foot of the cigar while toasting.
- Impart a pleasant woody, spicy flavor to the cigar
Some smokers also prefer cedar spills specifically for the opposite reason that some people prefer butane. Whereas butane will not impart any flavor to the cigar, some smokers actually enjoy the fact that cedar enhances the flavor of the smoke (especially while lighting) with pleasant, woody, even spicy notes.
- They’re not just for lighting cigars - they can be used for aging and humidity control as well
Finally, some cigar smokers prefer to keep spills on hand because they are useful for more than just lighting cigars. Cedar can be used to regulate moisture in humidors and for seasoning cigars with delicate flavors during the aging process. Cedar is also naturally antimicrobial and antifungal, protecting cigars against some forms of spoiling and decay.
Whether you’re a die-hard traditionalist that will never light your cigar with anything but a sliver of cedar, or have accepted the modern virtues of butane light fuel, Rocky’s Cigars is here to help. If you have any questions you can call us at 888-216-5834. Get in touch with us if you need any help - otherwise, enjoy our selection of lighters and other cigar accessories!