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Stogie Tip: Check Out the New Zippo Blu Cigar Lighter

17 Jan 2008

Even though I completely stand by the post I wrote last May praising wooden matches, I’ll be the first to say that every cigar enthusiast should have at least one good butane lighter. You’ll no doubt agree that certain situations (inclement weather, for example) just call for a burst of clean-burning flame.

Zippo BluWith winter in full swing and winds often at gale force, I’ve been using a new Zippo Blu lighter to light my sticks. Chances are you’ve already heard about this unique product via its website, an article in Cigar Aficionado, or elsewhere.

According to a Zippo press release, the U.S.-made lighter uses “patented two-stage burner technology” and features “sleek and contemporary designs, a signature ‘Z’ patterned chimney, large fuel tank, and quick refilling options.”

I’m no sucker for trendy cigar gadgets, but my Blu has really grown on me over the past two months. Perhaps its best feature is the element of surprise. The product instantly becomes the center of attention as fellow smokers – only used to Zippo’s familiar “click and snap” producing a flame worthy of cigarettes – see a sharp, blue torch emerge from the metal plating.

I’ve found that Blu works well in the wind and delivers a fairly consistent flame. Ignition takes some getting used to, though, as you have to hold the flint-wheel down for a second before spinning it. I should also mention that Blu is not ideal for lighting more than one cigar at a time; the flame requires a short recharge break of one minute or so before it will perform again.

Even so, this is a commendable piece of equipment that combines Zippo’s iconic characteristics with a cigar-friendly blaze. I am not bothered by the fact that you can’t adjust the flame (one size seems to fit all), and refills are a snap, especially if you use premium grade Zippo butane fuel.

Blus start at a reasonable $39.95, but you can pay much more depending on the metal design and finish. Each comes equipped with a lifetime guarantee. I would imagine Zippo Blus make wonderful gifts for cigar enthusiasts – even stubborn smokers like me who prefer wooden matches.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

10 Responses to “Stogie Tip: Check Out the New Zippo Blu Cigar Lighter”

  1. JB Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    I was actually lucky enough to score one of these in a free promo about six months ago. It works well except for the "recharge break" you mentioned can be frustrating. The people a t Zippo may not want to hear this but I got much better performance when I changed out my flint and replaced it with one from Ronson. A definite tip for anyone with this lighter.

  2. Mac and Nudo Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 4:36 am #

    I never know what to get my dad for Father's Day, but this sounds like a great gift. Thanks for the product review.

  3. Cigar Jack Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 5:28 am #

    I had a Colibri Firebird SST for $16 that I really liked, but eventually I abused it too much and the hinge for the lid broke. My current favorite is the Ronson Torch Lighter. You can find these in the cigarette counter at Walmart for $2.94. You could set this sucker in front of someone and tell them it was a $20 lighter and they wouldn't know the difference.

  4. Patrick S Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 5:56 am #

    I've been fortunate to have a Zippo Blu to use for the last couple months, and generally I've been very impressed.

    Like Ashby, when possible I like to use wooden matches, but when the wind makes this impossible – as it often does – the zippo Blu does a good job letting me light my cigar even when it is windy.

    I'm particularly looking forward to having the Zippo Blu on the golf course with me, when it becomes warm enough here in DC to hit the links again.

  5. Bathed in Smoke Monday, August 4, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    I must say that I was very dissapointed with the zippo blu. It appears to have been rushed to market without being perfected. This lighter consistently fails to light and the flame maddeningly can't be adjusted. If you are looking for a flint wheel torch I reccomend the colibri QTR-60000 series lighter. As much as I hate to plug a company who's lighters are usually a dissapointment I have never had a problem with this torch.

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