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Stogie Tips: Pick Up a Ronson JetLite or Three

24 Jun 2008

As I wrote in January when I recommended readers check out the Zippo Blu lighter, “every cigar enthusiast should have at least one good butane lighter” because “certain situations just call for a burst of clean-burning flame.” All this from the same old-fashioned guy who repeatedly extols the virtues of wooden matches.

As much as I enjoy the novelty of my Zipp Blu, I have to admit it’s a bit finicky. Cold weather seems to diminish its performance, the flame requires a short recharge break before it will ignite again, and replacing the flint every month isn’t all that fun. That’s why, time and again, I find myself reaching for my Ronson JetLite instead.

This product shouldn’t be unfamiliar to regular readers. We first recommended the refillable, windproof lighter in December 2006 and have mentioned it off and on since. But many of the enthusiasts I meet still have never heard of this particular lighter and are always amazed when I tell them about it. In any event, I thought a full post was merited for several reasons.

First, mine has been working exceptionally well. Flame adjustment is a cinch and I haven’t run into the same problems that often befall many other butane lighters—including inconsistency and a general lack of durability. Granted, I haven’t owned a Ronson for a terribly long time (George E was nice enough to send one up from Florida a few months ago), but I’ve really put it to the test.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, the JetLite is surprisingly inexpensive. It sells for under $3 at Wal-Mart (look for them at the register that displays goodies like cigars, cigarettes, and lighters). This is an important quality in an item that often gets lost between seat cushions or “accidentally” commandeered by fellow smokers.

Finally, this lighter proves you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy cigar lighters and other gadgets to get the most out of your smoking experience. You just need to be informed and prepared.

So go ahead and pick up a few Ronson JetLites—for your home, your car, your golf bag, etc. You never know when or where you’ll need one, and you can certainly afford to have several on hand.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

22 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Pick Up a Ronson JetLite or Three”

  1. George E. Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 4:48 am #

    And don't forget, this lighter works just fine on the cheapest butane you can buy, like Ronson!

  2. Don Carlos Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 5:27 am #

    Great tip! This is one of the best-kept secrets in all of Cigardom. I've had my Ronson for at least a year (and I beat the shit out of it) and it just keeps working.

  3. MPA Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 5:48 am #

    One tip with respect to jetlites. It's hard to bleed them of air, so after a few refills they can get a little touchy or low filling. You can eliminate this problem by sticking them in the freezer for 1/2 hr after filling; the butane liquefies, but the dissolved air doesn't, and purges easily.

    I'm on my second Jetlite – the first, btw, was picked up when my house was B&E'ed. Not sure why they picked it up first, instead of the tv … but they do look good 🙂

  4. Jason Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    I've been using one of these for about 3 years now and it has never disappointed. I've even used it as a bottle opener a time or two.

  5. Mike Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    I use high-quality butane in mine, but it works great.

  6. Brian S. Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    Patrick, what type of butane have you been using in your JetLite?

  7. Patrick A Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    I've been switching it up between Ronson, Colibri, and Prometheus. They all work just fine.

  8. Cigar Jack Friday, June 27, 2008 at 4:21 am #

    At this price I don't think it matters what butane you use in them. 🙂 But I've found you can really extend the lighter's life be using high quality butane. I've been using Colibri butane. Anything triple filtered or better will extend the life.

    That being said this lighter is much more forgiving about crappy butane than my old Colibri was.

  9. Brian S. Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 2:57 am #

    I'm gonna run out today & pick up a few of these. in the past year I've spent close to $100 on so called high end lighters only to have them sputter out or get commandeered by airport security. as in the case of my $50 Xikar (which had a weak flame anyway) Thanks for the tip Patrick.

  10. Matt Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    i got one of these last night. like it said, $3 at wal-mart. i hadn't heard of ronson before, so i figured it was a cheap little disposable torch. after a few google searches, i'm definitely glad i found them.

  11. Jim Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    I just checked a Walmart store in Conn. and was met with blank stares at the cigarette checkout line. All they had were cheap disposables. Didn’t even look like they had a place for the Ronsons anywhere, so I’m guessing they weren’t stocked. I guess I’ll try another Walmart.

  12. Jim Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    I don’t know if it’s the power of the Internet or the fact that you guys are buying up bunches at a time 🙂 but I checked three Walmarts, four Walgreens and three CVS stores near where I work and live, and I did not find one of these. Looks like I’m going the trusty online route.

  13. Jim Friday, January 2, 2009 at 6:48 am #

    Finally found one of these at the four CVS I visited. Cost $4.49. I bought the last one! A couple of the Walmarts I checked admitted they carried them but they were out of stock. One Walgreens also had a empty peg where they usually hang. They seem to be in short supply all the time.

  14. Beringer Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 4:21 am #

    After reading this article, I picked up two at Wal-Mart. Both were very touchy when it came to consistent lighting, even indoors. Neither seemed to refill well. Thinking it a fluke, I bought two more. Same problems. Very unreliable. Any ideas? I'm using very high quality butane refill.

  15. McKenzie Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Beringer: I had that happen at first and it turned out I was filling it the wrong way. The lighter should be upside-down, so that your refill is blowing liquid butane into the reservoir. HTH

  16. Scott Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    I recently saw a rack of these for $3 at a Big Lots. The first one I tried lit 5 times and on the 6th the valve stuck open and I couldn't get it to close until the lighter was empty. Thinking maybe that it was almost empty to start with and the problem perhaps was low gas pressure, I refilled it. Now it seems the valve will not open enough – it sparks but will not lite at any flame adjustment setting, but it still leaks, though much more slowly – I left it outside in a well ventilated but shady spot and by morning it was empty again. I went back and got another one and it works great.

    I'm trying to decide if it's just too cheap to send a $3 lighter back under warrantee

  17. Al Schober Monday, November 9, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    These are fine inexpensive lighters and quite durable. The only complaints I have with them is that the finish wears through quickly, and there is no fuel level indication.

  18. Steve Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    These things are a waste of money. After the first refill, the cheaply built piece of crap stopped sparking

  19. Tyler M. Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    How do i correctly refill a Ronson Jetlite? It feels like its losing pressure when i try to light it.

  20. Dan Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    These lighters are cheap, made in China crap. it is dollar store quality merchandise, sold at ten times its value because it has the Ronson name on it. You take a gamble when you buy it, you might get lucky and buy a good one that refills properly and lasts for years, or as I did twice, you might get lousy ones with faulty gas valve control or a faulty piezo ignition. If you consider it a throwaway lighter when you buy it, it is ok but overpriced.

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