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Stogie Tips: Xikar Plunge Lighter Review

28 Feb 2011

I bought the “Plunge” from Xikar’s website for $29.99 about two months ago. As a cigar enthusiast who vastly prefers wooden matches, I wasn’t looking for much—just a reliable butane lighter that I could use in windy conditions.

The lighter shipped, innocently enough, in a black box complete with instructions. It also included a Xikar catalogue and a sleeve that lauds the product’s “reliable rapidfire ignition, single jet flame, and lifetime warranty.” I was hoping I wouldn’t have to use the latter.

My gunmetal-colored Plunge worked well for about a week or so, producing a powerful, adjustable blue flame when needed. I was looking forward to tossing it in my golf bag once the weather became warm enough to play. Sadly, this lighter never made it that far. Instead, before it was time to refill the butane for the first time, the Plunge began to malfunction. Despite having plenty of fuel—as evidenced by the visible liquid in the circular window and the audible sound of releasing gas—a flame would not emerge.

When I first encountered this problem, I remember pressing down and trying to ignite the flame countless times. Futile. I can also remember peering to see a tiny spark shoot across the stream of gas every time I clicked the ignition. But the spark just wasn’t enough to yield a flame.

I set the lighter aside for a few weeks, hoping it would correct itself if neglected. No dice. Sure, if I pushed my thumb down enough times in rapid succession, a flame would emerge every blue moon. But this is an unacceptable solution.

So now I find myself at the warranty section of Xikar’s website. “If you feel that a Xikar product fails to live up to our promise of fit, finish, or function,” it reads, “simply return it to us and we will immediately and cheerfully repair or replace your product under our total satisfaction guarantee.” Fair enough. But I still have to acquire a bubble wrap envelope, pay for postage, and mail the Plunge back to Xikar’s headquarters in Kansas City.

I’ll be doing so shortly. And I’ll be sure to leave a comment at this post when I receive my new/fixed Plunge. Hopefully it will work properly.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

12 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Xikar Plunge Lighter Review”

  1. dmjones1009 Monday, February 28, 2011 at 3:25 am #

    Just like some people insist that there has to be one bum smoke in every box, I guess Xikar is entitled to have a bad lighter slip through. I've had quite a few Xikar products; of those, my Executive lighter stopped working after about 2 years and my EX lighter dropped a round trim piece over the hinge. Both lighters were replaced under warranty…at the store I shop at (two different stores, actually, since I was living in two different places). From my understanding, just about any authorized Xikar dealer will replace the item if they have it in stock, or ship it back to Xikar for you. In both cases of replacement, the store that fixed the problem for me was not the store that sold the product to me, but they were still happy to help.

  2. Ricky Monday, February 28, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    I had the same problem with this exact lighter…and if you poke around enough on the web you'll discover malfunctions are pretty common with the model.

    I ended up not sending mine in and just taking the loss.

  3. john Monday, February 28, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    I just sent one back,not that model, but jeez one tank of gas worked great, wasted three tanks of Xikar fuel purging, blowing it out ect.

    Now we will see how long it takes to get it back?

  4. Bill Monday, February 28, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    That correcting itself if neglected rarely works for me either but I keep trying it.

    What is it with butane lighters and the constant problems. I know your not supposed to use the old fashioned Zippo on cigars but they actually work! Plus I like the smell and own about 20 of them.

  5. Ira Monday, February 28, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    My go to lighter is a Lotus with the Cigar International logo. I get them when they are on sale typically for $10 or $12. The lighter also comes with the logo of some cigar companies for a few bucks more. The lighters typically last for 12 to 18 months and work wonderfully till they stop. At less than a dollar a month, it's a good deal. I have had problems with every other butane lighter including some that cost five times as much. I'm happy with the Lotus and will keep buying them.

  6. john Monday, February 28, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Update, I mailed mine out the 18th the mailman just came with a brand new replacement.

    WOW great customer service XiKAR 🙂

  7. Hammerhead Monday, February 28, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Welcome to my world. I've been through 4!!!…count'em 4 Lotus lighters in the last year. ALL malfunction. Either butance leaking out, failure to spark, failure to hold a flame, micro screws coming loose insided the lighter, etc. ect.

    Total crap quality control from Lotus.

    Butane are great in concept but total PITA in reality.

  8. John Monday, February 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I have a Xikar Element dual torch lighter and LOVE it! It is the only one I use and is very reliable. The company really stands behind its products with their warranty. How many other companies in the cigar business have a lifetime warranty?

  9. Nick M. Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I'll stick with my Bic. Works every time.

  10. Andy Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    I bought a Visol brand lighter for $8 and use it all over the house for almost a year now. When time for a refill, I like to purge any remaining fuel, then place the lighter in the freezer for an hour or so. Then I turn the fuel supply to the lowest setting, and fill as normal. The cold lighter will "inhale" the fuel better than room temperature. Then simply let the lighter come back to room temperature before using. I also use a can of compressed air and spray out the jet thoroughly on every fill to prevent buildup. I've found these practices have me smoking more and filling my lighter less. Happy smoking!

  11. ROTHNH Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    I've been using my Xikar Trezo triple-flame for more than a year now and except for going through Vector Fuel noticeably faster (that's OK, CI sells 2 large 11+ ounce cans for $12.95), I've no complaints.

    It's good to know if I do have an issue, I can just bring it to my local B&M and get a new replacement, no questions asked. What's more, Xikar repairs the returned lighters and distributes them to the military, gratis — I like that too. Class act as usual, Xikar.

    Given Patrick's love affair with his Jet Lite… — I'm surprised he finally moved up to his Xikar 😉

  12. Patrick A Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    UPDATE: I received my replacement lighter from Xikar about 10 days after I sent it in the mail. Works perfectly well. I'll fill you in on how it performs after several months.