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Stogie Tips: Xikar EXII Havana Collection Lighter Review

24 Mar 2011

My first encounter with the Xikar EXII lighter was at the IPCPR Trade Show last August. I was sitting in the Davidoff blending seminar, ran out of matches, and didn’t have my lighter with me.

I asked Tim, co-creator of Your Cigar Ratings, if I could borrow his, and he handed me this exact lighter. I was surprised that it was soft flame and intrigued by the fact that it was supposedly “windproof.” That initial experience piqued my interest, and I thought about purchasing one for several months. I was fortunate enough to receive one as a gift.

The Havana Collection EXII is based on the original EX lighter, but has polished steel casings and the center panel features cigar-related artwork. The Havana Collection retails for $100, but you can purchase the original EX for $60. The biggest difference between the two is the casing and the art. The best part about Xikar lighters, besides their reliability, is that each comes equipped with a lifetime warranty.

Looks are great but the most important thing about a lighter is reliability and functionality. Like any product, the EXII has its pros and cons. The cons, in this case, are more tradeoffs than purely negative attributes. First, in stiff breezes it can be a challenge to get a cigar lit, even though the soft flame is windproof, as the flame behaves erratically. It’s tough to light larger ring gauge cigars, although increasing the flame size does alleviate this somewhat. Lastly, touching up a cigar can be a bit of a challenge with a soft flame, but it gets easier with a little practice.

The EXII has plenty of pros though. Over months of use I have consistently been impressed with how long the fuel lasts before the lighter needs to be filled. And my favorite feature has to be the flame adjustment wheel. It is extremely easy to adjust the flame compared to lighters with those tiny recessed adjustments. The flame is as windproof as they come although, as noted, in a strong breeze lighting a cigar can still be a challenge. The biggest benefit of using the soft flame is that it burns much cooler than a torch and won’t char the cigar like a torch can.

Ultimately, if you are in the market for a good-looking, reliable soft flame lighter, the EXII is an excellent choice. The initial expense might seem a little high, but the quality is excellent and the warranty guarantees your investment.

Patrick M

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Xikar EXII Havana Collection Lighter Review”

  1. WMThorne Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Spot on review. My wife gifted me this lighter for our wedding anniversary after the el cheapo lighter I'd used since I started enjoying cigars broke. Couldn't agree more that it is difficult in windy conditions but is great at all other times.

  2. Steve in Falls Churc Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I just bought the EX, and the flame reminds me of an old Promethius Saturn of about 10 years ago. When I bought my Promethius last year, I was disapponted to find out that Promethius swithed to the torch/jet turbo flame. Now I have what I wanted a year ago.