Bugatti B-1 Torch Lighter Review

Feb

21

by at 3:05 pm (13 Comments) Gear Reviews


A lighter is just a lighter, right? I suppose if all you’re lighting is candles this might be true, but for those of us who want a relaxing cigar experience, it takes more than just a $2.00 BIC from the corner store. I guarantee every person reading this has had an experience involving great anger, high blood pressure and lots of profanity when a lighter has failed them.  I break into a cold sweat just thinking about having a cigar that all I can do is look at because I’m fishing and my lighter won’t work.  Today I’ll be reviewing a product that I hope will save many cigar enthusiasts from the experiences I’ve described above. Enter the Bugatti B-1 Torch Lighter.

Several days ago I received the eyecatching Bugatti B-1 from the good folks at Quality Importers Trading Company (www.qualityimporters.com).   Since then, I’ve had the chance to road test the Bugatti and report back on my experience.  Before I get into the finer details, I’ll give a short backstory on the Bugatti name.  For those of you unfamiliar, Bugatti is a renowned automaker which, for over a century, has been making high performance vehicles and pushing the boundaries of automotive design.  It’s a bold move to throw the Bugatti name on anything, and today we’ll find out if the product delivers.

Construction:  “How well is it made?” is usually the first question most of us have when we’re thinking of spending hard earned cash. I’m pleased to report that the Bugatti B-1 shares the same flawless build quality and polished aesthetic you’d expect from anything with the Bugatti name.  This all-metal lighter has a good, hefty feel in your hand, and is well machined and assembled.  Polished hex screws on the corners secure steel plates that make up the body of the lighter and also remind you that the Bugatti B-1 is more of a custom built cigar tool than “just a lighter”. I haven’t put this theory to the test, but I’m confident the B-1 could take more abuse and misuse than the average torch lighter. A hinged plate on the top of the B-1 serves the dual purpose of protecting the jet and ignition, but also prevents the lighter from being triggered when closed.  As for ignition, a slight pressure on the side squeeze trigger gets things going once the protective top has been flipped open. Lastly, the side of the lighter opposite the ignition switch discretely hides two different cigar punches which flip down on a hinge.  As a big fan of the punch – cut, the hidden cutters are one of my favourite features of the B-1, but I’ll describe that in greater detail soon.

Function: So far, the Bugatti B-1 is a well built, nicely designed product that won’t be worth anyone’s time if it can’t cut and light a cigar.  Being the selfless guy that I am, I decided that if someone had to spend their time testing this lighter by firing up a cigar, it should be me.  I chose an Illusione CG4 as my test cigar and prepared to make the punch cut. Both cutters appeared well made, and felt sharp to the touch.  I would estimate them as being 5mm and 8mm in diameter. As the CG4 is a respectable 48 ring gauge, I chose the larger cutter and was instantly impressed.  I was amazed at how easily the large punch sliced through the triple capped Illusione. Close inspection of my cigar showed a perfect, clean cut. Once I had finished my cut, a few taps cleared the loose tobacco from the lighter. After snapping a few photos, I took the Bugatti to the garage where it was time for business.

This is perhaps the easiest part of my review to write.  From the time I first filled the Bugatti B-1 to the last retouch of my cigar, I found that this lighter remarkably easy and efficient to use. A gentle squeeze of the side ignition produces a flame powerful enough to light a large ring cigar, yet precise enough that you don’t have to worry about accidentally scorching that same cigar. The Bugatti easily lit my Illusione CG4, and later performed a few minor touch ups. For a mid size lighter, the Bugatti has a generous reservoir, and after filling it, taking numerous photos, adjusting the flame, and firing it up dozens of times, I still had plenty of fuel to light my cigar.

In conclusion, I feel the Bugatti B-1 torch lighter delivers on all fronts.  It features refined, well thought design, excellent build quality, two razor sharp punches, and a generous butane reservoir which drives a precise single torch-flame.  After dozens of uses, the Bugatti B-1 has not misfired or failed to light on me.  Not only is this a slick, conversation starting lighter, but if you’re a frequent punch-cutter, it’ll save you buying or carrying an extra piece of gear. If you or someone you know is in the market for a new torch lighter or lighter / cutter combo, I’d confidently recommend the Bugatti B-1.

Cheers,

-Matt


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13 Responses to “Bugatti B-1 Torch Lighter Review”

  1. Russ

    February 25, 2011
    4:59 pm

    Nice review, I have serious lighter envy!

  2. Peter C

    November 13, 2011
    7:09 am

    I see this review was posted earlier on in the year.
    Is this lighter still performing to full expectations with no issues?

  3. Matt

    November 13, 2011
    10:52 am

    Hey Peter,
    The Bugatti is still performing at 100%. It’s been beaten up a little since I wrote this, gone on a few road trips with me, and is still going strong. I find that this is the lighter I go to if I want a bit of a conversation piece that also has enough juice to fire up two or three cigars without running out. Nothing equals the soon to be reviewed “Jet Torch”, but this is one fine lighter.
    Cheers!

  4. Tom

    February 25, 2012
    11:13 am

    I realize you conducted this test about 1 year ago, but I thought I’d give my experience on this lighter. I’ve used it for perhaps 3 years, always purging residual gas before each refill and always using premium refined gas. But the lighter no longer holds gas. The gas immediately escapes from the flame end as I try to add gas. Unfortunately, web research does not produce a web site where I can send the unit for service. A nice lighter when it worked, but not very good if you need service.

    • Matt

      February 25, 2012
      1:24 pm

      Hi Tom,
      Through the Bugatti review, I’ve dealt with the folks at Quality Importers Trading Company a few times.
      They’ve been excellent on the customer service end of things, and shipped replacement parts to me ASAP when I broke one of the latches on my Cigar Caddy.
      I’d suggest contacting them at support@qualityimporters.com with your Bugatti issue. Hopefully they can help, or at least point you in the right direction. Let me know how you make out, and thanks for checking out Cigaropolis!

  5. Joe Tomase

    April 26, 2012
    1:44 pm

    I have had my Bugatti B-1 torch only long enough to use at the golf course for about 25 cigars. Suddenly the flame started to be only about 1/4 inch in height. I added butane (of course) twice. Following the second re-fueling it no longer works at all!!
    Bummer.

    Is there “bad” butane? The brand that I have is: King. Is this any chance the cause?

    Who at Bugatti can I speak to? How can I reach them? I have to think that this lighter should have lasted MUCH longer!

    Thank you for your help. I am NOT looking forward to using matches.

    • Matt

      April 27, 2012
      3:58 pm

      Joe:
      Thanks for checking out Cigaropolis, and sorry to hear about your lighter troubles.
      I’ve had a few folks contact me with this same issue, and within a day or so, I’m going to put up a post on purging and troubleshooting lighters. In the meantime:
      1) Turn your lighter’s adjustment dial all the way down (-). If you can, use an air duster and gently blow the jet on the lighter at a 45 degree angle.
      2) Use a match or small screwdriver and depress the fill nozzle on the lighter. Butane should hiss out. Do this until the lighter is empty.
      3) Get the best butane you can buy – minimum ‘triple refined’. Your local smoke shop should have butane from Xikar or Nibo.
      4) With the lighter and butane totally upside down, refill the lighter until butane leaks out
      5) Use the match / screwdriver again and purge a little bit of butane with the lighter completely upside down
      6) Fill again, then purge a little, then fill one final time. This should guarantee you’ve got no air trapped inside.
      7 Wait a good 10 minutes or so until your lighter has warmed to room temperature. This prevents condensation and clogging of the jets.
      8) Try using your lighter. Adjust the flame as needed. Remember that some lighters will ‘choke out’ if the flame adjustment is set too high.

      Hope the helps!
      Let me know how you make out, and I’ll get you some contact info for your Bugatti.
      -Matt

      • Adam

        June 13, 2012
        12:08 pm

        I’m have the same problem. I got mine new from the internet an I have never got it to light. Filled it with FasFill 5X Premium Butane. I followed you step and it sill will not light.

  6. Adam M

    May 23, 2012
    10:37 am

    I just want to make sure that readers are aware that this lighter is not actually made by Bugatti or Bugatti accessory manufacturers. Bugatti does have a line of lighters, however this lighter is produced by Vector, and stamped with “Bugatti” for the appearance of riches. A real Bugatti lighter, as you will see on any authorized dealer costs several hundred dollars, whereas this lighter costs as little as 20 (I know from experience).

    I bought it because it looked cool and I thought that it would work well. This was not my experience. Personally, I hated the thing. It leaked gas all the time, the flip cap malfunctioned and starting opening at an angle and the cigar punch isn’t easy to open and was dull.

    My point is, I recommend buying a high-end lighter. This is not because I like to look like a rich guy, but because higher-end lighters are made with care and engineered to perfection to last long and function properly. I figure, you pay 20-50 bucks for a few lighters that break down and you have already paid for a good lighter anyway. Porsche Design, S T Dupont (hand made in France) and the like offer great, long-lasting, well-engineered lighters that will not break. Furthermore, their warranties do not require you to use their brand of lighter fluid (like Xikar) and… well, unlike the lighter in the above review… they actually have warranties, certificates of authenticity and great customer support.

  7. Mike

    October 5, 2012
    4:16 pm

    Thanks for the review. My pet peeve with reviewers is mostly incomplete reviews. I didn’t see the part where you show us how you adjust the flame? What tool did you use? I just got one of these lighters as an add on to a cigar order and I’m ready to sent it back. I have a collection of torch lighters and frankly the lighters I can adjust by turning a thumb wheel are the best. If I have to go digging around for a micro screwdriver then you’ve lost me as a customer. Just my .02 cents.

    • Matt

      October 5, 2012
      10:02 pm

      Hey Mike. First, thanks for posting. Second, I’m not sure whether you’re suggesting that this review is incomplete, but thanks for pointing out the all-important adjustment detail. I agree with you wholeheartedly that a specialized tool (in this case, the Bugatti B1 requires a small screwdriver) isn’t always convenient. The adjustment is located on the bottom of the lighter with the fill port. I’ve been lucky with my Bugatti in that I’ve been able to set it at ‘medium’ and had no issues, but I’ve had a LOT of comments from folks who haven’t been so lucky.

      You’re also bang-on when it comes to adjustment wheels being easy and user friendly. I’ve been using a dual-flame lighter from ‘Blazer’ a lot lately that has a big fat dial on the bottom, and I hope to review it soon. If you want maximum power and easy adjustment at the expensive of portability, check out my review of ‘The Burner’.

      Thanks again man, and keep it smoky,
      -Matt

  8. Jenn

    October 10, 2012
    7:29 pm

    Wow, sure is a lot of controversy over a lighter. I know it isn’t exactly top end but yours seems to be holding up, right Matt? I would assume that you also don’t use this as your primary “go to” lighter, so this is probably why you haven’t has as many problems as the others on here. Seems like for the price point it isn’t bad but if you want a quality lighter, I think you gotta be prepared to spend more.

  9. Jerry

    August 1, 2013
    3:47 pm

    I just purchased this lighter from Cigars International, as a replacement for one that I had bought from them only 4 months earlier. I was given a discounted price of $25 on it as an accommodation, since the other lighter only had a 30 day warranty on it, as ridiculous as that is for a lighter that they sell for $15. The discount seemed much more substantial, in view of the $49.00 price tag they put on it and their claim of an MSRP of $100.00. But it was actually only $10 less than the $35 most others are charging for it. Integral Logistics (Integral-Style.com), the company whose name is on the literature that came with the lighter, states on their website that their Bugatti lighters are “designed in Germany and built in Switzerland,” although there is no country of origin appearing anywhere on the lighter or the literature. In any event, they offer a lifetime warranty, if you register it online with your e-mail address. There is a $9.00 charge if the lighter needs repair or replacement. Of course the limiting factor is the lifetime of their company.

    Adam M is correct that this lighter is made by KGM industries and marketed as the Vector KGM Knight, with the same list price. However, it it is available in the chrome version from Thompson Cigar for $17.95.

    Finally, in view of the fact that Bugatti sells much higher priced lighters, I wonder how they were able to get the rights to use its name on a much lower end lighter.

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