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.