Lotus 47 Intrepid Cigar Lighter Review
Ah, the cigar lighter. It’s so important and getting a good one has frequently been a pain for me. Yeah, most work for a while but then they crap out. Or, almost more infuriatingly, they no longer work up to expectations; the flame(s) don’t get as strong, it takes multiple ignitions to finally light, the flame goes out with a gust from a fart, or many other disfunctionalities. Then I try to fix the lighter and all I end up doing is wasting an hour of my time.
When I purchased the Lotus 47 Intrepid in red I wasn’t expecting much. It looked cool, which was enough for me, and it didn’t cost much as I purchased it for around $40.00. Now onto what you get with this cigar lighter.
First off, I like the art deco (It is art deco, right?) styling. The straight lines, the polished metal and the clean look all worked with my personal aesthetic. There’s a flip open hole punch on the bottom that I have never used but, after cutting my finger on it, I’m pretty sure would work well. The flame adjusting dial is simple to use: it’s on the bottom, you can get to it without opening up the flip down hole punch and you can easily adjust it with a finger nail, which is nice.
The butane refill thingy is also on the bottom and accessible without opening anything. As for the tank in this lighter, it’s pretty big for the size of this lighter. I have my lighter set so that it’s about two-thirds above the lowest setting (that’s a third below the highest setting for those of you who are bad at math) and I can comfortably light (and apply any needed burn corrections) to approximately ten cigars. That should be more than enough for any herf you go to.
Onto the lighting mechanism: it’s interesting. Upon first inspection you can’t really see how you would light this thing. You’ll probably turn it around 360 along both the x- and y-axises and still be mystified. Eventually, you’ll figure out that the top part of the lighter is not only the flame cover-thingy but also the ignition switch.
If you’ll be kind enough to look up at the picture you’ll notice that on the right side of the top part of the lighter, which I should note has a carbon fiber-looking top (I doubt it’s carbon fiber though), curves down a bit. Why? That curve allows you to depress the top part and light the dual flames all at the same time.
Once it is lit you will see two torch flames angled so that the tip of the two flames combine into one point (it’s actually pretty close to a single point). Not really one of those Captain Planet “let our powers combine!” kind of thing but it works well all the same. And you will be able to see how much fuel you are consuming by the fuel window pane on the back middle-bottom of the lighter.
I’ve had this lighter for over six months at this point and for about $40 I would have been happy if this lighter only lasted for six months. Fortunately, there haven’t been any signs that this thing is going to die any time soon. First, the bad.
The ignition switch can be a bit finicky. If you flip (depress) the switch too quickly the flames frequently won’t ignite. For mine at least, if you take it a bit slowly it ignites first time every time.
On the fatter side of the top portion of the lighter there is a portion of the polished metal that is beginning to come off. It’s not easily noticeable and if not for my in depth inspection of this lighter in preparation for this review I probably wouldn’t have noticed it for a while yet. Encompassing perhaps 15% of that small little rectangular portion on the top part of the lighter’s side, it isn’t much of a problem, pretty much just aesthetic at this point, but I’m assuming it will grow over time and chagrin me a little bit at a time.
Due to the finish of the coating I make sure to keep the lighter in a little leather pouch when I carry the lighter around. Maybe this is an unnecessary precaution but, honestly, it would probably get dinged up pretty badly sharing space in my pocket with my keys or cigar cutter. But, since we are being honest, I would think that just about any cigar lighter with a polished finish would get dinged up in a similar environment.
There are a number of good things about this lighter. It’s dependable. To reiterate a point I made earlier, I’ve had this lighter for half a year and I don’t see any signs that it’s performance is in any way deteriorating.
It may take a slight amount of finagling but you will quickly (and easily) find the appropriate level to adjust the flame height to. Also, after getting to know the lighter a little you will quickly figure out how to ignite the dual flames and it will light pretty much every time (as long as you don’t try to set the record for cigar lighter ignition time).
The two flames are great. Terminating in a single point, the flames get pretty hot, have remained the same length since the first time I lit this lighter and the flames stay lit until you let the top return to its closed position.
Also, the look is something that I like. It’s a straightforward design that comes in red (my favorite color and has absolutely nothing to do with this review, I thought I’d just share that little tidbit), black, orange/black and gunmetal. All but the orange/black versions come with polished metal identical to the picture above. In the orange/black version the black part is the where the polished metal part is for the other versions.
Bleading and refueling this lighter is a very simple thing to do and the fuel consumption for this lighter is, in my experience, top notch. The fuel tank is large for the size of the lighter and I can comfortably light around 10 cigars; to be safe, I’ll say seven to ten cigars per fueling with the flame height set to two thirds of max.
Because the top moonlights as the ignition switch and it is fairly close to the flames when lit I was initially operating under the assumption that there would be some kind of carbon buildup on the outside of the lighter lid. Unfortunately, I was right. Fortunately, it cleaned off with little effort.
I definitely recommend the Lotus 47 Intrepid cigar lighter. It has lasted for a good amount of time already and shows no signs of letting up any time soon. While the ignition switch requires some time getting used to and the ignition itself requires a modicum of finesse, the learning curve is very shallow. If you like the way it looks and you are looking for a reasonably priced cigar lighter that is reliable then this is a very good option for you.