Almost everything that sits on top of a coffee table is purely decorative—stacks of art books, a vase, a bowl of marbles. In a cigar room, the tabletop becomes far more utilitarian. It’s also a place where ashtrays, cutters and lighters tend to get much larger. Especially lighters, and for good reason. When weight and portability are no longer an issue, the tabletop lighter can be one of the most effective ways to ignite your cigar.
Because of its large, wide flame, a tabletop lighter will toast a cigar’s foot faster and more evenly than smaller lighters—and with less cigar rotation and fewer relights. And because of its sheer bulk, the lighter itself becomes an accent piece of sorts, commanding attention in a way other accoutrements cannot. Take, for example, the Mega Streamliner from Siglo Accessory (right, $141). This unit makes the most of its size by showing off its art deco contours in a variety of colors. Here, the lighter is rendered in gun-metal gray with a brooding, smoky patina and a uniquely angled jet flame that facilitates the lighting of larger ring gauges.
The newest from Brizard & Co. borrows from vintage Dunhill design and loads it with modern jet-flame power. Called the Gatsby, it comes in a variety of rare wood and leather finishes, including Caiman alligator skin (as shown center, $250). Flames are conjured via a thumb-activated lever. A built-in cigar punch unscrews from the bottom, cleverly hidden when not in use.
If you’re looking to go more high-tech, Xikar’s Volta model is a streamlined cylinder of pure power offered in five anodized metallic finishes (left, $165). The oversized pushbutton produces a substantial square-quad flame fueled by four jets, which are easily adjusted by a large wheel at the bottom of the unit. Its camera-type aperture protects the jets when the lighter is not in use.
A word of warning to the uninitiated: always set your tabletop lighter to the lowest possible flame height the first time you use it. The blast power of these torches, no matter the type, can instantly turn your precious puro into pure charcoal if you’re not careful.
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