Cigar Aficionado

The Laser Original

With a design that harks back to the 1920s and a multicolored laser flame, the Laser Original lighter from Solo combines classic style with sci-fi wonderment.

The cap has a sleek aerodynamic shape reminiscent of the hood and grill on a Duesenberg race car. This look is echoed in the three air intake vents along the side of the lighter. The slim metal lighter weighs a sturdy 2.3 ounces. Optional weave or herringbone patterns can give the piece added flair.

Slide back the lid (be careful, the sleek design and tight action make it a little slippery), and the 3,700-degree Fahrenheit flame sparks up automatically. At first, the flame looks like your ordinary blue butane conflagration, but give it a half a second, and it slowly turns red, a feature found onn many Solo lighters. It is windproof and remains lit for a long time without wavering or sputtering -- a flaw found in many of the lower priced lighters.

Some rattling sounds inside the frame foretold of potential problems, but after a couple days of use, the loose innards did not seem to affect the lighter's performance.

Other features include a refill window and a flame adjustment dial; Solo also promises a lifetime guarantee and a half-price replacement guarantee. The Original Laser Lighter retails for $26 and comes in nickel, gold or gunmetal plating. Available at fine tobacconists.