How Does Your Lighting Method Impact Your Cigar?


When it comes to lighting a cigar, a little bit of tact is required. While you could light a cigarette by holding any kind of flame to it, with a cigar, you need a more refined approach. A top-quality lighter and a steady hand are required to keep the jet at just the right angle and distance from the foot to gently toast it without setting the whole stick ablaze! 

The method you use to light your cigar can have a big impact on the resulting smoke. It can make or break the experience. Lighting a cigar incorrectly can make the smoke unpleasant or even destroy the cigar!

Here we share how you should light your cigar properly and how other techniques can affect your smoking experience. 


Practice Patience

A well-stored cigar will be properly humidified, meaning the tobacco won’t be dry like it is in a cigarette. Because of this, it will take a few moments longer to light than a cigarette. 

Be patient and hold the lighter at the foot of the cigar, so the heat can torch the end, without directly touching the flame to it. If you become impatient and directly set light to the cigar, then the cigar may burn too quickly and unevenly, which can cause an unpleasant taste.


Hold the Lighter Away

As mentioned, you shouldn’t engulf your cigar in the lighter’s flame. The heat from your lighter can be felt a lot higher than the blue core of the flame that you can see. If you’ve ever held your hand above a flame, you will know that it can burn without directly touching you.

Instead of touching the flame to the foot of the cigar, you want to hold the flame at least four inches away from it. This allows you to slowly toast the end and get better control over the evenness of the burn. 

If you hold the lighter too close, then the cigar may combust too quickly and cover you in ashes. 


Invest in Your Lighter

For most cigarette smokers, a cheap and cheerful lighter will usually do, but for cigars, it’s best to invest in something a little better! 

If you are using a butane lighter, then you will want a higher quality lighter. Cheap lighters, like the ones you get in supermarkets, use lower quality butane, which is full of impurities that can impart a bad taste on your cigar when you light it. 

Cheap lighter fuel can also corrode or clog your lighter, making it perform badly. If you can’t hold a steady flame to your cigar’s foot, then this can also cause burn issues, as one part may light faster than another.


Using a Torch Lighter

A torch lighter or jet lighter, like our Xikar lighter range, are considered the best kind for lighting cigars. 

A torch or jet lighter can get very hot and directs a concentrated jet flame towards the foot of your cigar. 

While torch lighters are excellent tools, their powerful jet flame means you need to be careful. Hold it too close, and you’ll have charred your cigar in seconds. Keep patience and distance in mind, and slowly rotate your cigar over the flame as you keep it about 4-6 inches away. 


Using a Soft Flame Lighter

If you only have a cheaper soft flame lighter to hand, like the kind you would use to light a cigarette, then you may need to adapt your lighting style.

As a soft flame lighter is less powerful than a jet lighter, you may need to hold the flame slightly closer to the cigar. You will need to rotate the cigar over the flame to ensure it lights evenly. Then gently blow on the foot of the cigar to check it is fully lit and to get the flame going properly.


Using a Zippo Lighter

Zippo lighters undoubtedly look cool, but they’re not always the best choice for lighting cigars. This doesn’t put off some aficionados though, so if you do want to use one of these lighters, then there are some things to keep in mind.

A Zippo lighter uses liquid gas that can impart a fuel-like flavour into your cigar. When you’ve spent good money on a great tasting smoke, you don’t want to ruin it by making your mouth taste like petrol! To avoid this, when you light it, let the wick burn for a few seconds so that any fuel residue burns away and doesn’t transfer to your cigar. 


Using Matches 

Some cigar smokers will choose to use wooden matches to light their cigar. If you decide to use a match to light your cigar, then it is best to choose one that does not have a sulphur tip, as this can impact on the taste of your cigar. If this is unavoidable, then let the match burn until the tip has burnt away, and then start to light the cigar.

Those who like using matches for lighting cigars might want to try a long cedar match, which is designed for cigar lighting. The longer length gives you more time to light the cigar, as well as making it easier to hold in the right position. 

If you don’t have any long matches, then you can use two matches at once to create a wider flame, which will make it easier to fully light the foot of the cigar. 


We hope that this has given you a better idea of how each type of cigar lighting method can impact your smoking experience and has helped you to find the right type of lighter for you. 

You can find a wide range of cigars and cigar accessories online here at Havana House. Take a look to discover your perfect cigar lighter today!

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