Cigar Questions Answered: What Should I Use to Light My Cigar?

A cigar lighter

Lighting a cigar is not always the easiest step in cigar smoking, but it can certainly be improved by using the right lighting instrument. We take a look at the different means of lighting and which is right for you:



When considering what to light your cigar with, the most obvious choice will probably be a lighter. There are, of course, several different types of lighter, so which is best for using with cigars?


Fluid Lighters

A staple for all smokers; it is certain you have used a fluid lighter at some point along your cigar journey. Fairly cheap and easy to come by, these make a popular choice for many smokers. However, among cigar aficionados, the consensus tends to be that Zippo lighters are generally a no-go. There isn’t one specific type of fuel used in Zippo lighters, so you’ll never quite know what you’re lighting up with. Some fuels taint your cigar with overpowering odours that will distract from the subtle flavour notes of your stogie. If this is your chosen lighter, or the only one you have to hand, then hold the flame a little further away than usual and slowly heat up the tobacco until it sets light. This will reduce the risk of the cigar being permeated by bad odours.


Gas Lighters

Those who have been a part of the cigar smoking world for some time will most likely consider butane lighters to be their top choice for lighting a cigar. As an odourless and tasteless gas, butane lighters make the purest choice for smoking with ease. But you can hit some slight downfalls if these butane lighters run out of fuel!



Matches are inexpensive, and you’re bound to always have some lying around the house somewhere, making them the perfect back-up if your go-to lighter is running empty. Others use matches as their primary method of lighting up, especially as it is more traditional. Again taste concerns come into play. Instead of attempting to light the cigar as soon as the match has been struck, be sure to wait until the flame has burned past the head and down to the wood. This is because the match head tends to be sulphur based, and may again cause your cigar to be infused with bad tastes and smells. Long matches specifically for lighting cigars are available, making this process far easier. However, matches prove fairly frustrating if you are a fan of smoking outside, as they are prone to being blown out by the slightest hint of wind.


Torch Lighter

If you do most of your smoking outdoors, then choosing a torch lighter can be the best option. Unlike matches or regular lighters, these are built to withstand the wind. Be careful if using one though, as they tend to heat up the foot of your cigar pretty quickly.


Despite being Winston Churchill’s top choice for relighting his cigars, candles are not the most ideal way to light your cigar. Almost all candles are made from paraffin, which again impacts on the cigars aromas. Many are also scented themselves, furthering the compromised tastes of the tobacco.


Which cigar lighters are your favourites? Let us know in the comments and via social media!

One thought on “Cigar Questions Answered: What Should I Use to Light My Cigar?

  1. Pingback: The Complete Guide to Accessories for Cigar Smokers | Havana House

Leave a Reply