Although originally conceived as a way of showcasing exceptional cigars, this edition of Joe’s Gems is devoted to hardware. It represents the conclusion of a long search for the perfect hand-held cigar lighter. This search has been ongoing for several years.
If you are reading this edition of Joe’s Gems, chances are you don’t use a stick-match to light your cigars. The ritual of lighting cigars falls into two very polarized camps: one that hates torch lighters and uses only matches, and the other that hates matches and uses only torch lighters. This article caters to the later.
A Cigar Aficionado Forum member made me aware of the MaxiJet, and I purchased it on faith. As it turned out, the MaxiJet has become a coveted part of my cigar lighting ritual and has knocked all my other cigar lighters out of rotation.
Maker: S.T. Dupont – Paris
Purchase date: October 8, 2010
Price paid: $124
Purchased from: Atlanticcigar.com
Let’s cut to the chase…my search for the prefect cigar lighter is finally over. The MaxiJet by S.T. Dupont has every feature I have been looking for and performs so well that I get giddy each time I light a cigar. Here are the facts:
This lighter ignites a long, focused, and rigid flame, every time the valve is opened, and dozens of cigars later, has never misfired…not even once. Gone are the days of “click, click, click, click, click, click, click, ignite…die-out………click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, ignite…die-out”. You get the point.
The nozzle of the MaxiJet is buried deep within the body of the lighter, which in turn makes it very wind-resistant. So much so that it is possible to blow on the head of the cigar while lighting. To an overly demanding person like myself, this is a great feature. It gets the end of the stick glowing quickly, and with a perfectly even burn.
Large fuel tank
I don’t know how they did it, but Dupont has managed to conserve and/or hide the fuel extremely well in the MaxiJet design. The flame lasts longer than any other hand-held lighter I’ve owned and this lighter appears no bigger than the others. I use the word “appears” because although the MaxiJet is quite thin, it does have a rather broad shape. Much like the fuel that is stored in the wings of a jetliner, this lighter seems to use every possible micro-meter of interior space for fuel storage. Additionally, I believe (and this is only conjecture) that the nozzle design may burn fuel more efficiently. At this time I have emails into Dupont querying about the MaxiJet design. Whatever the reason, this lighter goes days without the need to refuel, and that’s in service of big cigars and lots of touch-ups.
With a nozzle cover that fits within the body of the lighter, the MaxiJet stays cool under fire. There is no flip-top cover to heat-up and become a injury hazard, and the lighter protects your fingers by positioning the valve handle on the side, out of harm’s way. The fingers don’t even get warm.
Large tank window
Always a useful feature, the MaxiJet’s window affords good fuel visibility. You can actually see the fuel filling the tank.
S.T. Dupont is an ultra-luxury accessory company with headquarters in Paris, France. Many of their products can cost thousands of dollars and all are made from the highest quality materials. It stands to reason that the MaxiJet, their “everyday” cigar lighter, would have first-rate craftsmanship. And it does. Heavy to the touch, with a very solid feel, the MaxiJet feels good in your hand and the valve gives a healthy resistance when operated. A two-year warranty attests to its reliability.
The S.T. Dupont MaxiJet is the only cigar torch lighter I will ever need. It is a treasured possession of mine and I guard it closely. I bring other lighters with me when I go out to smoke, but those are the “decoy” lighters that I pass around along with the cigars. I’m keeping close tabs on my MaxiJet and plan on using it for many years to come. My search is finally over…for now.