All about Lighting a Cigar

You’ve cut your cigar. Now what? Obviously, you can’t smoke a cigar if you don’t light it. There is a process, and it needs to be done correctly. The biggest issue people have, no matter what lighter they choose to use, is they do it too fast. You want to make sure you toast the stick, and light slowly. If you light too quickly, you might apply the flame to the wrapper and singe it. This will create a dark burn on the wrapper and throw off the flavors of your cigar.

What You Will Need

First, you obviously need a lighter. Most folks enjoy cigars in the outdoors, so variables like wind and weather conditions can make it difficult for a soft flame lighter to get the job done. Also, if you hold a soft flame lighter in your hand for long periods of time, it burns your fingers, and as we just said, you want to light a cigar slowly. So what lighter is best for cigars? The most common lighter used is a butane torch-style lighter. This is an extremely popular choice for its hot flame. It is the easiest and most consistent way to get an even burn no matter the conditions you are in.

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The Technique

Some cigar novices’ initial reactions are to light a cigar like you would light a cigarette. There is a proper way to light a cigar, and that is not it. Hold the cigar in your hand and look at the foot of your cigar. Toast the foot as you rotate it back and forth to evenly spread the flame. Think of your lighter as a paintbrush and you are trying to spread an even coat of paint on something. Once you have a nice even layer of char on the cigar, put it in your mouth, apply the flame, take a few puffs and look at it. If there is a nice solid red ember covering the entire foot of the cigar, you’ve done it right. After you’ve inhaled a couple of times, you want to see a bright and even cherry red color. If it is not, take your lighter and touch it up a little bit by applying the flame to the uneven spots. If you don’t light your cigar evenly, it can start to canoe, which means it burns on one side more than it burns on the other. If this effect happens, continue to touch up your cigar until it evens out. If your cigar goes out and you need to relight it, make sure you knock off the ash and repeat the process of lighting it.

How Much Money Should You Spend on a Lighter?

One question our cigar experts get asked all the time is, “Do I need to spend a lot of money on a lighter?” Well, yes and no. You do not have to spend a lot of money to light your cigar and enjoy it. However, if you are someone who likes to splurge on premium products then yes, buy the nice lighter. Not only do cigar aficionados collect cigars, but they also collect the best accessories to create that ultimate cigar smoking experience.

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