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Old 07-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default $5 Honest Dual Torch with Punch from DX - EXCELLENT

I've been smoking for about 18 months now. Ever since my first trip to a B&M I've been eying the Xikar Element but never could justify the price. I'd stuck with Ronson Jet Lites and a couple of Black Ops I got BOGO stacked up with a Groupon to CheapHumidors. Recently I snagged a used Xikar Eris on the cheap, but now it's been sent off to the mother-ship for repair/replacement. I prefer a punch cut for two reasons... I'm not very good at guillotine cutting and I often forget to bring a cutter all together. The Xikar Element has remained the lighter I have coveted.

Being cheap, I'd obviously checked out for lighters but had never got around to actually ordering anything from them. While checking out the popular Jet 1300-C (Item # 1320, now sold out) I was planning on picking up to hand out to golfing buddies on a Vegas trip, I came across the Honest Double-Flame Torch Lighter with Punch (Item # 100221) for $5.60 and was instantly intrigued.

The general shape, dual-torch arrangement, bottom punch, and fuel window bears a striking resemblance to the Xikar Element without being a direct copy/clone/knock-off. Since I was ordering the 1320s anyway, I decided to add one of these to the order as well.

Upon arrival I was quite impressed. I was expecting the black finish to be some sort of rubber/vinyl/pvc that would quickly wear, tear, or rub-off. To my surprise it is a black knurled metal finish similar to older high-end camera lenses from Nikkor. There are no weld or seem lines and it wraps the all the way around the body of the lighter. Where the black portion meets the silver is tight with only very minor wiggle/play. The fold-out punch clicks into position, both open and closed, firmly and doesn't flop open on its own. The single-action igniter mechanism is smooth and doesn't bind.

After a quick fill with King brand triple-refined butane (my go-to cheap butane that works just as well as Vector in all my lighters) I sparked up the lighter and was greeted with two strong, stable, well aligned flames. Clicking through about 20 times, it only failed to ignite once (compared to my Xikar Eris only actually lighting 1/20 times before going off for service). After fiddling with the flame height I quickly found the max height without any sputter or excess fuel discharge after letting off the button. There's no hard-stop on the adjustment so you can crank it up really high, though at some point the the flames get unstable and will blow themselves out shortly after igniting. That said, the largest stable flame is plenty big.

So far I've only found three minor complaints worth noting. First, the silver portions of the finish are painted on pot-metal instead of being brushed or satin stainless. Even chrome would be preferable, but I can live with it for the price... even my $20 Lotus Laser from CI has this same type of silver finish. Second, one of the two jets is 1-2mm taller than the other. In use this is meaningless, but something I noticed under close scrutiny. Lastly, since the fuel window is only on one side of the lighter and the back-side of the housing is black, not much light is reflected back out making it slightly difficult to see how much fuel is remaining... I seem to have to try a few different viewing angles before I can see the fill line, especially if it's close to completely full or empty.

All-in-all, for anyone looking for a super-cheap lighter that borrows a lot from a great higher-end torch, make sure to give the Honest Double-Flame Torch Lighter with Punch (Item # 100221) from a look!
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