In the decision process of picking a lighter, there are many places to start, but one of the easiest is to decide whether or not you want the thing to fit in your pocket. If you do, there are plenty of great options; if you’re looking for something a bit bigger, there are also plenty of options among lighters that are collectively referred to as tabletop lighters.

I recently reviewed a more industrial tabletop torch lighter from BernzOmatic, though it almost certainly wasn’t designed with the cigar smoker in mind. Rather, it’s a device you’re much more likely to find at a hardware store than a premium cigar store.

Blazer Firefox Torch Lighter Box

This time, it’s a similarly styled single torch lighter from Blazer, the 189-9274 Firefox Mini Torch, a compact tabletop lighter that has an MSRP of $40. While the lighter can often be found in cigar shops, it’s listed on the Blazer website under three different categories: lighters, industrial tools and DIY Home Use, and it’s fitting as the company makes lighters for a number of applications. It’s a versatile device given that it runs on premium butane and can reach temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Blazer lists the functions & uses of the lighter to include working with glass and ceramics, DIY and hobby jobs, jewelry and lapidary work, silver soldering, fusing synthetics, wood graining, thawing frozen locks, and the obligatory much, much more.

The Blazer Firefox measures 4 1/2 inches tall and is said to have a fuel tank capable of providing a 20 minute burn time. The flame is adjustable and wind resistant and features a child resistant mechanism to prevent young hands from accidentally firing it up. The device is made in Japan.

Blazer Firefox Torch Lighter Profile

In the hand, the Blazer feels comfortable; it’s not too big and certainly not very heavy, weighing in at just about seven ounces. The texture of the plastic is fairly smooth but not so much so that it’s slick or hard to hold on to, as the ridges on the ignition button provide an extra bit of traction.

Immediately upon taking it out of the box and filling it up, I went about trying to get it ignited, just like I would at a cigar store or if a friend had leant one to me; in other words, without reading the instructions. The motion to ignite the flame is a bit interesting, and likely not immediately perceptible unless you take a moment to look at the thing. The child resistant mechanism is a piece of plastic built into the ignition button, a hinged piece that you have to roll up a bit in order to be able to depress the ignition.

Once you figure that part out and get the lighter ignited, it’s a quick and incredibly hot stream of fire that comes off the end of the Blazer Firefox, and something that immediately suggested it would be much too much for any cigar.

My first thought was to play with the flame adjustment setting, a red ring that has tabs sticking out on both sides of the lighter. Rotate it towards the minus sign and the flame should get smaller; rotate it towards the plus and it should get bigger, correct? Well, in my time with the Blazer Firefox, I found the flame adjustment to be basically useless, as I didn’t detect much if any change in the flame as I rotated it until getting all the way to the lowest setting, at which point it promptly extinguished the flame. The lighter also won’t ignite in this position, so make sure you’ve moved it anywhere from this setting, otherwise you may find yourself clicking away fervently only to have no flame appear.

Blazer Firefox Torch Lighter Trigger

With such a powerful single jet flame on the Blazer Firefox, I almost felt sorry for the cigars I would have to sacrifice in order to get a read on just how powerful this thing is. Short of holding it almost a foot away, which frankly feels awkward, the sides of pretty much every cigar I torched ended up a bit scorched, and my fingers got a few brushes with the heat as well. I certainly didn’t know what 2,500 degrees felt like prior to using this lighter, but after having it as my primary for a few weeks, I have a much greater appreciation for that level of heat.

It doesn’t take long to light pretty much any cigar you put in front of the Blazer Firefox, but should you find yourself wanting to lock in the flame without having to hold down the ignition button, there is a red toggle switch directly underneath the fuel line that when flipped upward will lock in the ignition, a cruise control of sorts for the torch. I didn’t find myself using it too frequently, as the Firefox made quick work of lighting cigars of all shapes and sizes.

Blazer Firefox Torch Lighter LIghting

The Blazer Firefox defines the word overkill when it comes to a torch as it is simply too powerful to light cigars in a manner that I feel fitting. As a fan of long wooden matches that gently toast a cigar, this is a suped-up race car that comes screaming out of the blocks with almost no way to corral its strength, and is simply too much for my liking.

Unless you only light big ring gauge cigars with thick wrappers and/or aren’t terribly concerned about scorching the sides of the cigar and possibly your fingers, I can’t recommend the Blazer Firefox at this point. While it’s a functional lighter and seems to be built fairly solidly, between the ineffectiveness of the flame adjustment and that it feels like simply too much flame for most cigar lighting purposes, it’s one I suggest looking past.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.