Sometimes a cigar or accessory will have a name you have to do some research on, and then there are times when a company comes right out and tells you what the thing is. The latter is the case with one of the newer releases from the Caseti brand, which is part of Visol Products portfolio.
It’s the Caseti BigFlat lighter, and as the name implies, it offers a big, flat flame torch, joining a small but growing group of lighters that have increased the size of the flame to seemingly better suited to larger ring gauge cigars.
The lighter made its debut at the 2022 Tobacco Plus Expo in late January and then began shipping to retailers in the spring of 2022.
WHAT IS IT?
The Caseti BigFlat Lighter lives up to its name, offering a big—or rather, a wide—flat flame lighter. It is a side-squeeze ignition design that comes with a fold-out punch cutter, fuel window, and a small flame adjuster. It is available in eight color options: matte black, navy blue, gunmetal, chrome, burgundy, burnt orange, salmon and yellow. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The Caseti BigFlat Lighter has an MSRP of $120.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Caseti BigFlat Lighter works by squeezing the ignition mechanism in towards the center of the lighter, a process that starts the flow of butane and sparks the ignition to light that fuel. Keep the ignition pressed in and the flame will keep burning; release it and the flame goes out.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The biggest selling point of the Caseti BigFlat Lighter is what gives the lighter its name: its big, flat flame. It is about double the size of most standard-sized flat flame lighters, about three-quarters of an inch wide. That makes it just about the size of a robusto, though the flame flares out a bit so it’s wider than that. It is a lighter geared towards people who smoke thicker ring gauges and want a flat flame lighter better suited to light them quickly.
- The Wide Flame — If you smoke bigger ring gauge cigars and have been let down by the vast majority of available options on the market, the Caseti BigFlat Lighter is for you. Even though it might not look like it offers the same amount of flame and firepower as a triple or quad-flame torch, it offers more than enough for 60+ ring gauge cigars that use heavier tobaccos.
- It is Very Easy to Use — Squeeze the big silver ignition mechanism and you have a flame. About the only thing you have to make sure of is that it’s pointed right side up and there’s fuel in the tank.
- It Puts Out a Good Flame on Regular Butane — This is one of a handful of lighters that I have used where I didn’t feel that adding a high performance butane was necessary. You certainly can use it, but you won’t have to turn the flame up that much if you do.
- You Get a Usable Punch Cutter — The fold-out punch cutter serves its purpose well; I don’t use punch cutters enough to give an opinion as to where it falls on the grand scale of cigar punches, but for my purposes it was fine. As expected, line it up, push down with a bit of a twist, and you’ll have a fairly clean punch cut. Fold it back into place and the tobacco remnants pop out.
- There’s a Fuel Window — I know it’s not always practical to put a fuel window into a lighter’s design, but they seem to be one of those things that is almost a must-have perk. The Caseti BigFlat has a good one on its side that works well. While I might want it tinted for added visibility, it works just fine as is.
- The Color Options — If you’re looking for some new color options, the Caseti BigFlat could make for a good option. It’s not every day you see salmon or burgundy as color options.
- The Price — At $120, this is a bit of a tough swallow. If lighting a cigar is your primary objective, there are so many good lighters out there for upwards of a tenth of the price of the Caseti BigFlat Lighter that will do the job. Then there are plenty of very solid flat flames for less than this one, though the vast majority offer the standard size flame. But again, those work just fine, they may just take a second or two longer to light your cigar.
- The Flame Adjuster — Much like I like to have a fuel window, I like a flame height adjuster that doesn’t require a tool to use. I understand that some body designs aren’t always compatible with this, and thankfully the BigFlat doesn’t require much fine-tuning once it has been set, but I really hope that the accessories industry will completely move away from this design at some point.
- There’s No Covering for the Burner — I go back and forth on this being a negative, as I generally prefer for the burner to have some sort of lid or covering to prevent dust and debris from getting inside it. That said, lids or retractable flaps add another piece that could break, so sometimes I’m fine with forgoing it.
It wasn’t that long ago where it would have been a struggle to find true competitors to the Caseti BigFlat, now there are several that are direct competitors, and many more that would involve a tradeoff or two.
- S.T.Dupont MegaJet ($320) — If you want to up the price scale, there’s this lighter, though this is really a case where you’re not going to get your money’s worth. As shown above, the two are remarkably close in their aesthetics and how they function, but in my experience, it seemed like some of the MegaJet’s internal mechanisms weren’t properly calibrated, leaving a lot to be desired in practice use. The Caseti BigFlat simply offered a better cigar lighting experience in my use, and it offers a punch cutter and fuel window. Both lighter are available in a wide range of colors, including some matte options for the S.T.Dupont.
- Porsche Design Spacecraft ($200) — I’ve become a fan of the Porsche Design aesthetic, and the Spacecraft is no exception. Other than not having a fuel window and an $80 price difference, these are pretty close competitors, design aesthetic notwithstanding. Both offer large flat flames and a punch cutter, with the Spacecraft a bit more design-forward. If money’s not an issue, I’m probably taking the Spacecraft over the BigFlat, though I wouldn’t have an issue with either.
- Vector Icon IV ($95) — This USB-powered lighter is the latest in the large flat flame segment, and while I have only used it briefly, I am impressed by it. It will be my next review, and while I’m concerned about how the battery’s charge plays a role in the overall experience, if it holds up, it could end up as one of the best choices in the segment.
- Vertigo Zephyr ($19.99) — If flat flame lighters are still a foreign concept, spending $20 to get the Vertigo Zephyr is a great entry point. It is a standard size flame, but easily capable of filling the role of an everyday lighter as it can handle both thick and thin ring gauges with ease. This remains one of a handful of lighters I keep in a desk drawer to have on hand in a pinch.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Yes. From a functionality perspective, the Caseti BigFlat is as capable and functional as any lighter that I have used. While it is a bit bigger than I would like for an everyday lighter, that’s only because I am bouncing around from skinny to thick vitolas, and I tend to take a less is more approach when it comes to the size of my lighter. I’m not crazy about the price, but so far it has performed well enough to earn its premium, and I am hopeful and optimistic that it will continue to do so going forward. If what it has to offer is appealing and it doesn’t break the budget, the Caseti BigFlat should be among the contenders.
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.