Colibri Quasar Table Lighter

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There are a lot of cigar accessories on the market, but there are only a handful of true accessories collections. One of those is the Colibri Quasar.

The Colibri Quasar line debuted in 2014 by way of a limited edition humidor created with Daniel Marshall, notable not just for the collaboration but for its exterior design which featured small pyramids on every face except the bottom, and which drew inspiration from the hobnail pattern on the vintage 1960s Colibri Moletric lighter.

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Limited to an initial run of just 100 pieces, the humidor was a showpiece that came with a $1,250 price tag. It was also a marker in the more recent history of the company that reflected a push towards innovation and quality, which could be argued had not been happening in the years before. Additionally, it would be the first piece in what would grow to be a complete line of accessories.

Then at the 2019 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, Colibri released what could be seen as the final piece: a tabletop, triple torch lighter.

While the hobnail design had already been applied to an existing lighter, the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter ($150) is certainly the boldest rendition to date. The body is essential two of the Desktop Cutters—themselves just large hobnail patterns with a base— and stacked them on top of one another. The lighter stands just under 4.5 inches tall, and while the base and top panels are about 2.1 inches square, the pyramids stick out to make it about 2.75 inches square at its widest.

It weighs in at a hefty 29.3 ounces (832g), just under two pounds, making it one of the heaviest lighters on the market.

In addition to the gunmetal color shown here, the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter is available in black, silver and red. Each comes with a two-year limited warranty.

WHAT IS IT?

From a practical stand point, it is a tabletop triple torch lighter. It comes with the standard features of such an item, meaning an oversized flame adjustment wheel on the base as well as two large, blue-tinted fuel windows that show how much butane remains in the tank. It offers a single action ignition that is engaged by pushing the pyramid on the top row that is marked with the Colibri logo.

As that pyramid is pressed down, the two sides of the trap door lid slide backward, butane begins flowing, with a spark from the piezo ignition setting the fuel ablaze. The two outer flames are angled slightly inward, creating a sizable yet focused flame that is best suited to larger ring gauge cigars but which can successfully light a slender cigar without scorching the sides.

WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?

Quite simply, the design. Unless you have a thing for big, heavy lighters, odds would seem to be good that you’re buying it because you like the Quasar design—which is a perfectly good and valid reason to purchase it.

PROS

  • It’s a Work of Art — There are a lot of lighters out there, but there is only one Colibri Quasar.  If having something distinctive is your thing, this has to be a consideration.
  • It’s Very Easy to Use — from the huge ignition button to the oversized flame adjustment knob and large fuel windows, pretty much everything about this lighter is straightforward.
  • It’s Powerful but Not Overpowering — While no triple torch would be my first choice to light a lancero or slender corona, the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter can accomplish the task without scorching the sides.
  • The Fuel Tank is Pretty Sizable — It’s a big lighter with an equally large fuel tank. While not the most conventional of fuel windows, the Quasar at least has one, which isn’t always the case.

CONS

  • Even for a Table Lighter, It’s Big —It is a bulky, heavy lighter, and some might say it’s too heavy and bulky to be easy to use. For me, it’s manageable but I am more cognizant of its bulk than I have been of pretty much any lighter I have used to date.
  • There’s No Safety Mechanism on the Lighter — This isn’t the biggest of concerns with table lighters unless you have kids and want that extra step to prevent them from playing with a high powered torch, or if you’re moving this around. I was moving this out onto my balcony one day and the way my hand grabbed the lighter, I almost squeezed the ignition with my hand in a less than ideal place. If nothing less, it requires some mindfulness when moving it around.
  • The Squeeze — You have to hold the ignition in to keep the lighter burning, which isn’t a huge thing, but given the weight of the lighter and the size of the button, it does feel like a bit more of a task than with other lighters.
  • Mismatching Colors — As someone that likes the pattern and has many of the bolder pieces in the Quasar Collection, I have one big gripe: Colibri can’t keep the colors—particularly my preferred choice of red—consistent from piece to piece. The Ashtray is a bright red while the humidor is more of a burgundy. This is probably due to the different types of materials and factories used to produce the various accessories and it’s probably not noticeable until you have two pieces together in front of you, though once that happens you can’t unsee it. — Charlie Minato.

THE COMPETITION

As with most lighters, finding competition for the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter depends on what the biggest priority is for you: the three torches, the design, or the fact it’s a tabletop lighter.

  • Colibri Quasar Astoria ($150) — If you like the Quasar design but want a pocket-friendly triple flame lighter, the Quasar Astoria would be the one to go with. It’s a triple flame lighter and it comes with a guillotine cutter built-in, something that the Table Lighter doesn’t offer. I reviewed the original design in June 2015.
  • Alec Bradley Mega Burner ($79.95) — A true tabletop lighter, this sizable accessory is about half the price of the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter and offers a “mushroom” flame style as opposed to a torch, but the size and sizable fuel tank do offer their appeal.
  • NUb Ignition Lighter ($60) — There are still a handful of these floating around, and while I haven’t had the chance to use it a lot since reviewing it in November 2015, but it remains one of my favorite lighters in the tabletop category. It also offers three jet torches, though is a bit smaller and lighter than the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter.
  • JetLine V-6 ($129) — One of the beefiest lighters I have reviewed, this is almost as distinctive as the Quasar, but offers six torch flames for true firepower. It also offers a built-in cutter, though doesn’t quite match up to the Quasar in terms of design or aesthetics.
  • XIKAR Volta ($159.99) — The best matchup from XIKAR is this cylindrical quad-flame lighter that debuted in 2015 and is competitively priced to the Quasar. It uses a manually opened, camera shutter style lid system, but the push-button ignition is similar, as is the amount of flame that is offered. It also has one of the largest flame adjustment wheels on the market.

A FUN FACT

I find it interesting that the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter is the same price as the Colibri Quasar Astoria, the pocket-friendly triple-torch that has the Quasar design on the sides. That version of the Astoria was also about a $15 markup from the original color options without the Quasar design.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

Yes. From the moment I first heard about the Colibri Quasar Table Lighter, I was intrigued to see if the guts would hold up to the design, which I’m happy to report that it did. Yes, it’s big and heavy, and if you don’t like the design, the best performance in the world probably wouldn’t make it appealing. But if you like the design as I do, knowing that the performance holds its own should seal the deal. Even with its size, it is easy to use, easy to adjust, and easy to refill, which means that when I look at it, I see a lighter I actually want to use. I’ll admit that the design may not be for everyone, but if it is, the function more than backs up the design.

The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.

Overall Score

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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 MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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