A good number of the emails and messages that we receive have to do with asking for a recommendation on something cigar-related. I know that I’ve been asked a number of times for a recommendation on something cigar-related, whether it be a recommended cigar or a new lighter. And if you peruse cigar-related Facebook groups or message boards, you have undoubtedly lost count of how many times someone has asked for a recommendation.
As such, I’ve tried to come up with a go-to list of things that are generally readily available, many of which are things that I use myself. When it comes to lighters, for the past several years there has consistently been one product on my list: the JetLine Super Torch.
This relatively simple, feature-free and very affordable lighter became one of my go-to accessories, mainly because I could always seem to find one at a shop and so would pick up a few to leave around in case I needed a lighter: my backpack, my car, my balcony and my travel humidor, among other places. The Super Torches have big fuel tanks, an incredibly easy ignition mechanism, and are available as either a single, double or triple flame configuration, and as mentioned before, they are generally very affordable. At about $13, it wasn’t heartbreaking if I misplaced one or gave one to a friend who was new to cigars and needed a good lighter.
But beyond that, the Super Torch became the lighter against which I judged pretty much every lighter. As someone who pretty much always places function well above form, the purpose of the lighters I use is singular: to light the cigar I want to smoke. The JetLine Super Torch was as capable of doing that as any lighter, doing so at a price and in a form that certainly worked for me as well.
After revamping the Super Torch in 2018, JetLine decided to give the idea of a compact, affordable single flame torch lighter an update, with the result being the JetLine Jetmaster.
Released at the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, the design was refreshingly simple, streamlined and even underwhelming. Gone was the ignition mechanism that protruded from the fuel tank, now consolidated under the lid with just a small slide mechanism sticking out. Plus, it was still incredibly affordable, priced at just $12.99. Had I been able to, I might have picked up a pack of 20 at the trade show that year.
WHAT IS IT?
A wonderfully simple single flame torch lighter, featuring the company’s new “mega jet burner,” a clear fuel tank, and flip-out tab adjuster for the flame height.
It measures 3.23 inches tall, 1.02 inches wide and 1.1 inches deep and weighs just 2.3 ounces, making it pocket friendly and able to be tucked into most travel humidors without much issue.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$12.99 for any of its four color options: black, red, gunmetal, or copper, each of which comes with a clear fuel tank.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Flip open the lid, pull down the ignition mechanism and light your cigar. When you’re done lighting your cigar, release the ignition to stop the flame, then close the lid to keep debris out of the burner. The one feature of the lighter is the flame adjuster is the flame adjuster which is found on the bottom of the lighter. Other than that, it’s as utilitarian as possible.
- Beautiful Simplicity — There is nothing fancy, complicated, or brag-worthy about this lighter. It costs about $15 with taxes and it works as well as anything I’ve ever used. If you need a design aesthetic or something to casually place on the table to flex your ego, fine. But if you don’t, this works just as well for a fraction of the price.
- The Flame Adjuster — The flip-out tab is by far my favorite design and that’s what the JetLine Jetmaster offers. It’s so simple to use when needed and it doesn’t move when it isn’t supposed to. If I had to choose one design for every lighter to have, it would be this. No tools, just the slightest bit of fingernail and no arthritis and you are set. The flip-out method also makes it a lot less likely that the flame adjustment happens by accident while it’s in your pocket or other places.
- Getting Rid of the Single Action Ignition — JetLine and some other companies have been moving away from single action for a while, particularly when it involves a latched lid. For instance, the JetLine Super Torch changed its lid design in 2018, dropping the latched lid design. The reason is that the contact point that holds the lid down eventually wears out, and the lid stays open. A small sacrifice to lose the single action, but one that I think will have most consumers happier that their lid doesn’t spring open randomly any longer or stay open permanently.
- The Clear Fuel Tank — Tinted fuel windows are great and all, but I’m more than happy to just keep it simple.
- You Won’t Impress Your Buddies With This — This is not the lighter of Instagram thirst traps for cigar smokers. You might get some likes, but you won’t get all of them. This will force you to take solace in the fact that you didn’t spend a ton of money for a lighter that works just as well as another one that got more likes than yours.
- There Isn’t a Punch Cutter — This is a big deal for some people; for me, not so much. You will need to carry a separate cutter, or heaven forbid, use your fingernail.
- You Don’t Get a Pretty Gift Box — These are sold in trays of 20, or you might be able to score a fairly basic box depending on where you buy it. This could make gift wrapping a challenge.
- It Doesn’t Have A Lot of Flames — Using the JetLine JetMaster to light your 80 ring gauge cigar that is loaded with ligero and other heavy tobacco will take a few seconds longer than it would with a quad flame torch. But hey, patience is a virtue.
(L-R): Jetline’s Jetmaster, Super Torch, Quattro & Phantom
If there is one segment of the lighter market where there is no shortage of competition, it’s the budget-friendly pocket torch. For me, that’s generally the $10-15 range. It may be one of the most abundant segments of the lighter market, with dozens if not hundreds of options available in numerous designs and flame configurations. Here are some of the most direct competitors to the JetLine Jetmaster:
- JetLine Pocket Torch ($12.99) — The most direct competitor to the JetLine Jetmaster comes from the company itself by way of the Pocket Torch. The measurements are about the same, the price is the same, the functionality is the same. I prefer the Jetmaster’s design, but you really can’t go wrong with either. You may also recall its predecessor, the JetLine Super Torch.
- JetLine Phantom ($17.99) — This ups the design aesthetic by adding a metal frame and preserving the large, clear fuel tank. It offers the same upgraded, larger burner, but with a push-down ignition, which offers a fairly refined ignition experience. I have only used this a handful of times and definitely like it, though I’m not sure I’d spring for the increased cost simply for the design.
- Promise Jet Torch Lighter ($8) — I have not used this, but seeing it in an article in Robb Report about the best high-end lighters stopped me in my tracks. It’s very similar in design to the Pocket Torch at just about half the price. I am definitely interested in trying this before long.
- Vertigo Jolt ($16.99) —The Vertigo brand offers a number of single flame torch lighters in the same price range as the JetLine Jetmaster, and while the best competitor from a design perspective may be the Vertigo Cyclone II, that’s a triple-flame. The Jolt offers the large, translucent fuel tank, a single flame, and a sub-$20 price, in a body style that’s comparable to the JetLine Pocket Torch. Vertigo also has a number of other single flame torches in other body styles.
- Firebird Afterburner ($9.99) — This comes from Colibri’s budget-friendly brand and while it has a similar design aesthetic, it’s also a triple flame and to the best of my knowledge not offered in a single flame.
- XIKAR Tech Single Lighter ($29.99) — If you want to keep the basic design but step up the price from the JetLine Jetmaster and its competitors. I received one a few years ago at the ProCigar Festival and have found it to be a very good lighter and one to be considered if cigar smoking at higher elevations is something you do regularly.
While perusing JetLine’s website, I decided to look at the manual for the Jetmaster, mainly out of curiosity as to what could be included. Turns out, some notable warnings:
- Do not expose the lighter to heat over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Do not store near sunlight.
- Do not keep lit for more than 30 seconds.
I was also intrigued by a warning not to modify the Jetmaster with unapproved accessories, mainly because I had no idea such things existed.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Absolutely. And if I’m being honest, buy a few of them. Put one anywhere you might ever light up a cigar and gift one or two to your friend who needs a new lighter. At less than $15 per piece, these are about as much of a no-brainer for me as there is when it comes to lighters. The Jetmaster is unapologetically straightforward, easy to use and easy to carry, it has a more than decent design and it lights your cigar better than a match and as well as pretty much anything else out there.
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.