While JetLine is well known for its line of very affordable and very reliable pocket torch lighters, the company’s portfolio includes a fairly wide array of lighters, including a few larger tabletop versions such as the Tusk.
Shaped like an animal’s tusk though not made of one, just in case you were wondering, the Tusk is a high-powered single flame torch lighter with piezo ignition that comes in three color options: red, white and black, each with an MSRP of $40 but that generally can be found for $29.99. Each package includes a variety of adaptors for different size butane bottles in case your butane of choice doesn’t work with the Tusk’s intake valve.
The oval-shaped base of the Tusk measures about three inches long by two-and-a-half inches by three inches, while the lighter is just about seven inches long and weighs about 10.5 ounces. It certainly won’t get lost on the table or amongst your other lighters.
Operation of the JetLine Tusk comes down to four components: the ignition and associated locking mechanism, the fuel flow adjustment lever and another lever that adjusts the flame from a sharp torch to a soft flame, and they are all much more interrelated than you might initially think.
The ignition button is about the size of a quarter and easily the most recognizable part of the ignition system. The ignition is smooth and easy, and while it isn’t quite as foolproof as what I’ve found with the JetLine Super Torch series, it is pretty reliable. Now while the ignition button might seem like the starting point of using the Tusk, it’s really more the last step in the process.
First, you’ll need to make sure that the child resistant locking switch isn’t engaged. It’s important to mention that the Tusk isn’t child proof, but rather child resistant, in case that might be an issue for you. Given the strength of the flame that the Tusk puts out, this is one lighter you’ll want to keep away from the kids, a piece of advice that goes for every cigar lighter you might have.
But before you push that ignition button, you need to adjust the two previously mentioned levers as if even one is at a certain setting, that ignition button won’t do a single thing other than frustrate you.
For the lever that adjusts between a torch and soft flame, the Tusk needs to be at the torch setting, as it pretty much won’t light at all if it’s not. So if you prefer a soft flame, get used to starting the Tusk as a torch and then adjusting.
As for the flame adjustment level, it needs to be at the midpoint or above in order to ignite; in fact, it doesn’t even appear that fuel is flowing when the lever is below the midpoint, as I can’t hear any fuel flow when I depress the ignition button.
As a follow-up to the child resistant point above, if you do have little ones around, setting these two levers in a certain way would certainly help to make the lighter that much harder to ignite.
Once you get the pre-ignition lever settings to a point where the Tusk will actually fire up, a quick push of the button get the lighter putting out a sizable flame that extends upwards of four inches when the fuel flow is at its maximum levels. The flame is a bright blue when set as a torch, while the soft flame splits between a blue base and yellow upper portion that flickers much as any soft flame lighter would.
If you’ve read my other lighter reviews, you’ve likely noticed that I use the term overkill fairly regularly for many of the larger and multiple flame lighters, and that term can certainly be applied here. While the Tusk is a single flame lighter, it functions much beyond what you’d think of from such a model, as the flame feels equivalent to what you might get from a triple or even quadruple flame, though it’s a different level of strength. Because of the length of the flame, it feels equivalent to buttering a dinner roll with a sword as opposed to a butter knife.
Because of that, I found that keeping the Tusk at its lowest possible setting was preferential, as putting it closer to its maximum level to output often scorched cigars and required me to hold the lighter several inches from the foot of a cigar, which also made the torch less accurate and caused the flame to graze my fingers and hand at times.
There’s a term that is found more often in our cigar reviews than our accessory reviews, but I feel it is particularly applicable here: balance. While the JetLine Tusk feels just fine in the hand, it feels out of balance as far the amount of firepower it puts out. While this is a single flame lighter, don’t expect to equate it to a JetLine Single Flame Super Torch.
Much like I took issue with the Blazer Firefox lighter and its flame adjustment mechanism, the one on the Tusk can be equally as frustrating. First of all, the lighter won’t ignite if it’s much below the halfway point. Second, it’s incredibly easy to move the lever simply through the course of normal handling, meaning you can likely get a much bigger or smaller flame than you were anticipating, or you’ll nudge it one way or the other and get the resulting increase or decrease. If it were possible to at least tighten up the mechanism, that would be a start; a latching feature would be even more appreciated.
Alternately, I would love to see the flame adjustment control simply moved to the bottom of the lighter, as that would seemingly take care of the problem entirely, and as one who tends to find a flame length I like, set it and forget it, it would be especially appreciated. If an adjustment mechanism on the bottom of the lighter isn’t feasible, I would love to see one on the side; a circular version similar to what is found on the bottom of other JetLine lighters with the small, flip-out tab, or one similar to the ratcheting wheel found on the XIKAR Turrim and Volta Quad lighters.
On a similar note, the lever to adjust the flame from a pointed torch style to a soft candle flame can offer the same frustration. The lever for this is on top of the lighter, right where the two main sections of the Tusk come together. It wasn’t so much an issue during usage as I didn’t find myself accidentally flipping it to a soft flame, but rather in moving the lighter around. It’s not a huge deal, but given that the lighter won’t ignite when it’s on the soft flame setting of the midpoint.
If you are not a fan of having to fill up your lighter on a regular basis, the Tusk will certainly be a relief as the tank is huge and the lighter seems to light a near countless amount of cigars. While a group get-together or use in a lounge will certainly deplete it faster, it would seem that with individual use the tank could stay full for multiple days if not weeks before needing a refill. That said, there is no fuel window on the Tusk, so you can’t know just how much fuel you have left.
As is the case with many larger lighters, it takes a bit longer to bleed the Tusk of the built-up air between refills, but that seems like a worthwhile trade for having to fill it less often.
After several weeks of regular use with the JetLine Tusk, I’m generally pleased with it, though it’s by no means a perfect lighter, and I’m not sure what role it might serve for me now that I won’t be using it on a regular basis.[ref]This is because I’m forced to be always testing a different lighter, not because of my overall feelings on the Tusk.[/ref] It’s certainly not pocket friendly so it likely won’t be leaving my home in the foreseeable future, but I have a feeling it will get pulled out from time to time and become one in my rotation.
While I’d like to see a number of aspects of the JetLine Tusk improved, for a sizable and distinctive tabletop lighter at a very reasonable cost that offers the durability that JetLine is known for, the Tusk is certainly an option worth considering.