When it comes to picking lighters to review, I’m generally selecting from a fairly small group of companies, many of whom you could probably name because they are so commonplace in your local cigar shop as well as the catalog and online retailers. That’s part of the reason why I like to review at least one or two lighters a year from a non-traditional cigar accessory company. And to go along with that, I like finding companies who are making lighters but not really known by cigar smokers.
At the 2022 Tobacco Plus Expo, held in Las Vegas in late January 2022, I took a stroll around the non-cigar portion of the show, which is where the tobacco alternative and vape companies exhibit their products. As I was finishing up that stroll, I came across a company with a sharp-looking booth loaded with lighters and a name I’d never heard before. That company is Maven.
Maven is based out of Los Angeles and offers an interesting mix of products. The company was launched in 1989 under the name Eternity Torch Lighter, USA, and says that it is “proud to provide the most premium products with the most competitive price for everyone globally. We strive to disrupt the lighter market with great design, great quality, great pricing and great customer service.”
Most of the lighters released under the Maven name seem like they aren’t geared toward the cigar industry but rather to those who use cannabis and its derivatives. Maven has a sister brand called Xuper that offers lighters that seem more cigar-friendly, as they are smaller and very reminiscent of many of the value-oriented lighters sold by JetLine, Lotus’s Vertigo brand or Colibri’s Firebird brand. That said, fire is fire, and you can certainly light a cigar with a Maven lighter.
WHAT IS IT?
The Maven Space is a tabletop torch lighter with a very large single torch flame, which is lockable and allows for hands-free operation. Beyond that, it does not offer any features other than a flame adjustment lever.
According to the company, the Maven Space is made from a zinc alloy and metal, with a rubber and metallic finish. It measures about 6 3/4 inches tall, just under 5 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches thick at the base. At 9 ounces in weight, it is a fairly hefty lighter in the hand, certainly matching up with what you might expect from a tabletop lighter.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
It’s offered in seven colors—black, white, red, yellow, blue, beige and midnight green—and comes with a one-year warranty against defects in material or workmanship.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Maven Space works by simply squeezing the ignition trigger, which starts the flow of butane and provides the spark to ignite it. You are able to lock the flame in place with a latch mechanism that doubles as an ignition lock to prevent accidental ignition. To extinguish the flame, simply let go of the trigger and the flame goes out.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
From a lighter perspective, it’s hard to say that there is anything that makes this truly special. The Maven Space is a large, single flame torch lighter, and that’s about it. This style of lighter is something you can find from any number of manufacturers. If anything, the most unique thing about this is its design, which is on the more modern side of the spectrum, especially next to the competition.
- The Ergonomics Are Great — Simply from an ergonomic perspective, I really like the Maven Space. It fits great in the hand, is easy to get ignited, and easy to hold and use.
- It Doesn’t Get Hot to the Touch — If you find yourself needing to light a large number of thick ring gauge cigars, such as a retailer at an in-store sales event might be doing—this is a great option. While the Maven Space puts out plenty of heat, I never felt any of it from the lighter itself.
- The Ignition is Solid and Reliable — As long as there is butane in the tank, the Maven Space seems to ignite without a problem. As soon as you start squeezing the ignition, you will hear the butane flowing, as the design ensures that the large single flame will have plenty of fuel to feed it.
- The Fuel Tank is Huge — This shouldn’t be a huge surprise just by looking at it, but if you’re going to be lighting a lot of cigars, you won’t be worrying much about refilling your lighter. I stopped counting the number of cigars, but I don’t think I filled this up more than once a week.
- The Flame Adjuster is Just About Worthless — It’s only usable from about the 30 percent point upward, anything lower and the flame won’t ignite or will simply go out. I could make the case for running this just above the midway point, but that means the lighter is putting out too much flame for pretty much every cigar.
- The Flame Doesn’t Feel Stable — It’s not that the flame is all over the place, but rather that it seems to curve upwards at the level I want to use it. It also wavers around a bit in a breeze, reducing the accuracy of the flame’s tip. Much like a misaligned sight, where you think you’re aiming isn’t where the flame is actually ending up.
- There’s No Fuel Window — You had to be expecting me to mention this, right? I’m honestly not surprised there isn’t one, but I’d still prefer the Space to have one.
- Something is Rattling Around Inside — Not in the sense of a screw or nut came loose, but if I jiggle the lighter, I hear something shaking back and forth. I can’t tell what exactly it is or if it’s affecting anything, but I don’t like hearing internal noises from any of my lighters.
There is no shortage of options that fall into the category of freestanding lighters with a large single flame torch. Here are some of the closest competitors to the Maven Space:
- Vector Clash ($40) — Vector-KGM offers several models that have similar functionality to the Maven Space, but the Clash is also the most similar from a design standpoint, including offering the trigger-style ignition. It works at elevations up to 12,000 feet and can put out a whopping 2,600° F of flame. I’m intrigued to try this as I’ve generally had very good results with Vector products.
- JetLine Protection ($69.99) — This is a fairly new release, having shipped to stores in mid-January 2022. The body design is a bit more than just a reminder of a handgun, but it’s a hefty lighter with many of the same features as the Maven Space, though adds the ability to switch to a soft flame. I’ve only used this a couple of times, but many of the same issues I have with the Space’s practicality for cigars applies to the Protection. While I’m not crazy about the design, I would pay the premium for this over the Space due to the better build quality and the soft flame option.
- BernzOmatic ST2200 Micro Torch ($29.97) — One of my favorite lighters from a manufacturer most people probably don’t think of for cigar accessories, this tabletop lighter has a precise torch flame that can convert to a soft flame as well as a large fuel tank and a latching ignition. If you find yourself at the hardware store and realize you could use a new cigar lighter—and one that could do some light welding as well—this is a great option. I’d also take this over the Space.
- Vertigo Hades ($35) — The Hades has very similar functionality to the Space, as it is a freestanding lighter with locking ignition to keep its extra large torch flame burning without the need to engage the push-button ignition. It has an all metal housing, anodized finish and works at elevations up to 12,000 feet. In my limited experience with the Hades, I’d likely take this over the Maven Space.
- Vertigo Zeus ($20) — This is a stripped-down version of the freestanding, large torch lighter. It’s not as elegant or design-forward as the Hades or the Space, but it gets the job done. I’m not as crazy about the design, but if getting my cigar lit with this style of lighter was my priority, I think I’d take this over the Space as well.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
No, at least not for the purpose of lighting your cigar. The Maven Space works well enough, but as I suspected when I came across it on the blue-carpeted portion of the 2022 Tobacco Plus Expo, this is a lighter that is simply targeted at a different market. With the exception of the thickest and heaviest tobaccos it simply offers too much flame for most cigars. I’m generally a minimalist when it comes to torch lighters, and if matches or soft flames were more practical, I’d probably use them more than I currently do. While I like the ergonomics and the price point of the Maven Space, I have a feeling this would be better off in a kitchen drawer or my toolbox rather than near my cigars.
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.