If you’ve been lighter shopping lately, you know that there is a ton of competition in what would be considered the budget-friendly end of the spectrum and no shortage of lighters in almost every configuration you could want. As long as you don’t need a jewel-encrusted tabletop lighter and are comfortable with the vast majority being made of plastic, there should be multiple options available that will satisfy pretty much any requirement you may have.

Yet even with all the existing options, more come out on a regular basis. The familiar question of “what’s new?” might not be as prevalent in the accessories side of the cigar industry as it is on the cigar side, yet manufacturers certainly don’t seem to be slowing down in creating new ways to light a cigar, and do it reliably, without investing a ton of money in the progress.

Case in point, at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, Quality Importers Trading Co. released the Palió Lazio, a new entry into the already crowded sub-$20 lighter space, though one that is seemingly always looking for a new entrant.


The Palió Lazio is a single flame torch lighter that is notable for offering an angled flame as opposed to the more traditional orientation of being pointed straight up. It works via a side squeeze ignition and features a good-sized fuel window and a slightly oversized flame adjuster that makes it possible to adjust the flame without the need for tools. The Lazio offers a metal body that is available in five colors; red, blue and black with have a rubberized finish, and chrome-plated and gunmetal-plated options that do not have the rubberized finish. It measures approximately 3.75 x 1.375 x .4375 inches and weighs about 2.4 ounces.



Quality Importers offers a lifetime warranty on all Palió lighters and cutters, though it requires a $7 processing fee payment.


Getting the Palió Lazio working is a two-step process; first, the lid needs to be flipped up, and then the side-squeeze ignition needs to be pressed in, a process that starts the flow of butane and sparks the ignition to light the fuel. The ignition mechanism needs to remain squeezed in to keep the lighter burning, and then once it is released, the flame is extinguished.


While the angled flame might be the most eye-catching aspect of the Palió Lazio, it isn’t the first lighter to hit the market with such a design. Angling the flame creates a bit more space to maneuver the cigar around the flame without having to worry about the lid getting in the way, which in my experience is a concern that comes up on only the rarest of occasions but is an appreciated touch. Where the Lazio could carve out some space for itself is by combining the angled flame, impressive styling and warranty into a package that retails for the fairly low price point of $14.99.  Beyond that, it is the price point, as it adds to a crowded segment of lighters under $20 that aren’t necessarily design-forward but seek to provide a lot of bang for the buck.


  • It Puts Out a Strong Flame — Having just reviewed a lighter that I found to put out less firepower than I wanted or expected, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how strong of a flame the Palió Lazio offered. In fact, I found myself having to keep turning the flame adjuster down, finally settling on a spot just about a third of a turn from it being fully closed.
  • The Design Suggests It’s Not a Budget Lighter — It’s fairly easy to tell that lighters with large plastic bodies came with a lower price tag, but a solid body like the Palió Lazio’s
  • The Ergonomics are Very Good — The Palió Lazio fits quite well in my hand, with my thumb curling around the ignition, though that just seemed to become my personal preference, as it worked just as comfortably when using my index finger.
  • The Body Stays Cool — There is little worse than lighting your cigar slowly and carefully, only to find that your fingers are quickly getting hot and that thought of burnt flesh crosses your mind. That never happened with the Palió Lazio, as the body stays cool even during extended periods of lighting cigars. I would still recommend exercising caution around the metal parts, but even those didn’t get too warm in most cases.
  • The Flame Is Easy to Adjust — While the flame adjuster isn’t the largest on the market, this one is still well-sized. It is easy to adjust yet firm enough not to wiggle to a different setting.
  • The Rubberized Texture — I haven’t had a chance to use either the chrome-plated or gunmetal-plated versions so I’m not sure which one I like better, but the rubberized version provides just a bit of texture to help it feel secure in the hand.
  • It Has a Distinctive Sound — It’s not the S.T.Dupont ping, but if you like the sound of a good thwack when opening and closing your lighter’s lid, the Palió Lazio checks that box.


  • The Flame Doesn’t Always Go Out Right Away — I took issue with the S.T.Dupont Megajet over this same issue, so it feels consistent bringing it up here. I understand that there can and will be a bit of fuel left after the ignition is released, and thus the flame might not go out right away, but at its higher settings, the Palió Lazio feels like the flame stays burning a bit longer than it should. Thankfully this isn’t an issue at lower flame height settings, which is where I tended to set the Lazio.
  • The Fuel Tank Is On the Small Side — This is more of a trade-off than an outright con of the Palió Lazio, but I found myself refilling the lighter more than I would have liked to. Given that tank size is small to facilitate the compact size of the Lazio, this isn’t a surprise; where I found myself grumbling is in seeing the lighter go out due to a lack of fuel sooner than I would like after topping it up.
  • There’s a Bit Too Much Branding (For My Liking) — I’m not a big fan of logos and branding, though I accept that they are inescapable on most products. I could live with one wordmark, but three seems a bit excessive.
  • There’s No Punch Cutter — Palió isn’t known for adding punch cutters to its lighters, and the Lazio is no exception. If there was a drawback to this lighter compared it to the competition around its price point, the lack of a punch cutter could be a significant one.


I could easily write up a competition section made up almost exclusively of Palió products, as the company currently has two other single flame torches—the Siena and Torcia—that are in the same price range and offer the same basic feature set, though with notably different body styles. There are plenty of options from other manufacturers, and here are some of more notable ones.

  • Vertigo Zephyr ($19.99) — When I think about lighters with an MSRP under $20 that have really impressed me in the past year or so, the Vertigo Zephyr rises to the top of the list. It’s a flat flame as opposed to a traditional jet torch, but its size is comparable to the Lazio, and its solid metal body and side squeeze ignition are comparable to the Lazio.
  • Firebird Sidewinder ($10.99) — This lighter debuted back in 2014 and is quite similar to the Palió Lazio, offering a side-squeeze ignition, a flip-top lid and an angled flame, though I don’t believe the angle is a bit more obtuse than the Lazio’s. I haven’t used this lighter in years so I can’t speak to its current quality, but on paper, it is quite similar.
  • Dissim Slim Torch Lighter ($18) — This new spin on the Dissim lighter was also released at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, and also offers an angled single flame torch. As the name implies, it is a slender body style, measuring 3.34 x 1.18 x .55 inches (85 x 30 x 14mm), which makes it notably longer than the Palió Lazio, though for that you get a body style that can be hooked onto any number of things. It also offers a rubberized material for the body, with a cast metal upper portion. I haven’t done a formal review on the product, but I liked it when I saw it and tried it at the trade show. One note, it does appear to cost more than when initially announced, as the company announced it at $9.99 but now lists it for $18 on its website.
  • Vector Fiercer ($24.95) — Another angled flame single torch, the Fiercer was released in late 2021, and other than lacking a lid, the features are quite similar to the Lazio, as if offers a larger flame adjuster and visible fuel window. The ignition moves to a push-button style, but otherwise, it is quite similar. I have not yet had the chance to use it, though I generally like Vector products assuming that the body of the lighter doesn’t get overly hot during use.
  • Vertigo Page ($14.99) — If an angled flat flame is appealing, the recently released Vertigo Page is worth a look. It is similar to the Lazio and Fiercer, offers the same basic features, and is priced the same as the Lazio. My usage of it has been limited to the trade show, but with Vertigo’s track record, I don’t doubt it is a solidly-built lighter. The Vertigo Recoil ($19.99) is also worth a look, as its torch is angled, it offers a punch cutter, and has a unique design.



Since I don’t use a punch cutter, I have nothing but good things to say about the Palió Lazio other than that is has what feels like a slightly smaller-than-average fuel tank, The design—particularly for the price point—is quite good, the ergonomics are great, the reliability has been fantastic, and the performance is on par with the top lighters in the segment. With the Lazio, Palió and Quality Importers show that for less than $20, you can have a good-looking and highly effective lighter.

The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.

Update (Nov. 27, 2022) — The original version of this review incorrectly stated that the Firebird Sidewider has an MSRP of $15.95. It is $10.99.

Overall Score

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Patrick Lagreid

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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.