After being asked what my favorite cigar is, the next most common question is likely what my favorite lighter is. That question is also usually positioned in such a way that the person is looking for a recommendation, and often for the one lighter they should by.
The problem with that is that while I can certainly recommend a single lighter, I like having options depending on what I’m smoking. That means having both a single and triple flame, a soft flame, a bit flashier of a lighter and what is easily my favorite segment of the lighter market: the value-priced workhorse. By that, I mean the $10ish lighter that I can throw in my pocket or humidor, is barebones when it comes to features but offers a solid, reliable flame.
Fortunately, there are a number of options in that regard, many sharing a similar design of a large, translucent fuel tank, flip up lid and plunger-style ignition. In September 2020, another option joined the market, the Palió Vesuvio from Quality Importers Trading Co.
The lighter is named for Mount Vesuvius, the Italian volcano that is famous for its eruption in 79 AD that destroyed the city of Pompeii. Given that it is a triple flame torch lighter, the name seems fitting as it puts out a good amount of fire with which to quickly light any cigar.
It becomes the third lighter in the Palió portfolio, joining the single flame Torcia and another triple flame, the Trio.
WHAT IS IT?
The Palió Vesuvio is a budget-friendly, pocket-friendly, triple-flame torch lighter. It measures 3.21 inches x 1.64 x 1.21 (82 mm x 41 x 31), and weighs 2.4 ounces (68g). It is a fairly straightforward lighter and its base is the flame adjustment wheel, making it incredibly easy to dial in your desired flame height. Beyond that, its three jets are angled together and arranged in a triangle configuration to create a more precise flame. The company says that it will work at elevations up to 12,000 feet.
Its translucent tank is available in five colors: clear, smoke, red, blue and green, while the upper portion is a gunmetal shade of gray and the remaining portions—the ignition, flame adjustment wheel, and accents—are black.
As with other Palió lighters, the Vesuvio comes with a two-year warranty.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The Palió Vesuvio is priced at $8.99.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Much like some other companies have done, Quality Importers has moved away from the single action ignition. That means that you need to flip the lid up manually before you press the ignition, a small inconvenience but one that pays off in the long run as it prevents the latch mechanism that would otherwise be there from eventually wearing out and the lid being left in the open position. Once the lid is opened, all that’s left to do is depress the ignition, which both begins the flow of butane and then sparks the piezo ignition. Light your cigar, release the ignition to extinguish the flame and flip the lid back to the closed position.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Most lighters like this tend to be in the $10 to $15 range, but being able to find one for less than $10—and that’s with sales tax—widens and shifts the market a bit. It also creates a new and worthwhile point of consideration on the scale of value vs. performance.
- It’s Incredibly Easy to Use — Flip the lid, depress the ignition button, light your cigar. The hardest part may be reminding yourself to give the flame some space to keep the tobacco from being charred.
- The Flame Adjustment Wheel — Again, one of the easiest to use designs I have used. It’s also just firm enough that I didn’t notice the setting changing when I had it in my pocket. Top that off with plenty of range being offered, and it’s easy to get your perfect amount of flame.
- The Large Fuel Tank — It’s a triple flame torch so it’s not a butane sipper, but this doesn’t feel like it’s chugging fuel. Filling up the tank is more than enough for a night out with friends or several days of cigars.
- The Air Intake Vents — The Vesuvio makes the most of the limited space to get plenty of air not the chamber so that the lighter ignites reliably. Sometimes it feels like this aspect gets overlooked, but not here.
- The Ignition Feel — Another thing that could be easily overlooked, the Vesuvio’s ignition offers a bit of resistance and a satisfying thunk when it’s depressed and the flame is burning. It also feels as firm as it did on day one; I can’t tell that I’ve been using this almost daily for well over a month.
- It’s Not That Distinct — Other than the three Palió word marks on the body, this isn’t an inherently distinctive lighter. It’s not a completely generic lighter, but if you’re looking for something with a little more wow factor when you put it on the table, you might want to look elsewhere.
- There is No Punch Cutter — This isn’t a big deal for me, but I know a number of cigar smokers who would love this lighter but don’t want to carry two accessories, so they will consider another option.
There’s no shortage of triple flame torch lighters under $20, which is my threshold for the value lighter segment. But there are a number of lighters that are direct competitors to the Vesuvio, so much so that if you removed the branding from them, you might not be able to tell them apart.
- JetLine Super Torch Triple Flame ($14.99) — This has long been my go-to in this segment, mainly because it has proven to be a nearly ideal mix of reliability and affordability. It’s available in single-, double- and triple-torch configurations; has the same large, translucent fuel tank; and just plain works without issue. There is also the JetLine Pocket Torch, which offers a similar design and functionality, and is available in single-, double- and triple-flame options.
- Vertigo Cyclone ($15) — Had I not discovered and purchased a bunch of the Pocket Torch first, the Cyclone would probably be my go-to lighter. Much like the Pocket Torch, it features a large, translucent fuel tank, and like the Vesuvio it is said to work at elevations up to 12,000 feet. There is now the Cyclone II, and a similar model known as the Blizzard that offers three antique finishes on the top portion.
- Firebird Afterburner ($9.99) — This, unfortunately, seems to be a lighter that I don’t see enough on the shelves of my local retailers, as if I saw it more often I’d be inclined to pick up a few. It’s $5 cheaper than the JetLine and Vertigo, and in my limited experience seems to work just as well. It offers the large flame adjustment wheel on the base and the translucent fuel tank, though I can’t seem to find a claim as to its functionality at elevation.
- Vector Triforce ($24.95) — Vector KGM’s entry into this segment is a bit more expensive than its competitors, though it’s not exactly clear why. It does work at elevations of up to 14,000 feet, but otherwise offers many of the same features. This is the one lighter on this list that I have not used on a regular basis.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Yes. Maybe even multiples. This is certainly as good as its competitors and a lighter that is affordable enough to have wherever you smoke your cigars. It’s also one that won’t sting you in the wallet should you lose it. For a no-frills lighter, I couldn’t find much to argue about with the Palió Vesuvio: it’s easy to use, lights cigars with ease and looks decent doing so. For less than $10, it’s an easy recommendation.
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel. Quality Importers Trading Co. sent samples as well, though they were not used for this review.