In the past few years, there has been a steadily expanding number of entries into a specific subset of cigar lighter: flat flame torches.
Instead of the traditional torch lighter that puts out a long, slender and fairly high-powered flame, flat flame lighters take that single torch and spread it out into a W shape at the base, with the edges coming back together to form a spade-like shape. With the design, the heat is spread out and the flame paints the foot of the cigar with a broader stroke.
Last fall, Prometheus joined the list of companies offering a flat flame lighter, taking one of its existing designs, reworking the internal mechanics, and branding it with the company’s logo of Prometheus, bound to a rock and being attacked by an eagle as punishment for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans, thus advancing human civilization out of his love for mortals.
WHAT IS IT?
The Prometheus God of Fire Edición Limitada Magma X is a new spin on the company’s Magma X lighter. Instead of using the triple flame torch design of that lighter, the company replaced it with a single, flat flame torch, its first foray into this style of lighter. Mechanically it is the same as the other Magma X, with a flip-top lid and side squeeze ignition.
Additionally, it comes with a built-in punch cutter, a large fuel window that is tinted blue to see how much butane remains, and a two-year warranty.
It is offered in two color options, black on white (Magma XP-3) and white on black (Magma XP-4), both of which are limited to 500 pieces and are priced at $99.95.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
While it looks like a standard Magma X from the outside, Prometheus gets in on the flat flame segment by redoing the internals. Plus if you’re a fan of the Prometheus brand and/or God of Fire line of cigars, there’s some branding you’ll be tempted by.
- The flat flame on this Prometheus is at or near the top of the list in terms of performance. It’s wide, steady and makes lighting pretty much any cigar very easy.
- The fuel tank feels quite big and the torch seems to sip butane, meaning refills are few and far between. Even though I used this exclusively for several weeks, I can hardly remember a time where I ran out of fuel. If anything, I’d force myself to top it up just to be safe before heading out, and I’d find the fuel window was showing the tank as being half full.
- If you like lighters that come with a punch cutter, this is a solid option as it features a flip-out punch that conveniently tucks into the base of the lighter. For fans of punch cutters, the one built into the base of the lighter should certainly meet any expectations or requirements you have of such a tool; while I’m not much of a punch cut fan, I found it to be sharp and easy to use the times I did try it out.
- I’d highly recommend the case as well; for an extra $15 you can get a leather sleeve made in Spain that hugs the lighter but won’t scratch the finish. It’s both attractive and functional, even if it does cost a bit extra.
- The one issue I had with the lighter was that on occasion the first attempt at ignition wouldn’t result in a flame, a minor issue as no subsequent attempts had the problem. I’m not sure if I was squeezing the ignition too quickly to get enough butane flowing to ignite, or if it simply needs that first one to get ready, but it’s about the only thing I could complain about.
- If you’re not a fan of carrying around branded accessories, that may be a drawback as the Prometheus design is quite prominent.
- While still pocket-friendly, it is on the bigger side of the spectrum. Additionally, it is on the bigger side among most of its flat flame competitors, though it will still fit in a travel humidor or pocket without too much issue.
As I’ve noted previously, the flat flame segment has become increasingly crowded in recent years with numerous companies jumping into the ring. It’s certainly not the cheapest design, and I have yet to see a true wallet-friendly flat flame, but there are some very solid options that are worth considering.
- Porsche Design Heber ($150/$165) — Arguably my favorite of the flat flame designs I have tried, this ultra-compact lighter is very design-forward though is a bit on the small side and its price tag might be a detractor for some. However, for high performance from a brand that hasn’t saturated the market, this comes highly recommended.
- XIKAR Verano ($79.99)— Another one of my favorites in the flat flame segment, it’s priced competitively to the Prometheus and earned high marks for its build quality, reliability and performance. While not a bargain, in the segment it is the most affordable of the bunch and one that merits serious consideration. While I’d still take favor the Heber, knowing that I could purchase two Veranos for the same price is tempting.
- S.T.Dupont Slim 7 ($185) — One of the slimmest lighters on the market, it works quite well though with one of the higher price tags and diminished fuel capacity. It can still handle 3-4 cigars in one filling, sometimes feeling a bit under-matched as it seems to have the smallest of the flams. If an ultra-compact lighter is a must-have, this certainly should be on your shopping list.
- Elie Bleu J-12 Plano Flat Flame Lighter ($200) — It’s the most expensive of the bunch, but doesn’t deliver the performance expected from the price tag. There were some ignition misfires and it gets quite warm during use and its flame feels a touch smaller than the Heber, though it is beautiful in its own right.
- Lotus Citadel Flat Flame 3 ($120) — A familiar column-style design with a push-button ignition, retractable lid and a built-in punch cutter on the bottom.
- Lotus El Presidente ($100) — A different design from Lotus that sheds the cutter and uses a pull-down ignition while staying in an all-metal housing.
A FUN FACT
I’m sure it’s not intentional, but the lid reminds me of those old-time coffins that I associate with vampire movies and the like.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
If you’re looking for a flat flame lighter, the Prometheus God of Fire Edición Limitada Magma X should be on your short list of considerations. The build is solid, the performance is reliable, the design is quite good, and the total package is available at a price point that is on par with or better than most of its closest competitors. There’s simply not much to take issue with when it comes to this lighter.
The lighter used for this review was provided by Prometheus.