Frequent readers to this site, particularly those who peruse the PCA Convention & Trade Show—formerly IPCPR—booth posts, are undoubtedly familiar with the offerings of S.T.Dupont. The French accessories company is well-known for its offerings, particularly its lighters that step out of the realm of just high-end functionality to pieces of art that also happen to be able to light your cigar.
But what would happen if the company decided to explore the other end of the spectrum? That is, create a lower-priced, entry-level option to the S.T.Dupont portfolio? While it didn’t get a big launch announcement or fanfare, the company did just that towards the end of 2019 by way of a new lighter called Hooked.
It’s an interesting name for sure, but one that explains the lighter’s main selling point: that it can be hooked onto things. It comes with a round, carabiner-style clip, or you can slip your own through a circular opening that doubles as the lid’s hinge. Whether that be wire rope or something else, the idea is the same: you can hook and secure the lighter to any number of things.
WHAT IS IT?
Compared to the rest of the company’s portfolio, the Hooked is a lower-priced, single flame torch lighter from S.T.Dupont that also offers a design that allows the owner to hook the lighter onto something, such as a backpack, keychain, or pretty much anything. Beyond that, it is a fairly feature-free lighter, not offering a fuel window or punch cutter. Without the circular ring attached, the lighter measures 1.37 x 2.6 x .43 inches (3.5 x 6.6 x 1.1cm) and weighs 2.36 ounces (67 grams) making it incredibly pocket-friendly or easy to tuck into a travel humidor.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
In the U.S., the S.T.Dupont Hooked has an MSRP of $69, though can generally be found for a couple of dollars less than that. In Europe, almost all the color and design options are priced at €49 ($57.22).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
While it looks like a side-squeeze lighter at first, this is a two-step ignition process. First, flip the lid up to reveal both the single jet as well as the top of the ignition mechanism. Press down on the ignition to start the flow of butane and spark the piezo ignition which lights the butane. You’ll then have a standard-sized single flame torch with which to light your cigar.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
There are two things that are notable about the S.T. Dupont Hooked. First is that it is designed to be hooked to things, either by way of the included hook, an optional chain, or a method of your choosing.
Second is the fact that this is a sub-$100 S.T.Dupont lighter, something that doesn’t seem to exist outside of going-out-of-business or aggressive inventory reduction sales, though even then the MSRPs still usually start in the three-digit range.
- The Ignition is Flawless — If there was a time when the Hooked didn’t ignite on the first try in my several works of testing it, I don’t remember it. The ignition mechanism is simply fantastic, delivering a reliable light time after time.
- The Flame Adjuster Works — An odd first bullet point, maybe, but having used a few lighters where the range wasn’t great, using a lighter with some real range is refreshing. Because of the fairly small amount of distance between the lid and flame, I found I needed more flame than I normally would, but being able to dial that amount in was helpful.
- The Flame is Incredibly Precise — While a lot of single flame lighters to come out lately have moved to the oversized single flame, the S.T.Dupont Hooked keeps the smaller style, which while it might be a bit undersized for gordos, makes for very precise lighting of smaller ring gauges as well as touch-ups. It’s also perfectly suited for cigarillos and cigarettes, should you want a torch lighter for those.
- There Are A Lot of Color and Design Options — The Hooked lighter might very well have more color and design options than any other S.T.Dupont torch lighter on the market. You’ve got all the standard options, plus designs that range from rubber ducks to sugar skulls to a dunking basketball player, and then even into designs that look like a beer, have pills on them, and beyond, including a NSFW version.
- You Can Hook It To Things — The enclosed hook and the opening the lighter are both a bit small, but there is good functionality to both if you want to hook the lighter to something like a backpack, table, or something else. I could definitely see this being used with some wire rope to keep a lighter in a lounge from being taken.
- There’s No Fuel Window — I don’t know what it cost to have the word Hooked added to one of the side panels, but I would have much rather had a fuel window than that. Sure, I could just bleed the lighter and fill up when needed, but much like I enjoy the convenience of a fuel gauge in my car, I like a fuel window in my lighter.
- It’s a Single Flame Lighter in a Gordo World — While not everyone likes thick ring gauges, we are living in a time when a lot of cigars are above a 50 ring gauge. And unless you’re packing some patience, those cigars seem best served by a double or triple flame, or even the larger single flames on the market. Further, the space between the flame and the lid will feel a bit tight when lighting a thicker cigar.
- Do You Really Want to Hook It To Things? — I can’t recall a time when I ever wanted to hook my cigar lighter to something, so the main feature of this lighter doesn’t pack a ton of value to me. Just between the potential for damage and scratches, not to mention possibly having it fall off of what it’s attached to, makes it kind of a non-starter for me. But you can remove the hook that comes with it, turning it into an otherwise standard-looking lighter.
- You Don’t Get the Ping — To my ears, the sound of the flipping open the lid of the Hooked sounds noticeably different than that of higher-end S.T.Dupont lighters. It’s there, but it’s nowhere near as clear or resonant. So if you want that, you’ll likely want to look to a different model.
When I first heard about the S.T. Dupont Hooked, the Dissim ($48) immediately popped into my head. The original Dissim is a soft flame, but the company has since released a dual flame torch option, though the price goes up to $118. If having the ability to hook your lighter to something is a priority, the Dissim is worth a look.
- JetLine JetMaster ($12.99) — I don’t quite consider things like the JetLine JetMaster, with its $12.99 MSRP, to quite be competition to something from S.T. Dupont, but there’s one that offers a similar functionality to the Hooked, while others are in the same price range due to some enhanced styling.
- XIKAR Tactical 1 ($99.99) — While it doesn’t have a carabiner-style hook, the XIKAR Tactical 1 is a single flame lighter that offers a clip for your lighter, so you can attach it to any number of things. It also features a crenelated lid that functions as a cigar rest, while the flame is the oversized version. It also offers a visible fuel tan and large flame adjuster, so depending on what all you value in a lighter, this might be worth the extra money.
- S.T. Dupont Minijet ($150) — I don’t know if the step-up in the company’s portfolio makes a compelling case for itself; it’s a side squeeze ignition with no lid, and while it’s a bit more compact, the functionality is largely the same. There’s no fuel window on this one either, so I’d probably opt to save the cash and go with the Hooked.
- Colibri Daytona ($59) — If I had to spend more than $20 on a single flame lighter, the Daytona would definitely be among my first group of choices. This very easy-to-use side-squeeze lighter offers a large visible fuel tank, flawless ignition, a big flame adjuster wheel, and eight colors to pick from.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Yes. If you’re looking for an entry-level S.T. Dupont lighter that works as well if not better than some of the higher-priced options the company offers, the Hooked might be your lighter. You won’t get the same ping from the lid, but if that’s the most important thing you want from a lighter, I might suggest a reexamination of your priorities.
I could also argue that you could get just as good of a lighter for about 20 percent of the price if you’re willing to forgo the brand, the hook feature and some design aesthetics, but if you’re looking for a bit of luxury, the Hooked will deliver on the performance side of the ledger. Other than the absence of a visible fuel window, there’s not much I found to complain about, so as far as delivering a good lighter with the ability to hook it onto something, the S.T. Dupont Hooked definitely delivers.
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.