It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that I had been tasked with reviewing a flat flame lighter and struggled to come up with an adequate list of competitors against which to compare it. Now, I find myself having to leave a few competitors off that list as it seems that more than half of the manufacturers of cigar lighters now offer the design and at a wider range of price points. Some even offer multiple options for flat flames, as S.T.Dupont does.
First, it’s worth understanding the design and intent of a flat flame cigar lighter. As opposed to a typical jet torch lighter which produces a compact and focused flame, a flat flame spreads that flame out into a wider, spade-like shape. This spreads the heat out over a wider area and in theory allows for a more even toasting of the foot of a cigar. It can also make a single flame torch lighter more efficient when it comes to butane consumption, since the more focused flame of a jet torch is often more than any cigar needs to be lit.
It’s something I often compare to using a wide, flat paint brush as opposed to a round, pointed tip brush.
However, if there has been one seeming issue with flat flame lighters up to this point is that they are still somewhat under matched for larger ring gauge cigars, or those that use heavier tobaccos and thus take a bit longer to light. I will say it’s a complaint that I have not generally voiced, though I can understand the sentiment.
S.T.Dupont seeks to address that issue with its latest lighter, the Megajet, which offers a significantly wider flat flame option than what is currently on the market. To do this, it routes the butane through 10 very small openings, which produces a flame that is approximately 2cm (0.79 inches) wide.
WHAT IS IT?
The Megajet is the latest in a line of torch lighters from S.T.Dupont, joining the Minijet and Maxijet in sharing its naming convention. But in terms of functionality, it is most like the Slim 7 in that it is a flat flame lighter.
However, while the Slim 7 is known for being a thin lighter that happens to offer a flat flame, the Megajet is putting that flame front and center while also being a good bit bigger. Even with the wider opening, it is still very much a pocket lighter, measuring 2.87 inches wide by 1.57 inches tall and .63inches thick, or 73mm x 40mm x 16mm.
It weighs 103g (3.63 oz), putting it right in line with other pocket lighters, though more than twice as heavy as the Slim 7, which weighs just 45g. While the Megajet won’t disappear into your pocket like the Slim 7, it won’t be a nuisance, either. Similarly if putting it in a travel humidor; it’s about as wide as the five-count box I generally use, which means I can’t bring any Churchills or corona dobles, but it leaves plenty of room for robustos, toros and coronas.
It is available in four color combinations: Black/Black/Chrome, Chrome/Chrome, Black/Chrome, and Red/Chrome.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
€179 ($213.04). It is not currently offered for sale in the United States, at least not officially.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The S.T. Dupont Megajet is a straightforward, side squeeze lighter. Simply wrap your fingers around the body of the lighter and you’ll likely use your thumb to squeeze in the ignition lever. That gets the butane flowing and provides the spark to ignite the fuel, resulting in a w-shaped flat flame with which to light your cigar.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The 2cm wide flame is far and away the biggest selling point of the S.T.Dupont Megajet, as it is not only the biggest that the company has produced thus far but likely the largest flat flame among lighters geared towards premium cigars.
- The Wide Flame — As the average ring gauge of cigars continues to grow, lighters that can handle them are coming have come along right behind them. For smokers of large ring gauge cigars who had hesitated with other flat flames, this should be a much better option.
- The Ergonomics — The curved body of the Megajet fits right into the joints of my fingers, and while my thumb sticks out a bit to engage the ignition, the lighter feels very comfortable in the hand when lighting a cigar. It has just enough mass and the ignition provides an engaging amount of resistance.
- The Build Quality — One internal issue aside, which will come up in the next section, the Megajet feels very solidly built, as almost every S.T.Dupont does. Much of this is due to only having one real moving part—the ignition lever—which reduces the opportunity for things to start jiggling or feeling loose.
- The Flame Doesn’t Always Extinguish Quickly — Depending on how open you have the flame adjuster and full the fuel tank, the butane keeps flowing and leaves the flame burning, although at a lower level. It’s a steadily diminishing blue flame that eventually lingers right at the slot, but it’s still there, still a potential burn hazard, and still a waste of butane. It is something that I notice happening more right after the lighter is refilled, and happening less as the tank is depleted. This is a problem that I have seen reported elsewhere, so it doesn’t seem to be isolated to this particular lighter or because of what fuel I might have had in the lighter. But I have also been told this is an issue with the Slim 7 as well as the S.T.Dupont Candle Lighter, which also is a flat flame.
- It Might Be Too Wide of a Flame — I have generally advocated for the less firepower approach in lighters; while it may take a few moments more to light my cigar, I would take a single flame lighter over a triple-flame at nearly every opportunity. In the case of the S.T.Dupont Megajet, the flame opening is about the same width as a robusto, meaning that if you smoke sub-50 ring gauge cigars, you run the risk of scorching the sides of your cigar. You could certainly tilt the lighter a bit, though it doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference.
- The Open Flame Chamber — This isn’t a huge issue, and I know it’s not always easy or practical to include a lid—retracting or otherwise—but it does still mean that little bits of debris can potentially clog up the openings from which the flame emerges.
- No Fuel Window — A consistent gripe of mine with lighters of all configurations and price points, I really wish the Megajet had a way to see how much fuel is left in the tank.
- It’s Not Available in the U.S. — If you want to get your own Megajet, you’ll either need to go through an international retailer or through a domestic retailer who has brought some in on their own. Additionally, buying it on the gray market might make it ineligible for warranty service.
- Porsche Design Heber P’ 3632 ($150-170) — Easily my favorite flat flame due to its unique design, this is one of a handful of lighters for which I would pay a premium. It’s smaller than the Megajet in both size and flame width but offers a fuel window and a unique flip-down ignition. And besides, it bears the Porsche name.
- S.T.Dupont Slim 7 ($185) — If the Megajet is too big for you but you prefer an S.T. Dupont option, the Slim 7 is worth a look. Fuel capacity is limited and the flame is better suited to smaller ring gauges, but the portability is unmatched. Plus it’s a bit less expensive and it’s available in the U.S.
- XIKAR Verano ($79.99) — XIKAR’s entry into the flat flame segment is one I would definitely consider if looking for a new lighter, flat flame or not. It’s incredibly easy to use and offers a large flame adjustment wheel and a tinted fuel window. The still capable flame is smaller, but so is the price.
- Prometheus God of Fire Edición Limitada Magma X ($99.95) — Another one of my preferred flat-flame options and one I would choose ahead of the Megajet. That’s even though the only way to get one is with the God of Fire logos on it as the company doesn’t offer an unbranded version. It comes with a flip-out punch cutter, a rarity in the flat-flame segment, as well as a more approachable price compared to the Megajet.
- Black Label El Presidente ($100) — I have only used this Lotus-made lighter on a handful of occasions, but it is certainly a capable lighter worth consideration from a performance perspective. That said, there is no fuel window or punch cutter, but the design is appealing.
- Vertigo Zephyr ($25) — If you’re not ready to take a three-digit plunge into the world of flat flame lighters, this budget-friendly option is certainly worth a look. It’s also a side squeeze option, will work up to 11,000 feet, and in my limited experience with it, performs on par with every lighter on this list.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
No. At least, not yet. While I think the concept of the S.T.Dupont Megajet—or any larger flat flame—has some real merit, the issue with the flame continuing to burn after the ignition has been released seems like a design flaw or manufacturing issue that needs to be addressed before I can recommend this. Were that not an issue, I’d almost certainly be inclined to recommend this. I do wish there was a fuel window, even though I know they are not a consistent feature on S.T.Dupont lighters, but that could be overlooked due to the merits of the flame, even if it could be seen as a bit wide. While I’m holding off recommending the Megajet for now, I’m definitely keeping an optimistic eye to a second iteration that might resolve the flame issue, as a better performing version would be a welcomed addition to my lighter rotation.
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel.