In the arena of budget-friendly cigar lighters, The Lotus Group/Integral Logistics submitted a new player last summer, the Vertigo Rocket, a pocket-friendly triple torch lighter with a large and visible fuel tank and price tag under 10 dollars as its two main selling points.

The Rocket measures 3 1/8″ in height, 1 1/2″ in width and is 3/4″ thick, checking in at just over two ounces in weight. It’s a size that’s in line with many of its competitors, including the JetLine SuperTorch, which I consider to be the benchmark model for lighters in this class. It’s a largely plastic body, though the upper third is metal, a familiar design with a trio of vents on each side.

This isn’t a single action lighter, one where you press the ignition button and the lid flips open, the butane starts flowing and the piezo ignition sparks the flame, though I’m actually sort of happy about what some might see as a drawback. The lid has to be opened manually, and while the phrase single-action is certainly appealing, it does come with a caveat. Over time, that latch is likely to wear down, meaning the spring-loaded lid will open automatically. That’s not a concern with the Vertigo Rocket as there isn’t that internal latch and the lid isn’t attached to a spring.

That said, the pin holding the lid to the body of the lighter does need to be monitored; after a few weeks of usage it started to wiggle out a bit, quickly rectified by pushing it back in with my cutter. The giveaway was that the mechanism wasn’t as smooth as I remembered it being, so check that should you notice a similar sensation.

The flame itself is fairly wide, the result of the three jets being arranged in a triangular configuration, with each jet pointed straight up. As such, the flame is better suited for big ring gauge cigars than smaller rings and the occasional touch-up where a bit smaller flame would make for a better tool. Even on cigars with ring gauges in the mid 50s, the flame reaches around the foot and hits the sides of the cigar, a problem that is exacerbated by using the lighter in the daylight when the flame isn’t as visible, or when it’s turned up a tick too far.

On the other end of the process, the plastic ignition button has some traction-assisting sections that do their job well, though the resistance isn’t enough to make the process a struggle. The ignition piece did develop a bit of side-to-side play over time, something that doesn’t affect the functionality but does remind the user that this is a lower-cost lighter.

Adjusting the flame is about as easy as a company could make it; the flame adjustment knob is the entire bottom of the lighter, a black disc about the size of a dime that has finger notches to make it even easier to adjust. The range is about 180 degrees between its lowest and highest settings.

At the low end of that range, the lighter won’t ignite, while at the high end, you get a flame that reaches nearly three inches in visible length, with the heat felt several inches beyond that. As with most lighters, I found the ideal spot to be in the middle of that range; the three jets don’t need to be inordinately long to produce sufficient heat to get any cigar lit, and I found that the smaller flame was easier to control and less prone to scorching the sides of a smaller cigar.

As mentioned earlier, the large fuel tank is one of the main features of the Vertigo Rocket, and it holds plenty of fuel to easily get through several cigars or sharing your lighter with friends. Refilling it is a standard procedure with the valve on the underside of the lighter in the middle of the flame height adjuster.

While the fuel tank is a big plus of the lighter, it is also where the operational issues I came across seemed to originate.

If you’ve read other lighter reviews on this site or heeded the warnings of manufacturers and retailers, you should know that it is imperative to purge your lighter of air between fillings, a process that is also known as bleeding the tank. Having an excess amount of air in the lighter is counterproductive to getting the lighter to fire up, resulting in a short burst of fire that gets quickly snuffed out, a problem I ran into on occasion with the Vertigo Rocket.

Thankfully it rectifies itself fairly quickly as I can’t recall an instance where I had to give the igntion more than three clicks, and a purge between fillings helps the problem as well. While I’m not crazy about it and it can be slightly awkward when letting a friend use it, I’m willing to give this sub-10 dollar lighter a bit more leeway than I would a lighter of a higher price range, especially given the benefit of the larger tank.

While there’s nothing inherently fancy about the Vertigo Rocket, when it comes to getting the job done, it certainly manages to do that fairly well. I wish the plastic body of the fuel tank felt a bit thicker, though it’s sort of a moot point in the grand scheme of things.

There are only two things I’d change about the lighter: first, I’d like to have a bit more texture on the fuel tank, as while there are ridges they don’t do a great job providing traction, especially in comparison to horizontal ridges that I’ve seen on other similar lighter. Second, I’d love it if the back side of the metal half of the Rocket didn’t reach down as far as it does. The only times I felt heat from the lighter was when my index finger wandered up and made contact with that piece, and it’s just a bit too easy to do.

For those looking for a reliable, powerful lighter that holds a sizable amount of fuel while coming with a tiny price, the Vertigo Rocket is certainly worth consideration. It might not be the most stylish lighter on the market, but for 10 bucks, it does what it’s supposed to: light your cigars quickly. I’d be a bit adverse to making it my everyday lighter, but that is more because of the size of the flame and that I tend to smoke cigars under 50 ring gauge, and as such a dual flame is my go-to configuration.

The Vertigo Rocket is available in two body colors, clear and charcoal, both of which sell for an MSRP of $9.99.

The lighter for this review was provided by The Lotus Group/Integral Logistics.

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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, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.