Cigar Lighters vs. Matches

Cigar smoking comes with many dos and don’ts, most of these surrounding how you light a cigar. One particular concern around this topic is what you should use to light cigars. The two most common methods are using cigar lighters and matches.

But do they both deliver the same result? Are they both seamless? Which is better? These are some of the common questions beginners do ask, and, understandably so. In this article, you will learn how both work, the pros and cons of each, and which one you should choose. Once, you’ve decided, head over to to find reviews of the best options out there.

Lighters Vs. Matches

First, it is essential to understand that any type of combustion results from a chemical reaction. The different fuel types consist of various by-products used to stabilize them and maintain their combustibility quality.

Some of these compounds are odorless, while others are not. For example, liquid petroleum gas, commonly referred to as LPG, has traces of hydrogen sulfide, a compound with a pungent odor used to help detect gas leakages.

This is why you should never use your stove to light your cigar. The odor from the gas will transfer to your cigar, affecting its overall flavor, aroma, and quality.

In the same way, you should not use cardboard matches and candles as they come with their own set of chemicals that will affect your cigar’s flavor if you use them. The only acceptable lighting options are butane lighters, wooden matches, and cedar pills.

Butane Lighters

From the explanation above, most fuel types have chemical compounds, some with pungent odors and some odorless. Butane, in this case, is a relatively odorless chemical that does not transfer to your cigar after lighting.

This gas is stored in pressurized chambers, turning it into a liquid which, when you press down on the lighters button, releases a little pressure pushing the liquid out as gas. A spark that comes on when you press on the lighters button ignites the gas creating a flame.

Butane lighters for cigars come in various styles, but most cigar lovers prefer torch lighters. This is because they provide a concentrated flame making it easy to light a cigar and deliver a uniform burn.

Lighters are easy to use and come in handy to get your cigar ready in seconds quickly. Cigar lovers like the portability of cigar lighters in that they can toss them in their pockets. Most lighters come in a small hand-size design, making them easy to carry and use when needed.

Also, they are mess-free and do not need any kind of preparation to get going. Cigar lighters, specifically torch lighters, are speedy, and there is no cleaning up to do after lighting your cigar. Their ‘clean’ design makes them the most preferred method of lighting cigars.

What’s more, they come in different styles to suit individual preferences. Cigar smoking is class in itself and all the accessories you need to go with the theme. Luckily, the market has a variety of styles of cigar lighters to choose from, so you can be sure to find one that tickles your fancy.

One thing you need to keep in mind is how comfortable the lighter is in your hand. This is mainly because how stable it is in your hand affects the efficiency when lighting the cigar. A rule of thumb is the larger your hand is, the larger the cigar you will want to get.

Wooden Matches

Matches are a great alternative to cigar lighters; they have been functional and practical for years. In fact, most traditional cigar lovers prefer using matches to lighters. But, how efficient are they for beginners and regular cigar smokers?

Wooden matches remain at the top of choices for unadulterated tobacco consumption. This is because they have the least potential to introduce flavor contaminants to cigars; therefore, the ‘cleanest’ of all methods.

Matches are great; however, they take a little more time to light and a little more patience to start your cigar. But, considering how long your premium cigar has taken to get to your hands, a minute or lighting with your matches shouldn’t be much of a concern.

As a beginner, do not confuse high-quality cigar lighters with the usual matchboxes in convenience stores. You want to make sure the matches you use on your cigar are wooden and not paper. Also, they need to be at least 3 inches in length.

The head of the match determines how effective and functional it is for lighting cigars. On this note, consider sulfur-free heads to ensure the match will not affect your cigar’s flavor. This should not be much of a concern, though; most cigar matches already meet these standards.

However, there is one vital thing to consider that lighting your cigar with matches requires a bit of skill. After striking the match, you need to wait for the chemical to burn off and let the wood catch the flame before you start toasting your cigar.

This ensures the cleanest flame possible, ensuring the flavor and aroma of your cigar remain intact. But remember, wood burns slower and at a lower temperature than butane; therefore, it may take you a few matches to light your cigar all through.

Matches are a great economical option for lighting cigars. Like lighters, they are convenient and can be carried around easily. More to this, they are easy to use as long as you master the right way to toast your cigar with matches.

Which is Better?

Both cigar lighters and matches are viable, practical options. What you choose solely depends on your aesthetic and preference. Cigar smokers find both functional and can do with either. But, more traditional cigar users will go for matches while modern ones will prefer cigar lighters.

The good thing is both lighters and matches have evolved to make the cigar lighting experience seamless with the type of materials used and the overall designs. As long as you consider the quality you choose, you should be good with either. And, with the proper cigar lighting procedure, both can work right.

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