Z-Plus Torch Flame Lighter Insert
by David "Doc" Diaz
Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
TYPE: Torch Flame Lighter Insert
WEB SITE: http://www.blazerproducts.com/lighters/zplus.html
PRICE: $9.99–$12.99, depending on source
OVERALL SCORE: 93
BACKGROUND: The Z-Plus torch flame lighter insert is a butane refillable, wind-resistant, lighter replacement that will work with most Zippo-type lighters. With the Z-Plus, you can bring your old flint-based, lighter-fluid-filled lighter into the 21st Century. Just swap and go.
SET UP AND USE: Score: 96
The setup for the Z-Plus lighter insert takes less time than it took you to read this sentence; you just pull out the old lighter insert and replace it with the Z-Plus. That’s it. It couldn’t be quicker or easier. The Z-plus will work with most metal flip top lighter cases (like Zippo and others). And you can easily swap between a traditional or torch flame by simply swapping out inserts.
I did have a little problem with the initial filling; the valve stem didn't seem to match up well with my can of butane. There was a brief but ugly scene: butane spewing about, you know the drill. Anyway, I got it filled alright. The second part of the set up involves setting the gas flow, which requires the use of a tiny screwdriver or some very small fingernails. The fuel reservoir is a semi-opaque plastic, which makes it a bit difficult to see how much fuel you have put into the insert. I found that if you hold the insert up to the light just right, you can barely make out the fill line. Why not a clear insert base?!
FUNCTION: Score: 88
As a lighter, the Z-Plus is adequate. It throws a nice flame that is plenty robust and can be adjusted. (However, it’s a minor irritation that you have to pull the insert out of the lighter shell to adjust the flame.) Though touted as wind-resistant, the flame is no more resistant to wind than any other torch flame and shares the same deficiency as other butane lighters when used outside: namely, you can’t see the flame in bright light. Nevertheless, it gets the job done and, in my opinion, is a far sight better than a traditional flame lighter for lighting cigars.
The Z-Plus insert tends to stay lit for a few seconds after letting go of the striker. This seems to be a common feature of the Z-plus. Some inserts are worse than others when it comes to this type of leakage. This effect would influence the time between refillings. My lighter doesn't stay lit long. Less than a second.
The insert has a generous butane reservoir that will provide many consecutive lights. I took mine on vacation recently and it made it through a two-week trip without needing a refill (about 8-10 cigars). I will say that, at above 4,500 feet altitude, this lighter becomes very finicky. It does not seem to like the altitude and I really have to play around with the flame adjustment settings to get it right.
The warranty on the Z-plus is minimal (one year from original date of purchase) and original proof of purchase is required. Warranty coverage ends when a products becomes unusable for “reasons other than defects in workmanship or material.”
VALUE: Score: 95
The Z-Plus represents a great value. It’s relatively cheap and is very versatile, given that you can use it with nearly any Zippo-type lighter shell. That means you can have a butane torch lighter at the ready for any occasion. For knocking around, choose your older, beat-up lighter case, and when out on the town, choose your gold-leafed monogrammed model. Whenever I’m away from home, my Z-Plus and a couple of Zippo shells go with me. The Z-Plus insert is truly a lighter for every occasion, mood and geographical location. I recommend highly.
About the Author
David "Doc" Diaz is the publisher and the editor of the Stogie Fresh Cigar Publications. He has served as an educator, researcher and writer and has taught in the Health Education and Health Science field for over 30 years. He possesses an earned doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Doc is a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT), having received this certification from the Tobacconist University and is a member and Ambassador of Cigar Rights of America (CRA).blog comments powered by Disqus