So you've been eyeing off that leather wrapped Kiribi Tomo for a while now, and have finally pulled the trigger. Maybe you're lucky enough to have been able to buy it on instinct, but just as likely you've had to scrimp and save for a while. With your shiny new lighter in hand, what do you need to know? Pipe lighters can be a significant investment after all, so here are some tips to get the most out of your new toy.
Get yourself a precision screwdriver.
You don't need a whole set, and you don't need a super expensive one. Almost all supermarkets and pharmacies will have an eyeglass repair kit, and usually they won't break the three dollar mark. They're also super handy for other things (repairing glasses for example), so you should probably have one anyway.
Tighten the screws.
Use it for a couple of days (or a week, depending on mileage) and then give the screws a tighten. You don't want to tighten it so hard that you strip them, or break any washers, but just make sure they're set. After this is done you'll only need to do so occasionally, and only if you notice them becoming loose. Oh, and again, make sure you use that precision screwdriver, as most anything else will strip the screws.
Set the flame for about an inch long.
I know that sounds crazy long, but it means that both the flame and the tobacco you're lighting will sit a little further away from the nozzles, which will mean less carbon build up. It'll also give you better control over your flame, which means less chance of scorching the rim on your precious briars.
Use only Kiribi flints.
Yes, I know everyone says this about their products, but in this case, the density of the Kiribi flints (which is significantly different to other brands on the market) will have an impact on how easy it is to roll your flint wheel, and how much spark the flint gives off. Also, being much softer, using the Kiribi branded flints will result in less wear and tear on the flint wheel.
Clean with bristle pipe cleaner.
I mentioned carbon build up earlier, and how to minimise it. That all being said though, no matter what you do, you will get carbon build up, as well as tobacco scraps and pocket lint, depending on where you are carrying it. Not only is this unsightly, but it can clog the nozzles and make the flint wheel harder to turn. Grab a bristled pipe cleaner and really get in there, especially around the nozzles and flint wheel. Dipping it in a little bit of alcohol won't hurt either (though maybe keep it away from the leather if you have a Tomo or Kabuto), or — even better — just use a little toothpaste, which is a little less risky than alcohol.
What type of fuel?
There are multiple brands out there, and honestly, they're much of a muchness. As long as it's butane and meant for lighters, you should be good to go.
How to fill?
After bleeding the lighter (yes, this is an essential step) turn it upside down, jam the fuel nozzle into the valve at the base of your lighter, and depress until it starts hissing loudly. It might also spit some fuel at you when it's full, but this should dissipate within a few seconds, so never fear.
One last note.
Very occasionally we have customers send their lighter in for repair with a flame that's too large or too small, no matter how much the flame adjustment screw is tightened or loosened. Essentially the problem is that the brass screw underneath the adjustment screw is too high or low. Take out the adjusting screw, and if the flame is too large, turn the brass screw within a half turn clockwise. If too small, turn it a half turn counter-clockwise. Again, use a precision screwdriver.
Have a Kiribi or another pipe lighter? Got any tips to share? Please feel free to comment below.