Kiribi Kenshi: Every Pipesmoker's Everyday Lighter

Kirbi Kenshi Lighter at Smokingpipes.com

For two years, I've relied on a Kiribi Kabuto lighter for my pipesmoking needs. I appreciate the simple, classic presentation of the Kabuto, its chic finish, Old Boy-style striking wheel, and sound reliability. It's been a mainstay within my coterie of accessories, and I've traveled with it to pipe shows and camp sites alike, always grateful for its dependability.

Recently, however, I've wanted a pipe lighter to carry on my person all day, everyday — an everyday-carry lighter, like an EDC pocket knife. While my Kabuto could certainly have filled the role, I was uncomfortable pocketing it 24/7, knowing my penchant for misplacing items and the unfortunate reality that some things simply long to be lost. It being my only pipe lighter, I deemed it best to keep the Kabuto secure with my other accessories and find a different lighter to fulfill my everyday carrying needs.

Such a lighter needed to fit certain criteria:

  1. It should have a durable fuselage, a construction that won't fail and dent if dropped or sat upon;
  2. I like the Old Boy-style striking wheel and desired an angled flame for better pipe-lighting, so that engineering was preferred;
  3. It needed to be small of profile so as not to be cumbersome when pocketed, yet substantial enough not to feel lost in hand;
  4. It ought to properly perform the duties of any lighter, namely lighting consistently;
  5. and I needed to attain it at a reasonable enough price point that I wouldn't cry myself to sleep were I to inadvertently leave it resting on a random park bench.

I found each criterion met by Kiribi's newest lighter, the Kenshi.

Being a fan of the Kabuto, my search for a suitable EDC lighter started with Kiribi, and it never left. The Kenshi offers exactly what one could want in a reliable, daily pipe lighter.

Kenshi means "sword wielder" in Japanese — a fitting name for an EDC lighter, in my opinion. It features the same angled, double soft flame, minimalist style, and Old Boy-style hinged cap and striking wheel as many of Kiribi's other lighters, for an aesthetic that's classically timely and efficiently utilitarian but in a decidedly more compact overall package.

The Kenshi's design is sleek, simple, and practical. When you purchase a Kenshi, you aren't paying for precious metals, extravagant designs, or extra features; you're investing in a no-nonsense pipe lighter that does what it's designed to do: light pipes. At $68 and $76, depending on the finish, (Black Matte and Black Nickel, respectively), it's one of the most budget-friendly, Old Boy-style pipe lighters on the market, and while it would be a shame to lose it, replacing the Kenshi is much more manageable than, say, your prized Dunhill or IM Corona lighter.

Kirbi Kenshi Lighter at Smokingpipes.com

My favorite features are the size and construction. The Kenshi is the same height as the Kabuto, ensuring a steady grip in hand, but is half as wide, fitting perfectly into the watch pocket of most 5-pocket trousers. Tucked away in that watch pocket, the Kenshi leaves the other pockets free for more necessities — a phone, wallet, car keys, pocket knife, pack of gum, box of crayons, gold bullion, pet rocks, whatever you're into — yet the lighter remains secure, without risk of falling out. Even at such a compact size, the Kenshi still has an impressive fuel capacity of 2.8g, just over half what the Kabuto holds, ensuring plenty of time spent between refillings.

It features the same angled, double soft flame, minimalist style, and Old Boy-style hinged cap and striking wheel as many of Kiribi's other lighters, for an aesthetic that's classically timely and efficiently utilitarian but in a decidedly more compact overall package.

Making a habit out of always carrying the Kenshi guarantees that I'm never without a light. If I'm working outside or am on a walk, I don't have to worry about slipping a lighter in my pocket — it's already there. If I'm at pipe club and a friend forgets their lighter, now I have an extra. While I may not use the Kenshi every single day, it's noticeably inconvenient when I don't have it. Similar to a pocket knife, you may not need it everyday, but when you do, you're forever grateful you have it. Nothing's worse than trying to open a box without scissors or a knife on-hand. In the same way, few things are more frustrating than needing to relight your pipe only to realize you left your lighter in the car. The Kenshi is the perfect everyday companion.

When you purchase a Kenshi, you aren't paying for precious metals, extravagant designs, or extra features; you're investing in a no-nonsense pipe lighter that does what it's designed to do: light pipes.

Having the Kenshi on my person at all times has benefits outside of pipesmoking, too, coming in handy even more often than I previously expected: lighting candles, illuminating a dark room, keeping nylon string from fraying, crowd participation at an Oasis concert, starting a campfire after losing track of time in the woods while smoking — the uses are virtually endless, and the Kenshi delivers on all fronts.

Kirbi Kenshi Lighter at Smokingpipes.com
Category:   Pipe Line
Tagged in:   Accessories Kiribi Lighters

Comments

    • Robert on December 18, 2019
    • I was told that the flame of a gas lighter was to not and would damage My pipe so I still use my old Falcon Nimrod petrol pipe lighter

    • Truett on December 18, 2019
    • Hi @Robert, you're right -- a torch lighter (typically used for cigars) can definitely damage a pipe. Thankfully, though, the Kenshi is a soft flame pipe lighter, just like your Nimrod.

    • Condorbob on December 18, 2019
    • I use petrol gas flame is to hot

    • Truett on December 18, 2019
    • Any lighter can be too hot for a pipe if used with improper technique. Provided the flame isn't left to touch the briar for too long, any soft flame lighter -- butane or petrol -- is well-suited for your pipe lighting needs. Personally, I appreciate butane lighters for their ease of refilling, but I know plenty of people that use naphthalene-fueled (petrol) ones.

      Also, consider this article (pasted below) which breaks down the varying temperatures of butane and naphthalene lighters. The difference is minimal. However, the most important thing is technique -- poor technique and carelessness will cause damage regardless of the lighter used.

      https://sciencing.com/thinsulate-temperature-ratings-7456929.html

    • Truett on December 18, 2019
    • Sorry. Wrong link. Here's the correct one:

      https://sciencing.com/temperatures-do-lighters-burn-8475271.html

    • Matthew David on December 18, 2019
    • Love the look of this lighter but after having shelled out $92.00 for a Kiribi Takara lighter that doesn't work anymore, I don't think I'll be buying another Kiribi. No idea how to contact Kiribi to see if I can get mine fixed.

    • Truett on December 18, 2019
    • @Matthew David, I’m sorry to hear about your lighter. If you give Smokingpipes’ customer service a call at (843) 281-9304 , they’d be happy to help you sort out a repair or possible replacement. All the best.

    • Tom Pfaeffle on July 12, 2021
    • I used to have a Kitibi until it fell apart. Then found out there are no Kiribi repair people in the US.

    • Truett on July 12, 2021
    • @Tom Pfaeffle , we offer lighter repairs. Please contact our customer service department at (843) 281-9304, and hopefully we can get everything sorted out for you!

    • Craig Hairrell on December 5, 2021
    • I've owned my Kenshi only about a month, purchased at a local shop during a Laudisi trunk show. From the 2nd day, I have had difficulty with maintaining a consistent flame. I adjust it, then the next time I try to use it, it is too high or too low. Adjustment is very touchy. Merely touching the adjustment screw can cause significant changes in the flame. It performs best after being completely purged and refilled, but that doesn't last more than a few lights. It's similar to how lighters that are low on fuel perform.That adjustment screw seems to sit higher than my Kubota, sitting slightly proud of the base. The local retailer has assured me that they'll take care of me, but I don't want to bother them with it if there's something I can do myself to resolve it. Truett, do you have any thoughts?

    • Truett on December 7, 2021
    • @Craig, that's a really annoying problem to have, and the flame-adjustment screw definitely shouldn't be sitting above the lighter base. To me, it sounds like there's an internal issue that needs fixing. We do in-house lighter repairs, and your Kenshi is likely still under warranty. Give our customer service department a call at (843) 281-9304 and they should get everything taken care of for you! Sorry it's been an issue for you!

    • Stamper Tamper on July 14, 2022
    • Read before you buy. Great lighters, but the polymer hinge will wear out in roughly two years. Mine occurred a few months after warranty. Currently SP.com does not sell parts and you will have to send your lighter in for servicing and pay a $35 fee. Tack on at least $20 international for shipping (in my case). So, if I am going to pay $50 bucks every couple of years to keep a $65 lighter going, I am going to abandon it and not recommend anyone buy one. Sell us the parts SP it’s an easy fix, thanks you tube! You’re a great company SP, you’ve been real good to me and I hope eventually you change your mind so I may use my Kiribi again.

    • Stamper Tamper on July 15, 2022
    • Thanks for changing your mind and coming through SP.

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