There's an old chestnut that pipe smokers spend more time lighting their pipes than they do actually smoking 'em.
That's probably true.
I probably spend nearly as much on lighters and their associated materials as I do on tobacco. And the problem is that I have yet to find a really decent pipe-lighter.
Naturally all our friends across the pond will start screaming about Zippos. Well, yiz can shut up because I have one, and it's the one I am using at the moment. However it has some drawbacks. For a start, I seem to spend my time filling the damn thing and every time I fill it, the liquid goes all over the place, including me. While I am prepared to suffer for my cause, self immolation is not my idea of fun. Also it isn't that easy to light with one hand which means I have to put down my pipe [or take both hands off the steering wheel] to light the pipe.
My preference would be for a gas lighter, and thus I got myself a rather nice Vector lighter. Apart from the fact that it broke, it has a very small gas tank so once again I have a daily routine of having to fill the damn thing. It does however come with a handy little trio of pipe tools for cleaning out the bowl but I could buy those separately anyway for a few bob.
The shop in the village used to sell some very nifty lighters – the Ronson Slyder. They were brilliant in that they were cheap, refillable and had a large capacity so would last for ages. Eventually they would go wonkey but by then I had really had my money's worth. Unfortunately I didn't think ahead so by the time the shop stopped selling them I only had a few around the house and they are all now resting in peace. Maybe I'll try persuading the shop to stock 'em again but I would probably have to promise to buy the lot.
I hear tell of a lighter called a Corona Oldboy, which looks nice but is a tad on the pricey side for something that may or may not be suitable.
So the question is….
If you were buying a lighter for a lovable old pensioner, what would you get?