Kiribi Kabuto Silver Satin Review

A few weeks ago I replaced my Xikar Resource with what will hopefully be an upgrade, a Kiribi pipe lighter.  Specifically I got the Silver Satin model.

So far it’s been treating me well.  I can contrast it to my Resource with these points:

  • Massively better fuel capacity.  As in I’ve only filled it once when I got it.
  • Much better reliability in the wind.  It will light in the wind, but you just need to cup your hand around the flame to keep it steady.
  • The flame can be adjusted with a fingernail.  It’s not quite as simple as a thumbwheel but it’s a big upgrade from needing a separate tool.

This is not something to judge the product by, but its packaging is very nice.  Its box lid has a sweet magnetic catch that makes working the lid very satisfying.. it’s too bad I’ll eventually toss it.

A few minor negatives thus far:

  • I do miss the push button simplicity of the piezoelectric ignition.  The flint wheel is very reliable and easy to use but it is an extra step.
  • If you don’t move your fingers away from the top of the lighter while using it you can burn yourself.  Easy solution though, move your fingers out of the way.
  •  The flame ports and flint wheel rod get darkened over time, and won’t always look as fantastically clean & shiny as in the product photos:

    A bit of scorching on top.
    A bit of scorching on top.
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Xikar Resource Review

My progression of pipe lighters had gone from cheap Chinese piezoelectric lighters to Bentley (aka Prometheus) flint lighters.  While the Bentleys proved to be more durable than the crappy Chinese lighter they too eventually wore out, refusing to reliably light even with new flints.  I decided to step up my game a bit and went for the Xikar Resource, it was on sale for only $33 shipped.

It because my go-to lighter for a year, proving to be a reliable tool until I shelved it in favor of a Kiribi.  What was good about it:

  • Simple to use, one-button ignition
  • Reliable ignition

And of course, the reasons I stopped using it:

  • Super-small fuel capacity.  I swear it will only last about 6 bowls before needing to be filled again
  • The tamper is too small, it punches holes in your tobacco instead of evenly compressing a large area
  • The flame can only be adjusted with a screwdriver, and even then it has to be of a very specific size (1/8″).  This is very annoying as you get towards the end of a tank and need to open the valve to maintain flame size.  Couple this with the frequent refills and you have a lighter than can’t travel far from home.
  • Pretty bad performance in the wind, or really even the slightest hint of moving air.  You basically need to be indoors for it to reliably light.

A last point is that the build quality isn’t terribly robust.. the lighter has a top and bottom half which are secured together with one small machine screw.  The issue is that the screw is threaded into plastic giving a pretty weak connection.  At one point I filled the lighter by holding it upside down and pushed the top half out of the bottom shell.  I was able to tighten the screw back down but it’s always been loose and sloppy after that.

xikar
Two-part construction

 

My conclusion would be to avoid this product.  Xikar’s Scribe seems like a good alternative if you want to stay within the same price range.