“ Manufacturer: Ktwo / Type: Lighter „
A power cut always seems to occur after dark on the coldest night of the year, midst a riveting TV programme; when the idea of making a coffee has just crossed your mind, along with the thoughts of making a warm snack during the commercial break. Never is there a torch, close to hand and all matches, lighters and candles have long since disappeared under a mountain of clutter in the Odds and Sods drawer. - That, my friends, is Murphy's Law in action, better known perhaps as Sod's Law.
Experience has taught me to keep a small torch by the telephone so that I know exactly where to reach one source of light to enable me to search for candles and matches. Even then getting to the phone can be fraught with danger for my dogs, who manage to park themselves under my feet when in the forward motion.
......Problems prompting me to search for solutions....
My cooker is gas fueled, ignited by an electrically generated spark, and strange as it might seem, as soon as the power goes down, I suddenly develop a craving for a nice hot drink and my hunt for matches takes on a greater sense of urgency. :-)
Trying to find matches or lighter is a mammoth task in my house, neither of which is an item kept handy on my worktops, anything smaller than a toaster soon gets lost.
In times past, when eventually, after much groping around in the dark and having found a small lighter, I would then proceed to burn my thumb and knuckles when lighting the gas, for the flame seemed to defy gravity and flickered threateningly towards my digits. The same defiance applied when holding the flame to a candle.
Not only that, I rarely managed to remove my hands from the vicinity of the cooker either, when the gas burner exploded into action with a frightening whoosh, shooting long fingers of flames even closer to my fingers.
Some years ago, I thought I found an answer to the problem when I bought a cheap butane gas lighter with an elongated extension so that the flame nozzle was well away from fingers and thumbs; especially designed for gas cookers, costing about £1 and totally unreliable, in that after a couple of lights, it too gave up the ghost and was banished to the rubbish bin - Grrrr. :-(
Fortunately, power cuts are not a frequent occurrence, even so, once a year is too often for me.
No doubt you get the picture now and understand why I was delighted to find a more reliable, user-friendly candle lighter.
I know they have been on the market for years, but until now, seemed a bit too pricey an item to have lying around on the off chance it would be used more than a couple of times a year - if that.
I discovered a candle lighter in Tesco costing £2, it appeared to be of a better quality than the old cheapies of the past and of similar quality to the much more expensive 'luxuary' models on sale.
Therefore I purchased one and brought it home to give it a good workout to make sure it was not going to let me down when Murphy's Law was in action.
......The Candle lighter......
The candle lighter is manufactured by an Essex based firm called KTWO, who specialise in producing quality refillable lighters which conform to ISO 22702 safety standard, which I assume is a legal safety requirement for quality products.
KTWO produce this particular style of candle-lighter in several colours, black, silver, turquoise, purple and pink. For some reason, KTWO have given each colour a name, even though they are otherwise exactly the same.
The black one is called the Softlite, the silver is the Silverlite and the other three colours are called the Colorite.
Each has the same structure, and mechanisms; the ONLY difference between them is the colour. The Softlite, which feels silky to the touch is so called because of the smooth and softish finish to it, even though it is made of a non-ferrous metal, I suspect its' casing is aluminium, covered with a thin, rubbery textured, coating, giving it that warm , soft feel to the touch.
My candle lighter is the Softlite, and apart from the names and colours, the description of the Softlite applies to each of the KTWO lighters of the same style.i.e Silverlite and colorite.
My KTWO candle-lighter is a 24cm long, matt black, metallic cylindrical casing, with a diameter of 1.2cm, which holds butane fuel under pressure within the tank.
At the base is a valve where the nozzle of a refill gas cylinder is attached, by the side of this is a tiny screw, set to a depth of about 1mm into the casing, which when turned adjusts the height of the flame. I assume this is a safety feature to prevent accidental flame adjustments.
At the opposite end of the long, cylindrical fuel tank is the flame outlet, surrounded by a chrome or polished metal rim, so there is no mistaking which end the flame will appear.
About midway along the tube is a slide-action ignition switch, when slid towards the top, clicks and ignites the gas. No flints are involved so I believe it uses some electronic mechanism to produce the spark, like all modern, non-flinted lighters.
On removing the lighter from its minimal packaging and reading the instructions printed on the reverse, I noticed it read and I quote, "Only fill your lighter with KTWO butane gas." However, shock-horror, none of the shops around here sold KTWO butane gas refills. I immediately contacted KTWO by email to ask if they could recommend an alternative to their own refills.
Within minutes, I received a friendly reply from KTWO to inform me that "One Stop stores" are the only shops stocking KTWO refills.However, they assured me that Ronson or Swan Universal butane gas refills will work just as well, using only the nozzle on the canister and not any of the adaptors.
I have not had the candle-lighter long enough to try it out in a real power-cut situation, but having placed it in a prominent position - in the bread bin - Yes, the bread bin - Well, I can't think of any place easier to find in the dark, I have had a few practise runs for the benefit of this review.
It went something like this:
At the end of the day, switch off telly and lights, shuffle my way to the telephone and grab a torch.(I don't normally shuffle, but when dogs are in the way and you cannot see them, it is best to shuffle, believe me:-))
Go to the kitchen, take the candle-lighter and light the cooker gas ring and a candle, situated in a permanent position, on a nearby window ledge - job done - no burnt fingers, injured dog or blue air. What more can I say, other than it is a relief to know I have a reliable gadget, that didn't cost me an arm and a leg, handy whenever the power goes off.
The flame of the lighter is far enough away from fingers yet close enough to the gas burners and wicks to ignite both in turn, without incident or accidental destruction of tender tissue; and as long as I remember to shuffle in a power-cut situation, the dogs will also remain uninjured.
Would I recommend one of these candle lighters? In a word - yes. They are safe, economical and easy to store.
Have we suffered any power cuts since its purchase? In a word - No but it has been used to light a BBQ or two. They make ideal stocking fillers too... Not expensive and much appreciated. I use mine now to light my Yankee Candle tea lights. No power cuts since buying this either.
Please note that the different colours in the range have slightly different names, e.g. Softlite and Silverlite.