“ Brand: Unilite / Type: Lighter „
As a smoker (bad habit I know!) a lighter is a necessity for me. One rand I keep coming back to are these unilite lighters. I'll be honest, I usually pick them because they just happen to be the cheapest in the shop at the time but they do have several features I like and so long as the price doesn't increase too much I see no reason why I should stop buying them.
About Unilite Lighters
Unilite lighters are made by Unilight International. Unilight have been making lighters for Europe for over 25 years. They aim to "give you the best service mix in quality, high stock levels, a wide range, competitive prices, good lead times, great designs and an excellent service." (information taken from www.unilight-international.com)
Unilight have 3 different brands that they produce. The cheapest being the Unilite, their middle of the range brand being Major and their top end lighters are X-Lite.
I mentioned earlier that these lighters had some features that I like. These are:
* Shock Proof Bottom
I have massive pockets. Whilst this is useful in the sense that I can store a lot of things in them, it also means that things are always falling out as I lean over! Lighters in particular tend to be particularly prone to this. I have in the past, broken many lighters because of this, either because they refuse to light after or they start leaking gas. Not exactly safe!
However, Unilite lighters have a suspension plate on the bottom of the lighter this extends out to cover the side walls protecting the lighter if it's dropped.
* Gas Stop
Now Unilite claim that this is child resistant, I have a problem with this claim which I will talk about later but this works by you needing to press down a very stiff lever in order to work the lighter. Unilite also claims that this will also result in less gas usage as it's unlikely to be accidentally pressed as you carry it around.
(Information about these features taken from the site listed above)
There is also a flap particular to my type of lighter which I feel adds extra protection which I shall discuss later. Their lighters are also refillable.
There are other features added to their Major and X-Lite brands but since I'm not reviewing these I won't go into them here. There is information on their site if you are interested.
Unilite lighters cover many different styles and ways of lighting so please note that although I can only discuss mine here there are plenty others available.
My lighter has a particularly cute picture of a kitten playing on the front of it, for those of you who prefer decorative lighters you'll be pleased to know that this is clear and well printed. It's also free from scratches despite being dropped several times and so has proved to be durable. Since it has been dropped so many times I'm also happy to confirm that the shock proof bottom appears to work well as I have had no problem with it leaking gas and it still works as well as the day I bought it.
To light the lighter there is a flap that covers the whole of the top of the lighter. To operate I simply press down on the right hand side. Initially this presents no problems but as I reach the point where it starts to release gas it gets very stiff and hard to press. In fact I can only light it with my right hand, it's too still for my left.
This is the mechanism they claim is child resistant, to a degree i would agree with this. If I'm unable to light it with my weaker hand then it's going to be hard for a child to light. However, I do feel that there are lighters that offer better child protection. That said it does only claim to be child resistant and not child proof, also lighters should be kept out of children's reach anyway.
Back to that flap, as those of you who use lighters will know, they always come with a warning to ensure that the flame is completely out before use. I used to find this warning slightly amusing. Surely once my fingers are off the gas release the flame would automatically go out? At least that's what I believed till I had a lighter break on me and I didn't realise it was still alight until after I had put it down! I now always follow that direction and double check the flame it out. However, since this flap completely covers the top of the lighter if the gas release does eventually break meaning the lighter stays on then the flap covers over the area with the flame putting it out for me.
Refilling this has never caused any problem for me. I have a bottle of cheap lighter fluid that I use. The nossle fits the refill hole without any problems and the gas enters easily finally releasing that tell-tale hiss that tells me it's full.
Price, Availability And Recommendation
I bought mine from ASDAs for 72p however prices do vary depending on where you buy it and what style you want so it's worth shopping around.
I'm more then happy to recommend it. There are many features that I like and whilst the mechanism to light it is stiff it's not overly difficult and I'd rather it be stiff then too easy anyway. It is refillable but unlike the clippers you can't replace the flint (if the style of lighter you have uses a Flint, some just use pressure to create a spark) which will eventually wear down. However this doesn't bother me as I tend to lose my lighters anyway and I feel the price allows for this. I am therefore going to give it the full 5 out of 5.