IM Corona Old Boy Pewter Finish with Pipe Shapes $150 (made in Japan)
Pipe Lighter Pewter Finish with Pipe Shapes $44.95 (made in China)
You have probably noticed that there is a huge difference in the prices of different pipe lighters. The “royalty” among pipe lighters; IM Corona, Dunhill, DuPont and Sillems to name a few, enjoy such price tags as $150 to over $1,000!!! Such is understandable, to a point, when they are gold plated or feature some other precious metal. But the question that remains is how can a lighter cost twice as much when the mechanics and materials are much the same as other pipe lighters with the same features, such as Yibao, Jifeng, Vertigo, Colibri, Cohiba and Xikar?
Some say it is because the more expensive pipe lighters are domestically manufactured, or manufactured in Europe, while the mid to low cost lighters are “imports”. But is that really true? I learned just the other day that Savinelli’s IM Corona Old Boy Pipe Lighter was actually manufactured in Japan! I’m not implying that Japanese lighters are not of good quality. But I am asking are they worth 4-5 times more than other import lighters?
Many brands of pipe lighters today are manufactured in China. While some will turn up their nose at the thought of owning a Chinese made product; thinking of lesser quality, I am old enough to remember when the same was said of “Made in Japan”.
Striped Chrome Pipe Lighter $65.95 (made in China)
IM Corona Striped Chrome Pipe Lighter $136 (made in Japan)
So, here’s the deal. Below I have listed those “royalty” pipe lighter companies mentioned above, along with the country in which their lighters are made. Then you can decide whether or not it is worth mortgaging the house to buy one. As well, I will list the mid to low cost pipe lighter brands showing the country they are manufactured in.
At the end if the day, if you want to spend $150+ for a good quality pipe lighter, so be it. But at least you will be informed as to what you are getting.
High Priced Pipe Lighters
Savinellis’s IM Corona-Italian Company and manufactured in Japan (according to IM Corona’s Amazon listing)
Dunhill-British Company and manufactured in England.
DuPont-French Company with lighters made in France and China. Minijet and Maxijet series are made in China. Other lighters are made in France.
Sillems-German Company and lighters are made in Japan.
Low to Mid Priced Pipe Lighters
Wenzhou Yibao Hardware-Chinese manufacturer that is ISO 9001 and SA8000 certified. Manufactures lighters for Cohiba (43,000 in 2012) and under the brand names of Jifeng and Yibao.
Vertigo-Made by Lotus (also makes Nibo) Manufactured in China
Colibri-Made in China
Xikar-Made in China
IMCO-Austrian Company and per their website they are Austrian made since 1907.
My point throughout this post is the vast majority of lighters are made in China and Japan. My question is what is really the difference between the $79.99 Pewter Finish with Pipe Shapes; that looks and works just like the $150.00 Savinelli’s IM Corona Old Boy? The same would be true with the Lotus Vertigo Briar and the Xikar Pipeline.
At the end of the day if someone is determined to lay down $200+ for what they believe to be a European Lighter (that is really manufactured in China or Japan) they will do it. But, for all of those who want a comparable quality pipe lighter for 1/5th the price, that is manufactured in China or Japan, they can do so knowing that many of these mid priced lighters are manufactured in the same countries and in similar factories as the high priced lighters.
To purchase one of these fine, mid-priced lighters you can learn more about them by clicking one of the links below.
Pipe Lighter Pewter Finish with Pipe Shapes $79.99 (compare to IM Corona’s Old Boy Pewter Finish with Pipe Shapes $150)
Leather Wrapped Pipe Lighter $59.95
Pipe Lighter Silver Finish with Chrome Lines $69.95 (compare with IM Corona Old Boy Chromium Lines $136)