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Lighter Review: THE BRUNTON STORM . . . By: ACHË

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by ACHË, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. ACHË

    ACHË Loaded Pockets

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    THE BRUNTON STORM TORCH LIGHTER REVIEW By: ACHË [​IMG]


    Intended Use

    The Brunton Storm is marketed as a windproof, waterproof, dedicated outdoor lighter able to withstand extreme weather .


    Construction, Fit & Finish

    The Brunton Storm is a large cylindrical lighter that feels lighter than it looks. From many of the pictures available online it looks like a metal body, but upon handling it one immediately notices it's plastic. At first, I was a little biased in thinking this would be a problem, because it meant a weaker product. However, after dropping it on the floor several times from about 5'~6' no damage was observed; not even a scratch. This is a major benefit of plastic construction over most other materials especially when products are colored black. When black plastic scratches, one gets a black mark, but when painted, coated or anodized metals scratch: one gets a very visible silver scratch. Not important to many, but I prefer products that wear gracefully and retain their new appearance even after being used.

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    The storm is covered on both ends by screw on caps that are both gasketed to prevent water and debris from entering both the top burner side and the bottom filler, gauge and adjustment side.

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    On the bottom we see two screws that are used to dismantle the lighter but other than that, it's a sealed unit with no exposed, switches, buttons, levers, etc...

    Fit & finish on my unit is flawless, and very good looking. The black finish on the cap, body, tailcap and pocketclip all match perfectly giving it a stealthy appearance.

    The red oversized exposed top gasket contrasts elegantly with the black. The bottom gasket is a bit smaller but still nicely oversized and exposed as well. The threading on both ends is smooth to operate and seem substantial enough no to fail under rough use.

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    The pocket clip is a nice addition to any lighter with this intended purpose and fits quite tightly onto a recessed flat area where the knurling was inteligently removed. The clip attaches with just one screw and I can't tell if it screws on to a metal component or perhaps a backer plate...If it does then it should be sufficient but if not then this might cause problems down the line.


    Knurling on the body and cap is deep and purposefull without being overly aggressive. There is some knurling on the large ignition switch as well.

    The burner assembly is black coated metal with a ceramic heat shield inside the burner chamber which houses a double heating element attached in all four corners.

    [​IMG]
    On the bottom we see the gas gauge, which operates by tilting the lighter horizontally and looking at the clear window to see what percent of the tank is full. The flame adjustment is an exposed low profile lever labeled +/- and in the pivot point of the lever is the filling port.

    Overall, as far as construction, fit & finish goes....It's superb.

    Fuel, Ignition System & Flame Type

    The storm runs on standard butane gas. The recommended gas to use on this lighter is 45 psi, triple refined butane.

    The ignition system is a piezo electric spark generator. Advertised as good for over 30,000 sparks. That's 10 lights per day, every day, for over 8 years.

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    The flame produced is an internal burner combustion jet type with afterburner. This is the type of flame produced by butane lighters with heating elements that sit inside the burner chamber.

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    Combustion begins when air and butane are partially mixed inside the comnustion chamber and the ignition spark fires causing the mixture to start burning. The heating element almost instantly gets super heated and continues to ignite the partial butane/air mixture while still inside the burner chamber. The excess unburned portion of the super heated gas self ignites as it exits the burner chamber and combines with oxygen. These type of flames use a very rich gas to air mixture to allow such a flame and tend not to burn well in low oxigen enviroments such as very high altitudes.
    On the other hand, because part of the combustion occurs internally and is sustained by the red hot heating element, this type of burner is very resistant to wind, almost impossible to completely blow out.


    Operation

    Very easy to operate push button igniton. The lid needs to be removed by manually unscrewing it. The lighter stays lit while you hold the ignitor down and immediately goes off when you release it. there is no Hold button or flame type adjustment. The flame height can be adjusted while the unit is operating but given it's location, it's not designed to be used that way. The flame is adjusted once and left on that setting.


    In Use

    Using the lighter was simple and straightforward every time, with and without gloves thanx to the extensive knurling and oversized ignition button. The completely removeable lid is perfect for lighting campfires and stoves that otherwise conflict with latched on lids that don't open all the way.

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    The flame is visible even in the daytime thanks to the glowing heating element that colors the flame in orange when it heats up.
    So far it has worked flawlessly with 100% reliable ignition on every click of the ignition button.

    [​IMG]
    The placement of the button is good, allowing comfortable activation with index finger and thumb, both in vertical and horizontal positions.

    Upon testing, the lighter is indeed very windproof! And although couldn't go properly test it in my local wind tunnel to confirm the 80 mph rating claim made by the manufacturer. It stayed lit for 30 seconds in front of a 20 inch industrial metal fan that surely blows well in excess of 40 mph.

    The waterproofing gaskets worked as expected. The lighter withstood splashing from all sides, floating on water and a 14" submersion for 10 minutes.

    While lit, the sound is smooth and subtle, almost quiet really. Cranking up the flame height does make it a bit louder but hardly so. It seems this big bad black flame breathing monster lighter is quite lightspoken!

    This is somewhat unusual on jet lighters and specially on jet lighters that have heating elements. On my particualr unit the flame adjusted from 3/4" to 1 1/4" high.


    Observations, Comments & Concerns

    By now You probably guessed that like the Brunton Storm. It's good looking, well built, light weight, reliable and tough.

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    For EDC or recreational outdoor use, if you don't mind it's larger than usual size; I think this torch would be outstanding.

    For serious expedition level outdoor activities, wilderness self reliance or survival kits, I believe this is also one of the best choices out here. Of course in any serious expedition or outdoor survival kit one should have several ignition sources and never rely solely on a lighter. They are after all machines and like all machines they do fail.

    As I mentioned before, the burner design on this lighter is not 100% reliable at higher altitudes or low oxigen enviroments. So for mountaineering or just general high altitude use above 6~7k feet, I would not recommend it. There are other torch lighters designed specifically for these applications.

    Note:
    Refillable lighters many times fail due to two commonly made mistakes: 1. Using low grade butane: low grade butane leaves residue as it burns, and this residue coats the components of the ignition system, clogs the air inlets and coats the heating elements causing malfunctions. 2. Using butane that is packed at higher or lower pressure: this stresses the seals and valves causing them to fail over time or doesn't fill the lighter properly.

    Note:
    This lighter is actually a slightly modified(aesthetically) Colibri CX Gear extreme series lighter. I don't own the original Colibri version but have seen it at my local Tobacconist and compared the two side by side. Brunton doesn't actually manufacture lighters; the two models currently available from them are this one and the Helios model which is made by Windmill Torches.

    Follow Up

    I've been using this lighter for little over 2 months when at the time of this review. It's been used on tropical jungle expeditions and as an EDC for general every day tasks. I'll post further updates over time, as I gather more experience on the long term use and longevity of this lighter.


    Thank You for Reading My Review !
     
  2. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Thanks for the review. That's one of the most interesting looking lighters I've ever seen.

    After this has happened, is there anything that can be done to clear it?
     
  3. Kraid

    Kraid Loaded Pockets

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    GREAT review! Thank you!
     
  4. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    I have owned this lighter and it is, indeed, excellent. It was a little more than I needed and butane of the right quality was hard to find so I returned it, but it was quite nice.

    Also excellent review, truly excellent.
     
  5. AAROSOL

    AAROSOL Loaded Pockets

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    I have this one and the Helios and love them both! (but this one is my favorite)
     
  6. greyhound352

    greyhound352 Loaded Pockets

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    Awesome review!!!
     
  7. ACHË

    ACHË Loaded Pockets

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    Really glad you guys are finding it useful.

    That's a good question.

    Colibri suggests blasting the burner with a can of compressed air; haven't actually tried this myself so unfortunately I can't attest to it's effectiveness.

    I guess if the residue isn't baked on too hard, it should just come off.
     
  8. Bierkameel

    Bierkameel Loaded Pockets

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    Another downside of these lighters is that they don't work in thin air so you can't use them in high altitudes and that's what a survival lighter is made for.
     
  9. panzer

    panzer Loaded Pockets

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    Had one, nice but plastic. Didn't care for it.
     
  10. asolo

    asolo Empty Pockets

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    A little off topic but I had mine confiscated at the Miami airport. The TSA agent asked me if it was a torch lighter or a flame lighter. I didn't think it mattered so I told her it was filled with butane like a bic. She flicked it open and told me I couldn't carry it but I could carry my bic. I have passed multiple TSA security checks and nothing has been mentioned. Well, I didn't have time to mail it back or put it my already checked luggage. She tossed it in the trash:( Oh well, lesson learned. I later learned that REFILLABLE lighters are not allowed but sealed (like the bic) are. Sad day.