Stoner MacGyver: Embur cordless/flameless lighter

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Now and then, companies send us medical marijuana-related products ranging from vaporizers to board games to books. We showcase them in our quasi-regular product review section, Stoner MacGyver.

The latest? The Embur cordless ceramic lighter.

What is it, dude? The Embur. It lights your bowls/smokes your hash without butane flames using a glowing-hot rod of ceramic.

How much coin will it run me? A lot (brace yourself):$200 to $250.

Where can I get one? Online at the Embur website and in a few select glass shops.

In optimal conditions, the butane in your lighter burns off until it's nothing more than carbon dioxide and a little water vapor. But it can also put off carbon soot -- just hold the flame of your big lighter under a clear glass jar to see what I'm talking about. And I know a lot of you hippies love those little wax-dipped hemp strings that wrap around your lighter and light up like miniature candles to light your bowl sans-butane.

Yeah, bee's wax and hemp twine are natural -- but that doesn't mean I want to smoke them. They're putting off nasty carbon you're inhaling, too. That, and we spend a lot of time as cannabis users trying not to smoke things that resemble hemp.

The Embur, on the other hand, doesn't burn. The ceramic tip glows with heat and simply touching it to whatever you want to light up does the trick. It's like a mini Lightsaber with a 1,400 degree glowing orange tip to incinerate anything it touches, be it evil miniature droids or bowls of OG Kush.

In terms of use, the Embur is really straightforward. There's an on/off switch on the top for the main power, as well as a sort of safety on/off button on the bottom that doubles as a battery level indicator. The third button on the side of the unit turns on the charge for the ceramic tip, glowing red and blue when pushed. Basically, you turn on the main power, check the battery, click for the heat and about twenty seconds later you've got a glowing orange tip. Tap that to the top of your bowl or the tip of your joint and inhale like you normally would with a lighter. You can even hover the ceramic over your bowl for a more vaporizing effect.

Because you're not sucking a flame down into the bowl and incinerating everything instantly, you get a much fuller flavor from a bowl of buds than you would with a lighter. We also found it useful for a few other methods, including putting a chunk of bubble hash in our titanium nail-and-dome set and simply touching the tip to the concentrate instead of blowtorching the nail red-hot.

Continue for more of our Embur cordless/flameless lighter review. Glass producer Sheldon Black makes Embur-specific concentrate bowls and domes as well (as our good friend Greg from Cannabis Cure TV demonstrates). While no doubt a nice addition to your quiver of smoking devices, the special bowls aren't necessary to fully enjoy the Embur.

Like a few other cannabis smoking products, like oil domes and skillets, the Embur does have a certain danger factor in the design. Unlike a lighter, dropping the Embur won't shut off the heat instantly. You'll have a red-hot ceramic piece burning holes in your couch, carpet or (even worse) your lap. You also have to be careful putting it upright on a table with a lot of people around, reaching over one another for bowls of herb or whatever. I'm sure there's at least one forearm scar somewhere in the country stemming from that scenario.

Here's the thing: I know you can get an industrial heating iron from brands like Hakko and make those work just as well. They work great and some models have an almost identical ceramic tip. Plus, they cost about $20-$40, depending on the model.

But the Embur tops those units simply by being cordless -- making it completely portable. A full charge on the battery lasts for a full day of toking and you don't have to be around an outlet for it to function. Like in long car rides or in the backyard on one of the recent nice, sunny days. It's also packaged into a much more sexy unit than the commercial-grade Hakko.

Of course, those perks come with a price: around $200-$250 for the unit with a charger and a safety cap to put over the ceramic tip depending on where you get it (check eBay and Amazon for deals). For that price, you could snag about 250 Bic lighters on eBay. But that's also one of the selling points: 250 lighters is about 42 fluid ounce of butane that you'd light and inhale through a bowl.

Yes, it's an extravagance -- but if you enjoy smoking cannabis more than your average toker, it's an extravagance you'll likely appreciate. Especially if you're already a glass geek who is anal about smoking out of only the cleanest pieces, so you can fully enjoy your herb, hash and oil.

We can't guarantee all products sent in will be reviewed here at Stoner MacGyver, but if you've got something you think is the greatest invention since sliced pot-bread, send us an e-mail at marijuana@westword.com.

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