Types of Lighters: A Comprehensive Guide

Whether you’re a smoker, a camper, or just need a reliable way to start a fire, a good lighter is an essential tool to have on hand. But with so many different types of lighters available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common types of lighters and their unique features, so you can choose the best one for your needs.

Types of Lighters

Lighters come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own unique features and benefits. Below are some of the most common types of lighters on the market today:

Pocket Lighters

Pocket lighters are small, portable lighters that can easily fit into your pocket or bag. They are perfect for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, or picnicking.

Candle Lighters

Candle lighters are designed to light candles or other small flames, such as a pilot light on a gas stove.

They typically have a long neck to reach into tight spaces and are available in both disposable and refillable options.

Butane Lighters

Butane lighters use butane gas as their fuel source and are commonly used for lighting cigars, cigarettes, and pipes.

They often have adjustable flames and are available in both disposable and refillable options.

Torch Lighters

Torch lighters are powerful lighters that produce a high-temperature flame. They are commonly used for lighting outdoor grills, as well as for activities like welding and soldering.

Some torch lighters also have a “flame lock” feature, which allows you to lock the flame in place for extended use.

Plasma Lighters

Plasma lighters use an electrical charge to create a small plasma arc, which can be used to light cigarettes or candles.

They are rechargeable and don’t require fuel, making them a more eco-friendly option.

Electric Lighters

Electric lighters use a battery-powered heating element to light cigarettes, candles, or other small flames.

They are often rechargeable and offer a more eco-friendly option than disposable lighters.

Windproof Lighters

Windproof lighters are designed to work in windy conditions, making them perfect for outdoor activities like camping or hiking.

They often have a protective cover over the flame and a strong flame output to combat the wind.

Lighter with Long Neck

This type of lighter is designed with a long neck that allows you to reach into tight spaces, such as lighting candles in jars or reaching the pilot light on a gas stove.

They are available in both disposable and refillable options, making them a versatile choice for both home and outdoor use.

When choosing a lighter with a long neck, it’s important to consider the fuel source, flame output, and overall durability.

Refillable options are typically more durable and offer a longer lifespan than disposable options. Additionally, look for lighters with adjustable flames or a “flame lock” feature to allow for extended use.

Fuel types for lighters

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a lighter is the type of fuel it uses. Here are the most common fuel types for lighters:


This is the most common type of fuel for lighters. Butane is a highly flammable gas that is stored under high pressure in small metal canisters.

Butane lighters are easy to refill and produce a clean, odorless flame.


Propane is also a popular fuel for lighters. It burns hotter than butane, which means it can be used to light fires in windy conditions.

Propane lighters tend to be larger than butane lighters and are often used for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.


Naphtha is a liquid fuel that is used in Zippo lighters and other similar designs. Naphtha lighters produce a distinctive odor when lit and are not as easy to refill as butane or propane lighters.

Choose the Best Lighter Type Brand for Your Needs

The Classic Lighter: Zippo

The Zippo lighter is a classic American icon, known for its durability and reliability. It features a hinged lid that flips open and a flint wheel that spins to create a spark, which ignites the fuel-soaked wick inside.

Zippo lighters are refillable and can last for years with proper maintenance.


  • Windproof design
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Refillable and reusable


  • Can leak fuel if not properly maintained
  • Fuel evaporation can be an issue

The Disposable Lighter: Bic

Bic lighters are inexpensive, disposable lighters that use a piezoelectric ignition system to create a flame.

They are widely available and come in a variety of colors and designs. Bic lighters are easy to use and can be tossed out when empty, making them a convenient choice for everyday use.


  • Inexpensive and widely available
  • Easy to use and disposable
  • Child-resistant safety features


  • Not refillable or reusable
  • Can be affected by wind

The Torch Lighter: Jet

Jet lighters, also known as torch lighters, are a powerful option that produces a high-intensity flame.

They use butane fuel and a piezoelectric ignition system to create a hot, concentrated flame that’s ideal for lighting cigars or starting a campfire.

Jet lighters often come with adjustable flame controls and safety features.


  • High-intensity flame for easy lighting
  • Refillable and reusable
  • Adjustable flame control


  • Can be difficult to control the flame
  • Not ideal for everyday use

The Electric Arc Lighter: Tesla

Electric arc lighters use a high-voltage electrical charge to create a flame. They are rechargeable and can be used in windy conditions, making them a popular choice for outdoor activities.

Tesla lighters are sleek and modern in design and often feature safety features like automatic shut-off.


  • Windproof and easy to use
  • Rechargeable and reusable
  • No fuel or flame, making them safer to use


  • Can be affected by extreme temperatures
  • Not as durable as other types of lighters

The Survival Lighter: Everstryke

Everstryke lighters are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists.

They feature a waterproof and durable design, as well as a built-in ferrocerium rod that can be used to start a fire even if the lighter runs out of fuel.

Everstryke lighters are refillable and come with a lifetime warranty.


  • Waterproof and durable design
  • Built-in fire starter for emergency situations
  • Refillable and reusable


  • Not as convenient for everyday use
  • Limited flame control

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best type of lighter for camping?

A windproof lighter or a torch lighter would be the best options for camping as they are designed to work in windy conditions and produce a high-temperature flame.

What should I do if my lighter stops working?

The first step is to check if the lighter is out of fuel or has a clogged nozzle. If the fuel level is low, refill the lighter.

If the nozzle is clogged, try cleaning it with a pin or other small tool. If these steps don’t work, the lighter may need to be repaired or replaced.

Can plasma lighters be used for lighting cigarettes and candles?

Yes, plasma lighters use an electrical charge to create a small plasma arc, which can be used to light cigarettes or candles.

What is the advantage of using an electric lighter?

Electric lighters are often rechargeable and offer a more eco-friendly option than disposable lighters.

Are butane lighters safe to use?

When used properly, butane lighters are safe to use. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use caution when handling the lighter.

Keep it away from heat sources, avoid overfilling it with fuel, and never try to modify the lighter in any way.

How do I know when my lighter is out of fuel?

The easiest way to tell if a lighter is out of fuel is to try to light it. If the flame is weak or doesn’t light at all, the lighter is likely out of fuel.

Some lighters may also have a fuel gauge or other indicator to show when the fuel level is low.

How do I refill a butane lighter?

To refill a butane lighter, you will need to purchase a canister of butane fuel.

  1. Locate the refill valve on the bottom of the lighter.
  2. Hold the lighter upside down and press the nozzle of the butane canister against the refill valve.
  3. Depress the nozzle for several seconds until the lighter is full.

Can I refill disposable lighters?

While it’s technically possible to refill disposable lighters, it’s not recommended.

Disposable lighters are not designed to be refilled, and attempting to do so can cause leaks or other malfunctions that can be dangerous.

Can I use propane in a butane lighter?

No, you should only use the type of fuel that is recommended for your specific lighter. Using the wrong type of fuel can damage the lighter or create a safety hazard.

What are some features of a good lighter with a long neck?

A good lighter with a long neck should have a sturdy construction, a comfortable grip, and a reliable ignition mechanism.

It should also have a flexible neck that can bend to reach tight spaces.

Can you use a long-necked lighter for lighting cigarettes?

Yes, you can use a long-necked lighter for lighting cigarettes. However, it may not be the most convenient option, as these lighters are designed for lighting objects that are further away from the user.

Are long-necked lighters safer than regular lighters?

Yes, long-necked lighters are generally safer than regular lighters, as they allow you to light objects without putting your hands close to the flame.

However, it’s still important to use caution when handling any type of lighter.

Can I bring a lighter on an airplane?

This depends on the airline and the specific regulations in place. In general, lighters are allowed in checked baggage but not in carry-on luggage.

However, there may be restrictions on the type of lighter allowed (e.g. no torch lighters) or the amount of fuel that can be carried. Check with your airline before traveling to avoid any issues.

Can lighters be recycled?

Some lighters can be recycled, but it depends on the type of lighter and the recycling program in your area.

Disposable lighters are typically not recyclable, but some refillable lighters can be recycled if they are properly disposed of.

Check with your local recycling program to see if lighters are accepted.


In conclusion, there are various types of lighters available in the market, each with its unique features and advantages. Whether you prefer traditional lighters or modern ones, there is always an option that will meet your specific needs and preferences.

When choosing a lighter, it is essential to consider factors such as fuel type, ignition mechanism, size, and design. By doing so, you can select a lighter that is safe, easy to use, and functional.

Whether you need a lighter for smoking, camping, or outdoor activities, you can always find a suitable option in the market. From pocket lighters to windproof lighters and long-neck lighters, there is a vast selection to choose from.

Lastly, it is important to always use lighters responsibly and follow safety precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. With proper use and care, a good quality lighter can last for a long time, providing a convenient and reliable source of fire whenever you need it.