People don’t give much thought to lighters—at least, not until they need them. They’re just a tool that they use to light their BBQ grill or the fuse on their fireworks during the Fourth of July or to set leaves on fire during their spring cleanup. However, if the user becomes lost in the woods or finds them in another type of survival situation, then these little fire starters instantly become of the most important tools in the world. That’s why we’ve decided to do the research and uncover the best lighters that consumers can buy. Tools that can be used to light a campfire or light a candle.
Quick Summary of the Best Lighters
- Editor’s Choice
LcFun Waterproof Outdoor Windproof Lighter (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended
Ronxs USB Plasma Arc Lighter (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider
Bic Classic Full-Size Lighters (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: LcFun Waterproof Outdoor Windproof Lighter
Before we started trying to find the best lighters, we thought long and hard about what would make a great lighter. Is it how many lights a person can get out of it, or is it merely a matter of price? Maybe what makes a lighter the best is that it’s convenient and easy to use. After we thought about all of these things, we realized that we were thinking about it all wrong. What makes a lighter the best one around isn’t how much it costs or how easy it is to use. It’s how reliable the lighter is in the first place.
Sure, all of those other considerations are important, but they’re not as important as reliability. Reliability is what’s going to make or break the consumer’s expectations. No one wants their lighter to fail while they’re trying to light their grill, or even worse when they need to make a campfire in a survival situation. That’s why we decided that this particular brand of lighter was the best of all of the ones we reviewed. It’s simply the most reliable one.
Not only is this lighter water-resistant, up to IP56 standards, it’s also windproof, so the consumer can light it virtually anywhere. That makes it a wonderful outdoor lighter for lighting campfires, cigarettes, or just about anything else the user needs it to do. Although it’s dual-arc design does mean that it can be difficult for it to light certain things because it produces a plasma arc and not a flame, we otherwise thought it was a great light.
This lighter doesn’t use lighter fluid but instead uses a rechargeable lithium battery. This battery lasts approximately 2-hours, so the user should get plenty of lights out of it. And since it can be recharged via USB, the user can charge it using any USB adapter or a laptop’s USB port. This lighter is also extremely durable and is made of a combination of ABS high-impact plastic and zinc-alloy. All of which makes it great for use around the house or for tossing into an emergency kit or bugout bag.
Also Recommended: Ronxs USB Plasma Arc Lighter
What we did like about this lighter, however, was that it had a flexible hose that can be turned to light candles from multiple angles and all without the user having to bring their hand anywhere near the flame. It’s also a good lighter for lighting tinder for starting a campfire, as the end can be placed directly under the tinder. And because this model is both wind and splash-proof, it’s easy to use outdoors for lighting grills or campfires.
Other features that can be found on this lighter is an LED battery display that alerts the user to how much of a charge they have left, as well as an extended life battery that allows the lighter to be lit hundreds of times. All of these features together make this a lighter that many people are going to want to consider for use at home or on camping trips.
The problem with a lot of lighters is that it can be difficult to light small things like candle wicks without burning yourself. That’s because as you tilt the flame down you’re inadvertently placing your hand above the flame, and as we all know, heat rises upwards. This lighter doesn’t have that problem, fortunately. No, it’s a lighter that won’t burn the user’s hands because it doesn’t produce a flame, but uses a plasma arc instead.
For those readers of ours who aren’t familiar with plasma arc lighters, let us briefly explain how this one works. This lighter is powered by a USB battery, a battery that produces an arc of electricity that sets things on fire. That makes this lighter more reliable than many of the ones powered by lighter fluid, but it’s not without its problems. The main problem with these lighters is that the user has to make sure the item being burned is directly in the line of the plasma arc.
Also Consider: Bic Classic Full-Size Lighters
Although we do have to admit that some people may scoff at us for including these BIC lighters on our best lighters list, the facts of the matter are that they’re some great lighters. Sure, they don’t have the adjustable flames that the previous generation of BICs did, and they’re disposable, but they do provide a reliable light every single time they’re used.
These lighter’s are approximately 3.14-inches in size and are available in an assortment of different colors. They’re small enough to be placed not only into the center console of a car but also into a backpack or even a person’s pocket if needed. And unlike other cheaper disposable lighters, these are designed to light every single time they’re used—or until their fluid is used up.
The problem that a lot of cheap lighters have is that the spring breaks in the flint wheel, which effectively destroys the lighter as it can be no longer used. These lighters don’t have that defect, however, and we’ve never had one of them fail in that way. That makes them a good choice to use not only around the house but also while camping, too.
It’s estimated that these lighters will provide the average person with 3,000 lights each, and although we didn’t try to determine if that’s accurate, we did find that they lasted far beyond our expectations. That alone makes them good for lighting candles around the house, lighting the backyard grill or for taking on a camping trip. These lighters are durable, reliable, and extremely convenient. These are all good reasons why someone would want to keep them in their EDC kit or backpack.
The Ultimate Guide To Lighters
Now that we’ve covered some of the best lighters currently being made, we thought that we’d turn our attention to writing a guide that will help all of our readers decide what type of lighter best serves their needs. So without wasting another moment, here is a guide that covers everything a person could want to know about lighters. And we’re going to kick this guide off with the history of these devices before we turn out attention to the features that consumers might want to consider.
A Very Brief History Of The Modern Lighter
Before we begin our guide on how to purchase the best lighter, we thought that we’d cover a brief history of this implement. Although lighters can be traced back to the Feuerzeug, a lighter invented by German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner in 1823, the modern lighter owes most of its design to the Banjo lighters created by Ronson in 1926. This lighter was the first automatic pocket lighter and the user only had to press a button to get a lot. These lighters were extremely inexpensive as well, so they became extremely popular and were used by people all over the world.
What To Look For In A Lighter
With an understanding of the history behind these remarkable devices, we can now turn our attention to looking for the best lighter available. Below are some things that consumers are going to want to think about before they purchase their next lighter to ensure that they get one that fits their needs.
Before We Begin
Before talking about the features that need to be considered when shopping for a lighter, the consumer is going to want to make sure that they think about what they need out of the lighter. They should know where they’re using it and how they’re using it, so they can determine which one is right for them.
Step One: Decide On A Fuel Type
When it comes to these types of lighters, consumers have two choices available. Some lighters are powered by lighter fluid and some lighters are powered by electricity. Each of these types of lighters has its pros and cons, which the consumer is going to want to consider before purchasing one of them.
For example, lighters that use lighter fluid either have to be refilled or if they’re disposable, tossed out when they’re used up. They also tend to not be windproof or splash-proof. However, they do produce a consistent flame that’s strong and capable.
Electric lighters have to be recharged, but they do tend to be wind and splash-resistant. They also tend to be extremely reliable. The main drawback to using them is that the spark or plasma arc that they use is small and usually requires the item that needs to be lit to be directly between the two terminals. This can make these lighters sometimes difficult to use.
Step Two: Consider Lighter Size
The next thing the consumer is going to want to think about is the size of the lighter. They will want to make sure that it’s large enough to provide the number of lights they need it to provide, but not so large that it’s difficult for them to put into a pocket or a backpack.
Step Three: Consider Price & Convenience
Another thing to think about when buying a lighter is how much it costs. Some lighters are more expensive than other ones, but they tend to last a long time. Other lighters are cheaper and are meant to be disposable. And of course, there’s probably all kinds of lighters that can be found in between these two price points, so the consumer is going to make sure that they buy one that fits into their budget well.
Step Four: Additional Features To Consider
Consumers are also going to want to consider some of the other features that they might need their lighter to have. Although some of the following features apply only to electric lighters, and others apply only to lighters that use fluid, it’s still a good assortment of features that the consumer might want to consider.
Other Features To Consider:
- Electric USB Charger
- Adjustable Flame
- Flexible Neck
- A Carrying Strap
A Few Final Words
As can be seen from our top list of the best lighters, as well as our highly informative guide on the subject, it’s not that difficult for a person to find a lighter that fits their needs well. All they have to do is decide what they need the lighter for and what features they may need. If they do that, then they should have no problem finding a lighter that’s right for them.