Buying lighters: which to choose?
Lighters can be bought in many types and designs. Which one suits you best depends on what you want to do with it and what you think is beautiful. Do you smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipe? Or do you want to use it in the kitchen, at the barbecue or to light candles? Do you like trendy, modern colors or just classic design? For every purpose and taste you can find the right lighter. We discuss the different types of lighters below and also explain how to fill them (if applicable). We cover the following in turn:
- Disposable lighters
- Gas lighters
- Gasoline lighters, like the famous Zippo
- Plasma lighters, which you charge electrically
If you are looking for an inexpensive lighter, or if you like to carry a different colour or design all the time, disposable lighters are the best choice. They are usually made of plastic and come in many different designs. They are suitable for general use, although you should be careful not to burn your fingers when lighting candles or your gas cooker. These lighters use butane gas. Although they are called disposable lighters, many can be refilled. This is done in the same way as described below for the gas lighters. Only the flint or piezo ignition mechanism cannot be replaced. If you run out of these, it means the end of your disposable lighter's life.
Refillable gas lighters usually use butane gas. The main differences with disposable lighters are the more luxurious body (often made of metal) and the replaceability of flints or piezo elements. There are many models available, from sturdy and basic to extremely luxurious models in gift packs. There are also special models with a long, sometimes flexible neck. These are very suitable for lighting candles, your cooker or your barbecue.
Refilling gas lighters
You can refill gas lighters with butane gas. This is how it works: first, make sure that the lighter is completely empty by pressing the filler ball at the bottom. No more air should come out! Then you press the bottle on the lighter for a few seconds. Then wait a little while before using the lighter.
Let's start with the main disadvantage of petrol lighters: you can smell them very strongly. Many people find it a pleasant smell, but some are disgusted by it. Fortunately, this disadvantage is offset by some major advantages: when you light a petrol lighter, it stays lit even if you let it go. It is only when you close the cap that the flame goes out. The flame is also hardly sensitive to wind, so that you can use this type of lighter even in extreme conditions. The most famous petrol lighter is of course the Zippo, a true style icon, available in many versions, but always with the same, indestructible technique.
Refilling petrol lighters
Refilling petrol lighters is easy. You unscrew the filling opening and drip the petrol into the reservoir, where there is a cotton plug that sucks up the petrol. The best way to fill these lighters is with Zippo liquid, which is specially designed for this purpose. Apart from the liquid, Zippo also supplies flints and wicks for their gasoline lighters.
Plasma ARC lighters
The youngest member of the lighter family is the plasma lighter. It does not work with a flame, but with a plasma arc, which is generated electronically. The big advantages: it works under all conditions and the plasma arc is much more stable than a flame, so you will not burn yourself easily. It makes these lighters the ideal all-rounder. Plasma lighters are also available in many models, from simple budget models to very luxurious ones. Plasma lighters do not need to be refilled, you charge them via a USB connection. One hour of charging provides enough energy to light about 400 cigarettes.