Advice on Lighters

Every smoker needs a trusted lighter. Whilst a lighter might not have the effortless Hollywood cool of a lighter lit when struck against a brick wall, it is far more convenient and preferential for prolonged use.

If you are new to different forms of smoking then it may be worth checking which lighter kinds can best complement pipes, cigars and cigarettes.

Lighters for Pipes

The first and foremost factor to consider when investing in a lighter for your pipe is that the angle of lighting a pipe can leave you at risk of burning your fingers. A normal lighter with a small flame may not achieve the correct angle and length of flame and may inflict a burn upon the fingers that you are using the light it.

The perfect pipe lighter should have an offset flame at an angle of between 30 and 90 degrees and be longer than the average. This will allow the flame to lick and light the tobacco within the pipe bowl.

Reliability is another key factor when choosing the correct lighter for a pipe. Cigarettes and cigars are more liable to be lit once and stay lit for the duration of the smoke, whereas a pipe needs a charring light and then may need be lit on several occasions throughout the smoke. A small disposable lighter that is prone to running out of fuel at any moment is therefore far less useful than one designed with lighting a pipe in mind.

Lighters for Cigars and Cigarettes

There are far fewer stipulations for an efficient and effective lighter for cigars and cigarettes. The angle of the flame is far less of an issue for cigars and cigarettes as the lit end is held at a 90 degree angle from the face meaning that a vertical flame with be effective.

The only important factor to consider is choosing a high quality lighter to ensure that it is durable and will last for a significant length of time, never leaving you without a light.

Petrol Lighters Vs Gas Lighters

There are advantages to both petrol and gas lighters when lighting a pipe.

Petrol lighters are generally accepted as being the most reliable form of lighter commonly available. Even if it dropped on the floor or in water, a quick clean out and refill and it should be working fine again.

However, the petrol in such lighters is also prone to tainting the flavour of the tobacco somewhat which can discourage pipe smokers with a highly-trained palate.

Furthermore, petrol gradually evaporates so if you are an infrequent smoker, you may find that your lighter is empty every time that you come to use and it requires a refill.

Gas lighters bring with them their own set of benefits such as a cleaner burn with no tainting taste and no risk of escaping contents. However, gas lighters usually have more components inside the structure meaning that there is more chance that a fault will develop.

How to Fill a Gas Lighter

First and foremost, it is important not to buy cheap gas. Ensure that you buy quality butane gas from a reputable specialist tobacconist. Cheaper brands have more impurities in the gas which could clog the lighter.
Locate the filling valve (usually found on the underside of the lighter)
Hold the light so the valve is facing upwards
Carefully, place the gas canister valve above the lighter’s filling valve. Ensure that you do not hold the canister at an angle

–>Apply gentle pressure to the canister valve. You should hear a ‘psst’ as the light fills

How to Fill a Petrol Lighter

Make sure that you a safe distance from flammable objects or sources of ignition when you are filling a petrol lighter. This safeguards these items from the danger of having highly flammable petrol spilled on them. Also hold the lighter away from the face and body for safety purposes.
Locate the fuel tank of the lighter which should be full of wadding.
Soak the wadding with lighter specific petrol and reconstruct the lighter
In case of overfilling the lighter, wipe with a cloth and wait for the fuel to evaporate before lighting

Types of Ignition

A Flint and Wheel ignition is generally considered to be the most effective and reliable ignition source. The popularity of Flint and Wheel ignition lighters has fallen somewhat in recent years as people find that changing the flint is a time-consuming endeavour.

Battery operated lighters are becoming more and more popular as they are the second most reliable form of lighters. However, like all battery operated products, they can be prone to running out of battery at the most inopportune times. If not carefully maintained, the battery can leak battery acid which will cause damage to the lighter and could compromise the efficacy of its operation.

Piezo lighters utilise a similar lighting technology to the ignition of a gas cooker, a Piezo crystal creates a spark when struck. The lack of maintenance required has made this kind of lighter more popular than ever. However, dedicated smokers are often frustrated as this lighter type can permanently stop working if exposed to water or excessive dust.

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