Learn More About Lighters

When you hear the word “lighter,” do you picture a Zippo? Maybe your mind’s eye goes right to a classic BIC. Well, it’s time to broaden your horizons! There are many different lighters out there, and each is more unique that the last.

Here’s a look at the different types of lighters you can use, including gas/fuel options and popular brands.

Different Types of Lighters

  1. Strikers
  2. Manual Strikers
  3. Semi-Automatic Lighter
  4. Automatic Lighter
  5. BBQ/Torch Lighter
  6. Blue Flame Lighter
  7. Butane Lighter
  8. Capsule Lighter
  9. Cigar Lighter
  10. Digital Lighter
  11. Electric Lighter
  12. Flint Lighter
  13. Floating Lighter
  14. Green Flame Lighter
  15. Naphtha Lighter
  16. No Flame Lighter
  17. Novelty Lighter
  18. Vintage Lighter
  19. Waterproof Lighter
  20. Windproof Lighter
  21. Alfred Dunhill Lighter
  22. BIC Lighter
  23. Black Label Lighter
  24. Calico Lighter
  25. Clipper Lighter
  26. Coleman Lighter
  27. Colibri Lighter
  28. Lotus Lighter
  29. MK lighter
  30. Ronson Lighter
  31. Scripto Lighter
  32. S.T. Dupont Lighter
  33. Xikar Lighter
  34. Zippo Lighter
  35. Refillable Lighter
  36. Disposable Lighter

What Were the Early Lighter Styles?

Lighters were invented in 1823, but their popularity really boomed in the United States during the Great Depression. The economy was down, people were feeling low, and many turned to cigarettes and tobacco to make it through.

At the time, there were four styles of lighter available:

Strikers https://picclick.com/Vintage-MATCH-KING-Striker-Lighter-191721839171.html


Strikers contained a substance known as ferrocerium, which was used to create the spark. Today, you’ll often hear this type of lighter referred to as a flint lighter.

Manual Strikers http://www.vintagelighterbook.com/html/all_lighters_.html

Manual Strikers

Manual strikers are similar to strikers as they also used ferrocerium. The only difference is this type of lighter required the squeezing of a handle to ignite the fuel.

Semi-Automatic Lighters https://www.pinterest.com/pin/690880399066224952/?lp=true

Semi-Automatic Lighters

A lighter manufacturer named Colibri is credited for inventing semi-automatic lighters in 1928. These were commonly used for cigars and are still popular to this day.

Automatic Lighters https://sharrowmills.com/pages/the-story-of-the-everyday-lighter

Automatic Lighters

The first automatic lighter was created by Ronson Lighters. It was called the Banjo and worked when the handle was pushed down. When you released, the spark would disappear.

You can think of these early models as the fuel that gave the lighters you use today their spark! Modern designs and brands, like BIC and Zippo, would never have been made if it weren’t for these original styles.

Did you know?

The first lighter ever created was called the Döbereiner’s Lamp. It was named after its inventor and came out in 1823.

What Are the Different Types of Lighters?

Some lighters are refillable, others are completely disposable. Some have a flame, while others run on electricity. There are many styles of lighters out there, and each one works in its own special way.

The different types of lighter on the market today include:

BBQ/Torch Lighter https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/lighters/standard-electronic-barbeque-lighter.htm

BBQ/Torch Lighter

The barbecue lighter is new to the lighter game, having first come out in 2002. It’s well-known for the helpful torch at the end, which makes lighting candles and grills a breeze!

Blue Flame Lighter https://ssmokeshop.com/shop/3-triple-jet-blue-flame-butane-torch-cigar-clear-body-spring-lighter/

Blue Flame Lighter

A blue flame lighter relies on butane and piezoelectricity in order to work. The latter is a combo of pressure and heat and is the same principle that causes your stove’s burner to light blue.

Butane Lighter http://bobspracticalprepping.blogspot.com/2014/02/bic-vs-zippo-as-lighter-for-your-fire.html

Butane Lighter

Butane is a type of fuel that comes from petroleum. Zippos and BICs both use this fuel, but there’s one key difference. A Zippo is designed to be refilled, while a BIC is not.

Capsule Lighter https://strikesurvival.com/product/capsule_lighter/

Capsule Lighter

A capsule lighter, also known as a peanut lighter, is a tiny tool that usually comes with a case and keychain. It’s a useful item to have on hand for hiking, camping, or any trip in the great outdoors.

Cigar Lighter https://www.amazon.com/Gentlemans-Triple-Torch-Lighter-Retractable/dp/B003MBDB9Q

Cigar Lighter

Sure, you can use a standard butane lighter to smoke a cigar. However, it’s nowhere near as cool as using one that has three torches and is specially designed for your stogies!

Digital Lighter https://trendytechstore.com/products/dual-arc-electronic-lighter

Digital Lighter

Spinning that flint wheel is so old-school! In this digital world, you want an easy-to-press button that will create the flame instead.

Electric Lighter http://spark-lighter.com/product/usb-rechargeable-double-electrical-spark-lighter-iridescent/

Electric Lighter

Think of Zeus and how his lightning bolts started fires. An electric lighter works the same way, creating a spark via electricity. It’s also chargeable with a USB cord.

Flint Lighter https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/lighters/translucent-standard-flint-cigarette-lighter.htm

Flint Lighter

You can get portable flint lighters from most stores, but fun fact, they’re also used in Bunsen burners and welding torches!

Floating Lighter https://kmtactical.net/ultimate-survival-technologies-stormproof-floating-lighter.html

Floating Lighter

The floating lighter has a waterproof design and is, as its name suggests, completely buoyant. You can have a pool party and impress all your friends when it floats in the water!

Green Flame Lighter https://www.ebay.com/itm/Butane-lighter-green-flame-windproof-cigarette-lighter-cool-gift-rare-design-/202320397648

Green Flame Lighter

Like most lighters, this style uses butane in order to work. The only difference is the butane interacts with a copper coil, producing the trademark green flame.

Naphtha Lighter https://sciencing.com/naphtha-uses-7665916.html

Naphtha Lighter

Naphtha is a fuel that contains a high amount of chemical energy, It’s the very same fuel that’s used for power stoves, lanterns, and heating units.

No Flame Lighter https://www.forevergifts.com/usb-electric-dual-arc-metal-flameless-rechargeable-windproof-lighter/

No Flame Lighter

How can a lighter have no flame? Easy! It uses a rechargeable electrical current instead. You’ll also hear this style referred to as an electric lighter or windproof lighter.

Novelty Lighter https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/novelty_lighters.html

Novelty Lighter

A novelty lighter is any lighter that’s in an unusual shape. While they’re fun to look at and serve as an easy conversation starter, they’re illegal in some states due to their toy-like appearance.

Vintage Lighter https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/688031785/zippo-lighters-w-camel-cigarettes

Vintage Lighter

A vintage lighter is any lighter that came out between 1823 and 1980. Ronson, Zippo, and Colibri were a few of the most popular brands in this time period.

Waterproof Lighter https://mikescigars.com/eagle-classic-waterproof-single-torch-black

Waterproof Lighter

Active people who spend a lot of time outdoors would get the most from a waterproof lighter. It can stay in your pocket for rainy hikes, scuba diving, or extreme jet ski rides.

Windproof Lighter https://hobbiesdiscount.net/products/dualarc-plazmaburn-lighter

Windproof Lighter

A windproof lighter, or a no-flame or electric lighter, is specially designed to not blow out. This makes it a great choice on a breezy spring day!

You may have noticed these types aren’t mutually exclusive. For instance, you can have an electric lighter that’s also considered windproof or a vintage lighter that uses butane.

No matter what, it’s worth knowing all your options if you’re looking for a new lighter. You can pick one type for cigars and another for extreme water sports. It’s completely up to you!

What Are the Most Popular Lighter Brands?

BIC and Zippo are the most popular lighters brands, but there are a ton of other names that are well-known and loved.

The full list of popular lighter brands includes:

  • Alfred Dunhill
  • BIC
  • Black Label
  • Calico
  • Clipper
  • Coleman
  • Colibri
  • Lotus
  • MK
  • Ronson
  • Scripto
  • S.T. Dupont
  • Xikar
  • Zippo

You might not be very familiar with all of these brands, but that’s okay. It’s worth knowing how each one looks. Here’s a quick overview!

What Are the Most Popular Lighter Brands?
What Are the Most Popular Lighter Brands?

If you’re interested in cigar lighters, S.T. Dupont or Colibri might be the brand for you. Do you just want something affordable? Grab a BIC or Scripto instead!

There is a wide variety of lighters for you to choose from, so think about the type or style you need.

What’s the Difference Between a Refillable and Disposable Lighter?

You have two choices when it comes to lighters: refillable or disposable. A disposable lighter is designed to be used only until the fuel runs out, while the fuel inside of a refillable lighter can be replaced when there’s none left.

Disposable Lighter

Disposable Lighter

A disposable lighter can be used up to the point where a spark is no longer being created. Afterward, it should be disposed of at a hazardous waste collection site so it doesn’t end up in landfills.

Refillable Lighter

Refillable Lighter

A refillable lighter has a valve at the bottom that can be removed and filled with more fuel. You can buy this fuel separately and carefully put it inside the lighter.

Refillable lighters are the more eco-friendly choice, while disposable are the more affordable. Both come in a variety of eye-catching styles that make them fun as gifts, souvenirs, or wedding favors!

How to Refill Lighters

How to Refill Lighters

Each refillable lighter works a little differently, but they more or less follow the same steps.

This is how to refill your lighters:

  1. 1. Remove the valve at the bottom of the lighter.
  2. 2. Let out any remaining air by putting a thin screwdriver into the valve.
  3. 3. Insert the stem of the fuel can. This has to be bought separately, and it’s important that you get the right type of fuel.
  4. 4. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before using your lighter.

Be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for more details on how exactly to fill your lighter up. Every brand is a little different, which means you should do your homework.

No matter what, though, always be extra careful while refilling your lighters*. The last thing you want is to suffer any burns!

How to Refill Lighters

*DISCLAIMER: Quality Logo Products® is not responsible for any harm caused while refilling your lighters. If you’re at all unsure of how it’s done, it’s best to speak directly to the manufacturer.

Did you know?

The BIC lighter provides up to 3,000 flames before running out of fuel. It’s technically not designed to be refilled, but some users have found hacks that make this possible.

What Can Lighters Be Used For?

You should always have a lighter at home or in your bag. They come in handy if you’re trying to do any of the following:



When lighters were first invented, they were designed specifically for cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Today, smoking tobacco is no longer as common, though legal cannabis has steadily been on the rise.



A lighter, particularly a BBQ or torch lighter, comes in handy for your backyard barbeques. It’s the easiest way to fire up the grill and get those burgers going!

Lighting Candles

Lighting Candles

Candles are a must for birthdays and relaxing at home during the weekend. A good lighter makes it so much easier to create that flame!

Igniting Fireworks

Igniting Fireworks

The best celebrations, from the Fourth of July to New Year’s Eve, have fireworks in the sky. These sparklers are lit with a little help from a lighter.



Not everyone knows how to make fire from sticks and stones. A lighter is handy for those bonfires, or at the very least, making sure the lantern stays nice and bright.

Putting on Makeup

Putting on Makeup

You can turn your kohl eyeliner into gel liner simply by holding the tip above a lighter. Wait about five seconds, or until it’s cooled, before applying so you don’t get burned.

Opening a Bottle

Opening a Bottle

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have a bottle opener available, you can use a lighter instead. Simply turn it around and use the bottom to pop off the cap.

Listening to Music

Listening to Music

It’s common to hold up a lighter at a concert in support of your favorite band or singer. Make sure yours is ready for the power ballads!

The Bottom Line

The lighter is one of those items you can’t be without. You need it for celebrations, like birthdays and holidays, and everyday activities like cooking and burning candles. Figure out which style is best for you and get to lighting!


Gilani, N. (2017, April 25). What is Butane Fuel? Retrieved from,

Woodford, C. (2019, November 9). Piezoelectricity. Retrieved from,

Buy Lighters Blog. (2011, May 18). What Makes Some Lighters Burn Green? Retrieved from,

Johnson, D. (2018, April 26). Naphtha Uses. Retrieved from,

U.S. Fire Administration. Status of Legislation to Ban or Limit the Sale of Novelty and Toylike Lighters. Retrieved from,

Ranker. The Best Lighter Brands. Retrieved from,

Holt’s Clubhouse. (2019, January 28). How to Refill a Lighter. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Alfred Dunhill Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of BIC Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Black Label Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Calico Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Coleman Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Colibri Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Lotus Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of MK Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Ronson Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Scripto Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of S.T. Dupont Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

[Photograph of Xikar Lighter.]. Retrieved from,

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