What Type of Survival Lighter is The Best?

What Type of Survival Lighter is The Best?

Choosing a survival lighter can be a difficult decision. First, you want to make sure you have the best survival tool for your needs. There are many different survival lighters, from disposable ones to refillable lighters, windproof to waterproof lighters. Gas, electric, and chemical sparks also need to be considered when choosing which survival lighter is right. In this article, we will discuss everything there is to know about the best survival and best camping lighter so that you can find one that suits your specific needs and your emergency fire kit!

What Makes One Lighter Different than Another?

Any portable device that produces a flame is lighter, usually by igniting fuel kept within its casing. There are six significant differences when it comes to separating lighters into types:

  • Method of ignition
  • What kind of fuel is used?
  • How long does it take for the fuel to run out?
  • The flame's strength and directionality
  • The number of flames
  • Case design and waterproofness are examples of features.

    Types of Lighters

    It's worth noting that there's a lot of crossover in these lighters. Utility lighters, for example, can be spark ignition or electric arc lighters.

    Plastic Sparkwheel Lighters

    These lighters are composed of plastic with a serrated steel wheel. Flint can be found beneath the wheel.

    When you spin the wheel fast enough, it scrapes against the flint and sparks. The "fork" (the plastic lever beneath the spark wheel) opens a valve that allows gasoline to be released.

    A spark ignites the fuel, resulting in a flame. It's worth noting that many plastic sparkwheel lighters can be refilled. However, most people regard them as disposable due to their low cost. You can make a flame with an empty sparkwheel light in an SHTF environment.


    • Number of lights: 3,000
    • Fuel type: Butane
    • Ignition method: Spinning a sparkwheel
    • Casing: Plastic


    • Cheap
    • The size of the flame is generally adjustable.
    • There are large and small sizes available.
    • Refillable on occasion
    • While you're in a hurry, you can still use it when it's empty.


    • The majority of them cannot be refilled.
    • When a Sparkwheel is ignited for a long time, it becomes very hot.
    • In windy or damp situations, they don't work as well.
    • When wearing gloves or with moist hands, it's difficult to use.

    Piezo Spark Ignition Lighters

    Instead of a sparkwheel, this lighter has a button. When you press the button, a pint element is activated. Quartz is piezoelectric, which means it generates electricity when struck. The electric voltage ignites the gasoline inside the lighter.


    • Number of lights: 1,800
    • Fuel type: Butane
    • Ignition method: Push-button creates electric spark
    • Casing: Plastic
    • Refillable: Occasionally.
    • Windproof: No
    • Waterproof: To some extent


    • Cheap
    • The size of the flame is generally adjustable.
    • Models that are childproof are available.
    • Even with sweaty palms, it's simple to ignite.


    • Disposable
    • Make a loud clicking noise with your fingers.
    • In windy or damp situations, they don't work as well.
    • Not dependable – the ignition system frequently fails.

    Zippo-Style Lighters

    For nearly a century, Zippo lighters have been around. They work by rotating a sparkwheel inside the Zippo against a flint. As a result, a spark is created, which ignites the lighter fluid in the wick.

    A Zippo wick, unlike disposable sparkwheel lighters, will stay ablaze until the oxygen supply is shut off by closing the lid. A Zippo can even be left blazing like a candle. However, the disadvantage is that the eyelet that exposes the fuel-filled wick is constantly visible. This could lead to fuel leakage (and a nasty rash on your skin).

    When Zippo gasoline is exposed to the air, it immediately evaporates. A Zippo should last at least 10 days before requiring refueling. Zippo lighters have an odd feature in that the fuel lasts longer if you use them frequently. If you don't use the Zippo frequently, the fuel may evaporate in as little as 3-4 days.

    Zippo fuel isn't advised for camping or emergency preparedness because of how quickly it evaporates. Instead, regular smokers who prefer a stylish, personalized lighter should choose Zippos. While Zippo lighters last nearly indefinitely (you can even find ancient Zippos that work perfectly), the flint and wick will need to be replaced at some point.

    On the other hand, Zippo fluid is formed of a petroleum distillate that easily ignites and burns cleanly. It also performs better in extreme cold than butane lighters. Other fuels, such as butane, naptha (commonly known as white gas or Coleman fuel), or gasoline, can be used in a Zippo lighter in a situation. I've heard of folks using Bacardi 151, methylated spirits, or 99 percent isopropyl alcohol. On the other hand, alternative fuels are not suggested for Zippos because they may clog the Zippo. In addition, alternative fuels, such as charcoal, have the potential to cause your Zippo to explode.

    Note: There are some cool "peanut lighters" that function similarly to Zippo-style lighters. The advantage is that they are small and perfect for EDC. Also, because the lid occasionally screws on tightly, there is less fuel evaporation.


    • Number of lights: About 3-7 days of lighting
    • Fuel type: Zippo fuel but alternative fuels also work
    • Ignition method: Sparkwheel
    • Casing: Metal
    • Refillable: Yes
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Waterproof: No


    • Without holding any buttons, it remains light.
    • It's easier to use a large sparkwheel.
    • In a pinch, there are a variety of fuel options.
    • Refillable
    • In windy situations, it performs admirably.
    • Stylish
    • Guaranteed for life


    • Fuel is quickly depleted.
    • Fuel leaks are common.
    • Flints degrade with time and must be replaced.
    • Some upkeep is required.
    • Not waterproof

    Butane Torch Lighters

    Butane torch lighters, also known as jet lighters, turbo lighters, or cigar lighters, contain butane held in a pressurized chamber. The fuel is blasted into a nozzle containing air, resulting in an extremely intense, powerful, and hot flame. They're essentially miniature Bunsen burners.

    Butane torch lighter has the advantage of aiming the flame in any direction, including upside down. As a result, they're frequently utilized to light pipes. In addition, because of how hot they become, they're frequently used as cigar lighters.

    Jet torch lighters burn through fuel quickly, as you'd expect from a lighter that produces such a powerful flame. However, the number of flames, the size of the fuel chamber, and the pressure level all affect how long a torch lighter lasts.

    Torch lighters, even in checked luggage, are not permitted on airlines. So if you're flying, don't bring one of them with you!


    • Multiple flames
    • Pressurized flame
    • Fuel type: Butane
    • Ignition method: Piezo or battery
    • Refillable: Yes
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Waterproof: Usually


    • A powerful, blazing flame
    • The flame can be directed in any direction.
    • It's possible to work in severely windy situations.


    • It consumes fuel quickly.
    • Piezo ignition is prone to failure.
    • Many low-cost brands are short-lived.

    Electric Arc Lighter (Plasma Lighters)

    These are also known as flameless lighters. However, they are not the same as electric coil lighters. Instead, high-voltage electricity is used in an arc lighter to create a charged plasma arc between two electrodes.

    The plasma lighter is much hotter than a regular flame and will not be blown away by the wind. Four electrodes are used in some electric lighter to produce two arcs.

    These lighters have grown in popularity because of their ability to work in windy circumstances, the fact that they do not require fuel, are rechargeable, and are simply cool. The cost varies greatly. When selecting an arc lighter, consider the brand's reputation as well as the battery life.


    • Number of lights: About 100 per charge
    • Fuel type: USB-chargeable Lithium-ion battery
    • Ignition method: Electric button
    • Refillable: Sometimes
    • Windproof: Yes


    • Windproof
    • In general, very dependable.
    • The design is sleek and modern.
    • There is no need for gasoline.
    • When wearing gloves, it's simple to utilize.


    • There aren't many lights per charge.
    • After around 400 charges, the battery will need to be replaced.
    • The charging duration varies, however it is normally at least 2 hours.
    • If it gets wet, it may short circuit.

    Permanent Match

    This camping lighter, sometimes known as an everlasting match, is a hybrid of matches and lighters. It is made up of a metal chamber that houses the fuel. A wick is within a spark stick that is fitted into the chamber.

    The wick absorbs fuel from within the chamber. Remove the sparking stick and strike it against the chamber's abrasive striking surface to use the permanent match.

    The survivalist community has been very enthusiastic about permanent mates. Yes, they're cool, and they produce a lot more light than regular matches. In addition, the flame is much more wind-resistant than a regular match. Unfortunately, however, much of the information about permanent matches is inaccurate.

    For starters, the majority of permanent matches claim to last 15,000 lights. You will, however, need to refuel the lighter much sooner. The permanent match's wick will also need to be replaced. It varies by manufacturer, but don't expect to use the wick for more than 100 lights before replenishing or changing it.
    Permanent matches, on the other hand, feature a gasket that inhibits fuel evaporation. As a result, these may be stored in a bug-out bag for years without losing any fuel.


    • Number of lights: 15,000
    • Fuel type: Naptha
    • Ignition method: Striking like match
    • Casing: Metal
    • Refillable: Yes
    • Windproof: Somewhat
    • Waterproof: Yes


    • There are a few small, cool designs available.
    • Fuel does not decompose.
    • It's ideal for bug-out bags.
    • Waterproof
    • In windy situations, it performs admirably.


    • There are a lot of cheap, faulty ones on the market.
    • It's necessary to refuel and change the wick on a regular basis.

    Electric Coil Lighter

    These are battery-operated lighters, sometimes known as flameless lighters. The battery's electricity heats a coil inside the lighter, which may subsequently be used to ignite cigarettes or other objects put on the coils.

    These lighters are simple to use, reusable, and do not require any fuel. They are typically charged through USB. However, the coils make lighting anything other than a cigarette or possibly candles difficult. Therefore, they're not suitable for camping, emergency preparedness, or other common activities.


    • Fuel type: Electricity charged via USB
    • Ignition method: Electric
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Waterproof: No


    • Simple to use
    • Safe
    • Chargeable via USB
    • Stylish


    • Will not easily ignite tinder or anything heavy.
    • The charge does not endure long.
    • Many low-cost brands are short-lived.

    Candle Lighters

    This style of lighter, often known as utility lighters, has an extremely long neck. It's simpler to reach candle wicks with a long neck, especially without burning your fingers on the flame.

    The necks of certain candle lighters are bent or flexible. A Piezo spark often ignites cheap candle lighters, but electric arc candle lighters are also available.

    They have the same advantages and disadvantages as their parent type of lighter.

    Pipe Lighters

    Traditional lighters can be difficult to ignite, and the flame might burn your fingers if you turn it upside down towards the pipe. By altering the architecture of the lighter, pipe lighters can alleviate this problem. Rather than coming out of the top, the flame comes out of the side of the lighter. In addition, the flame is covered in metal in certain designs to be aimed down into a pipe.

    Butane sparkweel lighters make up the majority of pipe lighters. Because the powerful flame can easily be directed into a pipe, butane torch lighters are sometimes known as pipe lighters.

    They have the same qualities and advantages, and disadvantages as Piezo lighters.


    You might be wondering if any lighter can be termed a tactical lighter. In a nutshell, the answer is yes and no. Having a lighter on hand is certainly preferable to having none. Still, not all lighters are built to withstand the kinds of stress and conditions you could encounter in a survival situation. Most disposable lighters, for example, are not windproof, which might be an issue if you're stuck outside during a storm. So, if you're looking for a good survival lighter, make sure to choose the best survival lighter, like ours here at ApeSurvival. Check it out!

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