Proper Maintenance for Lighters

  • Use the Proper Butane
  • Petrol Wick Lighters
  • Flints
  • Cigar/Pipe Lighters
  • Lighting Candles
  • Wear and Tear
  • Keep Your Lighter Clean
  • When Broken--Overhaul
  • Use the Proper Butane
    You can dramatically extend the useable life of your lighter by using the proper fuel. For butane (gas) lighters, the manufacturers will put their gas through varying degrees of refinement that result in fewer or greater levels of impurities. For instance, both Dunhill and S.T. Dupont butane are ultra-refined, resulting in a very high quality gas with very few impurities. The lower the impurities, the less chance of impurity build-up in the lighter's internal valves, the lower the chance of damage to the workings of the lighter.
    There are several different kinds of butane gas:

    • Alfred Dunhill Butane: Very high quality butane with few impurities, but it can be expensive.

    • S.T. Dupont Butane: Also high quality, but can only be used with S.T. Dupont lighters. The butane is sold in cartridges that are categorized by color: Gold (yellow), Red, Green and Blue. Each series of Dupont lighter use certain colors for refill. Determine what color you need for your Dupont by looking under the filler cap on the bottom of the lighter; the color you see is the color you need. At $4.00 to $6.00 a pop, it is the most expensive butane on the market.
      You can also use the following as a general reference (but use the color under the dustcap to tell for sure):

      Gold (Yellow): Small Line 1 and Large Line 2 lighters.
      Red: Large Line 1 and Perspective lighters.
      Blue: Urban lighters & Line D lighters.
      Green: Small Line 2 and Gatsby lighters.

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    • Colibri Butane: A good quality gas that is relatively inexpensive. Good for filling most gas lighters other than Dunhill and Dupont.

    • Ronson Butane: Similar to Colibri Gas, Ronson butane is also good for filling most gas lighters, again, other than Dunhill and Dupont.
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      Petrol Wick Lighters
      Petrol (lighter fluid) lighters use a wick to deliver lighter fluid to fuel the flame on the lighter. Any lighter fluid will do the trick, as all lighter fluid is naptha, but Ronsonol fluid is still the most common. If the wick of your lighter is turning black at the tip then most likely you are not keeping the lighter filled properly and the wick is starting to burn. Petrol lighters will have to be filled MUCH more frequently than butane lighters as lighter fluid begins to evaporate the minute you fill your lighter.
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      There are 2 ways that flame is created from your lighter. Either from a spark that ignites a tiny stream of butane or fluid on a wick, or from a little electric coil as in some of the more modern "sport" or "jet" lighters. The most common way to create a spark in your lighter is through the use of a flint. A flint is a type of stone that is usually cut into a tiny cylindrical shape. This little stone is usually pressed up tightly against a piece of metal called a "flint wheel" or "spark wheel". The wheel is usually attached to the fingerpiece, roller, or whatever mechanism that is used to create the flame. The flint wheel has little grooves cut into it, that when quickly rubbed against the flint, will shear off a tiny bit of the stone and create enormous friction and heat which causes the spark and lights the fuel.

      Flint sizes are not always standard. You must make sure that you are using the correct size flint for your lighter. For instance, Dunhill Rollagas lighters only take Dunhill Red flints, whereas Dunhill Unique lighters only take Dunhill Blue flints.
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      Cigar/Pipe Lighters
      Certain lighters are designed for, or can be converted to, cigar or pipe lighters. The only real difference is that a cigar lighter has a flame that is slightly wider than a flame used for cigarettes. A pipe lighter is the same as for a cigarette, but the flame comes out of the lighter sideways, making it easier to ignite the tobacco in the pipe. That being said, you must remember that no matter what type of lighter you use, you must never let the tobacco touch the burner (the place where the fire comes out of the lighter). This will leave a residue on the burner that will most certainly build up over time and destroy the burner.
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      Lighting Candles
      Avoid using your lighter to light candles. Especially votive candles. We're not kidding. No matter how careful you think you are, it is a simple fact that wax WILL get into your lighter and clog the burner as well as destroy the valves. Wax has also been known to fill in the grooves of the flint wheel, making it ineffective for creating a spark when striking the flint.
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      Wear and Tear
      Try to be careful with your lighter. Nobody cares what happens to a disposable, but a high-end lighter like a Dunhill or Dupont costs hundreds of dollars and they are just as suseptable to damage as a cheap lighter. The most common cause of dents and scratches that we see, aside from dropping, is from keys. Tossing a lighter in your pocket full of keys and loose change will nick and scratch your lighter faster than you would have thought possible. And guess what--you cannot do anything about nicks and scratches.
      Lighters cannot be re-lacquered. Some jewelers claim to be able to re-plate gold and silver lighters, but in all of our years of experience, we have yet to see it done properly. Do yourself a favor, be careful how you carry your lighter and try not to drop it. If you do drop your lighter and it gets a major dent...well, the number for suicide prevention is: 1-800-784-2433. Website
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      Keep Your Lighter Clean
      If you are careful about following the advice given on this page about the care of your lighter, then cleaning your lighter is one of the easiest bits of maintenance you can perform. A small can of air blast or any canned air product available in most hardware, computer, or electronics stores is perfect for keeping your lighter clean. Simply give a few blasts of air up close to any of the areas where the flame comes out. This will clear any dust or other material that is building up on the burner and keep it burning much longer than with no cleaning at all.

      For cleaning the outside of the lighter-gold and silver should be cleaned only with a polishing cloth designed for those specific metals. Most jewelry supply businesses will have polishing cloths available. Lacquer lighters generally do not need to be cleaned, but in case it should get a little sticky from that PB&J sandwich that got away from you, we found that a little Pledge® brand furniture polish and a soft dry cloth will do the trick. Nothing abrasive (no matter how slight) should EVER be used to clean the outside of a lighter.
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      When Broken--Overhaul
      There just comes a time in every lighter's life that nothing more can be done to keep it working properly. Eventually every flame will begin to sputter and flicker. Sooner or later your thumb will go completely numb from 6,487 unsucessful attempts to light that cigarette. And what's becoming more and more common these days is when someone finds granddad's old lighter from 1973 that has sat for so long it's become fused into one solid piece of metal that seems incapable of ever producing a flame again.

      Accept it...your lighter needs to be overhauled--that's where we come in. Take a look at out list of commonly repairable lighters. You can also fill out our send us a repair form to send us your lighter for a free estimate.
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