There is a certain amount of anticipation that results from the process of preparing a smoke. Whether it be a joint, a bowl, or a bong, the ritual of the process can bring its own joy. Once you’ve completed that process and you’re face to face with the finished product, the anticipation is heightened.
Finally, you’ll set flame to the fruits of your labour and enjoy what is offered. Or you’ll strike that cheap lighter you picked up at the gas station for 99 cents, and nothing will happen, only the dull click unaccompanied by a flame. So you’ll strike it several more times hoping for a flame to appear, and when that doesn’t work, you’ll go in search of another lighter, perhaps after 20 minutes of searching through discarded jean pockets, couch cushions, dresser tops, and under car seats, you’ll kick into the next phase.
This phase is accompanied by desperation. Wasn’t there a pack of matches somewhere around here? What if I catch the sun just right with this magnifying glass? Is it too late to go knocking on my neighbour’s door in search of a lighter as though it were a cup of sugar? Where’s that roll of
paper towels I know the stove burner will give me what I need.
Types of Lighters
First of all, it’s important to understand the types of options that you have. There are several different types of lighters to consider.
- Disposable lighters: These are the typical lighters that you might pick up at the gas station. We are all well acquainted with them; they have a limited lifespan and are meant to be used only once. However, these lighters are convenient and easy to find. They are sometimes collectively referred to as BIC lighters, but there are several different brands.
- Utility lighters: These are lighters meant to add safety and distance when lighting something that calls for these measures, such as a grill or fireplace. The extra reach can be useful anytime you need it, though, and they usually use butane that you can refill.
- Windproof lighters: The most famous example of this type of lighter, and perhaps the only example for some people, is the Zippo lighter. These lighters are refillable and can be used in any situation.
- Electric arc lighters: Most lighters run on some fuel that helps to create a spark and, therefore, a flame is used to ignite whatever you are using the lighter on. In the case of electric arc lighters, there is no fuel and spark system. Instead, these lighters work when an electrical arc is created between two ceramic electrodes causing an electrical arc that is actually a lot hotter than any of the flame lighters you’ve been using.
- Torch lighters: These lighters emit a high speed, high heat, jet flame that works well to evenly set fire to whatever you need to set fire to quickly. Although they may not be necessary for just any old bowl or joint, they could be more effective for blunts and are definitely more effective for waxes and other concentrates.
- Survival lighters: The point of these lighters is that they are so much more than a lighter. They are like the Swiss Army knife of the lighter world. They might include a knife, a corkscrew or tiny scissors, along with functioning as a windproof lighter. These could be really handy if smoking while camping or, in any case, that you don’t have scissors or a grinder nearby.
- Hemp wicks: Okay, so first off, admittedly, you cannot use a hemp wick alone without another lighter to initially set it ablaze. However, once you initially set the hemp wick on fire, you’ll have it burning for as long as needed. With a hemp wick, you can smoke a bowl without also inhaling butane from having to keep flicking the lighter time after time. Not to mention the fact that you’ll save on butane or whatever kind of fuel your lighter uses. With the aid of a hemp wick, you’ll be able to really optimize the lifetime of one of those cheap disposable lighters as you’ll only need to flick it once to get the wick burning.
- Car cigarette lighter: Although this type of lighter is practical only in certain situations (like when you’re in the car), it is still a viable option when you’re in a pinch. If you’re lighting up on your lunch break or while taking a road trip and you find yourself in need without any other type of lighter, the car cigarette lighter can be a lifesaver.
The bottom line is that there are many types of lighters out there to choose from and even more variations within these types. Making a choice may seem overwhelming at first, but narrowing your options down by thinking about the most important features for yourself can be helpful. A few features to think about before getting into my top 5 favourite lighters for weed are:
- Price: You’re always going to want to evaluate whether the price of a lighter is really worth it based on how useful it will be for you.
- Lifespan: One of the most important points in finding a perfect lighter is how long it's going to last. In addition, consider whether or not the lighter is refillable for continued use or if it is disposable.
- Durability: Lighters that will break very easily are not going to be any good to anyone. What’s worse than needing a lighter and not having one? An even worse fate would be having a broken lighter in your hand mocking you only as a reminder that you still have to find another way to be able to spark up.
Best Lighters for Weed
These five lighters are sure to pull you through when all you need is a little fire to compliment your herb.
Twisted Bee Organic Hemp Wick + Wrapper
The first “lighter” I want to suggest is actually not a lighter at all, but something that makes a cheap disposable lighter goes so much farther. For about $15, you can get 200 ft. of Twisted Bee Organic Hemp wick.
Throw in the wrapper that is made to dispense your hemp wick as well as hold any standard disposable Bic lighter, and you’ve got hours and hours of safe, clean, environmentally friendly bowl, joint, or blunt lighting capabilities at your fingertips. No more taste of butane when lighting a bowl and the satisfaction of helping the environment while smoking. Load up the dispenser, and it's just as easy to take it on the go as any other lighter.
Negatives? If you’re using the hemp wick outside on a windy day, it could prove more difficult than you’d like, plus you will have to buy accessories (the wrapper and a cheap disposable lighter) to use the hemp wick. All in all, though, this is a very cool, environmentally friendly and thrifty way to light up your smoke.
Zippo All-In-One Kit
This is your standard windproof Zippo lighter but with a bonus, because it comes with a flint dispenser and a 4 ounce can of lighter fluid. This is all you need to get started with a quality lighter that will see you through in any situation.
Whether you are outdoors, indoors, on the go or preparing for a night of sedentary couch dwelling, the lighter itself is a street chrome lighter that boasts the ability to last a lifetime. Purchasing a lighter like this is purchasing a piece of American history as the Zippo company is based in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
It's hard to think of any negatives with a Zippo other than that you will have to continuously buy refills on lighter fluid and new flints when your initial flints wear out.
Spark 4-In-One Multi-Tool Lighter
This is a windproof refillable butane lighter that offers all the conveniences of a Zippo but the perks of a Swiss Army Knife.
No matter what situation you are in, you’ve got a lighter, a knife, a corkscrew, and a bottle opener to work with. This is great for camping, outdoor concerts, hiking, and many other adventures you might find yourself on.
The downside? Some customers complain that it is made of cheap flimsy material. However, I have personally used this lighter myself and still have it in my collection. For the price, this is a handy and unique lighter/tool to have.
Ted Gem Culinary Torch
This is a refillable butane torch. Its uses go far beyond the culinary use that it is advertised for. The flame is safe and easy to adjust to the size you need. So if you’re lighting a bowl, you’re good to go, but if you’re showing off those culinary skills and lighting up some creme brulee or starting the BBQ, it's got you covered too.
Something that I really like about this lighter is that it's perfect for dabs. We talk a lot about joints and bowls, but dabs are rising in popularity, and a torch lighter like this one is the way to go when lighting dabs. Its compact, precise and durable. The worst thing about this product is that it probably won’t be your go-to lighter for all your needs. I’d recommend sticking to something different for lighting joints.
Tesla Coil Electric Arc Lighter
Here it is, my number one choice. This is all you could need in a lighter. It doesn’t run out; it’ll last you for years. You don’t even have to buy butane to keep refilling it since the Tesla Coil lighter is USB rechargeable.
It's windproof, has an easy click button, and can potentially last over a week before it needs to be charged again. So the Tesla Coil might seem like something that will break the bank, but it's affordable as well.
But there has to be a downside, right? You’re going to have a hard time lighting a bowl with the flameless design of the Tesla Coil. Even so, this lighter is something you are going to want to have in your arsenal.
Finally, after all the frantic searching for a solution, you put your pants back on and pull your shoes over your weary protesting feet and set the herb aside so that you can run down to the gas station for yet another cheap lighter that will eventually fail you in much the same way. Sure, you could stockpile those cheap lighters and always have a stash to go back to when the current one is ready for the lighter graveyard but isn’t there a better way that proves itself to be more efficient in the long run. The answer is yes, of course; there are lighters out there better suited to your needs that will save you time, trouble and money in the long run.