It’s simple enough on the surface: You’re looking to get a little toasty with some cannabis you have on hand, and whether you’re about to light up a joint or bowl, a lighter is a painfully necessary piece of the puzzle.
(Ever been ready to smoke and realized there’s no lighter in sight? We’ve been there.)
Before We Dive In…
Sure, a BIC lighter or generic, gas station purchase will surely do the trick, but if you’re looking to elevate your smoking experience to the next level, consider elevating your lighting game.
We’re breaking down some of the lighters you’ll find on the market, along with some of the best lighters for weed. Take some time to peruse these options, find the best lighters for you and elevate your smoke session to the next level!
What types lighters are available?
Of course, any standard lighter will provide the same ultimate purpose: the once-miraculous generation of fire. Though, the main distinctions between lighter types lie in the ignition method, type of fuel and how long it lasts, the strength and directionality of the flame, number of flames and additional features like case design and waterproof capabilities.
These distinctions are also important to recognize when it comes to smoking weed and how you are consuming it.
Arguably the most traditional lighter (and the family BIC lighters fall into), these plastic lighters have a serrated steel wheel, located above a flint that sparks when you spin the wheel with enough force. Pressing down on the plastic lever below the wheel, or the “fork,” opens a valve in the lighter to release fuel, which will light your flame.
Some brands have an adjustable flame, there are multiple size options, and they are very affordable. However, lighting and holding onto the fork too long often causes the wheel to overheat. These lighters also don’t work as well in windy or wet conditions.
Sparkwheels are often considered disposable lighters, even though, technically, some can be refilled with a little finesse and lighter fluid.
Spark Ignition Lighters
The spark ignition is another classic lighter similar to the sparkwheel variety, relying on a button to maintain the flame over the wheel. Pressing the button hits a quartz element, which creates electric voltage when hit, and ignites the fuel inside the lighter.
These are often cheap and are easier to operate with wet or sweaty hands. However, the ignition is known to fail more often, and these still do not fare the best in windy or wet conditions.
Butane Torch Lighters
A butane torch lighter contains butane fuel stored in a pressurized chamber, forcing fuel through a nozzle and creating a strong, intense flame.
We suggest approaching these lighters with caution if you like smoking dry herb. While they will easily ignite part of your bowl on a low setting, a hefty scorch could ruin the entire thing. You can also use torch lighters for cigars or to light up a joint or blunt. These lighters are most often used to heat up a nail on a dab rig, using the intense heat to get the glass red hot and vaporize cannabis extracts.
These also burn through fuel pretty quick. However, they work well in windy conditions and some brands are waterproof. Be cautious when buying, as cheaper brands sometimes fail quicker.
Note on Butane Lighters:
The lighters listed above generally use butane. According to data presented by the global energy company Hess, butane is non-toxic by inhalation, though it noted that the “inhalation of high concentrations may cause central nervous system depression such as dizziness, drowsiness, headache, and similar narcotic symptoms, but no long-term effects.”
Some cannabis smokers have also found that the butane can alter the flavor of their flower and have looked toward other lighters, including no-fuel or butane alternatives.
Who doesn’t love a classic Zippo lighter? This unique lighter and snazzy accessory has plenty of outer real estate for a personalized design. As for the use? The user opens the lid, spins the wheel inside against a flint and the resulting spark ignites fluid in a wick.
Rather than releasing a button, Zippo lighters stay lit until you cut off the oxygen by closing the lid. Because of this design, Zippo lighter fuel also evaporates more quickly in the open exposure to air. If the lighter isn’t used regularly, the fuel can also evaporate.
Often, the Zippo lighter is more of a stylish accessory. While it has longevity and you’ll look super cool lighting it up, the wick and flint will likely need a replacement.
This is a refillable lighter, but you shouldn’t use just any lighter fluid — stick to the Zippo brand.
In regard to smoking weed, they are usually easiest to use in cigarette-adjacent settings, i.e. a joint or blunt. While it’s not impossible to smoke a bowl with a Zippo, it’s also not the easiest and can lead to spilled fuel.
Welcome to the future, folks. For those looking to stray away from butane, this nifty gadget — also called a flameless lighter, plasma lighter or arc lighter — uses high-voltage electricity to make an arc of charged plasma between two electrodes.
The result is hotter than a traditional flame, so it’s far more wind resistant. They also require no fuel and are USB rechargeable.
Be wary, though. When it comes to cannabis, some users find that these unique lighters are more challenging to spark bowls evenly.
You can still find a great experience with electric lighters, but be aware that pricing drastically varies. Pay attention to battery life, brands and user reviews when looking into this new technology.
Just a Taste
Keep in mind, this is only a small sampling of some of the lighters you’ll find. Now that you have the scoop, take a peek at some of our picks for the best lighters for weed, all dependent on your smoking needs.
Our Top Choices
Blazer Big Shot Torch by Higher Standards
One hot choice (probably the hottest)
Best torch lighter
- Easy to use and refill
- Best used for dabbing
Why We Love It:
Blazer is known for their high-quality torches, and its collaboration with Higher Standards has resulted in what could be the best dab torch you’ll find. Blazer torches are engineered in Japan and renowned for their reliability, longevity and overall performance.
The dab torch features anti-flare protection, a study brass flame nozzle, a detachable base and piezo crystal ignition, fitted with a flame controller. It’s a compact size, but the Blazer Big Shot still delivers a ton of power.
With more than 35 minutes of high-grade, 2500°F burn time, this torch offers all the best elements any dab connoisseur might look for in a torch.
While the price tag for this torch starts around $70, it’s surely worth the buy if you are looking for a torch that offers it all.
Guevara Torch Lighter
Best of both worlds
Best refillable lighter
Best butane lighter
- Extremely durable
- Wind resistant
- Dual flame
- Best used for dabbing, dry herb on low-flame settings
Why We Love It:
If you are looking for less of a full-on torch and err toward the lighter-adjacent design, look no further than the Guevara Torch Lighter.
The thick, metal body immediately catches the eye, creating a powerful (and adjustable) flame you’ll be hard pressed to see the wind stifle. The double jet torch is also great, further adding to the steady and strong flame this small but mighty device produces.
This lighter is also incredibly versatile, allowing for use on dry herb with a lower setting or more heat-intensive use that dabbing requires. Cannabis aside, this is also a stellar tool to have around on any camping trips you might have planned.
While it’s still a torch lighter, because of the versatility and reasonable price point, generally starting in the $15-20 range, we’ve included the Guevara Torch Lighter as our go-to refillable option. The designers truly thought of everything for this one, including a clear, back window that allows the user to see how much fuel is left.
Tried and true — if it’s good, it’s good!
Best simple, accessible option
- Best for weed bowls
Why We Love It:
A clipper lighter is reminiscent of a BIC lighter, just… well, better. These lighters come in a cylinder shape with a removable flint, which allows the user to replace as needed. Clipper lighters also are refillable, meaning that you can truly get the best bang for your buck and avoid constantly trashing and replacing lighters once their flames burn out.
Speaking of flames, Clipper’s design allows you to adjust the size. The removable flint also acts as a great toker poker, which is a huge reason we’ve included it as a go-to option for dry herb and bowls of all kinds.
The Clipper acts almost like a multi-tool of sorts, offering sustainability and longevity while touting the ease and access that BIC lighters, or other sparkwheel lighters, offer. If you want to take it even further, Clipper also offers a metal design as a sleek, sturdier choice.
The Clipper is simply a classic lighter and tool. All weed smokers should have at least one in their arsenal. It’s the best lighter for weed, or at the very least one of our top picks.
Tesla Coil Lighter
Step into the 21st century…
Best electric lighter
- USB Rechargeable
- Wind-proof design
- Best for joints and blunts
Why We Love It:
If you’re looking to venture into the world of butane-free, electronic lighters, look no further: The Tesla Coil Lighter is a flameless solution for you.
This nifty device features an exterior similar to the Zippo, though that’s about where the similarities end. This electric lighter offers a rechargeable option with power lasting for weeks — one 90-minute-to-two-hour charge will last anywhere between 100 and 300 sparks. It’s sturdy and compact, and not to mention the wind resistance.
While this technology is great, we recommend sticking to joints and blunts when using this lighter. Because there’s no open flame, it’s not going to fire up a bowl, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great accessory to have on hand.
The Tesla Coil is environmentally and economically friendly, and they also come in seven total colors. Who doesn’t love a little customization?
Twisted Bee 100% Organic Hemp Wick
Your favorite lighter that isn’t a lighter at all
Best lighter alternative
- Butane free
- Natural alternative
- Slow burning
- Best for weed bowls
Why We Love It:
While you will need a lighter to initially spark up the Twisted Bee Hemp Wick, we can’t end this chat without dropping this stellar smoking option.
Many cannabis users are embracing hemp wick to avoid the potential side effects of inhaling butane. The user lights the wick with a match or lighter and then uses the lit end to spark the bowl as needed, blowing or shaking out the spark when finished. Hemp wick also burns at a lower temperature than a lighter, which lends to better flavor and smoother bowl hits.
The smell and taste of this organic hemp wick is incredible, and the hemp wick thickness is fairly thin, which allows the user to adjust the size to fit their needs by twisting or braiding the strands together. This wick burns incredibly clean, and the wick itself maintains its shape. No flopping around here, folks.
While you’ll surely find a slew of other wick options, the slow-burning Twisted Bee Organic Hemp Wick is a great alternative if you’re looking to ditch the lighter and go a more natural, eco friendly route for your weed-smoking endeavors.
While we won’t blame you for returning to your regular BIC lighter, there is much more than meets the eye with these essential accessories. Just like having a quality piece, quality bud or a quality grinder, it’s imperative to take a closer look at our lighter, that all-important element of any weed experience.
Happy smoking, everyone!