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Cigar 101

Butane Lighter Problems & How to Fix Them

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Butane lighters are ideal for cigar lovers for a number of reasons. Butane burns cleaner than liquid fuel and exhibits few impurities. It’s not necessary to fuss with or replace a flint on a butane lighter. For most models, it’s simply click the button and a flame emerges. While many butane lighters feature torch-style jets, there are plenty of soft flame lighters that run on butane too.

Butane lighters can also be finicky at times. The jets can skip or spit out a weak or inconsistent flame. It’s tricky to refill the tank. Adjusting the flame height is critical to the lighter’s performance. Below, we’ve outlined a handful of tips to combat common problems that pop up with butane lighters.

Use High Quality Butane

Your lighter’s performance begins with good butane. There are many brands out there, but it’s imperative to pick a brand that is thoroughly refined, preferably at least 5 times or more. Brands like Xikar and ST Dupont produce ultra-refined butane. The more refined the fuel is, the fewer impurities it possesses, meaning it is far less likely to clog the jets or corrode any internal components in your lighter. Not only will your lighter perform better, but it will last a lot longer with a highly refined premium butane.  

Bleed the Tank Before Refilling

Every time you refill a butane lighter, a tiny bit of air sneaks into the tank. After 3 or 4 refills, the tank is overwhelmed with an air pocket, or bubble. This air prevents fuel from occupying the tank. Flip the lighter upside down and use a small screwdriver or a thin and narrow tool to compress the fuel valve and release the air. A trace amount of fuel may also escape. After the valve stops hissing, the air has been fully expelled.

Turn the flame height to its lowest setting (-) and refill the tank. When you inject butane into the tank, the lighter will immediately cool off. Let the lighter warm up in your hand or pocket before you attempt to light it. Adjust the flame height back to the desired setting and fire away.

Clean the Jets

If you’ve used lower quality fuel in the past, your jets may need to be unclogged. Or, if your lighter lacks a protective closing over the jets, lint and debris from your pocket can get into the jets. To clean the jets, simply bleed the lighter as described above. Then, you can hit the jets with a blast of compressed air (the kind you would use to clean a computer keyboard). Blowing out the burners should improve your lighter’s operation pretty fast.

If these simple steps haven’t remedied your lighter’s issue, you may need to send it in for a repair. Luckily, Xikar and a number of other brands offer a lifetime warranty in the event that your lighter can’t be fixed.

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