How to refill a long lighter

Does anyone else have this problem? I’ve never liked cigarette lighters. I spin the little metal dial, get the flame up, and then when trying to light my tea lights (which is the main reason why I would use a lighter), I manage to angle the lighter so that it burns my fingers. In situations where a gas stove needs lighting, I have always had the fear that I will light the gas and my whole hand.

That is why I have always used long lighters.

I’ve always found it wasteful, though they only cost between $2 and $6, to throw them out when the butane has run out. But the thing is, the first times I tried refilling them, many years ago, I remember it being a complete disaster.

But things move fast these days. I thought of this task more recently and realised that at the time, it was unlikely for there to be advice up on the internet, but nowadays, there is advice on EVERYTHING. The weird thing is that the advice that I found was super complicated and often wrong.

The worst advice involved removing the cartridge from a cigarette lighter and then removing the cartridge from the long lighter, and putting the cigarette lighter cartridge into the long lighter AFTER you’ve made a few small adjustments.

Yeah, right. A video from a kid (who shouldn’t be playing with lighters) didn’t help out, and gave advice that was opposite to what eventually worked. The best advice was found on a message board, but without illustration. So, I thought that I could help out here, for anyone who was once, like me, confused.

How to refill a long lighter:

  • Buy a can of butane
  • Use the smallest nozzle and first use it (or a pin or a screwdriver) to completely release any remaining gas or butane that is in the lighter. Put your instrument into the small hole and press until there is no pressure left, no sound, nothing. This is an important step and I think was my problem the first time I tried this.
  • When the cartridge is completely empty, then you can fill it up. Hold the can of butane upside down with the nozzle inserted into the tiny hole for refilling the butane!

  • Press down. It’s likely that extra butane will leak over your fingers, which will be cold, so you might want to wear gloves. And you’d probably want to do this on a solid surface rather than my hands in the air illustration purposes only.
  • You will be able to see in the window whether the cartridge has filled up.

I’m still using the same can of butane to refill lighters 2.5 years after I first wrote this post. And I just got some new advice!

John (thanks John) advises:

You should use a quality butane from brands like Colibri, Puretane, Vector etc. The brand name is less important than how refined it is. Personally, I use 9x refined Colibri for my torches.

Cheap butane like Ronson has more impurities and it can clog up your lighter and ruin it. Long lighters are pretty cheap, so maybe it’s not worth the hassle, but I’ve ruined torches with low quality butane in the past.

I’ve found that I can only refill the lighters about 4 or 5 times and then they just won’t light, even when there’s enough butane in them. So maybe this is the problem.

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10 Responses to How to refill a long lighter

  1. Nic says:

    Followed this word-for-word and it worked!! Thank you!!
    You’re right, there are lots of videos & instructions online but a lot of them are inaccurate. Even the instruction on the back of the refill I was using wasn’t accurate & didn’t work for me.

  2. John says:

    Just another tip to add on to your guide (perhaps you can edit it in). You should use a quality butane from brands like Colibri, Puretane, Vector etc. The brand name is less important than how refined it is. Personally I use 9x refined Colibri for my torches.

    Cheap butane like Ronson has more impurities and it can clog up your lighter and ruin it. Long lighters are pretty cheap, so maybe it’s not worth the hassle, but I’ve ruined torches with low quality butane in the past.

    • andyq says:

      Wow, thanks for this tip. I will edit it into the post. I wonder whether using cheap butane is the reason why I can only manage to refill my long lighters maybe 5 or 6 times and then they stop lighting, even when refilled.

  3. Larry says:

    Andy, thanks for the great guide. Not been able to refill the lighter after successful attempts in the past has been bugging me! Thank goodness for the Google.

  4. Alex says:

    “Use the smallest nozzle” – did your can of butane come with an adaptor or something? I tried to do this without one and it didn’t really work, the valve on the can just fit into the hole on the lighter, so I think it wasn’t really lined up when I pressed down meaning a lot of butane spilled out and seemingly none went in the lighter. Do I need to buy a nozzle adaptor from somewhere?

    • andyq says:

      Hey. Yup, my can of butane came with a little ring of five tiny red adaptors, and the one that works with my long lighters was the smallest and longest shape.

    • 123123sss says:

      you probably bought a can of butane specifically for cooking/bbq, lighters designed for lighters come with the adapter thing

  5. Diyany.net says:

    Good text. Following the instructions, I filled the cigarette lighter and it works, here is the link how https://www.diyany.net/refilling-lighter-fluid/

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