Fire is the foundation of all human technology. Having the ability to make fire at all times is an important part of being prepared. In this article, we explore the best EDC lighters and help you identify the best option for your style and needs.
The Best EDC Lighters
The best EDC lighters are generally inexpensive, which makes them a simple part of your daily kit. That said, there are several premium options available. Here are our favorite lighters.
Genuine Zippo windproof lighter with distinctive Zippo "click." All metal construction. Windproof design works virtually anywhere. Refillable for a lifetime of use. For optimum performance, use genuine Zippo premium lighter fluid, flints, and wicks. Made in the USA with lifetime guarantee that "It works or we fix it free." Zippo fuel sold separately.
No list of the best EDC lighters would be complete without the granddaddy of them all, the Zippo Windproof Lighter. The Zippo has been an icon of Americana since the days of the Second World War, with millions of GIs coming home from the fight with their trusty Zippos stowed in their pockets.
Zippo has since expanded its lighter offerings into thousands of patterns, styles, colors, and material choices. You can pick up a Zippo that pays homage to your military service, profession, hometown, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Despite the vast range of style options, the fundamental design of a Zippo lighter has mostly stayed the same since they were first released. They’re still exceptionally durable, easy to use, affordable, and downright dashing.
One thing many don’t realize is that the stock Zippo insert that runs on traditional lighter fluid isn’t always the best option for EDC purposes. Lighter fluid evaporates relatively quickly in your pocket, and unless you’re someone who frequently uses your Zippo, you might not realize you’re out of fluid at a critical moment.
With the addition of the Zippo Butane Insert, you get all the benefits of the most modern lighter technology while still being able to enjoy that iconic Zippo style.
Dual arc lighter that uses high-quality zinc ally and high-temperature resistance ceramic plate, which makes it safe and durable. No flame or butane necessary. 4 LED battery lights display power level. 200-300 ignitions on full charge. High-quality battery cycle lasts 500-600 charges. Weather resistant and works on windy days.
The iLevar Dual Arc Plasma Lighter combines cutting-edge plasma technology with durable and stylish build quality. At first glance, the iLevar looks very similar to classic flip lighters such as top-ranked Zippos or similar. Once you actually open it up you can see the significant differences in how it works and is charged.
Plasma lighters have gotten a lot of attention in the last several years as both the manufacturing quality and materials used have improved dramatically. They offer an exciting alternative to traditional fuel lighters that produce no smoke and can be significantly cheaper to own over the lifetime of the lighter.
We really love the styling of the iLevar. As soon as you flip open, LEDs light up along the side to give you information on charge level and to let you know it’s ready to be ignited. We found the lights very helpful at night, as it can be harder to feel for the ignition switch on a plasma lighter than a traditional fuel one.
The iLevar charges up with a standard micro-USB plug in about 90 minutes, and works for roughly 200 ignitions between charges. That’s pretty comparable to the amount of use you’d get from a standard butane or lighter fluid lighter.
Child-resistant, safe and reliable. 100% quality inspected. Up to 2 times the lights vs. the next full size leading brand. Every BIC lighter undergoes more than 50 separate, automatic quality checks during the manufacturing process.
The humble BIC lighter is often wrongly overlooked in EDC circles. A BIC isn’t fancy, doesn’t boast the latest and greatest tech, and can’t match the durability of the most advanced outdoor lighters.
The BIC Classic offers a dependable and lightweight lighter at a bargain basement price. You can pick up a dozen BIC lighters in every color of the rainbow for well under the cost of a single Zippo or comparable lighter.
BIC lighters are exceptionally good value for the money. Whenever we’re looking for a lighter to take with us on a hike, backpacking, or when traveling, the BIC Classic is the lighter we grab.
They’re designed to be disposable, so you don’t have to baby them, extremely light and compact, and work beautifully when you need them. We’ve always got a couple of BIC lighters in our hiking bags, and more often than not there’s one in our everyday commuter packs as well, just in case.
If you’re looking to get a solid EDC lighter without spending much, it’s hard to go wrong with a BIC Classic Lighter. Plus, if you lose one, or if someone walks off with it by mistake, you won’t sweat about the cost.
The titanLIGHT generates a spark once you use the flint wheel. This lighter provides a more effective and reliable fire starter than competitor piezo-based lighters or butane torch lighters on the market. Water and evaporation resistant. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum. Refuel with Zippo brand lighter fluid with up to 2 mL fuel. Made in the USA.
EXOTAC is a company that lives out its motto of Gear For Life. They make a range of high-quality fire-starting tools focusing on preparedness and outdoor survival. The EXOTAC titanLIGHT is a reimagined and considerably beefed-up pocket lighter that resembles traditional pea survival lighters, if they were made with next-level components and designed to withstand the toughest environments on the planet.
The titanLIGHT is precision machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and uses the proven flint-and-wick lighter design. EXOTAC went with a significantly larger striking flint than most manufacturers, producing a huge, and hugely effective spray of sparks to trigger the wick.
Coming in at about the size of a pocket flashlight, the titanLIGHT fits easily in your pocket, a bag, or a backpack and offers reliable and long-lasting fire-starting ability. EXOTAC significantly extended the time between refills of the lighter fluid and protected the lighter against water damage by using a beefy o-ring.
We submerged our testing titanLIGHT in water for half an hour and found the lighter’s interior completely dry and instantly light-able. If you’re someone who loves to emphasize the preparedness side of your EDC, the EXOTAC titanLIGHT is one of the most rugged and dependable lighters out there.
The Tesla Coil Lighter is an electric lighter that uses a plasma arc instead of a flame, offering a windproof and fuel-free lighting option. It’s rechargeable via USB, which makes it convenient and environmentally friendly, as there’s no need to buy lighter fluid or dispose of empty plastic lighters.
The Tesla Coil Lighter is activated by pressing a button, creating a small electric arc that can ignite cigarettes, candles, and other small items. It might not be the best choice for lighting pipes or cigars, as its design can make it difficult to reach certain angles. The lighter is generally reliable and well-suited for casual use, but it may not be ideal for those seeking a traditional flame or more versatile lighting options.
Not every EDC lighter needs to focus on preparedness. S.T. Dupont is a storied French maker of luxury pens, leather goods, and other high-end men’s accessories. They’re been in business for 150 years and produce some of the most stylishly masculine best EDC lighters money can buy.
The S.T. Dupont Slim 7 is one of their most approachable lighters, though it still clocks in at well over $100. It’s a gorgeously slim butane lighter with an interesting side press igniter system that makes sure you don’t look out of place wherever you find yourself.
Available in a range of high-end materials, patterns, and styles, the Slim 7 is designed as the everyday lighter for discerning gentlemen, executives, and any guy who’s looking to take their EDC style to the next level. The ultra-slim body allows you to pocket it without worrying about breaking the lines of your outfit, while the whisper-quiet isobutane lighter within emits a potent jet of flame as needed.
The S.T. Dupont Slim 7 is very much an investment piece. It’s not a lighter everyone will need, nor is it the lighter I would take with me to a job site, on a camping trip, or anywhere else I’d be worried about dropping or denting it.
But if you’re looking to up your style game and still want a lighter as part of your EDC, it’s hard to go wrong with the classically stylish S.T. Dupont Slim 7.
The XIKAR EX Windproof Lighter combines elegance and reliability with its sleek design, sturdy metal construction, good balance, and exceptional performance. Featuring a windproof single jet flame, this refillable butane lighter offers precision control and ease of use. The flip-top lid protects the ignition system, while the fuel window allows for effortless monitoring of fuel levels.
As a refillable butane lighter, the XIKAR EX Windproof Lighter offers long-term use and cost-effectiveness. The refill process is simple, and the fuel window allows for effortless monitoring of fuel levels. The single-action ignition is convenient and user-friendly, enabling smooth operation with just one hand.
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One of Zippo's most popular lighter collections, offering a wide array of styles, sizes, and designs to choose from. Classic style and windproof design. For optimal performance, use with Zippo Lighter Fluid. Made in the USA.
The Zippo Brass Pocket Lighter is a timeless piece that combines the iconic Zippo design with a touch of elegance. The solid brass construction adds a sophisticated look and feel to the classic Zippo design. The polished surface speaks to its high-quality craftsmanship. The hinged lid delivers the satisfying and familiar “click” sound that Zippo enthusiasts appreciate.
True to the Zippo brand, this brass pocket lighter maintains the windproof design and reliable performance that have made Zippo lighters famous. It works flawlessly in all weather conditions, making it a trusty companion for outdoor activities, camping trips, or daily use. The sturdy brass construction ensures longevity and resistance to wear and tear.
Being a refillable lighter, the Zippo Brass Pocket Lighter is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Refilling it with Zippo lighter fluid is a breeze, and the replaceable flint and wick system allows for easy maintenance. This lighter is built to last a lifetime with proper care.
Lightweight, easy starting, wind-resistant flameless lighter ignites using electric arc. Requires no butane or adjustments for higher altitudes. Plug into any USB port to charge. Rubberized case allows for easy grip and includes wrist lanyard. 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty.
The UST TekFire Fuel-Free Lighter is an electric, flameless lighter that uses a plasma arc to ignite various items. As it doesn’t require fuel, it’s a more eco-friendly option compared to traditional lighters. You can recharge it through a USB connection, which adds convenience and eliminates the need for disposable lighters or lighter fluid.
The TekFire lighter is windproof and well-suited for outdoor activities, like camping or hiking. However, its design might not be ideal for all situations, such as lighting pipes or cigars, due to the limited space between the arc terminals.
Overall, the UST TekFire Fuel-Free Lighter is a practical and environmentally conscious choice, but it might not be the perfect fit for everyone, depending on their specific needs.
Manufactured out of aerospace grade aluminum. Burns for up to 15 continuous minutes. Holds 3x as much fuel as the Peanut and 5x more than Split Pea. Removable solid brass lighter insert allows it to be used as a waterproof pill vial. Can be used as a candle in an emergency.
The Maratac Peanut XL Lighter is a compact and minimalist lighter designed for easy portability and everyday carry. Made of durable stainless steel or brass, it’s built to withstand wear and tear.
The Peanut XL uses liquid lighter fluid as fuel, which makes it a refillable option, reducing waste compared to disposable lighters. The screw-on cap helps to prevent fuel evaporation and accidental ignition, adding an extra layer of safety. However, the small size of this lighter might not be ideal for those with larger hands or for extended use, as it can be difficult to grip and operate.
While the Maratac Peanut XL Lighter is a convenient and sturdy choice for simple tasks and everyday carry, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those who require a more substantial lighter for frequent use.
The Colibri Julius offers sturdy construction equipped designed for easy, comfortable use and a perfect light every time. Just strike the smooth-moving oversized roll bar to reveal a thick, angled, double soft flame. Includes a Pachmayr grip and easy-to-read blue fuel level window. Wind resistant and altitude tested up to 9,000 ft.
The Colibri Julius Lighter is a well-built lighter that features a double-flame torch, making it suitable for lighting cigars, cigarettes, or candles. Its design is elegant, with a stylish metal body and a variety of finishes to choose from.
The Julius lighter is equipped with an easy-to-use ignition system, which is activated by squeezing the side of the lighter. The flame is adjustable and wind-resistant, which ensures reliability in various conditions. However, the Julius may not be the most practical choice for outdoor activities, as its refined appearance might be more suited for indoor use or special occasions.
Lacquer and chrome finish. Powerful jet flame allows an efficient lighting in all conditions. Streamlined, elegant and contemporary design. Light weight makes it a nomadic product. Simple and ergonomic to use. A window indicates the exact gas level.
The S.T. Dupont Minijet Lighter is a compact and stylish lighter designed for those who appreciate a touch of luxury in their accessories. It features a single-jet torch flame, which is suitable for lighting cigarettes, candles, or cigars. The compact size and luxury appearance make it suitable for a night out or special occasion.
The Minijet lighter has a sleek, ergonomic design that fits comfortably in the hand and is available in various colors and finishes. The side-mounted ignition button ensures ease of use, while the flame is adjustable and wind-resistant for reliable performance in different conditions.
How to Choose the Best EDC Lighter
Picking out the best EDC lighter comes down to your style and practical needs. You should consider what kind of fuel a lighter uses, how durable it’s going to be, whether or not it matches your everyday style, and what you’re looking to spend on a lighter.
Flame/ignition source type
Until recently, choosing a lighter fuel source meant picking between traditional lighter fluid or butane. Both fuels are still solid options, but the incredible proliferation of battery technology and advances in micro plasma generation give you some interesting new choices.
Some of the newest models use a red hot coil, much like the ones you used to find in a car cigarette lighter. Others, and really cool ones to look at, use a plasma arc system that creates a tiny jet of superheated plasma that you can use to light just about anything.
The downside to the new technologies, coil or plasma, is that you have to charge up your lighter regularly. We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t want to depend on a battery-operated tool as our last resort source of fire.
Style, for an EDC lighter, is a very subjective thing. The lighter market is vast, with huge numbers of different shapes, sizes, materials, and design aesthetics to choose from. Consider lighters that match your personal style and the rest of your EDC kit.
We tried to include various styles in our list of the best EDC lighters so that everyone, from tradespeople and outdoor enthusiasts to executives and serious style aficionados, can find the best EDC lighter for their needs.
For EDC lighters, durability mainly comes down to how well they can stand up to pocket carry, how easy it is to scratch or mar the finish, and generally how long they’ll continue to function well and look good during everyday use. There’s a definite tradeoff between style and durability in lighters.
The most durable lighters come from the hiking and outdoor space, boasting hardcore materials, locked down designs, o-ring seals for waterproofing, and usually some kind of clipping point to easily attach to your pack or other gear. That’s great from the perspective of long-term usability and bang for your buck, but it consistently leads to lighters that are bulky, require multiple steps to use (unscrewing a cap or unclasping a clamp, as an example), and generally don’t fit into many people’s everyday style.
We included some of those in our list of the best EDC lighters as everyone’s needs differ, but our sweet spot comes in slim, stylish lighters that can stand up to regular use.
All the lighters on our list are small and light enough to fit in any pocket easily. When we refer to pocketability here, we’re looking at how well the lighter rests in your pocket, whether it creates a blocky shape or is uncomfortable against your thigh.
We also considered how effectively a lighter contains its fuel. The last thing you want is to smell like lighter fluid for the rest of the day because your lighter leaked down your leg.
Cost (including fuel refills)
You can pick up a no-frills yet dependable lighter for under a dollar or spend literally thousands of dollars on a top-of-the-line designer-made piece of EDC art. We tried to include a range of excellent lighter options starting with the best low-cost EDC lighters and making our way up to some decidedly high-end models that would fit right in on a red carpet.
FAQs About the Best EDC Lighters
Is a lighter good for EDC?
A lighter is an excellent addition to an EDC (everyday carry) kit due to its compact size, versatility, and usefulness in various situations such as lighting candles, starting fires, or emergency situations. Opt for a windproof and refillable lighter for added reliability and longevity.
Which lighter brand is best?
It is subjective to determine the “best” lighter brand, as it depends on individual preferences and intended usage. However, some popular and reputable lighter brands include:
- Zippo: Known for their windproof lighters, iconic design, and durability. They are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and everyday carry.
- BIC: Offers affordable, disposable lighters with a simple design and reliable performance, making them suitable for casual use.
- S.T. Dupont: Renowned for their high-quality, luxury lighters with elegant designs and premium materials, typically favored by collectors and aficionados.
- Xikar: Popular among cigar enthusiasts, they produce a range of high-quality torch lighters with a focus on performance and ease of use.
Choose a brand based on your needs, budget, and personal preferences.
What lighters do the army use?
The military often uses durable, wind-resistant lighters like the Zippo Windproof Lighter, known for its reliable performance in harsh conditions. These lighters have been a staple in the military since World War II, and special edition designs often feature military insignia and emblems for various branches.
Are plasma lighters better than butane?
Plasma lighters have advantages over butane lighters, such as being windproof, rechargeable, and environmentally friendly due to their lack of fuel consumption. However, they may not work well in all situations, like lighting pipes, cigars, or larger surfaces. Choose the lighter type based on your needs and preferences.
Why are Bic lighters so popular?
BIC lighters are popular due to their affordability, reliability, and wide availability. They offer consistent performance with a simple, easy-to-use design. The disposable nature of BIC lighters makes them convenient for various situations, contributing to their popularity among casual users and everyday carry enthusiasts.
What lighters did James Bond use?
James Bond, the fictional British spy, was known to use several high-end lighters throughout the films. The most iconic lighter he used is the S.T. Dupont lighter, specifically the Ligne 2 model, which is characterized by its elegant design, distinctive “ping” sound upon opening, and premium build quality.
What is the most reliable pocket lighter? Are refillable lighters better?
The Zippo Windproof Lighter is widely considered the most reliable pocket lighter due to its durability, wind resistance, and classic design. Refillable lighters, like Zippos, tend to be better as they offer long-term use, cost-effectiveness, and environmentally friendly options compared to disposable lighters.
Which lighter lasts longer?
Refillable lighters, like the Zippo Windproof Lighter, tend to last longer than disposable lighters, such as BICs. Zippos are built to last, with durable construction and replaceable components, while also being environmentally friendly due to their refillable nature, making them a long-lasting option.
Why do lighters say not to keep lit for more than 30 seconds?
Lighters have warnings about keeping them lit for more than 30 seconds to prevent potential safety hazards and damage. Prolonged use can cause the lighter to overheat, which may result in burns or injuries to the user, as well as internal damage to the lighter components, reducing its overall lifespan and reliability.
Are refillable lighters better?
Refillable lighters are generally better due to their long-term use, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits. They allow for continuous use by simply refilling the fuel, reducing waste compared to disposable lighters. High-quality refillable lighters, like Zippo, also offer durability and reliable performance, making them a preferred choice.
Best EDC Lighters Final Thoughts
Carrying a lighter as part of your EDC doesn’t have to mean that you’re preparing for the apocalypse. There’s nothing wrong with preparing for the apocalypse, of course, but there are plenty of great lighter options out there that offer stellar performance and look stylish as can be.
If you’re looking for a classic, dependable lighter that you can customize endlessly, the venerable Zippo Windproof Lighter is always a great choice. For those looking to splurge on an heirloom quality lighter to really up their game, it’s hard to beat the elegance and panache of the S.T. Dupont Slim 7.