Cigars 101

“Cold-filling” butane lighters

Q. Sometimes I have a problem getting my butane lighter to fillproperly whenI have to refuel it.Any suggestions?

A. First, make sure you’ve released all of the excess air from the lighter. Air bubbles are a common problem which can prevent the flame from igniting properly, or can prevent the lighter from filling completely. Using the tip of a large paperclip to depress the filling valve will help release all of the remaining air in the chamber.

But the following tip from one of our readers, Ray Woolums in Indianapolis, may also come in handy: “Plastic lighters will sometimes crack when filled while warm. I find the lighters refill more efficiently when chilled.”

So, the next time you have to refill your butane lighter, remove (or “bleed”) all the excess air as I described above, put it in the freezer for about half an hour, then fill it. Just make sure you give it enough time to warm back up to room temperature before lighting your cigar.

Because the pressurized butane is so cold, even if you fill your lighter at room temperature, you should always wait a few minutes before lighting-up. Holding the lighter in your hand for a couple of minutes will also do the trick.

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Heidi LeBlanc
Heidi LeBlanc

– Ray Woolums stated: “Plastic lighters will sometimes crack when filled while warm. I find the lighters refill more efficiently when chilled.” If it cracks when filling it warm, then simply don’t fill it when it’s warm. It only needs to COOL. The issue is how plastic fails because of the RAPID transition from temperatures which have a GREATER difference. So, letting it cool down will decrease that gap / temperature difference. There is no substitute for time. (Well, that’s mostly true.) – You summed it up: “… put it in the freezer for about half an hour, then fill… Read more »

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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