How to choose the right lighter?

The complete guide to choosing a lighter

You might think that a lighter is just another accessory that is only used to light your cigarette, and therefore any lighter will do. Even though all lighters are suitable for this task, everyone has different needs and expectations, so you need a lighter that really suits you.

You don't know which lighter to choose, or you don't know all the nuances between each type of lighter? To help you make the best choice, let's review the different models on the market and their technical characteristics.

The first to come across the idea of a lighter was Alessandro Volta in the 1770s, who created a hydrogen lamp that served as a lighter to light the candles of the time. Appearing in the first half of the 19th century, the first "real" lighter designed by Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner was thus an improved version of the Volta lighter. Far removed from those we know today, it was designed more as a "table lighter" for the upper echelons of society than as a compact accessory to take with you. The economical, disposable version of this first lighter appeared a few years later, in 1827: matches!

Since then, the lighter has been reshaped and refined, and different types of lighters have arrived one after the other, making it one of the objects for domestic use constantly present in our daily lives today. Apart from the mini or maxi size of a lighter, the way they work can be one of the main criteria that will motivate your choice. Here are the different existing lighters:

  • Le briquet à pierre

A l’unité ou en lot, le briquet à pierre reste l’option la moins chère ! 

This lighter works by mechanical action. The flame is produced by friction between a stone (hence its name) and the knurl, which produces sparks.

Si les briquets à pierre sont généralement des briquets jetables car « non rechargeables » avec un combustible, il est néanmoins possible de remplacer la pierre ou de recharger le gaz de certains d’entre eux, afin de les garder plus longtemps. Tout dépend du modèle en question !

For smokers looking for an original lighter, disposable lighters are an excellent option! The most famous brands such as BIC or Clipper offer colourful and sometimes offbeat models.

Pour qui ? Ce briquet pas cher sera idéal tout particulièrement pour les petits budgets, grâce à son prix peu élevé.

how to choose your lighter
  • The electronic lighter

Practical and easy to switch on

The electronic lighter, or gas lighter, is an invention ofHenri Pingeot, dating from 1936. It was not until 1948 that this lighter was officially launched on the market for the first time by Marc Quercia, director of Flaminaire (which also owns Bic). Today, this lighter is seen as an essential basic lighter that everyone must have. Produced in large quantities from the 60s and 70s, then greatly democratised, among other things, by the BIC brandThese lighters are generally coloured and fancy, decorated with original patterns.

Unlike flint lighters, which are lit by a mechanism, the electronic lighter is lit by an electronic system, which produces the spark when you press the plunger. On the practical side, these lighters can be refilled with lighter gas when the lighter runs out. This means that they do not have to be thrown away when empty, as with the flint lighter.

Pour qui ? Pour les personnes souhaitant un briquet simple mais fiable, qui se recharge facilement et rapidement.

  • The petrol lighter

The ideal outdoor lighter

Highly popularized during the First World War, because of the complicated use of matches due to the living conditions of the soldiers, the petrol lighters are recognizable by their special design, thicker than other lighters. They are also recognizable by their flame, identifiable by its yellow-orange colour. The flame is created by sparks, produced by the friction of the metal wheel, which then ignite a wick soaked in petrol.

Petrol lighters, just like electronic lighters, can be easily refilled with lighter fluid. The wick can also be replaced if necessary.

Pour qui ? Les adeptes d’accessoires robustes et avec de la personnalité, qui souhaitent se tourner vers une marque fiable, comme le célèbre Zippo par exemple.

how to choose your lighter
  • The electric lighter

An astonishingly efficient operation! 

Less "essential" than its predecessors but no less effective, the electric lighter works without a flame but thanks to an electric arc, which is created when you press a button on the lighter.

These modern design lighters are refillable, but not exactly the same way as petrol or gas lighters: you can recharge them by plugging them into a power outlet using a USB cable. There's definitely no stopping progress!

Pour qui ? Pour les amateurs d’innovation, souhaitant un briquet contemporain, ainsi que les personnes ne souhaitant pas un briquet à recharger de manière régulière en gaz ou essence.

how to choose your lighter
  • The USB lighter

Recharging quickly and in the same way as the electric lighter, USB light ers work in yet another way, as they will light your cigarettes with a heating element!

This way of working can sometimes be surprising at first glance, but the advantage of this type of lighter is that it does not produce a flame as such, so there is no need for you to refill it with fuel.

For who? For lovers of contemporary and sometimes futuristic-looking lighters. They are also suitable for those who do not like to refill petrol and/or gas lighters, or for those who wish to invest in a non-disposable lighter that can be kept for a long time. Indeed, USB lighters are more environmentally friendly!

Apart from the functioning of the lighter, or if you don't attach much importance to it, the type of flame can be an element that helps you to choose which lighter is made for you. Indeed, some people want to be sure to acquire a lighter that performs well in all circumstances! There are several options available to you.

how to choose your lighter

Le briquet chalumeau 

Le briquet doté d’une flamme chalumeau est facilement reconnaissable car la couleur de la flamme tire généralement vers le bleu, comme sur un véritable chalumeau !

Rechargeables en gaz, les briquets chalumeau peuvent comporter une, deux, voire trois flammes ! Il est un indispensable au quotidien : Pour allumer un cigare, du charbon, une cheminée ou le barbecue… Un véritable couteau-suisse ! 

Pour qui ? Un briquet idéal pour les amateurs de puissance, ainsi que ceux qui souhaitent un briquet original et esthétique. Le briquet tempete est idéal pour allumer le cigare.

how to choose your lighter

Le briquet tempete

The particularity of the storm lighter ? Its flame remains intact, no matter where you are, and no matter the weather!

This is possible thanks to a filament integrated into the lighter flame, which allows it to remain functional at all times when you light it. Originally designed for seafarers, whose raging elements at sea could simply compromise the quality of the lighter's flame, it is now an essential lighter, synonymous with power and reliability. So even the wind won't be able to overcome it! You can easily recognize a storm flame by its shape. This is because when other flames are soft and more rounded, the storm flame is hard and remains straight and stiff at all times.

Pour qui ? Les partisans d’un briquet très performant, ceux qui souhaitent un briquet adapté à un usage en extérieur, quelles que soient les conditions climatiques.

Les meilleures marques de briquet

While there are a multitude of brands offering lighters today, some of them have managed to make a place for themselves in the hearts of smokers, thanks to the quality and practicality of their products. Whether these brands are "young" or have been around for decades, their reliability and know-how make their lighters part of the list of must-haves to which you can turn without hesitation.

Now that you are more familiar with the different types of lighters, you will be sure to make the right choice and opt for the best lighter!

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