How To Refill A Lighter- Mastering the Art of Refilling 


A man understanding the art of how to refill a lighter with precision and focus.

Welcome, cigar lovers! Dive into the art of lighter refilling to ensure a reliable flame for your cigars.

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Explore flavors, aromas, and simple refilling techniques to enhance your smoking experience.

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Let It Cool Down After Use

Before refilling a lighter, ensure it has cooled down if it was recently in use, such as lighting a candle

The residual heat from a disposable lighter may accidentally ignite the butane fuel in refillable lighters.

For sufficient cooling time, leave the lighter on a table for approximately 30 minutes while engaging in other activities.

How to Refill a lighter and Adjustments while refilling

A close-up view of a cigar lighter producing a controlled flame with the perfect height for lighting cigars.

To refill a lighter, hold it upside down, align the fuel canister nozzle with the refill valve, and press firmly to release butane into the lighter until full.

Do you know in 2022, the worldwide market for cigarette lighters reached a value of approximately USD 5433.80 million, and it is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% from 2023 to 2028, eventually reaching a value of USD 6602.45 million by 2028?

As the power of lighters continues to rise, so does their demand, reflecting the growing need for reliable and efficient ignition devices.

Ensure the flame height adjuster on the lighter is down before you begin refilling.
If it is not, you could get quite the surprise with a high flame once you’re ready to flick the switch again and ignite the flame.

Most adjusters are turned in the clockwise direction to lower the setting with most of them featuring a Phillips screw.

Some modern lighters have a key that turns the adjuster, which is often easier to use as you don’t have to worry about losing a small screw that you remove or partially unscrew to adjust the setting.

You could have a wheel on your lighter that adjusts the flame, often located on the top of the lighter or on the side.

All you have to do is roll the wheel until it’s at its lowest level.

If it’s hard to turn a screw or the wheel, then it’s likely at its lowest setting, making it safe to begin the process of refilling.

Let the Air Escape Before Refilling (aka Bleeding)

A hand demonstrating the air bleeding technique on a cigar lighter, ensuring optimal performance and flame consistency

Before you add any lighter fluid, let out any air that’s inside the lines to escape.

If air is still present, you might not get the tank as full as possible because the air would take up space in the lines.

Push the lighter refill valve to let the air inside the lines escape.
You’ll know that there’s no air left because you won’t hear a hissing noise.

While performing this step, make sure that the lighter is aimed away from your face.
If lighter fluid sprays, it can be poisonous for the person.

So, don’t get sprayed with any excess lighter fluid that could be in the lines.
Keep in mind that any air that’s trapped could also be the reason why your lighter doesn’t work.

The lines simply need to be bled so that the lighter fluid can be injected into the tank while you refill the valve.

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Refilling Position

When you begin the process of adding lighter fluid, ensure your butane is upside down.

While this might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually easier to ensure that there are no air bubbles in the lines.

If you turn the disposable lighter in the correct position, then you might end up with air that needs to be bled out once again.

A person refilling their cigar lighter, holding the canister of butane fuel in one hand while the lighter is inverted for a seamless refill.

While you refill your lighter, disassembled lighter positioned upright can also help to get the fuel level to the ignition switch of the lighter so that it’s ready to go when you depress the button.

You want to shake the can after adding gas. 

The stem of the can should be firmly pressed so that it connects to the refill valve tightly.

Refill the bottle straight to prevent gas from immediately getting into the lighter for about 10 seconds.

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Leaving the Lighter and Gas to Rest

If needed, you can repeat the refill valve process until there’s enough gas in the tank.

The lighter and the gas inside should be left to rest so that they are at room temperature before igniting. 

The flame adjuster can be slowly turned in a counterclockwise motion so that the flame can be placed at the height that you desire.

PRO TIP: Avoid turning the adjuster to the highest position until you see how much gas is provided as this could burn your fingers.

While igniting the lighter, you want to hold the device away from your face.

Slowly move the cigar so that it’s rotated toward the flame instead of bringing the flame height directly to the cigar as you want to maintain as much control as possible.

Avoiding Leakage

Listen for any hissing sounds.

If you notice these noises, then it could mean that there’s air in the lines that need to be removed.

Turn the adjuster back down, and bleed the lines.

You could also not be holding the lighter straight.

The stem might not be a suitable design for the lighter that you’re using if you do hear hissing noises.

Most tanks have an adapter that can be used so that you get the proper alignment for the stem that’s used.

Choosing The Right Gas and Gas Pressure

When you choose the refillable butane lighter, get a premium quality product.

If you want your lighters refill valve to operate in the best manner possible, you want to run the cleanest gas that is at a pressure of about 45 psi.

You’ll usually find premium butane gas in refill cans that are about 10 to 13 oz in size.

They usually have a nozzle that allows for easy filling of the tank of your lighter.
If you purchase non-premium butane, then it could be used a bit faster.

You might not get as high of a flame using most butane refill bottles that are low-quality fuel.

Most of the non-premium butane containers have a plastic fill tip, while the premium brands tend to have a metal tip.

If there are any impurities in the used gas, then, you could clog the ignition of the lighter. It would result in not getting the flame height that you want or not seeing a flame at all.

Possible Problems When Refilling Your Lighter

There are 3 cigars and one lighter lying on the table.

While refilling is usually a straightforward process, there are a few issues that could arise.

Rest assured, these can usually be solved with a little bit of time and effort.

Having butane readily available is essential for cigar enthusiasts, regardless of the cheap or expensive price range, as it ensures a clean burn.

When compared to cigarette smoking and using a butane lighter, cigars require more gas due to their larger surface area, making butane a valuable resource for optimal enjoyment.

Zippo lighter is another favorite among cigar lovers.

You won’t have to replace a piece of flint in a butane lighter, which can save quite a bit of time if you find that your lighter isn’t working properly.


Once you go through about three or four tanks of gas, you’ll usually see air bubbles begin to develop in the lines.

This is a common issue in most butane lighters.

It’s possible that the lines could become damaged over time, which would allow gas to get trapped inside them.

Try turning the lighter upside down a few times to get the gas flowing through the lines to see if the bubbles will go away.


If you notice that the flame isn’t as high as it once was, then the jets might need to be unclogged.

This can happen if the gas is of lower quality.

If you keep your lighter in your pocket or another compartment, then lint could get trapped on the jets, which can cause them to become clogged.

This will prevent the gas from flowing through the ignition and tank and delivering a flame. 

Compressed air can be used on the jets to clean them, but you need to spray the air in a gentle manner so that the jets don’t get damaged.


Even though you might think that you’ve purchased the best fuel possible for your disposable lighter, it might not be suitable for the type of device that you have.

Nibo and Colibri are two of the best butane brands that are available and will give you a clean burn that likely won’t clog the lines in the tank. 

The zippo lighter can also be refilled easily.

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Not Refilling the Right Way

If your lighter continues to malfunction after refilling, you might consider discarding it, especially if you're a novice cigar smoker facing such issues frequently.

However, there could be an issue with the way you refill your lighter.

You should always position the lighter upside down when you’re refilling to get the best results.

Once the tank is full, you could get some spray back, which can be an indication that the tank is actually full. 

If the lighter has a window design like a zippo lighter brand, then it’s a bit easier to see the level of the butane inside.

Use of Butane Lighter at Higher Altitudes

A butane lighter gently igniting the end of a cigar, producing a flickering flame as it lights up the tobacco.

One of the things to keep in mind about butane lighter is that they aren’t fond of changes in altitude.

The ratio of air to fuel should be adjusted as you climb higher in altitude so that the best burning scenario is possible.

The windproof Zippo lighter is also a good option to consider in such scenarios.

There’s not as much oxygen in the air as altitude levels increase, which can lead to a fuel mixture that isn’t as rich.

The butane lighter flow should be increased so that there’s more gas that flows through the lines to the tank while turning the flow down as you start coming back down in altitude.

The flame is the last component that you want to look at after you refill your lighter.

If it’s still set at the lowest level, then turn it up to the highest point so that there’s enough butane that flows through to give the best flame before slightly turning it down.


Finally, now that you know the steps to refill a lighter, enjoy your cigar without worrying about anything else.

Do share your experience of refilling and let me know if this article was helpful.

- Jack

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About The Author

Jack Cullum

Welcome to my blog. I'm known to bust a box or two open. I'm discovering the limitless world of subscription boxes for men. Follow my journey in my newsletter to get more news and discounts!

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