How to Fill a Lighter – HØJ

How to Fill a Lighter

Estimated 6-minute read

The regular Zippo lighter and your disposable Bic lighter are way back from being the only options currently available on the market. As of now, there are many types of lighters, including those with multiple flames, electric ignition, and different types of fuels. However, most lighters you will find at stores will work with butane fuel, which is  usually obtained from petroleum or natural gas. 

If you purchase a refillable butane lighter, you will be saving yourself some money since you won't need to be constantly buying a new one every time it runs out of fuel. After all, refilling a butane lighter is a really easy thing to do. In case you are wondering how to fill your lighter, we have a quick step by step guide for you.

How To Refill A Lighter

Since there are many brands that manufacture really accessible price disposable lighters, keeping an old lighter and refilling it can be a bit insignificant or even nonsense for some. However, every smoker has that special lighter that someone equivalently special gifted to them or that is simply really cool. In this case, we all know that you would like to keep it. 

Before refilling a lighter, there are some aspects one should consider, like the type of lighter you are currently handling and what type of fuel it uses, as these factors will change the process of refilling your lighter. For example, the process of refilling with fuel a regular Zippo lighter is different than it is in a butane fuel lighter.

First, purge any remaining air and fuel from the lighter fuel container. Then, you can pump the butane fuel into the lighter and wait a few minutes before you test it to make sure it is working. In the next section of the article, we are going to focus a bit on butane fuel lighters and focus on refilling a lighter with butane. 

How To Fill Up A Lighter With Butane


  • Butane fuel
  • Lighter
  • Small screwdriver
  • A flat surface
  • Old clothes or a newspaper


    • Work in the right place: Make sure you work in a ventilated area since your lighter may still have a small amount of butane within the container, which is combustible and can irritate your eyes or skin. Turn on a fan to improve air circulation within the room or open the windows. Additionally, always try to use a clean and stable surface like a desk, countertop, or table. The remaining butane in your lighter may spray out onto your working surface, so as to lay down some newspaper sheets or cloth when you are refilling your lighter.

    • Make sure the lighter is at a fresh temperature: If you recently used your lighter, wait at least 30 minutes before you refill it. Remember butane is highly combustible, so you need to allow your lighter to completely cool off before you try to refill it. For accelerating this process, you can put your lighter in a refrigerator for 5 minutes to cool it down faster.

    • Lighter flame level to the minimum: Most butane lighters come with a screw on the bottom that works as the flame intensity regulator. The adjusting screw is a large brass screw with a slot for a screwdriver. There are some other types of lighters that may have a wheel to adjust the flame height instead of a screw. In that case,  you won't need to use a screwdriver to set it to the minimum. However, if you do need one, then use a small screwdriver to turn the dial clockwise as far as it will go. What you must look for is the flame height adjuster to be set to the minimum height setting.

    • Purge the lighter: Now proceed to push the refilling valve with the screwdriver to let out the air inside. Hold the lighter away from your face when doing this to avoid the remaining butane from getting into your eyes, nose or mouth, then press down on the valve with the end of the screwdriver to open it. Any air or gas left inside the lighter can prevent the butane from being injected into it and can even break it. In this sense, make sure all air or remaining gas is completely out of the container by keeping the gas valve open until you no longer hear a hissing sound.

    • Turn the lighter upside down: This means you will also need to hold the can of butane upside down when refilling your lighter. This is an important thing to do to avoid accidentally injecting air into the lighter, which can dilute the fuel inside of it and cause malfunction.

    • Shake the gas can: Butane may set down at the bottom of your gas can, so you need to shake about 6 times before using it.

    • Inject the butane: Now, proceed to press the stem of the can into the refill valve on the lighter while holding both elements upside down. Then, fit the end of the stem from the can of butane into the refilling valve. It should fit tightly over the valve. In case the butane can is too large or too small, the best thing you can do is use an adapter to allow it to fit securely. The can of butane may come with an adapter. If it doesn't, an adapter for the butane can stem is something you can easily find online. After the stem is well fitted with the valve on the lighter, start to pump for 3 seconds. Depending on how empty the lighter is, it should take from 2 to 3, 3 second bursts to fill it. 

    • Wait: Since the butane from the can was compressed and colder than room temperature, you should wait 5 minutes to allow the butane to reach room temperature. By waiting 5 minutes you also allow any excess butane from the exterior of the lighter to evaporate so it won't catch fire once you try to test the lighter. If there is still butane visible on the outside of your lighter, wait an additional 5 minutes to let it evaporate before you use it.

    • Light up the lighter: First, adjust the flame height to your desired setting. Hold the lighter a safe distance away from you and activate the mechanism that ignites the lighter. You should have an evenly burning flame. If the lighter doesn't produce a flame or the flame is really weak, you may need to add more butane. Once your lighter is producing flame, start and stop the lighter a few times to make sure it flows smoothly.

                    Make sure to properly store all the equipment you just used to fill up your lighter. It is important to put the can of butane in a place that is safe and away from heat since butane is highly combustible. This way, you will reduce any risk of an explosion or fire. If you have children, make sure to store the butane in a hard-to-reach area to keep them safe.

                    Can You Overfill A Butane Lighter?

                    Basically, what you will have by “overfilling” the lighter would be the butane spread all over the lighter, your hands and the table you're working, as the butane will start leaking from the stem and not going into the lighter´s gas container anymore once the lighter is full. Some lighters have a gauge that shows the fuel level. If yours has it, check it to make sure the refilled butane is up to the right level.

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