Operating and Maintenance of Lighters

Refilling Butane Lighters:


Quick Fill:
The best butane to use is IsoButane. The easiest source for that is from the stove caninsters for your camping stove, such as MSR. Brunton, Primus, etc. To use these canisters for refill your ligher you need an adapter (Soto and Brunton are common ones) that is sold at MEC and most outdoor equipent stores.

When you lighter runs out, one trick we recomend to start is place the lighter in the freezer for a few minutes. Then, when you're ready to go, invert the lighter and the donor canister so you are feeding liquid into the lighter.

  1. The most common mistake made in refilling a butane  lighter, is not keeping the can and the lighter upside down. If you do not refill with the can in the upside down position, you will just inject vapour into the lighter and it will not work properly until it is bled and refilled.

With the fuel refill nozzle on your lighter pointing up, press the can of fuel straight down into the nozzle. Be patient, a lighter does not become refilled in 2 seconds. Take your time. It will take 15-seconds or so to fill the lighter chamber. DO NOT pump the fuel can into the lighter as you may introduce an air lock.

Let the lighter warm up before you use it, then test it to ensure it did not get an air lock. If it does not work properly there is probably an air lock so it is time to bleed and refill it from scratch:

Bleed and refill:
Warm the body of the lighter (we place the tank portion of the body in warm water for a minute). Put on gloves and eye protection, then turn the lighter upside down. Get a blunt instrument and press the valve under the lighter, where it is filled. Be careful when doing this as very cold gas comes out, which can cause frosting on your skin. Try doing it at an angle so the gas goes away from you. When it appears like all the gas has gone turn the lighter the right way up and try ignite the lighter.

Often you will get a small flame. Regardless of a flame or not keep the ignition held down for 5 seconds. Turn the lighter back over and depress the valve again. You will likely get a short "pssst" as a tiny blast of gas exits. Then keep turning it over and while depressing the ignition held down so that gas can escape from the top. (There may not be enough gas to ignite but some may still be trickling out)

Repeat this process at least 5 times until nothing else comes out. Then place the lighter in the freezer for a few minutes. Then use the refill steps outlined above. One extra step we find helpful at this point is to have the switch open, or the trigger resting on something that will hold it open, so that when the liquid gas is being fed in from the top, it will purge air out the bottom. After 15 seconds close the switch or trigger and uncouple the donor canister. After the lighter has warmed up, check for air locks.

If your gas lighter is full of gas and the ignition is fine but does not light, the flame height has dropped or the flame splutters it is likely your lighter has developed an air lock. This is a common problem, which can be caused by a change in the atmospheric pressure or by air being forced into the tank during filling. There is no way of spotting an air lock even in clear lighters. 90% of all lighter issues are caused by an air lock. They can be troublesome to clear but if you follow the instructions above the problem should be sorted quickly and stress free. The only way to get rid of it is to empty ALL the gas. If the problem still persists try clearing the air lock again. It can take more than one attempt.