Lighter Ignition Systems at Randy's Tobacco Shop


Here are the differences between Lighter Ignition Systems



How they work - and what the names mean.

Here's a quick guide to the different types of ignition systems most commonly used by lighter manufacturers and how they work.

Flint Ignition:

The oldest and most common type of ignition around - found especially in disposable-type lighters. The concept is simple: when two sharp objects are rubbed or struck against each other at a fast rate, they create a spark. That same concept is used in a flint ignition lighter. When a spark wheel is rubbed against a piece of flint, it creates a spark which ignites the butane gas escaping from the lighter, or the fluid-soaked wick. As long as you have the lid to the lighter open, you will have a flame, close the lid to extinguish the flame. Avoid opening the lighter unless you plan to light something, as this will result in butane gas escaping, or in the lighter fluid evaporating.
If you are having problems with your flint ignition lighter not working, check our butane lighter repair page for more information and suggestions on fixing your lighter.
Many companies use this style of ignition and it is by far the most reliable style of ignition of all, and will generally take quite a bit of abuse. Unless you have a specific need for a different ignition style, this is the one we recommend for people to buy.

Piezo Electric, or Electro-Quartz:

A small spark is produced when a little hammer strikes a small piece of quartz in the piezo assembly. The resulting spark arcs from the a tiny electrode to the open fuel port of the lighter. It works alot like a spark plug in a car, and the electrode needs to be "gapped" the same way as a spark plug. If the gap between the electrode and the fuel port comes out of adjustment, the lighter will not work properly. Check our butane lighter repair page for suggestions on how to try to fix a Quartz Lighter that needs adjusting.
This system is used by many different lighter companies, but the technology is essentially the same. While these types of lighters are good, they are subject to a higher degree of breakdown, and aren't recommended for people who are likely to "abuse" the lighter with intense physical activity or dropping of the lighter.

Jet Turbo Lighters, or classic Quantum Lighters:

As butane gas flows into an internal burning chamber, a piezo spark (similar to the one explained above) ignites a flame and heats up a wire coil.  The heated coil both ignites and diffuses the gas to create a flame that is intensely hot and extremely wind resistant.
Do not tamper with the coil, or you will cause the lighter to malfunction. Also, try to prevent any dirt, dust or ash from falling into the ignition chamber, as this can also cause the lighter to malfunction. These lighters require special care and the longevity of your lighter depends mostly on how clean the lighter is kept. 
It is not necessary, or recommended, to put your cigar or cigarette directly into the burning vapor the lighter produces. Hold your smoke about an inch away from the vapor to prevent any ashes from falling into the lighter, and your smoke will still light with no problem.

Torch Lighters:

 These have a very similar working mechanism as a Turbo lighter, without the coil.  Instead of creating a broad, diffused flame with a coil, special injectors create a thin, needle-like blue flame. The temperature created by this flame is even hotter than in a regular Turbo Lighter.
Since Jet Torch Lighters create a straight, and extremely hot flame, they are ideal to visually pinpoint an area to be lit, and are ideal for evenly lighting cigars.
Again, try to prevent any dirt, dust or ash from falling into the ignition chamber, as this can also cause the lighter to malfunction. These lighters require special care and the longevity of your lighter depends mostly on how clean the lighter is kept. 
It is not necessary, or recommended, to put your cigar or cigarette directly into the burning vapor the lighter produces. Hold your smoke about an inch away from the vapor to prevent any ashes from falling into the lighter, and your smoke will still light with no problem.

 

Hopefully, this will give you a little insight into the technology that goes into making your lighter, and an appreciation of the how's and why's of how they work. If you are having problems with your lighter, check out our simple and useful suggestions on fixing your lighter. If you have additional questions, or a problem with a lighter not covered there, feel free to e-mail me and I'll be glad to try and help. Click here to view our complete line of lighters by the major lighter manufacturers, including KGM, Colibri, Xikar, Prometheus and others.


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