Choosing The Best Lighter For Your Bong
What came first? The lighter or the match?
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the lighter was created three years before matches. Invented by German Chemist, Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner, the first lighter used hydrogen gas, and a platinum catalyst to create a flame – but it was hardly portable.
It wasn’t until 1903 when Carl Auer von Welsbach developed ferrocerium (flint to you and me), an inexpensive material that would cause a spark, that the disposable lighter was born.
Lighters are probably the most essential tool for your smoking experience – whether you opt for blunts, pipes, or bongs. We’ve all driven to some far-away smoke spot and forgotten one, we’ve all got that friend who steals them like it’s a sport, and we all have our favorite type.
From disposable to refillable, and electric to natural – the lighter market has come a long way from Dobereiner’s Lamp, and now you’ll find one in most households, even the households of non-smokers.
But what type of lighter is best for bongs?
Things To Consider When Buying a Lighter For Your Bong
When choosing a new lighter, with such an extensive collection on the market, deciding on the right one for you can feel overwhelming.
Where do you even begin?
There are many different things to consider before you make the choice, like whether you’ll be smoking outside, how long you need it to last, or if it will be safe in the hands of kids.
This will help you to choose the right lighter for your needs, making your next smoking sesh a stress-free and more enjoyable experience.
Smoking outside, especially in the winter, isn’t ideal – but if you live with your parents, rent from a landlord, or have kids or pets at home, sometimes heading outside is the only option. But what about when it’s windy?
It’s one thing trying to light a joint or a blunt inside your jacket but lighting a bong – especially if you’re alone and have no extra hands, it’s almost impossible.
Introducing the wind resistant lighter. There is a range on the market, with two main types – dual arc technology – using electric rather than producing an actual flame or butane lighters with a good wick and wind shielding (like a Zippo).
Flame vs Flameless
In recent years, an increasing number of flameless lighters have reached the market. They are often rechargeable via USB or a similar adapter.
Rather than producing a flame, the device produces an electric current, that heats a small arc. The lighter is a lot hotter than a traditional lighter, but the heated area is a lot smaller and more concentrated.
Lighters with a flame are more traditional style lighters – using flint to create a real flame for igniting your bowl or joint.
Lighting a bowl with a traditional lighter can be tricky at first, trying to find the right angle to heat the bowl without burning your fingers or singeing a nail – but they are still the most traditional, and most widely used lighter.
Lifespan & Refillable
How long does a lighter last you? Many lighters are made from plastic and built to last a few weeks, before breaking or needing replacing.
Some traditional lighters are refillable, for example, Clippers, BICs, and Zippos, but in recent years, rechargeable and refillable lighters are becoming increasingly popular.
This more durable range of lighters is built to last. Made from stronger materials, with long-lasting components – meaning you won’t be going out to buy a new one every couple of weeks.
Safety & Ease of Use
Having kids, or animals at home – or just being someone who’s a bit clumsy – puts
lighter safety high on your list of importance. It takes just a few minutes for a lighter to fall into the wrong hands – even if you thought it was out of reach.
A lot of lighters are already fitted with child safety features, so they are difficult to use, even if they do fall into the wrong hands.
Like with any naked flame, there is always a fire risk with any kind of lighter – so choosing one that will “go out” automatically is often a safer choice for some people.
Some people find child-safety lighters difficult to use, and there are many options on the market that are a lot easier to light up with. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use lighter, take care to make sure it’s stored safely after use.
Top 7 Lighters for Bongs
If you’re choosing a lighter for a bong, there is a great range to choose from – and a couple of lighters you should probably avoid, this guide will help you to decide which lighter works best for you and your needs.
The classic lighter – and the world’s favorite – a clipper. This simple design fits in your pocket, is refillable, and does exactly what it says on the tin.
The no.1 lighter was designed in Barcelona and has been available since 1972. Every part of the lighter is refillable or replaceable – but thanks to how cheap they are, many people treat them as disposable lighters.
Clippers are also one of the only lighters in the world with their own packing tool for joints and hand-rolled cigarettes.
But how do they work for bongs?
Clippers are pretty great all-rounders, making it great for bongs and pipes too. The lighter itself can be used to pack a bowl, and the large flame makes it easy to light the whole bowl at once.
The biggest issue with clippers and bongs is angling the flame so as not to burn your fingers, thumb, or nails – but once you’ve used one once or twice, there’s nothing to it.
Blazer Big Buddy Torch Lighter
Torch lighters are much better for dab rigs than for bongs – but they do work. In the end, it comes down to the type of bong smoker you are.
Do you like to relax with a bowl, enjoying it over time and taking small hits as and when you feel the need to?
Then a torch lighter probably isn’t for you. The heat and power of the flame can burn up your whole bowl in a matter of seconds.
That said, if you love huge, mind-altering hits that have you sofa locked for a few minutes afterward – a torch is the best way to burn up your whole bowl, enabling you to take absolutely massive rips with little to no effort (apart from your poor lungs of course).
So for bong usage, if you go hard – a torch is fine, if you don’t, there are much better options on the market.
Zippo Pipe Lighters
Zippos are one of the world’s most popular lighters, famously windproof, and – perhaps most impressive – offer a lifetime guarantee.
In the almost 100-year history of the Zippo lighter every single repair has been free.
One of the trickiest parts of lighting a bong or pipe is trying to direct the flame downwards without burning your hand in the process. But Zippo has a solution for that.
Zippo has a line of “pipe lighters” that have a specially designed insert, to help direct the flame downwards into a pipe or bong.
Being windproof and having a strong, hot flame also means you won’t have to hold the ignition down while you’re lighting up, offering a much lower burning risk.
StashLight - Doob Tube & Refillable Lighter
A doob tube is the name given to a small metal or plastic device for stoners to store pre-rolls, or partial joints – without leaving a strong smell.
Perfect for festivals or hiking trips, the StashLight provides a place to stash your joints or blunts and has a lighter in the lid – providing everything you need in one handy, discreet package.
The lighter is refillable, windproof, and can be added to your keychain – meaning next time you head to your favorite smoke spot, forgetting your lighter won’t be a problem.
StashLights aren’t built for bongs, but they do work for lighting them. Having one on your keychain for emergencies is a great selling point – but there are other cheaper lighters on the market if you don’t ever smoke joints or need a Doob Tube to transport them.
Flameless Arc Lighter
Flameless Arc Lighters have been growing in popularity over the last few years. Using an electrical current, rather than potentially harmful gases makes them a much more popular choice for many stoners – the burn risk is a lot lower too.
That said, while flameless lighters are a lot hotter than traditional lighters with naked flames, the heat is concentrated in a very small area – making it very difficult to light a bong.
If you had no other option, it is possible to smoke a bong with an arc lighter, but it’s simply not practical – allowing you to only light very small areas of your bowl with a lot of effort.
If you’re a blunt smoker, they’re a great investment, but if you prefer bongs and pipes, there are better lighters on the market.
Inverted Dual Torch Lighter
An Inverted Dual Torch Lighter is like a regular torch, but this small hand-held model makes it a lot more practical for lighting bongs than other big torches.
This Dissum Dual Torch has two flames, is completely windproof, and can be refilled. The flame size is adjustable – making it perfect for when you don’t want to smoke the whole bowl at once.
Each lighter comes with a lifetime guarantee, and the flame is angled, making it perfect for aiming the flame down into your bowl.
If you smoke bowls, pipes, and occasionally indulge in dabbing, this butane lighter is a great tool for lighting all three, to save you from having different lighters for different smoking sessions.
While Hemp Wick technically isn’t a lighter, for many stoners, it’s a more conscious way of lighting up. Arc lighters can make lighting a bowl tedious – making traditional lighters more common, but with traditional lighters comes gas.
For many stoners using a gas-fired lighter can change the flavor of your bowl, or even carry a health risk with the inhalation of fumes.
If arc lighters don’t work for you and you want to avoid gas-powered lighters, grab yourself some hemp wick. Hemp wick is hemp twine coated in beeswax and works like a giant candle wick.
Simply light the wick with your gas-powered or arc lighter, and then use the wick to light your bowl!
Can you use an arc lighter to smoke a bowl?
Arc lighters are not the best lighter to choose if you’re hoping to light a bowl. The arc lighter produces a very high heat, but the concentrated area makes it difficult to light a whole bowl – it’s much better suited for joints, blunts, and cigarettes.
What kind of lighter is best for bongs?
If you don’t want to go down the disposable route, torch lighters and hemp wicks are often the best lighting tools for a bong. A disposable lighter works fine, but you might find yourself replacing it sooner than you expect.
What lighters do stoners use?
The type of lighter any stoner chooses will depend on their preferred smoking method. People who smoke bongs, for example, will have little use for an arc lighter, well as blunt smokers will likely never need a torch.
Are butane lighters good for bongs?
Yes, although there is some debate on the safety of inhaling butane and the risks associated with burns or exploding lighters. There are safer options on the market that work as well but can be safer to use especially if you have children in the household.
Remember: if you’re thinking about lighting up anytime soon, check your local state laws regarding marijuana consumption. Always ensure you store your herb, paraphernalia, and lighter out the reach of children and animals!